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Best practices for mast-up storage  Bottom

  • I'll shortly be having to deal with this issue, as I will have a cat and a location near Mission Bay (San Diego) to store it. The boatyard is less than a mile from a public launch ramp at De Anza Cove Park, and there are no overhead obstructions to prevent simply trailering the boat to the ramp and back, nearly ready to sail.

    While I've learned some things with a search of the forum, I welcome the collective wisdom of the members on best practices for storing the boat - what should be taken down, what can be left in place, and what should be part of my routine to care for a boat in this situation?

    Thanks!

    --
    Tony H
    Hobie 18
    Sailing Mission Bay and nearby CA
    --
  • 1st thing - invest in a yard cover to cover the hulls, trampoline, etc. If you have a spinnaker, then get a cover for the snuffer & bag as well. The sun is evil and destroys all that it sees. Beyond that, it depends on the security of the storage location and your stomach for risk.

    Since you're in saltwater, I probably don't have to tell you to rinse everything off after every sail...

    I store mast-up at a local club (Detroit area) and leave the sails, gear, etc. under the yard cover. Everything drys out quickly there and I don't have to schlepp it around.

    --
    Jeff R
    '88 H18 "Jolly Mon"
    '10 C2 USA1193
    NE IN / SE MI
    cramsailing.com
    --
  • Just a couple of things. With mast up storage the mast moves a little bit all the time. Wind, earthquakes, fat joggers, ...

    Tape the swages and other stuff up the mast with the tape that sticks to itself. It's expensive but if you can't reach it it's required. The lower down stuff you can tape with cheap electrical tape. Harbor Freight ten pack. The swages will chew into the aluminum mast if you don't protect them.

    Check the swages frequently. I don't know what that means but ... ever time you have the mast down for sure. The mast movement flexes the wire and it will break at some point. As soon as you see a damaged strand replace the stay. I know one rental facility in Florida that replaces the standing rigging every two years. YMMV

    And I have to say it. Tape all ring dings and everything else that is close to being sharp with electrical tape. Swimming events happen quickly and without warning.
  • Just a couple of things. With mast up storage the mast moves a little bit all the time. Wind, earthquakes, fat joggers, ...

    Tape the swages and other stuff up the mast with the tape that sticks to itself. It's expensive but if you can't reach it it's required. The lower down stuff you can tape with cheap electrical tape. Harbor Freight ten pack. The swages will chew into the aluminum mast if you don't protect them.

    Check the swages frequently. I don't know what that means but ... ever time you have the mast down for sure. The mast movement flexes the wire and it will break at some point. As soon as you see a damaged strand replace the stay. I know one rental facility in Florida that replaces the standing rigging every two years. YMMV

    And I have to say it. Tape all ring dings and everything else that is close to being sharp with electrical tape. Swimming events happen quickly and without warning. icon_cool
  • The sun will quickly fade anything that isn’t covered. If you have a Hobie with a comptip, consider painting the comptip to reduce UV damage. This will need to be repeated every few years.

    If you have a furling jib, make sure it is wrapped securely and tied with a backup line around the sail or take the jib down each time. If it accidentally unfurls in a storm, it will be damaged.

    For sure strap the boat securely to the trailer. But also consider strapping the trailer to the ground if that’s possible. A strong storm can flip the boat or even the boat and trailer if not tied down.

    Remove any items that could be easily stolen, like main blocks, tiller extension, etc.

    Keep the rig snug so it doesn’t bang around excessively. Tie off the main halyard so it doesn’t slap the mast incessantly and piss off the neighbors.

    sm
  • QuoteIf you have a furling jib, make sure it is wrapped securely and tied with a backup line around the sail or take the jib down each time. If it accidentally unfurls in a storm, it will be damaged.

    I would just remove it - will extend the life of the sail and remove any risk of it somehow opening (accidental unfurling could actually destroy the mast in a good storm and anything the mast lands on)
  • All good advice. I've mast up storage for years but now that I'm sailing less, I prefer taking my boat home and keeping it in the shade. A good cover is great, but a nice fitted one will cost more than a new tramp. A tarp is hardly worth the effort, with all the lines to tie and you'll have to figure a way to tent it to keep water from pooling on it. What the UV rays do to fiberglass is pretty much cosmetic but it will damage nylon stitching on your tramp way before it damages the polypropiline mesh. If you go without a cover you'll have to get your tramp re stitched every couple of years and if you do that, get it re stitched with teflon thread. I've had good luck with this product called formula 303. It's a UV protectant available at West Marine. Spray it around all the stitching especially. Your tramp will be a little slippery at first but that goes away quickly. Nothing is still as good as covering, but dealing with the cover is a pain. When you mast up store, don't forget to secure the mast so that it won't rotate back and forth wildly in a storm or trailering with the mast up. Get storm tie downs also called augers at Ace Hardware. They screw down into the ground and are inexpensive. When I had mast up storage I got lazy and did not check what was going on up there for a long time. I had a Nacra at the time and the halyard came off the sheave roller and got stuck between the sheave and that part of the top of the mast. I had to move the boat to a gassy area with the sail up and pull the boat over on it's side to free it. If I had been smart, and periodically taken the mast down to check things, I would've seen that a piece of the sheave roller had broken off (probably UV rays) and the problem wouldn't have occurred.

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • Thanks, everyone, for the advice. I will be doing something (exactly what, to be determined) to cover the hulls, tramps etc. Sails, outboard and similar will be stored in one of those Rubbermaid outdoor storage cabinets, as long as I can find one with good enough venting. I'm thinking the sails may stay under the cover, since fumes from the outboard might not be healthy for the material.

    Anchoring the trailer is also a good thought, I'll look at that as soon as everything's home.

    I'll take your suggestions and create a checklist for periodic inspections too...

    --
    Tony H
    Hobie 18
    Sailing Mission Bay and nearby CA
    --
  • I was able to get 4 concrete "plugs" from a concrete cutting company. These plugs are 20" round and 8" tall with a hole through the center. The plugs are, what is left over when they core drill and usually go in the dumpster. So I picked up some very long 1/2 galvanized eye bolts, added a short chain to that and used some old coffee can that I cut out the bottom. Buried these deep just so the coffee can top was just at ground level, no mowing issue at the club. One plug under each trailer crossbar tied to the trailer. Mast up storage with snorkel over jib and secured to the ground....Let the wind blow. icon_wink

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    Bill 404 21SE
    --
  • I was able to get 4 concrete "plugs" from a concrete cutting company. These plugs are 20" round and 8" tall with a hole through the center. The plugs are, what is left over when they core drill and usually go in the dumpster. So I picked up some very long 1/2 galvanized eye bolts, added a short chain to that and used some old coffee can that I cut out the bottom. Buried these deep just so the coffee can top was just at ground level, no mowing issue at the club. One plug under each trailer crossbar tied to the trailer. Mast up storage with snorkel over jib and secured to the ground....Let the wind blow. icon_wink

    --
    Bill 404 21SE
    --
  • bill40421SEMast up storage with snorkel over jib and secured to the ground....Let the wind blow. icon_wink


    Speaking from experience, I wouldn’t count on the snorkle to weather strong storms. I had the zipper on one blow open in strong wind allowing the jib to partially unfurl and get flogged. When I repaired the zipper, I also sewed a few velcro straps at intervals up the snorkle that could be wrapped around the snorkle when hoisting so that if the zipper blows again, there is a backup. Ultimately, I ended up favoring just dropping the jib each time. Not much more work to hoist and lower the sail than to hoist and lower the snorkle and then there’s no question about the jib being secure. YMMV

    sm
  • Chip @ Whirlwind made me a custom red Sunbrella snorkel that is miles better than my original Hobie nylon snorkel. That said....I really just use it as an over night cover and lower my jib if I am not coming back in a day or two. It is too nice be left out in the sun all summer....and I am worried that it will turn pink over time. eh

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    Bill 404 21SE
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