Author Topic: Masttender plus questions  (Read 319 times)

Offline john trussell

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Masttender plus questions
« on: June 05, 2017, 08:17:22 AM »
I recently purchased a new Sunday Cat. It comes with a Masttender Plus system, but the owner's manual does not mention the "plus" system. Two questions:

How much tension should be applied to the fore stay? Since keeping the luff of a jib straight is not an issue on a catboat, it appears that enough tension to bring the stays to a tight (as opposed to slack) position should be sufficient. Right?

The regular Masttender system relies on a pin to hold the mast upright while the forestay is attached and tensioned (and to keep the mast upright when releasing the forestay). Aside from redundancy, is there any need to insert the pin with a Mastender Plus system?

Offline Andre

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2017, 11:57:31 AM »
I'm not aware of the "plus" system, nor am I familiar with Sun Cats.  I do however own a 2008 Picnic Cat and a 2014 Horizon Cat.

I always leave the curved safety pin in place after raising the mast (I only raise/lower the mast at beginning/end of season). As a matter of fact I have on occasion replaced the safety pin with a bolt since the curved pin has fallen out.

The much more important thing to remember is to insert the long pin above the gaff, sail, and boom to keep them below the hinge when lowering the mast.  Forgetting this will damage the mast extrusion, possibly severely!

As for shroud tension, I adjust the shrouds so that the forestay locking lever is  difficult to close one handed, moderately so two handed.   I like the shrouds to be a little tight and definitely not loose when not sailing. The leeward shroud will get loose when you sail upwind in any strong breeze.  That seems normal for these boats.

Good luck,

Andre


Offline Floridagent

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2017, 01:09:08 PM »
Why would one not put the curved pin in place?  What could be gained? 

For sailing to be fun, safety is paramount.  Redundancy adds immeasurably to safety.

Did you not get the manual with your Sunday Cat?  Hutchens has them in stock.

Good sailing to you!  //Bob
"Cay Cat"     (say "keycat")

Offline john trussell

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2017, 01:47:52 PM »
Yes, my boat did come with a manual (and a nifty red case). Yes, I did read it and I just re-read it. There is a section on raising the mast with the Masttender system. There is not any reference to the Masttender Plus system--hence my question.

I do understand the necessity of using the long pin to hold the gaff/boom/sail below the mast hinge point. And I will use the short pin (which is straight, not curved on my boat) as a redundant means to hold the mast upright. My question in this area was academic curiosity. As far as tension, I'll just snug everything up and see how it goes.

John

Offline jdklaser

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 02:46:49 PM »
Simple.  Stays support the weight of the mast.  fore aft or stbd. port.  Too many people have had to replace mast hinges or tabernacles  or full masts because the mast came down and got torn up because of simple things like a foot slipping, a wind gust, or whatever.  Redundancy is good.  Replacing a mast at a cost of over 1K is bad. 

Offline patfurr

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 03:23:40 PM »
I always place the curved pin at the hinge while attaching the forestay or while releasing the forestay.  But honestly, more often than not the curved pin works its way out of the pinhole while sailing.  Especially if there is any kind of brisk breeze.  I always check to see it is in place before releasing the forestay.  Yeah the long pin can be a real heartbreaker.  Always slow down when dropping the mast and be sure the whole kit and caboodle is below the hinge and the long pin in place before releasing the forestay.  Slow is smooth, smooth is safe. 

Offline oceanroadus

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2017, 06:10:41 PM »
Hi John, I think the "plus" is what we have on our Suncat it is 2 blocks and line between the forestay and the hoop above the anchor roller. When it is time to raise the mast you can do it single handedly from the cockpit. Just need to head forward and pop the curved pin in for safety as others have mentioned. The line is the tensioner. If not maybe we are one of the lucky few that have the "plus" "plus".  LOL, I highly recommend the line and block system.  I am away from boat or I would post a pic.  Fair winds!   
2013 Suncat "Teala"

Offline oceanroadus

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 07:49:01 PM »
Here is a website showing what I am talking about on a Sunday Cat. Our boat is a 2013 so this may be a later development as the factory owners just keep making these boats better!!!  Notice the forestay attaches to the metal bracket extending from the mast forward then to the line/blocks below.

https://mastheadsailinggear.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Com-Pac-Eclipse-Factory-pictures-197.jpg 
2013 Suncat "Teala"

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 11:15:38 AM »
On my Sun Cat a 2001 i made my own masttender plus. I already had the block and tackle and as you can see from the previous photo the forestay strut is very simple. In fact it really functions the same as a spreader on a standard sloop rigged mast which is under very heavy loads.

I would remove the quick disconnect shackle and replace it with a wired screw pin shackle and wire the other two shackles, vibration can cause them to loosen. It's hard to say how tight to pull the tail of the block and tackle. I use to give it a good stout tug then cleat it to a horn cleat. My boat had a rope clutch and I was concerned I might accidentally release the clutch plus the clutch would slip ever so slightly.

Finally the safety pin, not the long pin, is not useful when you have a mastender plus. Your block and tackle is what holds the rig up and can only be released, on purpose, from the cockpit. The safety pin is valuable when your boat has the conventional overcenter leaver that is used to tension the forestay. That pin holds the mast up while you disconnect the forestay. The safety pin should be in place and pulled only when you are behind the mast and ready to lower it hand over hand to the gallows. The safety pin, in my opinion, would be a bad idea when sailing. If the forestay let go the pin could not possibly keep the mast up and when the mast hinged the pin would tear up the hinge assembly.

Tom L.

Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline Bilge Rat

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 01:25:20 PM »
I would be curious as to what Hutchens says about sailing with the safety pin in or out -anybody ever asked them? Seems to me you would want the pin in if the forestay fails. Otherwise you've got a mast and gaff crashing down hopefully on the gallows if not your head. Either way, you'd want to avoid the mast crashing down....
'09 Sun Cat, '06 Catalina 16.5, '00 Lido 14, '84 Holder 14

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 07:14:40 PM »
A mast coming down will certainly ruin the day. If the forestay fails while sailing there is no way the safety pin would hold the rig up. The entire hinging system would be ripped out of the mast extrusions. The mechanical disadvantage to the pin vs the length of the mast is hundreds to one.
The pin will hold the mast up if you accidentally take the forestay off and the sail is not up. That is the purpose of the pin. That is to hold the mast up while disconnecting the forestay in preparation to lower the mast.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline Bilge Rat

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2017, 05:51:17 PM »
I don't know - I bet under no wind it would hold the whole rig up.  I'll still keep it in when I sail - although it does have a tendency to naturally fall out :) though I doubt that (falling out) is intentional in the design.
'09 Sun Cat, '06 Catalina 16.5, '00 Lido 14, '84 Holder 14

Offline oceanroadus

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Re: Masttender plus questions
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2017, 07:00:53 PM »
When we first got our boat I did ask Gerry at Compac factory if the curved pin went in there and he said yes that is exactly what it is for.   
Mine is always in when underway.  It hasn't ever fallen out but if someone has that issue a more sophisticated pin or bolt w/ nut would fix that.
2013 Suncat "Teala"