How to Raise the Mast on a Sailboat

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What You'll Need
Sailboat safety and operations manual
A partner
What You'll Need
Sailboat safety and operations manual
A partner

Learning how to raise the mast on a sailboat is a challenging procedure. If you are a beginner at sailing, this will be one of the major lessons to learn. The first thing you'll notice right away is that raising the mast is particularly gruesome for you all alone. Although raising a mast can be done by yourself if you have a winch strategically placed, you will definitely need and appreciate the assistance of a friend to accomplish this task.

Safety is paramount when raising the mast and going at this task alone compromises your safety. Refer to the instructions outlined in your Sailboat safety and operating manual when raising the mast and navigating your craft on the water.

Step 1 - Prepare the Mast

Before you begin the task of raising the mast, free up all restraints that hold the mast in place. Remove the forestay and the shrouds.

Step 2 - The Shrouds

You will need to keep the shrouds attached at each end. If the shrouds become disconnected, connect them again ensuring that they are free from being tangled with any other part of your boat or equipment.

Step 3 - Remove the Ties

Check the entire mast and ensure that it is untied from all of its support anchors.

Step 4 - Prepare to Raise

Now you must get the mast in position to be raised. With the assistance of your partner, place the mast on top of the sailboat. Next, place the base of the mast close to the mast step on top of the cabin. Put the top end of the mast in the aft mass carrier.

Step 5 - Mast Foot

Join the mast now to the mast foot. Ensure it is properly in place and that the mast foot is in good repair. There will be a lot of pressure in this area when you are beginning to raise the mast.

Step 6 - Mainsheet

After ensuring the mast is secure in the mast foot, connect the mainsheet to the bow. You will want to make sure you have enough line to attach the mainsheet to the boom.

Step 7 - Forestay

The forestay will now need to be connected to the high end of the boom. Check it for security.

Step 8 - Mainsheet, Forestay and Boom

With almost all of the hard stuff out of the way, now connect the mainsheet to the end of the forestay. Ensure it is secure and then join the boom to the mast's front.

Step 9 - Double-Check Everything

With the help of your partner, look over the process and double check all connections and attachments. Be particularly sure that the shrouds are free. When you start to raise the mast, you don't want any setbacks to hinder you.

Step 10 - Raise the Mast

Get yourself in position and pull. Ask your partner to help guide the boom as you pull.