Beneteau F235 Home
Caught in a pinch? Grab your extension ladder!

What's the biggest pain of having a trailerable sailboat? It surely isnt that great flexibiltiy in mobility and major ducat saving boon in avoiding those costly haulouts, at $150 a shot depending. Nope, those are the life savers!

IT would have to be RIGGING AND UNRIGGING. Seeing that mast and realizing it needs to go UP or DOWN scatters your friends quick. If you are a couple, your significant other adds his or her groan to the equation. In my case, Audrey just feigned innocence and asked if should could help "get those pesky stains off the prow...

Well, Neil Quigley of TN came up with a solution involving parts that most have hanging around the house, the main party being an EXTENSION LADDER, this creatively tied to the transome/ rudder bracket. I'll let him explain the details. While it isnt as foolproof as Terry Ellis' factory made F210 system, it sure is a heck of a lot easier to round up on a Sunday afternoon - Note: I am not so sure about bringing that BEAST DOWN this way.... kh

I used a method involving a short-ish extension ladder this summer to get my F235 mast up. It's not as 'hairy' as it might look - the mast rests securely on the top rung of the fully extended ladder before the final hoist with the halyard.

The ladder was strapped securely to the transom (via the rudder and engine brackets). I had to use a bungy cord to hold the mast's heel down at the mast step as its pivot point was beyond where it rested on the top rung of the ladder. The side and back stays were attachedsecurely but loosely before I pulled it up from a spot on the ground about 10-15 yards in front of the bow

The towel tied over the top rung of the ladder reduced friction (and scratching of the mast) when sliding it aft to line up the heel with the mast step. The only 'trick' was to make sure the backstay was clear of everything (esp the ladder) so it would not snag or kink as the mast was raised off the ladder.

I had to tie a jib sheet to the end of the jib halyard to get enough length, and it helped to have someone push the mast up from in the cockpit to get it started - I don't have a winch on the trailer's bow stop.

The method worked smoothly enough the first time that I'll probably use it again. The backstay caught on the ladder at my first hoist attempt because I didn't lead it properly before the attempt. I just hope that the reverse process works as well this winter when I have to take the thing down to work on the nav lights at the top of the mast. As I don't have a winch on the post at the front of the trailer to hold the mast securely while its being hoisted or lowered, I'll need one or two 'catchers' in the cockpit when it's lowered as the very end of the lowering process will be hard to control, for the same physics reason that it was helpful to have a 'pusher' in the cockpit to get it started during the 'mast up' process.

When I get time, I'll try to think of a way to rig a sturdy pulley at the stem head fitting through which a hoisting/lowering line could be run from some point on the mast (probably the jib halyard) back to a cabin top winch or a primary winch. I think this arrangement might work, but it would work a LOT better with a gin pole, as used in the F210 system.

- Neil Quigley

See full Size
Neil Quigley's Beneteau First 235 ready for a
MAST RAISING... "Got the ladder, Jim?"
- Click above for full size -

Click for full size
First 235 Stern View: Neil getting the mast up
in step 2 - Time to PULL on that forestay!
 - Click for larger view -

See Mast Raising/lowering apparatus from factory Terry Ellis page on factory method

Beneteau factory method for
Raising and lowering Mast

Terry Ellis has a good page outlining the
Beneteau factory's single person mast
raising/lowering apparatus


©2003 kh -