Topic : hog stepped mast

is there anything i should know before i take a hacksaw to my alloy mast. i wish to deck step it. will lobbing off a couple of feet keep the mast within any rule tolerances. do i just stick a nice piece of timber between the hog and deck to support the new step position. on the for sale section what do those numbers mean in relation to mast and mainsail e.g  5720. is it mast length/luff length. where can i buy a mainsheet hoop.  thanks

Posted: 29/05/2005 23:42:33
By: will loy
I think this depends a bit on whether you have a fairly modern boat, set up for lower shrouds and with a low tank/forward bulkhead, or not.

Just deck stepping an old high-tank design is a disaster as the high rig tension pulls the gunwales inwards with horrible consequences. You need a bulkhead to take the loads, and that means a low tank, and all of that requires a lot of work including re-decking.

If you already have the low tank and bulkhead, it is less work (especially if you already have lower shrouds), but even then it is not simple to set up the pulley systems for rig tension since you will probably have the raised hog - which limits space for the span of the pulley systems, and your bulkhead is likely to be too far aft. It needs to be well forward in the centre, under the mast, to give room the pulleys.

A deck stepped mast that works well is good, but not decisive. One that works badly will do more harm than good. It is an expensive mod to make (just price up the pulley systems!).

You can buy a hoop from Winder. If you go for a square hoop it is expensive and a lot of work to make the traveller haul to windward. To keep weight down many of the modern wooden boats in the fleet are using strops which cost, and weigh, nothing.

If you have no hoop it sounds like you may have an older boat, and if so then think very hard about the cost and time of converting to a modern rig set up. Even if you manage to do it and make it all work, you will still have a hull shape that is not ideal. I did all this work on a bad company design, and given my time again I definitely wouldnt bother.

Posted: 30/05/2005 09:59:43
By: dick
thanks for the are right on all counts, the boat is an old smokers satisfaction 3101. steve neal did some work on her a few years ago including the fitting of a new bulkhead. unfortunately a high tank was fitted so that puts the kibosh on the deck stepping. as for the hoop situation, good idea, i will fit a strop, (though a hoop looks pretty cool). reality check done, will never be on the pace with modern designs but still a joy to sail and roll tacks like a dream. do the rules allow space frames, surely this would have reduced hull damage on some older designs and would be easier to fit than changing bulkhead design.

Posted: 30/05/2005 12:05:28
By: will loy

I may have a hoop going spare in a week or two, just need to make sure that now I'm not using it, the previous owner doesn't want it back. Take a look at this Summer Wine from our club. This has been deck-stepped but they used a space-frame to add stiffness. The boat seems to go really well. I can't remember if it has a high or low bow-tank though.


Posted: 30/05/2005 13:03:41
By: Jon3389
thanks jon. great, let me know about the the boat stripped out and waiting for a couple of nice days to varnish. think i will forget the space frame for now but thanks for the picture.

Posted: 30/05/2005 17:12:17
By: will loy
Now worries Will,

I don't want to take away from the wisdom of what Dick said. I would like to be corrected if I'm wrong but I think the idea of deck-stepping your boat was something you did in the 80's if you had a fast boat and wanted to be able to rake it to depower, without spending out on a brand new deck-stepped boat. I can't see the point in your deck-stepping your boat when you could find a deck-stepped boat for around a grand anyway.

Also, the guy that gave me the hoop did so because somebody had put a hoop on his boat and he's gone back to a traveller system - and he knows his stuff.

Have fun


Posted: 30/05/2005 18:35:09
By: Jon3389

To pick up a couple of your original questions, 5720 is the mainsail luff length - ie the distance between the LMP (Lower Measurement Point or Lower Black Band as we used to call it) and the Upper Measurement Point (Upper Black etc). This relates to what has become the 'standard' rig with 2503 foot and 2.8sqm jib.

With regard to space frames - no problem carry on. A number of people have done it, including Alan Jackson, and the theory is great - the reality of keeping the weight down is another issue. Carbon fibre is great, but since alot of the spaceframe is in compression, aluminium tubes seem to be the main option, and fixing them into the hull strongly enough can add the kilo's very easily. It is also difficlut to keep them looking pretty...


Posted: 31/05/2005 08:33:58
By: Chairman GGGGGGG
I'm currently refitting 3165 "Panatella" which is a hog stepped, high tank Smokers. Was fitted with a hoop, but fortunately still came with the original full width radiused traveller. This is going back on, and the hulls been stiffened up by carbon sheathing the ribs and deck, and I've fitted a space frame from hog to under foredeck/chainplates to hog/chainplates to underforedeck. Yes, the weight has almost certainly gone up, I'd guesss about 15 to 20 lbs, BUT she's a whole lot dryer than she was, so has probably lost 10 lbs of H2O. Rather than trying to keep an old boat down to weight, I'm trying to keep it stiff and dry, as tearing it apart with rig tension, or letting the rot in will simply mean you end up with no boat, rather than an classic you can be proud of, and which'll still be sailing in another 25 years time. Let's face it, it'll never win another ST meeting, but it'll still be a beaut to sail! Best of luck and see you on the water!

Posted: 31/05/2005 09:18:32
By: BmaxRog
Sorry, forgot to make clear I'm NOT deck stepping the boat-the space frames just to stiffen it up more. When I got her, she had the classic signs of an over-stressed hull, i.e. cracking across the deck by the chainplates. Hopefully the stiffening should take care of this.

Posted: 31/05/2005 09:25:29
By: BmaxRog
thanks for all your input chaps, this is why a forum works so well.shared knowledge  = reduced cost, and a better all round merlin experience. on another tack, im an ITEC qualified sports injury massage therapist. do you think there would be any interest in having someone like me at the nationals, to offer post race treatments. as a solo sailor ive been to many champs where an after race lower back/leg massage would have been very beneficial.maybe you merlin sailors dont hike as hard as solo sailors? treatments would be on average 10 to 15 mins, loosening tight quads, calfs,lumber,deltoids and working to remove any lactic acid. ideally as soon as you have de-rigged so you can get to the bar quicker! this wouldnt be expensive and if one had the sailing clubs permission would not take much room up,(just enough room for a couch). if the weather was nice treatment could be on the beach!

Posted: 31/05/2005 10:09:33
By: will
Will, I don't think there would be much demand, as most Merlin teams have a qualified physio and masseur on the payroll, along with the other necessary staff from met. specialist to nutrition advisor and cook. Some one was complaining that Merlin's were expensive to insure, but the wages for the support team are even worse:-0

Posted: 31/05/2005 12:09:47
By: Alan

Posted: 01/06/2005 13:50:45


To Reply, please join/renew membership.

Owners Association

Developed & Supported by YorkSoft Ltd


Merlin Rocket Owners Association