Lowering the mast

PDQ issues applicable across all PDQ Yachts (or if you can't find a place for something, it probably belongs here for now)
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David West
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Lowering the mast

Post by David West » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:45 am

A friend of mine is trying to persuade me to spend part next the winter along with their power boat on the St. John's River, up stream from Jacksonville. One problem is a bridge of 45' clearance that is too low for my 47' mast height on my PDQ 36. He suggested that I might be able to detach the forestays and slightly angle the mast back using the main and spinacre haliards in place of the forestays while I transit the bridge. It is a long time since I had the mast off the boat but it seems to me that this dodge might be possible, though disasterous if it fails. Has anyone any opinions or even experience in raking the mast back to get a few feet of clearance?

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Lady of the Lake
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Re: Lowering the mast

Post by Lady of the Lake » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:10 pm

I would be seriously concerned about the point load on the rear of the mast mast step where the rear of the mast base will pivot on the mast step. In a word, no. James, what do you think?

Sam

p.s. I hate the Shands Bridge at Green Cove Springs. We have the same limitation with the route 41 bridge crossing Charlotte Harbor keeping us out of the Peace River. Thank goodness we can at least get under the RR bridge at Port Mayaka on the Okeechobee. VHF antenna hit though :-)
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thinwater
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I have lower the mast on my Stiletto 27 many times...

Post by thinwater » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:29 pm

and based on that experience I wouldn't touch it on any PDQ with a 100 foot pole ( I have a PQD 32). The loads on that small boat are significant and the PDQ mast is 2x heavier and a bit longer. PDQs have stout masts for their size. The Stiletto has a purpose-built mast hinge. And I still would not want to motor with the mast 30 degrees back; I would lower it completely on the Stiletto.

Too bad.

Also, be certain you know your mast height. Isn't there an antenna or wind gauge above that? I would put a tape on the halyard and check, adding for anything above the tape.

Unless you have gone under bridges that are within a few feet of the mast - I have - you can't know how nerve racking it is. Some bridges are posted off by a few feet. Some have no clearance boards. Go VERY slow, less than 1 knot, and at slack tide falling slightly. You DON'T want to get hung-up on a rising tide.
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James Power
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Re: Lowering the mast

Post by James Power » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:18 pm

Hey David, I have to agree, its a tricky manuver with a chance of dropping the stick. The rig wasnt designed for this ( no tabernackle or second gooseneck ) and you have to watch a lot of things, is the mast going to jump its base plate when at angle, the mast has to be kept in column when lowered since the compression increases with the angle.... 2 options are, pull the mast and store it around Green Cove and use the boat as a motorboat or lower the mast and raise it on the other side. James

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