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Mast Raising From The Bridge?
Don't Try This At Home
August 5, 2010
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arly Tuesday morning the TownDock.net crew got up early to go for a short cruise onboard Webster, the TownDock news boat. We figured we’d use the morning light to get some great photos of boats and such. When we passed under the Oriental bridge we came upon an unexpected sight. A sailboat, having its mast raised – using the bridge.

We stopped and anchored. This we hadn’t seen before.

There it was. A sailboat under the bridge… a line from the bridge set to raise the mast.

Now there are various ways to raise a mast. On a dinghy, it can be erected by hand. On a large boat, sailors normally go to a boatyard and hire the crane to hoist the spar into place.

Then there is this.

Tuesday morning Rick Smith moved his 40’ English Ketch under the Oriental bridge, and proceeded to use the bridge to raise his mast.

Sailors sometimes have a reputation for trying to save a buck. The following may be an example of such…

Rigged to lift: the mast, which weighs hundreds of pounds, is readied. The line went from the mast spreader to a block tied up at the bridge, then down to the anchor winch on the foredeck. There was no second safety line rigged.
Visiting cruisers Kristy and Travis McGillicutty were helping Rick Smith with the mast raising. Here Kristy tails the line coming from the anchor winch.
The knot from which the mast hung
Marvin Bullock was out for his morning walk when he came upon the scene. He stayed around for a while taking it in….
The side view – initially a line came from the mizzen to the mast being raised. It bent the mizzen forward. It was scary to watch.

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Posted Thursday August 5, 2010 by Keith N. Smith

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