Thetis2013 10:42pm, 9 March 2013
Hi all,
Firstly my apologies to Trimanta for latching onto your thread with my own situation(s) ...I have now discovered I can start my own, and have promptly done so!

Things are nearly in place for Thetis's big move from Queensferry to the Lake District, but today we had a spot of bother trying to drop the mast, ready for transporting.

After removing an obnoxious bolt that was seemingly doing nothing on the step plate, it still seemed 'welded' to the step plate, we worked out the four short inner shrouds were holding it in place as the big shrouds & forestay were slightly slack at this stage. After being shown how to slacken the turnbuckles without them recoiling back to where they were originally, we ran out of time, so another trip up there is necessary now!

Would I be right in thinking that by slackening the four shorter stays it should move on the step plate and can be eased down by either loosening the backstay or forestay? ...I used to have a catamaran with a huge mast that I managed to raise & lower on my own by rigging a pulley system on the bottom of the forestay but of course it only had the two shrouds & the forestay to start with.

The good people of Port Edgar did indeed offer their services to do it for me, but they wanted over £300 for the privilege! Hence attempting the venture myself.

Apparently they want to drop it in the water (for a fee of course) lower the mast with a great big crane (for another fee) then raise it back out of the water again (for yet another fee) all in the name of health & safety, or I could do a DIY job with absolutely no health & safety, and it all seems rather expensive to me!

Has anyone else attempted a DIY mast drop without the costly assistance of a crane?

By the way, my sail number can now be revealed as 420... but I don't know what the 'C' means.

Pictures should now be available to view on the group photos if I've done it right. (There's only two, but more will follow in due course).
NormanKlipspringer Posted 6 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 6 years ago
Look at the links on the following page for previous discussions about mast handling.
Normally forestay is unscrewed/pin removed to unattach as are forward lower shrouds. Other shrouds are slackened but kept in place to keep the mast from going sideways as it is lowered. Before lowering it is best to remove the mast step bolt and replace with rope so if the mast does go a bit sideways it doesn't break the step. You be advised to get some mechanical advantage either on harbour wall, bridge or using an A frame or similar when using the spinnaker and /or jenny halyards. If you lose control when lowering it can do a lot of damage. Good luck.
Don't undo the turnbuckles without holding the shroud with a spanner or somilar to stop it from turning otherwise you will unwrap the shroud wire and cause all sorts of problems!
By the way what is your name. Use your profile to tell us about you and your boat. use mine as a quide. click on Normanklipspringer in blue and then click od profile to see it.
NB Just dropped my mast today on Klipspringer with A frame and 3 other guys. One foward to help the mast start its journey and keep eye on things. One on halyard winch to lower. One on main sail halyard to keep mast steady in the wind and me on the pontoon at the stern with a pole (Y on top) to catch the mast as it drops and guide it into the cross tree support fixed to the pushpit.
NormanKlipspringer Posted 6 years ago. Edited by NormanKlipspringer (admin) 6 years ago
I cannot find a Thetis in my records for 1980. No 420 sail number is not listed as a triple and is called Zephyrus, but I have no reent records for her. I suspect and your sail number is not 420 and that 420C is a registration number.
rothwell_neil 6 years ago

Windermere is a good place to start and then Maryport or Whitehaven are good places to sail from. The triple will do you well in the Solway as plenty of places to take to the ground in lots of bays. Ullswater is quieter than Windermere and I think cheaper?

If you don't have a trailer I found a guy that moved Emily from Windermere to Maryport for £150 including pulling out of Windermere.

Thetis2013 6 years ago
Wow! Thanks for all the info guys! :)
I am definately interested in the chap who can pull the boat around on land! I am in the process of engaging a haulier to drag it down from Queensferry for around £800 (when you slap Mr Cameron's cut on it!) I noticed there were some photos of A24's on trailers, but not knowing anyone or where I can obtain a substantial trailer, I just had to swallow the haulage bill. I have colleagues at work that own 4X4's to do the pulling, (a Fiat Panda won't cope, I don't think!) But... oh well!

For a positive, I've now got my registration through from the National Park Authority, and the Lake Wardens have given the go ahead to put it on the lake as soon as I get it here...

It's just getting that peg down:( ...& the time from work to make another trip up there! :((

I daresay I'll eventually find the true sail number, I just assumed 420C was the number because that's what's on the sail, but because of the 'C' it does add up to the fact it's only an old extinct registration number.

If anyone is on or near Windermere, look out for a boat moored on 'Ash Landing' with the number 70426 emblazoned on it. ...That's me!
busy home [deleted] 6 years ago
Thetis is listed as 309 on the sail nos page as i posted two weeks ago.
Skykomish1 6 years ago
I know that when we dropped the headlining panels on Aeolus the sail number was written on the inside of the panels, presumably by the factory, this is not necessarily the case I know with all of them as others have not found it on their boats but may be worth a look. Your sail way well have been a second hand replacement.
I would say that as Ron has posted your original sail number may well have been 309 as "Thetis" is not a common name
Thetis2013 6 years ago
Ah yes! Thanks Ron :) Now I look over older posts, I realise now what 309 was! I didn't twig! D'oh. Oh well, 309 it is then :))

I will find out if there is a number behind the headlining as that will be one of the things to replace in due course, it fell victim to condensation & mould whilst sitting all sealed up waiting to get sold.

It's more than possible that the sails are replacement sails, since they are in very good condition for a boat of its years, and highly unlikely to be the originals.

You'd be right about "Thetis" being an uncommon name, I'd never heard of it 'til now, but apparently (according to another friend on another group) Thetis was the name of a submarine that sank (yes... I know they're supposed to 'sink' ) with all hands on her maiden voyage back in the 60's! A worrying legacy, lets hope history doesn't repeat itself.
Skykomish1 6 years ago
You will find that Thetis was a Sea Nymph and Goddess of Water see the link
NormanKlipspringer 6 years ago
I missed number 309 in the list. Thanks for that Ron. But, 309 is not listed as a triple???
Thetis2013 6 years ago

Hi Neil, Having read your post & connected you with Emily on the photostream, (discard the question I put underneath, obviously she isn't on Windermere any more!)... You found someone with an appropriate trailer who did the moving for you.

Any danger you might have a contact for this person? The hauliers I'm currently dealing with want £800 + for shifting Thetis, and if I don't manage to get this mast down myself, the Port Edgar people want £300 + just for dropping the thing down!!!! So, obviously any money saving schemes would be most welcome.
busy home [deleted] 6 years ago
Thetus .... This mast problem .. I have dropped and lifted Chilles Goskars
snowgooses .. many times .. its NO problem ..
Just Ian and myself on all occasions
No,, one .. Get a pole about 6 ft long about 2x2 and make a U section from ply to fit the rough profile of the mast .. attach to pole .. WELL .
Remove the boom ,,,, remove the lower shrouds ,, SLACKEN the uppers
Take a line from the jib halliard get some one to walk it foreward as far as
he can , Slacken the foot bolt to the last 4/5 threads .. Apply tension and remove lower forestay bottole screw pin PUT a cushion on the hatch garage first ! Lower from bow and at about 45 deg get in cockpit and support with pole Make sure your man is in line on the bow, LOwer till you can grab mast Put pole into outboard well if toooo long !
Get your man to remove pin whilst you support middle thn he lifts to avoid crushing the garage, Mast can now be supported on pushpit and pulpit .. Bear in mind Im 68 and have had a heart by pass I can carriy a 24s mast around ,,, Its not a major thing .... DONT worry !!!.
Red Marlin 6 years ago
£300 for dropping the mast ! Maybe Turkey is not so dear after all. December I had the mast down to fit new rigging and new roller reefing. 6 personnel turned up to do the job. Crane driver + assistant (he went up in a bosuns chair on the crane hook to fit the strops securely). Qualified rigger + assistant. Sales manager and marine architect to oversee and assist. A week later mast went up and all attended and made a good job of tuning. Genoa had to go to the sail loft for modification. Total bill came to £2500 and that made me wince a bit - but maybe I got off light.
rothwell_neil 6 years ago

Couple of options, Mike (Ellipse) got his moved on the back of a Hiab as the triple will sit flat on a flatbed.

Otherwise there are sites that you can use to get best quote, I used this to get Paladin moved from Essex to Runcorn for £400. ushift and shiply let you post a job and people with a truck will bid for the job.

I used this guy to move Emily from Windermere to Maryport, he is really good and will save you crane fee at Windermere as he will launch his trailer into fresh water. Nick Lancaster 07850911816, he is based at Preston so should be competitive. He shifts boats all over Europe and knows his stuff. Stress free.
Slycat777 6 years ago
Ron's advice is good, it's what we do.

I'd also suggest putting a stepladder in the cockpit and then lashing the step ladder to the sides with the winches to stop it moving.

Then you can 'catch' the mast earlier when lowering and also start raising the mast from a less critical point when raising.

We find it easier to lower on the water with the forestay lowering guy a long ways up a steep slipway.
Thetis2013 6 years ago
Thank you to one and all for some fantastic advice, it's all VERY much appreciated.
I shall contact Nick Lancaster asap, and the crane fee saved will be a great advantage (Shepherds yard want £160 +vat)

I have already found out an old Enterprise boom with a row-lock in the gooseneck hole for my pole when lowering the mast! lol & the idea of using the stepladder lashed to the winches is neat!

Thank you to Chille Pepper for the reassurance, I have devised a way now (given that Thetis is on land sitting up on her keels) by using the block on the bow, usually for feeding the anchor chain, running a line through it and attaching it to the bottom of the forestay, this can then be fed through in a contolled manner from the deck & provide a bit of purchase. Hopefully a straightforward two handed job.

As I said before, I used to do a gigantic Mystere Catamaran mast on my own, and Thetis's decks are a bit more solid than the bouncy trampoline on the cat'. I shackled a block on the bridle wire & fed a line through it and attached it onto the forestay & controlled the 'drop back' from behind on the trampoline until I could get hold of the mast itself. BUT the foot of the mast was on a golfball type fixing which made life easier.

I shall certainly shop around for shifting her (sooner rather than later!) I think £800 + is rather expensive, after several conversations both talking to people direct & what I've picked up on here. ...Can't believe £2500 for a mast drop & big crew to do it though! Presumably it's one of the larger members of the Achilles family.

Anyhow, thanks once again folks, this website is by far a lot more useful than something like Faceache!!!! It's where I log on first!
Daddsie 6 years ago
I take down and put up around 20/30 masts a year, believe me, if you look at it methodically you cannot go wrong, one word of advice don't force anything, it may be the cable to your tri-colour!
Red Marlin 6 years ago
Yes I have a 9 metre. Sorry for not being clear the £2500 included all new rigging and new genoa roller reefing gear.
Thetis2013 6 years ago
Thanks for yet more info & advice guys... I must admit, the £2500 bill did worry me a bit! but since there was a lot more stuff involved, it kinda explains it. lol.
Thanks to Neil for the info on Shiply... I logged onto there, followed instructions and found a really helpful guy on there who will help drop the mast, load it on (subject to Port Edgars conditions) take it to Windermere, launch it & put the mast back up, all for £300 LESS than my original quote which was for transport only, so that's a massive saving! More money to spend on the boat instead of pointless "services"!
Hopefully, I should be that bit closer to posting the news I want to post about Thetis having reached her destination & up & sailing etc. Watch this space!
The wind has started blowing in a more positive direction, so thanks again. I'm sure I'll encounter many more glitches as I go on, but I know where to come with queries now! :)
Thetis2013 6 years ago
In an update to the above... I have a result or two since yesterday!

I've been in touch with the guy who bidded on Shiply, we're going to meet at Port Edgar on Wednesday, the crane is booked to load onto his vehicle, and he'll take it to Windermere the next day & launch her straight in (saving more hassle & expense with cranes) PLUS, he's had experience with A24's before and will assist with the mast both ends!

As a big bonus, I've managed to arrange with work to get enough time to do all this, so a week from now, Thetis will be in her new home!!! And for a lot less than originally estimated/quoted etc. So thanks again to one & all on here, you've been an education & saved me a fortune into the bargain.

Looks like the pieces of the jig-saw are finally falling into place!

It turns out, he's the same guy that recently moved another A24 called "Artemis" from Angelsey... This was the first one I wanted to go look at, and phoned up, only to find she'd been sold the day before!

I'll keep y'all posted.
Thetis2013 6 years ago
It's finally down!!!!!!! Thanks to finding Bob on "Shiply" we met today at Port Edgar, and the mast was down within 15 mins (easy when you know how!) then the guys at the marina came round with an ingenious method of moving boats around, got it under the crane, onto Bobs trailer and away! Thetis has finally left Port Edgar!

Tomorrow we meet again at Windermere & reverse todays procedures then she'll be home & wet on her new mooring!

We overtook Bob en route down this evening near Johnstonebridge, so I got to see her in transit as well.

He certainly knows his way round the A24's anyhow, I can thoroughly recommend him to anyone wanting to move their boat over land any time. He's even had dealings with the main man, Chris Butler in the past.
Thetis2013 6 years ago
We're home & wet! Thetis is now on her mooring (STILL on mooring, I hope!) on Windermere!

Arrived this morning, Bob was already there, mast went back up, she got launched, and I had the "maiden voyage" just under engine, over to the mooring to await my next day off!

Thanks to everyone for your advice & tips. Especially the info on Shiply, Bob of Bitzanbobs was extremely helpful both ends, resolved all the problems (especially the mast, now no longer a problem!) & I'm now all systems go.

More photos to follow on the photostream!
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