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Mast raising system

When Macgregor started making the 26 classic in 87 he devised a mast raising system. This system makes it so it is not a physically demanding job to raise the mast. The first picture is of the mast half way up. The man on the side of the picture is the person who is doing the work. The following pictures show the details of the system. The first requirement for this system is baby stays. These stays keep the mast from going off to the side when the mast is being raised. The stays attach to the mast 6 feet up and to the deck 16 inches on either side of the mast. The holes in the stay fittings and the mast pivot bolt all line up so as to make a long hinge. This is necessary in order to keep the stays tight at all times. Shown in the picture is the setup used on the 87-89 boats. On later boats, Macgregor changed to ropes and straps which had to go farther to the sides of the mast in order to not stretch too much. The result was a far inferior system.

On the 87-89 boats the mast raising pole is attached to the mast a few inches above the deck and the pole had to be about 90 degrees to the mast. This arangement is shown in the picture. On later boats he improved it by making the fitting that is bolted to the deck with two sets of holes. With two sets of holes (one set at the rear for the mast pivot and one set at the front for the pole) the pole could be pivoted against the mast and stored there when the mast is up.

The next detail is of the end of the pole. The boats made from 87-89 had a metal plate permanently inserted into the jib stay. This plate would fit into a slot in the end of the pole and bolted there. There was also a hole for the block and tackle to attach to. Later boats had two eye straps fastened to the pole. The jib halyard fastened to one eye and the block and tackle fastened to the other. This arangement worked well.

The last part of the equipment was a block and tackle. This was fastened to the metal plate in the stay and the rear hole in the front chainplate. This gave a four to one purchase which made it easy to raise the mast. This picture has the location of the block and tackle reversed. the bolck and tackle attaches to the lower hole and the stay attaches to the upper hole.

The last picture shows the block and tackle after the mast is raised and the jib stay attached.

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