Brian Mather, Con Brio 62 (sadly now deceased), ex-maker of very fine Squib Trailers, performs a massive service for Squibkind.

Here is how to raise the mast with safety and ease, even on your own - free from acrobatics or vertigo!  

First, find yourself a cast off dinghy mast. There are usually dozens hanging around the boat park, slightly bent or even broken. As long as there is a straight length of around 17' you are off to the races. Follow the instructions below.  

Fix an eye (a) on the front face to take blocks for a 4:1 purchase. Lifting cord must be long enough to reach bottom of pole and tail must be long enough for you to operate from floor. From the lower block of the purchase, drop a length of 6mm cord to tie a loop around the mast below the spreaders. The loop must be slack enough to allow it to be brought down when the mast is up. It helps to have a long tail on the loop, which you can reach from the deck.

Fix 3 lacing eyes (b) for shrouds, 14' 3" from the bottom of the pole. The starboard shroud is 12' 7" plus shackles top and bottom. Secure this to the starboard chain plate. The aft shroud is 14'1" plus top shackle with a loop of 6mm cord to drop over stern cleat. These two are best made of wire to prevent stretching. The port shroud is about 20-25' made of 6mm cord. You can thread this through forward eye for cockpit cover and back to jib sheet jammer or tie it down to the trailer. It must angle forward of the mast hole for support.

The pole stands on the cockpit sole to starboard of the removable floorboard such that the top of the pole is vertically above the mast hole. In this way, the pole can be erected with the mast in its transit crutches. Hoist from the port side to put tension on the wires rather than cord.

Notes

• With the hoisting loop below the spreaders the mast will be slightly top heavy so the bottom end needs a restraining hand.

• If at all windy, make sure the boat is stern on to the wind so that the mast head blows forward. This makes it easier to get the heel into the mast step.

• Fix the pole to the trailer with bungie for travelling.