Mast lowering - Bud Taplin

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  • August 20, 2013 7:49 PM
    Message # 1370712
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bud has email me an image of his latest adventure!

    Attached is a neat picture of a W32 after just going under the bridge into Huntington Harbor here in Southern California.  This is W32 #455 Walrus.  She was purchased about two years ago by Kevin Hogle, and he had her hauled and did an excellent restoration.  He recently launched her without her mast, and motored over to the Long Beach Marina Shipyard last Friday.  I helped him step the refinished mast with new rigging.  We lowered the mast, and he motored back to his slip in Huntington Harbor, which you have to enter by going under the Coast Highway bridge that has about 25’ of clearance.  We pulled the mast back up in his slip.


    He admitted that it was a scary exercise, but easily done.


  • August 21, 2013 7:05 AM
    Reply # 1371011 on 1370712
    I wish my tabernacle pin weren't frozen solidly in it's tube.  There has been more than one occasion I would love to be able to lower my mast.

    During a re-wire the previous owner said he tried to lower the mast using a crane to control the lowering. When it didn't simply lower, he said the crane operator tried to pull the top of the mast forward to break it free. Nope. Then he said he soaked the tube/pin with a 'break free' penetrant as best he could overnight. Then they tried next day. No go again.  He finally just had to remove the mast entirely, tabernacle and all.

    It's hard for me to imagine a marine anyone designing/manufacturing this without even considering the corrosive/galling effect of salt water between stainless & aluminum.   Bad dog... Bad, bad dog.
  • August 21, 2013 8:11 AM
    Reply # 1371068 on 1370712
    Deleted user
    Just a bit of info on replacing the tube with ss.

    A Stainless steel tube will work great, or has worked great for me over the last 13 years (so if you are ordering a new one from lafiel, twist their arm to use a ss tube. I used some glass around where my replacement ss tube went through the mast walls (holding the walls apart / together as the Al was welded inplace).

    And for those looking at the picture (the stick does stick out a long long way in front of the boat more than you notice in the picture).

     For my lowering I use a bridle and the running backstays and fiddle blocks  (with long lines i.e. old jib sheets) from where the backstays attach on the hull up to the end of the boom and I use the winches to raise and lower the mast. This seams to help the side to side movements and made me feel more secure.

    One additional note:  if you are removing the mast from the boat the center of weight when lowered is in front of the bow pulpit so be careful.

    Oh Mike a thought, if you drill and tap "only through the Al tube" a grease zirk(s) into the tube you may be able to free it ? pressured grease can do allot but will take the path of least resistance. I have used this trick on the gooseneck pin and have a free rotating boom now.
    Last modified: August 21, 2013 8:28 AM | Deleted user
  • August 21, 2013 6:51 PM
    Reply # 1371538 on 1370712
    I just discovered that there's a video on YouTube in which Bud demonstrates the lowering of a W32 mast with tabernacle. It was filmed at Lake Mead in 2002, during the final Desert Rendezvous at Lake Mead. I've embedded the video on within the Service Manual for anyone interested in viewing it. It's very interesting, and worth the watch!

    Jack Webb
  • August 21, 2013 7:39 PM
    Reply # 1371551 on 1370712
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When the SS pin is frozen in the mast - the "solution" is to sawzall the pin on both sides between the mast and the tabernacle and remove the mast with a lift. According to bud - use a hydraulic press to remove the pin - hopefully w/o damaging the aluminum tube.

    The first part I know from experence - the last - hopefully not have to experience.

    I have seen an attempt to remove the pin from the tube w/o the hydraulic press -- really ugly mess from tearing up the AL tube - don't know the final result but it looked like failure - would have been better/easier to grind off the welds and replace the AL tube. 


  • August 21, 2013 9:01 PM
    Reply # 1371577 on 1370712
    Bud addresses this issue in the two paragraphs, just above the video on Section A-21 of Bud's Online Service Manual, where he states....

    "If you decide to pull the pivot pin and remove the mast entirely, remember that more of the mast projects ahead of the pulpit than is between the base and the pulpit, so the mast will want to tip up at the base. Support it well, then spray WD-40 on the pin, and tap on it with a punch. Do not hammer on the pin directly, as it will mushroom the end and the pin will not come out. If it is still frozen, you might need to heat it with a small propane torch. As a last resort, remove the tabernacle base from the boat, or cut the pin just inside the mast with a hacksaw."

    "If you have had to cut the pin or the tube to remove it, I can supply you with new ones. The old tube can be cut just inside the mast on both sides. The new tube is cut to fit inside the mast, and prevents the walls of the mast from moving together, and can be secured in place with epoxy putty. When reinstalling the pin, coat it liberally with anti-seize compound for easy removal in the future. Remove and clean the masthead sheaves, then lubricate with a white grease so they operate smoothly."


  • August 22, 2013 9:09 AM
    Reply # 1371949 on 1370712
    Deleted user
    Just in case some one wants to use a ss tube instead of the Al tube.

    1.) Remove it like (Jay, Bud And Jack state above) 
    2.) Build a template (i.e. drill a hole in 1/4" or thicker Al or some other solid material) this hole is the outside diameter of the new ss tube.
    3.) I used some vice grips and blocks to hold it (very tight!!!) to the mast and centered it on the holes (one at a time).
    4.) I used a router with a roller guide to following the template (Part 2)  and cut out the old tube  and a little bit more from the mast walls and keep the holes aligned (Very important that they stay aligned!!!!)
    5.) cut the ss tube to the width of the mast and insert it through the mast (Using epoxy and some glass between the inside of the mast and the new tube.
    6.) Add some grease to the new pin and,  well no more issue period. 

    points of note:  Make the ss tube and mast a tight fit (Don't make the hole to big)
    Take your time on this as it needs to be done right and aligned the same as the original holes.
    an option to do this is to use a table top drill press with a boaring bit and a reamer.

    Last modified: August 22, 2013 4:29 PM | Deleted user
  • August 23, 2013 9:30 AM
    Reply # 1372669 on 1370712

    If you access my new website, and go the Service Manual section, then go to Page A21 Mast Lowering With Tabernacle Base, on the bottom of the page you will find the video taken in 2008 at the Lake Mead, NV rendezvous.

    Thank you Jack Webb, who recently put it on the website. 
  • August 24, 2013 5:46 PM
    Reply # 1373341 on 1370712
    Deleted user
    We followed Bud's video to lower the mast on our W28 a few years ago.  Lulu and I had no trouble although it was kind of scary.  But it worked flawlessly.
  • November 29, 2020 1:21 PM
    Reply # 9393450 on 1370712

    Hello All,

    The video (Lowering mast) is no longer available in YouTube. Where can I get it?


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