Tag Archives: Sailing

Transom Charm – What’s In a Name

“The name selected for a boat may not seem like an important thing. But, considering the strong feelings many of us have for our boats; the fact that we put so much work, and sweat and money into them; the fact they are a big part of our memories of so many good times, with family, with friends; the fact that sometimes our very lives are in the safekeeping of our boat; most of us feel that selecting the right name for our boat is important.”- The Frugal Mariner


Huron County Boating & Sailing

Here is another wonderfully produced video from LIVEHuron. This one focuses on our rich boating and sailing waters with some great shots of Caseville.

The videos are part of a promotional campaign produced  by Huron County Economic Development Corporation. They are short and highlight the best aspects of our wonderful area. If you think this is pretty good stuff please Like and Share.


Lowering the Mast of a Catalina 27

It was a bittersweet decision. We had to bring our sailboat home. Our plans for next year did not include the stress of putting our sailboat in only to use it a few times. We thought that we would put our Catalina 27 on our lot next to the cottage. This would save the cost of the boat yard and she would be more protected from the blistering winds of the harbor. The one problem was the mast. Since we bought her we have never lowered the mast. There are plenty of YouTube videos on single handedly un-stepping a mast from a trailerable sailboat. However I struggled finding reference material on the process for larger boats. Specifically a step by step guide that one could use as reference to lowering a mast. It just doesn’t exist. Hopefully you will find this a useful bit of information for your own boat. This assumes that you’re using a crane or a gin-pole and have at least one or two helpers. 

Tips and Ideas for Dropping a Catalina 27 Mast

Tools: Needle nose pliers, screwdriver, bungee cords, large zip ties and three foot pieces of line to lash the mast in place.

Deck prep – Measure and cut 2x4s for platforms for the bow pulpit (~24 inches) and across the stern pulpit. (~72 inches) Some larger sailboats have extensive cowling supports to hold their 500 lb. mast. The Catalina 27 standard rig mast tops off at about 300 lb. with all the attached rigging and lines so you have the option of using this method just has the trailerable Catalina 22’s can do. Mounting to the bow and stern pulpits so that the mast just rides above the cabin in all the clearance you need. You can rap the board in a towel if you don’t want to maar a painted mast.

Remove the boom including the gooseneck slide – With all the sails removed unshackle the topping lift and detach the boom gooseneck fitting from the mast. You may be tempted to leave the slide in place but go ahead and remove it and reattached to the end of the gooseneck. This will ensure that your hardware doesn’t get misplaced. Once removed you can secure the boom on the deck or move it down into the cabin.

Secure jib halyard, topping lift and main halyard to mast – If all your lines run back to the cockpit remove each line separately from any blocks and secure to the lowest mast cleat you have or clip each to a line that is run around the mast and is jammed into a low cleat or winch. Dress any tails of the three lines or wrap them up with zip ties.

Loosen turnbuckles and power lines – Loosen shroud turnbuckles and remove cotter pins but do not remove the clevis pins from the chain plate until the mast is secured with a lift line. Detach the power lines for the mast lights, VHF and Wind vane.

Secure lift line – If you’re using a crane or gin pole, wrap the lift line around your mast. Raise the line until the loop is tucked just under the spreaders. Be sure not to get wrapped up around the bow light. Once the line is under the spreaders tighten enough to remove any slack.

The uplifting moment of truth – Once the lift line is snug and secure around your mast loosen and gently remove the forestay or your furling drum. At the same time remove the backstay and all the shrouds. Walk all the rigging to the mast and bungee the mess around the mast. If you have a roller furling set it aside so it won’t get damaged or pinched. Remove the two bolts from the base of the mast. One everything is in place one person needs to ”hug” and guide the mast up and off the plate. Once off about an inch stop and ensure all the power lines are detached. Ours had a plug that was inside the mast that had to be separated.

Walk it back – Gently walk the bottom of the mast to your stern and place on the 2×4 you mounted on the pulpit. Make double sure that your roller furling system does not get pinched or twisted in the rigging. Make sure the spreaders don’t hit the top of cabin hatch.

Dress it up – Use zip ties to secure the rigging about every two feet along the mast. Make sure nothing is hanging off the sides or drooping into the cockpit. Lash the mast to the 2×4’s if you’re going to trailer or move the boat to its cradle.

Video of Dropping a Catalina 27 Mast

While there are many ways to lower a mast, this offers those who have never had to drop theirs some insight of what to expect. It you have your own hints or special tips please comment. We appreciate your insight. 

Related Links to Catalina 27



A Kool Cigarette Sailboat

Sail Back in Time – Kool Cigarette Marketing

Kool Cigarette Sailboat

It’s not often that you can step back in time and share a bit of your childhood that your adult children think is a riot. My dad was clearing out the garage when he asked if I would take the sailboats that he was storing. To tell the truth, I almost forgot he had both of these boats acquired in the early 1970’s and 80’s. One was a large Sea Chaser and one was a little Snark from the Kool cigarette campaign that ran in the early 1970’s

Cigarette Marketing History

Kool Cigarette Sailboat AddIn 1971 Kool Cigarettes ran an interesting marketing campaign. Magazines around the country ran an ad that if you sent in $88 and one box end from a carton of  Kool cigarettes that this fully functional sailboat would be shipped to your door. My dad and mom both smoked at that time, (Jeez, who didn’t), but they did not smoke Kools. However, dad managed to snag an empty carton from the drug store he owned. Snark industries supposedly produced a fleet of over 18,000 of these little sailboats has part of their Kool cigarette marketing campaign.

A Stout Little Styrofoam Sailboat

Kool Cigarette Sailboat

The boat arrived a few weeks later in a large box. Dad propped the boat on a set of saw horses and we proceeded to sand and fiberglass the hull. The Styrofoam had these little round edges all over the hull and it was my job to sand and smoothed the entire hull. As a 9-year-old, I thought the chore would never end. But I was excited about the prospect of sailing this little boat. The snark has a total length of about 11 feet with a beam just over 3 feet. Officially the draft is listed an incredibly small 2/10ths of a foot. It practically sits on top of the water. There is a small daggerboard and Lateen rig with 45 square feet of sail. With a sense of humor, they placed the name of the boat on the bow named “This Side Up”

Still Kool After 40 Years of Storage

Kool Cigarette Sailboat

Both the hull and the sail have been garage stored for over 43 years. The original sail is still in great shape as well as the hull. At about 50 lbs. one person can take it down to the beach. Two people can sail around in it and there is usually water bubbling up from the daggerboard slot. It’s more of a toy than a true sailboat, but it does force you to learn the basics of sailing and it will never sink.