stepping the mast singlehanded

Anyone interested in a electric winch system for singlehanded mast stepping costing around $200., please e-mail me for details. I have a Scot and figured out a good way to step the mast without having to be unusually athletic.

How about posting it here? I'd like to see it since I raise and lower my mast with two kids (9 and 13) and my wife watching.


The system consists of:
1 A metal plate welded to the top of the trailer's winch post. This post carries the hand winch that secures the boat to the trailer.
2 An electric winch bolted to the metal plate. I found an electric winch with power-in and power-out, an automatic brake, with remote control switch for $150
3. Jumper cables (6 guage) to run to battery to power winch.
4 Cables (6 guage) to run from winch to remote control switch (about 12 feet long)
5. Small 3 step latter with metal top step. This is placed on a non-skid pad on the foredeck as far forward as possible. A line is run through the legs of the step ladder and tied to the bowplate, to prevent the ladder from tipping or moving aft
6 Trailer roller bracket with metal axle rod. This bracket is bolted to the top of the step ladder and holds a steel axle , which serves as the fulcrum or block at the top of the ladder.

Stepping the mast is done as follows:
1 Hookup winch to power.
2. Place step ladder on nonskid mat on foredeck as far forward as possible, secure legs with rope to bowplate.
3 Spool out wire rope from the winch, over the axle on top of step ladder and attach to mast . I attach the winch to a rope secured around the mast to prevent the winch cable from scratching the mast itself.
4 Place butt of mast onto stepping pin.
5. Secure remote control switch to belt.
6 Stand next to mast, using remote switch with left hand, power-in winch. With free hand steady the side to side motion of the mast as it ascends. This requires very little effort.
7 Carefully reach full vertical and secure the mast with the forestay and jib halyard.
8. Reverse procedure (power-out) to unstep mast.

Good Luck and good sailing

Flying Scot has good instructions on stepping the mast single handed.

I have used this method several times with no problem. I sometimes think it is easier than with someone helping me. I do have a slight advantage in that I am still a bit young and tall (6'3".) The height definitely helps.