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DrSnapid

Hinged step for Caper Cat

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Does anyone have the hinged mast step for a caper cat? Could you please post pics so I can see how it works (close ups of mast step and mast foot)

I am tiring of the effort involved in stepping the caper's mast, because mine isnt hinged. I'd like to make my own hinged step

Much appreciated!

EDIT: See page 2 for fitting of the new parts

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Russ, that's great, I'll contact you next week.

I realised after I posted that I have the 2010 caper cat parts list from Calipso Sailcraft and it has the step listed. I assume I need the step and the mast base as well.

I'll definately buy one if the price is near enough to what it was in 2010, my mast is killing me.

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It's worth the $$ to upgrade from the old mast peg, the new one makes rigging the Caper single handed a breeze.

Just have it facing slightly bow down ( beach rollers are good for that ), attach the side stays to the hull then 'walk' it up from the rear and then tie off the forestay

We had the outboard bracket installed so it was a bit easier to get up on the tramp from the rear.

They used to suggest a teflon disc for the ball / socket joint but we used 2 cents coins. Very interesting to see the coin change in shape after a days sailing.

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They used to suggest a teflon disc for the ball / socket joint but we used 2 cents coins. Very interesting to see the coin change in shape after a days sailing.

Mate i'm not sure what you are describing here... where do you mean? My boat has a dished socket when the knob on the mast sits. Where do put the coin? I'm confused :confused:

AND WHERE DID YOU FIND A 2c COIN????

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If it's the 'new calypso style' on the front beam and mast base will have new fittings that is a bit like a ball and socket joint, the coin / disc goes between them to help stop wear.

I guess the theory is to wear out a coin / disc instead of the joint.

The 2cents was what we used on our old caper about 10+ years ago, still have some around here somewhere including a 'moulded' one.

This is like the newer style, the original caper just had a step peg arrangement. Pict not of my boat, sadly we don't have her any more ( huge regrets for selling it now )

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1195[/ATTACH]

post-26835-13778265861922_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the pic!

I see that this is a pic of the mast step on a Calipso, and i am assuming the spar heading forward has been used to lift the mast into place, probably the boom mounted in this fashion temporarily while stepping the mast?

So what I am thinking you are saying, is that with the hinged step, I will still need to use some arrangement for lifting the mast - I wont be able to just walk it up from the stern. I suspected this, actually, as it isnt the lightest of masts (dropped it before) and at present I do walk it up but its sitting on the ground in front of the front beam, which means I am getting some advantage of height when I am standing on the tramp. I wont have this advantage with the mast already stepped... Oh well, I will have to figure it out but I am assuming it must be easier with the hinge than without

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That pict is from someone else on this site with a system to rig it whilst on a trailer, i couldnt find any other picts of the mast base.

We never bothered with anything like that, We just put the beach rollers under the hulls at the rear to give it a slight bow down angle, attached the side stays to the hull points, rested the base of the mast on the open hinge pin/point and walked the mast up from the stern then held tension on the forestay to keep it in place and then tied the forestay to the point on the front cross beam. Dead easy once you get used to it. Just getting up on the tramp from the rear is the tricky part.

I could do it solo when 20 and weighed less then 60kg, it just takes practice to keep it in position and the up in a smooth movement, start with someone holding tension on the forestay as you walk it up.

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OK guys, in case this helps someone i'm going to go over my experience fitting this hinged step on my Caper Cat.

Frankly, I took one look at it and figured it would be 5 minutes for the base, 5 minutes for the step. Boy was I wrong.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1293[/ATTACH]

The original step on my caper cat is this simple peg arrangement - essentially a bolt with a dished head, and a bit of a surround to make the dish deeper. The surround seemed to be made of some sort of ceramic, perhaps bakelite or something. Anyway, since there is no way to get a spanner on the bolt because of this, my only option was to put stilsons on the mast step and see if I could undo it that way. Soon enough the surround broke, revealing the bolt head. The peg must come out downwards, the bolt must go upwards, I had to get the bolt undone. I tried to unscrew the top off the peg but it would not budge. In the end, I secured the peg with a screwdriver through the hole near the bottom, and a pipe on the screwdriver for leverage, but a spanner still didnt get the screw undone. It was frozen solid. Then I hit it with my KCI easywrench, with frankly predictable results: It broke the bolt on about the fourth hit.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1295[/ATTACH]

No worries. I had already come to the conclusion the peg wasnt going to fit with my new step - there was no room for a bold head under the new step - and I would need to make a new peg to run down from the step to the dolphin striker. I'd come back to that, but for now, with the bolthead broken off, i could remove the old mast step and peg, ready to mount the new one.

Mounting the new one ALMOST was the 5 minute job I had planned on. Mark the centre. Line it up, mark holes, drill, rivet it on. Oh, except that riveting stainless steel rivets with a hand riveter almost broke my arms! (and my rivet tool probably!)

[ATTACH=CONFIG]1296[/ATTACH]

Now on to the 5 minute job fitting the new mast base. Simple, remove the old mast base, right? Yeah, drill out the rivet, and it will drop right out! YEAH RIGHT

The old base: [ATTACH=CONFIG]1294[/ATTACH]

It was stuck man and stuck good. My guess is that it got hammered in first then riveted. And after a quarter of a century in there, it wasnt coming out. I drilled it, grinded it, hit it with a chisel and hammer, and eventually got the end off, but that left the inner part still inside the mast. So in the end I got my Jigsaw and carefully cut from the inside out, stopping just short of the mast itself. I did this in a few places, then as the outward pressure was lost, the inner came away. Finally (after about 2 hours) I could fit the new base. Slipped most all the way in, tapped home with the hammer, drill the hole and rivet. LESS than 5 minutes...

It's finally on and soon i'll get a chance to test rig the boat. My main concern is that when the base sits in the step, it fits very deep and I dont think there is enough room for the mast to rotate without the hinge catching. I suspect that I will need to file bits of the step down a little, particularly if my mast is going to be able to be raked back at all.

I made a new peg for the dolphin striker from 16mm solid aluminium bar. I put a 1.6mm collar around this so it filled the hole in the bottom of the front beam neatly. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the peg so it can be riveted or screwed to the dolphin striker. [PIC TO FOLLOW]

[THERE ARE MORE IMAGES TO COME, SOON, POOR LIGHT PREVENTED ME TAKING MORE WHEN FINISHED]

post-82973-13778265866832_thumb.jpg

post-82973-13778265944334_thumb.jpg

post-82973-13778265944541_thumb.jpg

post-82973-13778265944799_thumb.jpg

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The mast step was poorly cast and required some mods (2c piece in the step hole) and also some grinding to allow my mast to rotate properly. On my first test sail - it was blowing 20 knots and the mast refused to rotate, the sail was mostly backwinded and rather than going forward the boat just want to capsize (which it eventually did)

I have made my adjustments now and hope for my next sail to be more successful

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hi doc, how's it going with the hinged mast set up?- I'm also having trouble with my Caper Cat mast raising and lowering on my own and at 63 I'm looking for a method that is less fraught and less of a gymnastical, especially on windy days. My current method is to attach side stays and forestay and then lift vertically with me precariously on the main beam and tramp; very iffy. How's your hinged step working out. peter

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Mate the hinged step is very good once sorted. Not perfect but so much easier, it's definitely worth it.

 

I have had to modify mine considerably - put a spacer in the hole to stop the base from going too deeply into the step (2c coin!) - and the still had to take to the foot and step with a grinder in order to get proper clearance so the mast can rotate.

 

But now I can do it on my own relatively safely, all i do do is position the boat with the rudders uphill. So when I get the mast up, it sits on its own leaning forward held up by the rear stays and then I can go forward to take care of the front.

 

If you are doing it on your own without a hinged step at 63 then I take my hat off to you, sir. Your method is essentially how I was doing it and yep its hard and dangerous. Dropped the mast twice!

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Hi doc,

Problem solved by drilling out the centre of the stainless "t" piece on which the mast rested ($20 and 10 minutes in Cairns) then drilling corresponding hole through the cast alloy plug at base of mast. To hold secure while walking up from the rear end I use a small bore Phillips head driver; goes up just like yours and I'm very relieved.

Regards

Peter

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  • Nacra sells Teflon discs which make good spacers for the calypso/caper mast pivot - mates calypso mast wont rotate without a spacer either as some rake is needed for a decent wind/tune.

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I bought 3 Hobie teflon Discs from Binks Marine for about $7 I think, had to cut them down to size a bit but they work fine. I've cut the top off a bottle cap and given it a squirt of silicone lube before, that did the trick too

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Hi doc,Problem solved by drilling out the centre of the stainless "t" piece on which the mast rested ($20 and 10 minutes in Cairns) then drilling corresponding hole through the cast alloy plug at base of mast. To hold secure while walking up from the rear end I use a small bore Phillips head driver; goes up just like yours and I'm very relieved.RegardsPeter

Id love to see pics of this

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