These instructions are for rigging ocean-going hobie catamarans prior to going sailing. As my experience in these matters is more practical than academic, I'm not sure of the proper names for some of the parts I will describe - if you do know, /msg them to me!


(On land)

First remove any bungie cords that hold the boat rigging taut. Keep any straps binding the boat to the trailer (you will need to get on it in a second). Locate the cabling with handles and harness points (one or more cables on each side of the boat) and the sidestays (cables attached by pins to brackets on the pontoons). Drape these over the pontoons near the aft of the craft. When the mast is being erected, these cables tend to get caught on stuff - the intention here is to get them as clear as possible of any obstructions.

Second make sure the forestay (the one cable on the boat right now with a free end) is loose and lying across the trampoline.

Third, free the jib control ropes (two cloth ropes running from the left and right side of the mast) from the bracked assembly that is cabled to the fore of both pontoons in front of the depression the mast fits into. This jib ropes should be fastened to the fore bracket assembly with a carabiner - ensure that this stays with the jib control ropes. Also make sure a removable pin is available for securing the forestay to the fore bracket assembly the jib rigging was just removed from.

Fourth, make sure the main sail and jib sail rigging are not tangled on anything, or fouling anything up.

Fifth, lower the mast from the fore and aft cradles. The aft cradle should be tied to the main mast anchor at the aft of the vessel. Remove it. The cradle towards the fore should be part of the trailer. This should be done from on top of the trampoline of the boat.

Erecting the Mast

Note: For lake boats and smaller boats, the mast can be raised just by muscling it into the depression it swivels in. The following instructions are for heavy masts. (On land)

For this part, you will need at least two people. One person to lift the mast and the others to make sure that the cables don't snag on anything. The person lifting should be the only person on the trampoline of the boat. They should move the bottom of the mast (the end with no rigging and multiple anchor points for ropes) up to the depression that the ball at the bottom of the mast should fit into.

Place a teflon chip inside the depression - this will let the mast rotate without destroying the socket. Locate the bracket attached to the depression assembly. It should have a pin in it. If it doesn't, get one.

The mast should have a hole for a pin at one end of it's oval cross section. Pin this hole into the bracket assembly - this pin should be lower than the ball at the bottom of the mast. Once the mast is raised, this pin should be towards the aft of the boat.

Now the person in charge of lifting the mast should start lifting it, walking under it slowly, while the others ensure that the cabling draped over the sides isn't going to catch on anything. When the mast is up, one person should go to the fore of the craft and pin the forestay to the fore bracket assembly the jib rigging was fixed to.

Once the mast is up and secured, remove the pin at the base of the mast. This must be removed to allow the mast to swivel with the wind, BUT MAKE SURE TO REPLACE IT BEFORE LOWERING THE MAST WHEN DONE SAILING. This is very important as not complying will make lowering the mast extremely difficult. You have been warned.

With the mast lifter steadying it, ensure that the mast is evenly balanced between the sidestays. If the mast leans too far one way or the other, use the pin bracket assemblies to balance the mast.

Ta da! The mast is up!

Rigging the Jib Sail

Get the boat into water and secure it to the dock. Make sure you have another extra pin on the fore bracket assembly. Locate the jib cable - it should be the rope and attached cable running about 2/3rd's the length of the mast. Loosen the jib cable from the fasteners at the base of the mast. On the jib cable, there should be a metal aircraft cable end with a metal 'u' bracket and a rope end.

Fasten the 'u' bracket to the eyelet at the loose end of the STILL ROLLED-UP jib sail. Haul the jib sail up. One person out on a pontoon at the fore has to pin the jib to the fore bracket assembly. Now, there jib sail should have vanes (plastic or wooden slats) in pockets in the canvas or plastic sail, with one end of the slats sticking out. These free ends of the vanes should face the mast.

Once the jib is pinned in, make the cable as taut as possible. This should take the tension off the forestay to the point where the forestay becomes slack. Tie off the jib cable to the fasteners at the base of the mast, tucking any loose cable into the (now taut) jib cable.

Fasten the jib control ropes located on either side of the mast to the third corner of the jib sail using the carabiner.

Jib's up!

Raising the Main Sail

The main sail cable should be the only one fastened to the mast at this point. Free it, and use the 'u' bracket to attach the cable to eyelet at the free end of the STILL ROLLED-UP main sail. Now, this part will be a little trickier than the jib sail, as the main sail has must be fed into a groove at the aft end of the mast as it is raised. Once the sail is completely unfurled, a second person should raise the boom and fit it into a rest at the bottom of the mast groove.

The main sail cable has a bead that must be pulled into a groove at the top of the mast - pull it forward then loosening it, checking for slack on the pulling end of the main sail cable. This is another tricky part. Offensive language may be required. Once the line goes slack, tie off the free end of the main sail cable to the fasteners at the mast base and stow any slack rope in the taut line as with the jib.

Last, pin the block and tackle (ropes at the aft end of the boom) to a sliding metal bracket in the groove at the aft end of the boat. Run the end of the boom line from behind the boat towards the fore through the ring at the middle of the aft of the boat and the swiveling locks right in front of it.

That completes the raising of the main sail!

Dig It

All that remains now is to go sailing. A damn fun activity... Enjoy!

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