Suncat and Mouse

N 33° 38' W 117° 55'

The Bridges of... well, not Madison County

January 04, 2012

This is a big cat… 60’, but Suncat only drafts 23", boards up.  I want to take her up some larger intercoastal waterways, both in the U.S. and Europe (among other places).  Inevitably this will mean going under bridges, power lines, etc.  I already know the height of the mast will be too high for the U.S. ICW (65’ being max.).  So… my options are, get a smaller boat… er… too late, already have this one half built.  OK, don’t go those places, but I WANT to go to those places.  OK, then take the mast down.  

Typically this involes pulling into a ship yard and using a crane, eight hours and a serious chunk of cash.  When done, do it again to put it back up. I will do it this way… if I must, but I went searching for another option.  I found two.

1) Go with a Biplane rig, keep both masts shorter.

2) Create a system by which we can raise and lower the mast with a minimum of work and time, and no ship yard.

I haven’t quite given up on the biplane rig, but right now I’m certainly leaning toward a more standard single carbon fiber stick.  That would leave option #2.  

So, I went a surfing, on the net, not the ocean.  And what did I find? Well, I found an Australian Catamaran of sufficiently similar size, that raises and lowers their mast, pretty much daily.  

I’m seriously considering doing it this way, or something similar.  I have tried to contact the owners of that cat, but they haven’t replied yet.  I’ll try again, I just want to hear their first hand experience, pros and cons.   

Here are pictures of that catamaran.

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