A key requirement for any trailer-sailer is that raising and lowering the mast must be simple. And it is with the Atalanta and Titania.
Some Atalanta are fitted with alloy masts, but most have wooden masts. Standard wooden Atalanta masts are relatively heavy. However they can all be raised and lowered safely by the crew using the following technique:
Mast raising and lowering is straight forward using the optional rigging tripods fitted to many Atalanta’s. The Association can provide a copy of the drawing for this Fairey Marine rigging modification. It consists of a pipework tripod to attach each shortened cap shroud to its chainplate. This brings the bottom of the rigging screws for the cap shrouds into line with the mast pivot pin. When the mast is lowered the shrouds do not slacken, so the shrouds control the sideways movement of the mast throughout the lifting and lowering process. The main sheet and its blocks are used in conjunction with the spinnaker pole to actually lift the mast.
Firstly the mast has to be lifted from its travel position and moved backwards so that it extends over the transom, The foot of the mast has to be lined up with the mast step. A special pin is used as a pivot. This is actually the most difficult part of the whole operation.
Using the spinnaker pole
The bottom of the pole attaches to the base of the mast, the top of the pole is held vertical between the fore stay and the main sheet. One end of the main sheet goes to the forestay chainplate, and the other to the end of the forestay. The spinnaker sheets are used to hold the pole vertical. Their ends tied to the pivot point for the raised cap shrouds. The sheets stop the pole falling sideways, and stay tight as the mast is raised.
Raising the mast
It is just a matter of hauling in the main sheet and up goes the mast under total control. Once it is up you can attach the forestay, and fore lower shrouds at your leisure.
Just watch out for the back stay snagging on something. It will!