I tried building a mast winch as I had seen done on another website. It worked pretty well lifting the mast, I had to be careful of lateral sway until I got it high enough that the side stays took control. But when I cranked it back down to loosen the front stay, the 2x4 cracked right where the winch was bolted to it. I will try it next with a 2x6 to see if that holds. I hate adding the extra weight of a 2x6 to my packing load. I see also, that the winch should have been mounted closer to the mast end as the middle of the board is where it's likely to bow anyway.

On the left there is an eybolt for the jib sheet to attach to which raises the mast. On the right is a cutout for the board to fit on the top edge of the mast.

To the left of the winch is another eyebolt with a 3/8" block attached to it. On the end of the 1/4" braided rope is a universal snap hook for slipping onto the bow cleat.

Here's the 2x6 replacement. I cut 23" off the end to ensure stiffness and still had sufficient angle for lift. No bending now!

Here is the mast partway up. It wants to lean to port, so I straddle it and guide it with my left leg while I crank.

Here is the mast all the way up, you can see how the winch is holding it to the bow cleat.

This is the down position with the mast in the crutch, ready to lift or be strapped down for towing.

 

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