Author Topic: Mast Ram, Lowers, Both or None?  (Read 2319 times)

Alex K

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Mast Ram, Lowers, Both or None?
« on: March 30, 2014, 12:31:09 PM »
Hi there everyone,
OK so I am a relative novice to Dinghy sailing (I have downsized from a 1/4 tonner and have finally seen the light) I didnt have an exhaustive budget but have become the new owner of a very pretty Baggy Trousers. I live in Cornwall so it is hopefully a good compromise between cost and the potential to still be a little competative in a blow on open water should I get the time to race at some stage. Anyway sorry I digress.
I have a fixed mast possition at deck level and no lowers, so my question (made more pertanent by the fact that a friend is looking for a Baggy 2).... What would you all suggest in order or performance or significants,

I dont think I will be squezing every last ounce out of the boat so with this in mind do I:
A) leave her as she is and focus on the basics perhaps get a set of Mast Chocks so at least I can depower the rig on the beach,
B) Get a Mast ram for simple adjustment afloat on its own,
C) Get a set of lowers made up on their own,
D) both as lowers or Ram alone wont give you the benefits therefore perhaps I stick with A)... (for simplicity)

Any comments or oppinions would be very much appreciated (especially as its my first post) Cheers Alex
P.S. Sorry if this is covered somewhere else, I did search the threads but could only find comments about either how best to rig, or the pros / cons on their own and not necersarily which upgrade gives the most benefit.


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Re: Mast Ram, Lowers, Both or None?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 08:22:31 PM »
I have been wondering the same thing with refit of Subversion. The last dinghies I sailed before coming back to 12’s, it was all deck stepped masts and ‘locking’ the bottom of the mast up with lowers and sometimes a strut. Subversion has a ram its just weather I add lowers to it.
One thing which has struck me is t with a hog stepped mast without the ram on the mast bends a lot through the gate. So you defiantly need something and with the national 12 main being pretty big and deep. You are going to want to be able to adjust it whiles you are on the water. So a ram or simpler is probably best.
Whether you are going to need lowers I guess the biggest factor is how stiff your mast is. Pretty much all carbon masts looking to be using both but people still sailing with tin masts don’t seem to using lowers much.

Those are my thoughts hope it helps.
The futures bright the future is rivers and lakes

John M

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Re: Mast Ram, Lowers, Both or None?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 10:35:54 PM »
Hi Alex
Congratulations on your purchase. What number have you got?
I am surprised to hear it described as a fixed position. A number of baggy trousers had mast attached to a "mighty screw". This was a threaded rod which allowed the mast to be moved (albeit most easily when not sailing) to adjust the rake. How is the mast fixed?
Assuming that it does not have a mihgty screw, you will find that a new mast ram is expensive, although you might find one second hand / boat jumble.
A set of lowers can be made up quite cheaply, but you will still have a reasonable investment in decent blocks / rope so that you are able to adjust whilst on the water. Lowers can clearly give you both fore and aft stiffness as well as sideways stiffness.
On balance option B or C would be best - As you have identified, you need to control mast bend.

Alex K

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Re: Mast Ram, Lowers, Both or None?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 07:53:59 PM »
Hi Guys Thanks for posting,
Your comments are helpful and I am glad you echo my wish to be able to easily adjust mast bend. Sorry John, by "fixed" I really just meant that where the mast goes through the deck the slot is currently packed with fixed sized wooden blocks (very nicely varnished and shaped to cup both sides of the mast) but of course this means that the mast bend is not adjustable without a saw... I prefer the idea of a mast ram to the plastic chock spacer idea as you say Smillie it is prefferable to change on the water.
John thanks for the Congrats, I have "Wind Instrument" 3178, I think one of the early Baggys registered, (in Glass anyway), and I know what you mean by the Mighty Screw but nope she has nothing at all at present. I think I will look for a Ram. Then I can look at a set of lowers after I get the hang of controling the power of the rig with fore and aft bend.
I have a good friend who is a Chandler so I will see if there are any favours outstanding and take it from there. I know the fore end of the mast slot is already taking the load of the mast so I think I will fab up a thin Stainless or Ali' plate the as a bedding plate for the Ram with a lip folded at the inboard end that will protrude down into the slot so the ram will be loading the slot rather than the deck (as I am not sure of its constructionand as its the bow buoyancy) that also makes it safer than a mighty screw or strut fo the same reason.

I will get some pics up on the database at some point, thanks agan and I hope one day to get myself to an open meet so who knows might see you on the water..... Cheers Alex


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Re: Mast Ram, Lowers, Both or None?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 01:42:53 PM »
Personally would just go for lowers, never got on with mast rams, always seem to stick where as lowers are easy to adjust and act against the forces applied by the kicker. To ne the only other option is a strut as you can induce mast bend in light winds. But it is heavy
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DavidYacht (Guest)

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Re: Mast Ram, Lowers, Both or None?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 03:04:56 PM »
How about lowers, with forward chocks to limit over bending?


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