The process of launching a trimaran, from raising the mast to trailing to the water can be stressful for new sailors. Here is a quick and simple guide on how to set up a Corsair folding trimaran. This post features the 29′ Corsair 880, the 2021 Boat of the Year in the Sport Category. The following techniques and procedures are broadly applicable to all Corsair folding trimaran models. Typically, two people can have a Corsair 760, or Corsair 880 rigged and launched in around 30 minutes. The Cruze 970 and 37 may take a little longer as everything is larger and heavier.
Note: Always park into the wind or uphill to help the mast stay in line while being winched up. The trailer should remain hooked to towing vehicle at all times. And of course, before starting to rig, check to see that there are no power lines for the mast to touch while being raised, or between the raising location and the ramp to the water.
MAST RAISING PROCEDURE
Step 1: Untie the line that hold the boat to the trailer. Leave one of the lines on the attachment point on the boat and move the other line to the same size on the bow. Now you can use them for your dock lines after you launch. Also untie the other line that secures the mast to the boat and free up the shrouds.
Step 2: Make sure the mast yoke is installed. Lift up the bottom end of the mast and slide it along the mast roller so that the mast heel is over the yoke. Once the bottom of the mast is close to the yoke, use this opportunity to tilt it off and tilt the head of the mast down.
Step 3: Pin the heel of the mast to the mast yoke. Ensure the mast yoke is fitted to the mast heel with a pin.
Step 4: Insert the mast raising pole or the gin pole in the front of the mast, then attach the support line from the gin pole to the eye on the mast above it as well as to the mast raising supports on deck. Tension these lines to make sure that the gin pole is straight and secure.
Step 5: Connect the mast raising shrouds to the same eye on the front of the mast and also on the mast supports down to the side.
Step 6: Run the screacher or the spinnaker halyard over the mast raising pole and connect it to the trailer winch line. Use a bowline for this connection just in case any of the hardware fails.
Step 7: Stand on the side of the mast and use the mast raising shrouds to make sure the mast stays straight when someone winches it off. Proceed very slowly and pay close attention to any additional friction.
Step 8: Once the mast is fully raised, take out the mast raising pole and connect to foredeck. Once the force stays are connected, loosen up the trailer winch line, disconnect it from the halyard and reconnect it to the eye on the front of the boat. Secure the halyard back on the mast. Connect topping lift to the back of the boom on the dog bone and use it to assist with lifting the boom up and slide to the insert in the mast. Secure this with the boom handle and a pin.
Step 9: Once the boom is in position, reattach the mainsail sheet to the dog bone at the back of the boom. Make sure you leave the mast raising shrouds on until the boat is unfolded and the shrouds are properly tensioned.
LAUNCH THE BOAT
Once Again – Before taking the boat to the ramp first check to see there are no power lines for the mast to touch.
Step 10: Remove the mast yoke. Unpin the beams and fold them out, making sure not to catch any lines underneath the beams, then tighten the four bolts that hold the four beams in place.
Step 11: Take out then store the rear mast fan and tighten the Highfield levers or lashings appropriately.
Step 12: Take the mast raising shroud off. Finish running your running rigging.
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT! Following these steps will ensure the mast is in secure position and ready to go sailing.
To better demonstrate, we have compiled a more complete video guide to better assist you: