Gin Pole With Winch

A gin pole was used on earlier hull numbers to raise the mast.  It worked adequately, but left room for improvement.  Catalina changed the system to an integrated trailer system.

Those with the gin pole can improve it by abandoning the block and tackle and adding a winch.

The system works in all ways as the original except the winch replaces the block and tackle and eases the effort greatly.  This is especially true when stopping the lowering process as it was very difficult to get the line uncleated using the block and tackle.  The operator is now in a much better position to monitor the raising/lowering compared to having ones back turned while hauling on the B&T.

Larger drawing of gin pole with dimensions

A mod shown in the second picture is the conversion to a telescoping pole which reduces storage space needed.

Finally deciding to keep my old Honda 8 for the dinghy (with the benefit of planing), I built a pallet to store the motor in the aft berth as its too big to store on any railing.  When cruising, the aft berth cushions are not carried unless I have a third person aboard and then only the larger cushion is used for a quarter berth, otherwise a cheap piece of carpet is laid aft.

Finding a relatively easy way of handling the motor played into the decision to keep it.  The gin pole used for mast raising seemed the obvious solution but the pole needed adapted to work with mast eyes.  This was simple to do by drilling a 1/4" hole for a quick pin and using a shackle to attach to the mast eye.  An additional mast eye was made to insert into the mast slot for aft of the mast use while forward uses the whisker pole eye.

The pole now provides easy lifting of the dinghy to the forward deck where it is slid under the life lines to ride cross wise to the deck just aft of the anchor locker.  Going to the bow to anchor is no problem, simply step into and cross. 

Lifting the motor in and out of the aft berth storage is also very simple though it does require two people, one on the winch and the other guiding the motor on or off the wood pallet.  The good part is that there is no lifting or straining at any time.  The process is easy and takes only a few minutes.

btw.... there are some advantages to the gin pole system over the newer system.  
  • Single handed mast raising is easier to do as the operator stays on top the boat.
  • Mast raising can be done either on or off the trailer, for river travel for example..
  • The newer system using the bow stop... makes adding a bow anchor roller difficult.
  • The gin pole is available for other lifting needs.
    • The dinghy to the foredeck
    • The dinghy motor into the cabin and aft berth storage

Remember that a single pole unlike the popular A frame design, requires the use of side or baby stays while hoisting the mast.