I’m sure that I’m not the only single handed sailor that finds the sailing the easy bit of the episode. Raising and lowering the mast is probably the hardest thing to do single handed. A Carbon Fiber mast would be ideal as it would shave about 30% from the weight of the Red Fox mast (which I think would be about 25Kg) but I've been reliably informed that this will not fit in the standard tabernacle for the Red Fox and would cost in the region of £7,500. As most of us are not prepared to spend this much money on a mast, there are a number of things which can make the mast raising more straight forward.

The most useful asset is a mast ‘crutch’ which sits over the outboard well. This enables the mast to be move aft to enable the pin to line up with the hole in the tabernacle whilst ensuring it doesn’t over balance and end up smashing the masthead light on the ground (an event that has nearly happened a couple of times. The ropes are attached to the winches and stop the crutch from toppling over backwards.

A block and tackle system is used in place of the trailer winch. The bitter end of this pulley is fed through the clutch and round a winch. This means the mast can be easily raised from the cockpit and I can free any lines or stays – which always seem to get caught on the deck hardware when raising the mast! The wood behind the support can be used to raise the mast for the first 40cm – always the most difficult part of mast raising.