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Design Contest for tools to help step a Lightning Mast

Laura Jeffers | Published on 11/14/2023

The Classic Boat Group is having a contest! All are invited to participate!

One of the recurrent questions we get is for help putting up and taking down the mast.   As a few of us are "beginning" to show signs of age this is becoming a larger challenge.   So lets have a design contest!  

The mission is to come up with a design for tool(s) to help us step and take down our masts. 

Real engineers, pretend engineers, or Rube Goldberg wannabe's.   This is for fun (there will be a prize for the winner).  And we are trying to solve a real life challenge for many of us.  So scratch your heads and come up with an idea or two.  

Design Criteria  (Subject to revision)

  • Safety, can be used to safely step a Lightning mast up to 50 lbs
  • Simplicity and cost of construction
  • Simplicity of use
  • Speed and ease of setup and takedown
  • Ability to be successfully step mast with just one person
  • Portability, can be used on any (most?) Lightnings
  • Portability, can be transported in car or attached to boat or trailer

Design Submittals due by Dec 15 2023  - text and / or drawings, as detailed as you wish.

While a competition, this is for fun.  Please feel free to weigh in with ideas and discuss the challenges on the Classic Group Chat.  You will find in the files area of the group site tools others have used in the past.  

Questions? or to submit a design: contact Bob Astrove

Update: Nov 14th from Bob Astrove
We h
ave received a few entries in our contest so far.  I added a few I saw culling in the history of our chat site.  I am certain I missed some, and I know there are more coming.   Just let me know and I'll add.

But want to share what we've got so far.  Cool stuff.  Lots of thinking going on.   Love it!  Take a few minutes and use the link below to check it out.


Here is a quickie webpage I’ve ginned up for sharing submissions.   Borrowing and tweaking ideas of others is fine.   Our goal is to come up with something good that people can use to make on their own.

Sponsor Number URL address
Sponsor 1
Sponsor 2
Sponsor 3
Sponsor 4
Sponsor 5
Sponsor 6
Sponsor 7
Sponsor 8
Sponsor 9
Sponsor 10

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