My '71 Columbia MkII mast is stepped on a plate on the deck. It's supported underneath by that big piece of teak next to the head. I have to unstep the mast every fall and step it every spring on Lake Champlain. Chipman Point Marina has a little crane that lifts and supports the mast while I connect or disconnect the shrouds and stays. Work with esperience mast steppers and everything works out fine.
Thank you for your response
Question? Does the mast seat into a fitting that is inside the base of the mast?
When you lift the mast off of the topside,is there a footing the mast sits into?
The mast fits over a raised deck fitting. All you have to do is remove the shrouds and stays and lift the mast straight up a couple of inches and its off. the trick is to make sure that you have a some way of steadying the mast, a boat yard crane or I made a "A" frame out of 2x4's that I steady with ropes it is high enough to go above the spreaders. I use that to pull the mast up. I had a hard time the first time I took the mast down because the bottom of the mast and the deck fitting had corroded together but after about 20 minutes of pulling and tapping a cursing it came up. You also need to remember to disconnect the wires that run up the mast I only have two for the mast light and they were just twisted together with some electrical tape around them. Don't know if they are all like that but I think that I will change that before I put the boat back in the water. I also put some tape on the threads of the turn buckles so that when I put them back on I have a good idea of how far to tighten them.
4 years later your info is very helpful! thanks for the info.