I’m frequently asked if masts need to be unstepped each fall. The short answer is no, unless your yard requires it, but there are some advantages to doing so. These include being able to thoroughly inspect the mast’s step and foot, along with the entire spar and all of its parts. You also can do the latter by going aloft, but it’s certainly easier, and likely more thorough, to do the job from ground level. The drawbacks to unstepping the rig are the added expense and any wear and tear that occurs in the process. My personal rule of thumb is to pull the rig if it hasn’t been done in five or more years or if it’s never been done during your ownership of the vessel.