Saturday morning was a cold rain. By mid-afternoon a serious cold front was moving through, and with it winds gusting to 30+. Not a great day for trying to raise the rig for the first time. So I ripped out the ’90s jacuzzi tub from the master bath, instead. Done and done.
Note ever present supervisor.
Could it be another goldfish pond?
By late afternoon Sunday, the opportunity finally arrived to play with the boat again. There will definitely be some tuning to do, but the mast got raised and the boom hung in place. Still too windy to raise the sails, but progress!
Wow. This is a very tall mast.
No, really. It’s crazy tall.
You don’t realize how tall 25 feet is until you try to lift it and move it around.
The good news, though, is with a good tabernacle already added by a previous owner, it’s not too hard to raise single-handed. I can pin the base first and attach the lower shrouds. Then, by running a line through the jib tack and up to the turnbuckle at the end of the forestay, I can walk the mast up on a shoulder until the temporary line can take over the lifting, then just pull the mast the rest of the way up with the line. The temporary line and the lower shrouds hold the mast in place until I walk forward and move the forestay to the stemhead. Nice. Then it’s just a matter of attaching the upper shrouds and the backstay. Next time I’ll try using the Jib halyard. Not exactly as easy as poking in the stick on a Melonseed, but hey, I’ll take it.
Stepped mast in tabernacle, with boom vang attached.
View from the front, with the halyards still lashed for moving.
This mast has a lot of wires. Double shrouds, jumper shrouds, forestay, backstay, halyards. I may replace some or all of it with dyneema, Amsteel Blue. That could reduce the weight aloft by as much as ten pounds, starting with the backstay and halyards. The current stainless wire rope is all fairly new, and in very good shape, but holy cow, really? It’s a tangled spiderweb of stainless steel cables. For a wooden mast there’s an awful lot of stainless steel in play. From what I understand, the wooden masts aren’t strung piano wire taught like the aluminum masts, so synthetic should work fine. I’ll probably use it as is for now, just replacing the backstay initially, because that’s a piece that needs to be easily adjustable.
There’s a 600′ spool of the synthetic rope on the way. I’m grateful what’s here is in such good working order. Makes the boat eminently usable now, so replacement can happen when and if I choose. And it’s very expensive stuff, both the fittings and fitting out.
For now, the 25′ mast is propped on sawhorses on the front porch. There’s soft spot that needs investigating.