Sunday, June 2, 2013

Raising a mast...

'Its up', said the bishop to the actress; phew...  

Generally all went well; well...i mean, it went up.  I remember pushing Star Shells' mast up with a bear of a friend of mine once. It went up too, but god know's how.

So our principle problem was that we'd prepared the mast the wrong way round, front to back.  Easily resolved by turning the mast through 180 degrees.  

This roll Ruth found most alarming, not being yet accustomed to our mast bending so much, since all the weight was being taken in one place.  

Now done, the ropes for steadying the mast whilst it was to be lowered were the wrong way round.   As were the ropes for securing once in place, as, was for that matter, everything! 

I had spent hours detailing this little assortment of lines to avoid the snakes picnic that ensued.  Let it be known that in this yard masts are suspended from the fore; that means the choker loops around the mainsail track. Even if its been flown from England and looks so beautiful that one wouldn't be naturally inclined to load the masts' entire weight upon one portion of it.

Problem one surmounted; turn through 180 degrees.  The next wee deposit of strife was our copper sulphate solution; wood preserver.  

This poured out of the lower portion when the mast was upright. We'd poured it in a week prior and had been rotating the mast periodically to encourage it to soak around.  We had not however anticipated that it would still be present and would pour out all over poor Jose' as we moved the mast.  It got out through a gap next to the wire conduit and accounts for any green splatters you may see on any subsequent photos.

We walked it across the yard with our willing helpers along with the crane without incident and then...

Does the mast fit in the hole?  Regardless of its propensity to ooze green goo everywhere... Not quite.  We had padded the mast too well.  Like a fat father Christmas we had to shed a layer before the mast would slip down its proverbial chimney.  So slide down it did, the base located easily and did NOT destroy anything in its path.  Now to secure....

The mast coming indoors to stay...

Ok this is an opinion, but here in the States things cost by the hour or multiples there of.  So if; like us, you think you'll use an hour, thats cool, right???  Not quite, they get bored quick and then give you looks like 'shouldn't this have only taken twenty minutes.... '  

No is our perceived wisdom as we scatter around our boat picking up the pieces of Medussa's ultimate bad hair day... remember our mast is new, as are our wires. The only way to be sure of the length is to cut the length in place.  We were reasonably confident of our maths but did not want to be wrong...

So the crane guys were itching to go and as soon as enough ropes had been secured sufficiently, we de-craned the mast.  We wanted not to be hurried when it came to wire chopping time.  All is good; it stays up! 
The next trick is to remove the crane from the mast.  We'd originally put a rope on the crane hook and the choker for just this problem however during the move someone had seen fit to remove these.  A ladder came in handy for this but a less rusty one that did not jump would have been preferable.

With the crane gone we could relax a little.  Thats' code for 'time for a beer'.   The mechanical ends went on in only slightly more time than all the ropes were tensioned.  Angle grinders whirring and sparks flying.

Before long my third beer soothed the final application of hi-mod fittings and we were ready to move.  Remember beers here are small; we're talking less than a proper pint (for all three).  Those of you who know Ruth and I will appreciate, that's quick.

Oh I forgot there was a third problem, or was it fourth.. the roller furling slipped off the forestay during the lifting process despite being supposedly secured with a rope.  Actually this was a blessing.  We were then able to tweak the length of the roller furling more accurately once we had a definite length for the forestay and it wasn't too bigger deal to fit it retrospectively. 

This is our homemade high tech bosuns' chair complete with lots of tool retaining strings.

Finally, Ruth having gallantly scaled the mast three times (she actually likes it!) we have roller furling and all stays and shrouds. 

What we also have is a beautiful mast.  Really beautiful.


tom capella247 said...

looks amazing!

Keith said...

She is Gorgeous! Well done.