Yesterday evening we put the mast back in; about 5 weeks later than originally planned, but such is the way of boat refit
I slept well last night.
We sanded back the mast to bare aluminium, and painted 3 coats of etch primer. We actually paid a professional to spray paint
the 2-pack high-build undercoat and 2-pack topcoat, but we paid for all the paint
and did the sanding
between coats and he charged only for his labour, so it was not too expensive. The paint job cam up great; we are competely satisfied
I also replaced all the halyard sheaves. the old ones were worn out (the bronze bushes were completely worn away) and wer actually profiled for wire, not rope
. The only wire halyard left on the boat was the main halyard, which I have now replaced with 11mm Vectran. The new halyard sheaves are harken
ball bearing sheaves (yummy), which I bought, from Texas
, incuding freight, for about half what the local chandlery
quoted. I also had to make new sheave pins. The old ones were, in my opinion, too small (3/8") so I bought sheaves for 1/2" pins. I made the pins with 1/2" 316 rod and 3mm plate, which I cut bent and shaped myself, although I got a welder to do the tricky TIG welding for me. The new sheaves and pins work beautifully. I also had to replace the sheave fitting for the spinnaker topping lift
, which was completely knackered. The new one (harken micro) is great, lthough I had to go for a thinner topping lift
(am now using 1/4" Kevlar, which I spliced and whipped myself; yay).
We completely rewired the mast too, and replaced the VHF
aerial. I had a set of NASA Clipper wind
instruments to install at the masthead, which I did, with a bracket made froma piece of 80 x 80mm aluminium angle and a couple of pipe clamps. I also bought a new steaming light / deck light combo and installed that with a couple of brackets that I bent out of 2"x5/32" aluminium flat bar.
The mast rigger we consulted advised us to replace our standing rigging... not that there was anything wrong witht he old stuff, but it was old (about 1993 vintage, we think) such that our insurers probably owuldn't have paid up if the stick had fallen over... so new 1x19 stainless forestay and shrouds (capshrouds, intermediates & lowers) were purchased and fitted. I had replaced the backstay when I bought the boat, so it is fine. I also took the opportuntiy to replace the old steel
runners and checkstays with rope
(3/8" Vectran for the runners, 1/4" vectran for the checkstays).
Apart from the new main halyard and topping lift, while we had all the halyards out, I spliced and whipped all the other halyards - i.e. standard double braid splices for the spinnaker halyards, core
splices for the Spectra headsail halyards & topping lift and coreless splices at the bitter ends of all.
Lisa made some beautiful leather covers for the spreader ends. She soaked the leather and then moulded it to shape on the spreaders and bandaged it in place until it dried, which gave a really good fit - the leather was about 5mm thick, so it was a bitch to sew, even having drilled each sewing hole with a 1/16" drill, you still needed a sailmakers palm and a pair of pliers for every single
stitch (and she broke or bent several large sailmakers needles in the process. But they look/work really well.
I drilled out the holes where the goose-neck and vang collar fitted onto the mast and tapped in new helicoil inserts. The old threads were quite worn so the bolts "rattled" in the threads a bit - not ideal for these important fittings. With the helicoil inserts, the bolts screw in beautifully and are stronger too.
We pulled out the 2-part collar where the mast goes through the deck. It was so corroded where the stainless bolts went through that we snapped the lower part of the collar in 5 places getting it out. I measured up for a new one and got it cut from 5083 plate (whichis probably stronger than the original casting). We sanded and painted both parts
and they came up a treat.
We polished up all the various stainless fittings (bench-grinder polishing wheel
and/or cream scourer and Alushine).
We had a real sense of satisfaction last night, having a couple of cold brewskis on deck after getting the mast in and roughly tensioning the shrouds & forestay (we will get a rigger to help us with the fine tuning. It has been a hard couple of months work... sometimes working until 1:30am (I get up at 6:00am) weeknights, and all weekends. But we are pretty proud of what we have managed, mostly ourselves.
Still, no time to sit back and sniff the roses... the head