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Project Log:  Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reassembling spars and rigging is one of those jobs that can seem to stretch on interminably, all the more so when one has weeks away from the project to exacerbate what was already a lengthy process.  I began mast reassembly back in April 2014, though I'd hardly worked often or consistently since then. 

Though there was no immediate need for the masts, it was time to finish up the assembly and rigging work and knock this off the list and clear my conscience as well as my tool cart.  Though a few unknowns remained with placement of halyard winches and cleats (which I'd do later), I hoped to otherwise finish the reassembly on both masts and be done with them for the most part.  I'd completed the hardware and wiring work on the mainmast, but had just started the mizzen when I left off last time.

First, though, I had one small chore on the mainmast.  During my trial sail fitting some time earlier, I'd noted how the sail slide installation slot--now the only one accessible for the sail thanks to the new permanent gooseneck--was too small for the long cars required at the track end of the full battens.
Photo from April 25, 2014
Using the longer lower opening as a guide, I marked an extension on the upper slot, then cut off the lower section with a Dremel tool.  Some people seem enamored of Dremel tools; I am not one of them, but in this instance it did the trick where nothing else could.  This doubled the length of the original slot and would provide ample room for the sail slides.  Later I installed the slide stop in that threaded hole nearby.


Planning ahead for lazy jacks, I installed a pair of small cheek blocks on the spar, about 48" above the spreaders.  I'd worry about the rest of the system another time.


Next door on the mizzen mast, I reinstalled the sheaves at the top of the mast.  I liked the installation system for the sheaves on both spars, which featured a simple stud held in place with external cover plates, making for easy removal or installation.


There wasn't much hardware on the mizzen:  for now, about all I could install was the tang for the triatic stay (which ran from the top of the mainmast, through a sheave at the top of the mizzen, and down to pilothouse-height for ease of connection and adjustment) and the nearby tang for the mainsheet connection.  Because these pieces had originally been riveted in place, in order to reuse the same locations and holes I had to increase the size of the fasteners to 5/16", larger than I would have liked but OK enough in the end.  For this and other hardware, I followed my usual protocol of tapped holes in the spar, with Tef-Gel on the fasteners.  I'd figure out the mizzen halyard winch and cleat (and whatever else might be needed) later.

Next, I installed the radome mount, which I'd recycled from the original setup, though I'd painted it some time earlier.  I installed this with 1/4" machine screws at each of the four mounting locations.  I temporarily installed the mount itself, but removed it for more convenient storage till later.  It just bolted in place with four bolts through the mast bases.  I had an adapter plate to allow me to fit the Simrad radome to this mount (originally for Raymarine...actually Raytheon, which dated the mount), but I wasn't ready to install that yet.  (Well, actually I was more than ready to install it and be done, but it didn't make sense at this particular time, with a long winter's storage ahead.)


Now I turned to the mizzen rigging, starting with the small tubular spreaders and their fixed stays, which acted like jumper stays in a way, as they simply stiffened the mast along its own column and didn't have attachment points on the boat.  I reinstalled the spreaders and their rigging now just to be done with it, even knowing that the projecting spreaders and stays would probably irritate me when it came time to store the mast for the winter.  So be it...fewer jobs to be done later.  This had all dragged on long enough, and I was interested to note from my rigging labels that it had been four years nearly to the date that I first removed the rigging from these spars. At least a year too long.

I wrapped up mizzen work by installing the remaining shrouds:  a pair leading off the tang at the mast head.  I secured the stays along the mast with plastic wire ties for safekeeping.


Finally, I installed the stays on the mainmast, glad to finally remove these from storage in my shop and have the spars more or less ready to step whenever I was.  Soon, I'd wrap up the spars and move them to my storage area.


Total Time Today:  3.75 hours

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