Friday, October 5, 2012

Pulling the stick

Ten days here and we're in the tick of a refit.  Sanding the teak, changing out a cable, grinding a rusty anchor, trying out LED lights and most of all, replacing the standing rigging.  We've had two trips to San Diego to the rigger and took two batches of wire rigging to the rigger for replacement.  We're about halfway done with the rigging working our way up the mast. 

Trouble has arrived, though.  The big stays (forestay, backstay, and upper shrouds) terminate at the mast head.  It looks like to access those connections we'll have to remove the mast cap and this is a difficult thing to do when hoisted 50 ft off the deck and when the very thing that is hoisting you is the thing you are removing.  Add a dose of salt water corrosion and yes we have a problem.

When I consulted with Ed, the San Diego rigger, he gave me this sad look then reluctantly said, " I hate to say this but you are gonna have to pull the stick."  That means the mast has to come off the boat.

In a way it is a relief because I'd certainly rather be on the ground trying to get that mast cap off then up in the air, but what's not good is the hit to the schedule.  I just checked with Baja Naval here in town ( the boatyard who can pull the mast out for me) and they are pretty well booked for the month of October.  This month is the busy month here as everyone is doing last minute repairs before heading south on November 1st when hurricane season ends. 

With every challenge comes an opportunity.  If we pull the stick then we can clean it up and get everything connected with the mast working properly:

Fix steaming light
Lubricate squeeking sheaves
Install new mast collar at deck level
Seal the mast to deck fitting which leaks now
Renovate the roller furler
Fix the wind speed and direction indicator
Replace bulbs with LEDs

I swear we will not get stuck here as happens to many people.  We WILL go south this winter.

But, hey... gotta go.  It is time for lunch, then some little projects, then fish on the grill.  It's all good!

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