Seven weeks after re-launching, we have finally re-installed the mast as Island Spirit progresses through her refit. Our good friend, Carey, gave us a Silver Sand Dollar that belonged to his wife, Bobbi. We placed it under our mast along with a good luck penny from the Bahamas. With these two treasures under our mast, we are sure Island Spirit will enjoy many more years of ocean sailing and happy adventures. Thank you Carey for providing us with such a treasure to secure under our mast. You are a dear friend!
Installing a mast requires a crane operator to lift the 50 foot mast and all the rigging off the parking lot and out over the boat. With skill and experience, along with several people on the deck and down below, the crane operator lowers the mast into the deck and down into the keel. Below deck, with the mast a few feet off the keel, wires need to be pulled out of the bottom of the mast and fed through a small hole in the side of the mast. These wires are for radar, wind instrument, lights, etc. and need to be reconnected into the ship's wiring. Once the wires are led, the crane operator can then lower the mast down onto the mast base which fits over a matched raised base fitting. It is under here that our special tokens were placed and will remain as we enjoy the next decade of sailing. Stepping a mast is a big deal in the life of boat ownership. It is always exciting.
Once the mast in installed, the crane is removed and the new standing rigging wires are connected to the chain plates at the sides, the bow and the stern. These wires are tightened using turnbuckles as the rig is tuned to proper design loads. After the rig is tuned, the sails can be installed and the wiring at the base of the mast re-connected. This is the first time our rig has been removed since we first commissioned this boat in 2002.
Now it is time to shake down and test out all systems onboard. Soon, very soon, we should be ready to begin cruising again.
Here are some photos....
|Carey and Hayden on the river to test the motor...running great!|
|Lucky Bahamian Penny|
|Norseman fitting attaches the stay sail|
|The boat is a wreck with tools everywhere|
|Wiring at the base of the mast for the B&G wind instrument which steers the boat.|
|Old and new standard sheaves. The halyards run through these to raise the sails.|
|The boat is moved out of the shed ready for the crane and a mast|
|Our good luck items, Bobbi's Silver Sand Dollar and a Bahamian penny.|
|This is the mast base where the good luck tokens are placed|
|The large crane truck at Snead|
|The new mast boot being installed|
|YAHOO....the Radar came back to life after wiring|
|Radar wiring under the floor at the base of the mast|
|Two Sails installed, one more to go!|
|Hot, Sunny Florida, 75 degrees, NICE!|
If all goes will, we may be able to get out for a sail very soon....thanks for following along.....Merry Christmas everyone