This afternoon, we dodged showers and headed to EDYC to drop the mast. This was for two reasons, firstly, to get a good look at the mast, the shrouds and fittings and secondly, to reduce windage while the boat is on its trailer over the winter.
The mast is big – very big! The top of the mast was about 18 or 19 metres above ground level and during winter storms, this would be a lot of potential windage. At best, this puts a lot of strain on the mast and fittings, or, it can lead to damage through the boat rocking on its yard trailer, or even worse.
The process was pretty straightforward:
- we took off the boom, halyards and other lines led from the base of the mast, including all electrical connections
- We undid the lower inners, the inner forestay, and loosened the cap shrouds
- attached a sling, which was lifted to just below the spreaders and secured, with the crane taking up the weight of the mast
- Undid the forestay, backstay and caps
- Removed the boot and all of the wedges at deck level.
- Craned the mast out, lowering it to the ground
The next stage will be to remove all of the fittings, shrouds, spreaders and some of the winches, which need to be serviced. I will replace some of the halyards and may replace the VHF, TV ariel and mast head light cables – they look pretty old and the connections aren’t great. I also need to put a cover over the boat, so I can get started on some work!
I feel a lot happier that the mast is off – unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the process, but you can see from the picture above, how big it is – spot the chair to the left of the mast! I will get more pictures at the weekend, weather permitting.