July 11, 2011-Wings' Mast is Re-stepped
wingssail images-judy jensen
Mast coming back aboard
Samual, the crane operator waved his finger from side to side, “No no, can’t do.”
I ducked out of the tangle of shrouds and spreaders and walked across the lawn to his cab.
“Too far away,” he said. There were alarms were going off in the cab. The computer wouldn’t allow the lift I was asking for.
His company put the mast down on the lawn in June and now they were saying they couldn’t pick it back up. It was the consequence of using a smaller crane (the 20 ton crane was not available) and my having moved the mast a few feet since they last put it down. Shit.
I looked at Uli and Mike and Saheele.
“Can you guys help me move this mast a few feet that way?”
They nodded and so the four of us picked up the mast and moved it a couple of meters. Now the crane’s hook could reach the lifting sling and from that point on the job went smoothly. Fifteen minutes later the mast butt slid down through the partners and seated on the step with a slight thump; a sweeter sound I have not heard.
We attached a couple of shrouds, and the backstay and forestay, and Judy went up to untie the sling which stubbornly would not slide down to the deck, and the job was done.
The mast is back on board Wings and we are a sailboat again.
That is not to say we don’t still have projects to do. There are plenty. We’ve got to re-rig the mast, install the boom and new boom vang (due here this week from Southern Spars) and the SSB radio is still an outstanding problem and there are some sewing projects. And yeah, there are some more cosmetic things to do as well like R & R the bow hatch and the tiller, etc. But all of this should be no sweat compared to the major stuff we just completed, with the keel bolt plates, mast step, and all the mast work we did. This wraps up the long, phase by phase, project we started in Thailand in 2009.
It all feels pretty good right now.
Click here to see the other photos of this operation.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Richards Bay, SA