Getting Ready to Climb the Mast for Repairs

Middle Bay Sailing blogger, Rick Bailey, found a problem high up on his mast and he’s planning how to attack the situation. Basically, he has to haul himself up the mast:

I spent an hour today figuring out exactly what I’m going to do up there, organizing supplies, tools, and procedures.

Seizing wire, spreader boots, rigging tape, ring and split pins, deck and steaming bulb, 2 halyards, 2 new blocks.
Seizing wire, spreader boots, rigging tape, ring and split pins, deck and steaming bulb, 2 halyards, 2 new blocks.
New 70′ halyards. Had to measure 4 times before I started getting the same length of line consistently. Then cut entire length (140′) in half.
New 70′ halyards. Had to measure 4 times before I started getting the same length of line consistently. Then cut entire length (140′) in half.
Essential tools. Piece of material under the pocket knife is emery cloth for polishing 12vdc light contacts.
Essential tools. Piece of material under the pocket knife is emery cloth for polishing 12vdc light contacts.
Canvas buckets to the rescue: Tool bag on left, supplies on right.
Canvas buckets to the rescue: Tool bag on left, supplies on right.

Order of Work

  • At spreaders:re-slot cap shrouds and wire/seize in place
  • install spreader boots

1.  At Steaming/Deck Light

  • Replace bulbs and test while aloft

2.  At masthead

  • Attach new blocks, tape shackles/circular retaining pins
  • Rove new line through blocks.
  • Use one new line as temporary headstay
  • Attach other new halyard to harness as safety line (another deck helper tends this line)
  • un-attach old spin halyard
  • un-attach furler/headstay and lower to deck
  • Check fit of old (original) stay to hardware for match
    • pin size conflict at stemhead leaves doubt that masthead hardware matches
  • Visually inspect all fittings

3. Descend to spreaders and inspect all fittings.

Already done

Un-attached furler from stemhead, and secured to rail.  Attached old spin halyard to bow pulpit for temporary headstay.

Rick Bailey’s story continues in the next post. To see how he got to this point, check out his previous posts.

Rick Bailey

Rick Bailey sails the Chesapeake Bay with his wife, Ruth, on a Watkins 27 coastal cruiser. Rick is retired and writes the "middlebaysailing" blog (http://middlebaysailing.wordpress.com).

rick-bailey has 25 posts and counting.See all posts by rick-bailey

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