We've sailed Solara with giant kites all summer. It's been a hoot. Now we're going to put a new (to us) mast on it. We'll rig it so we can use either kites or sails.
Episode 13 - how perfect? We're all scared to death about this task.
Many thanks to Pete, Gus, Victor, Kenny, Joanna, Effie, and everyone else who helped -
you should all be collaborators on this instructable if you aren't already. please add photos and add/edit the text.
continues the Free Yacht saga
Here's the table of contents of the whole thing:
Chapter 1: How to Get a Free Yacht
Chapter 2: Maiden Voyage of the Free Yacht
Chapter 3: Fix Broken Stix and other Trix
Chapter 4: Outboard Motor Mutilates Foot
Chapter 5: It's sinking and it's on Fire.
Chapter 6: How To Give Away a Free Yacht
Chapter 7: Get an Even Better One and Fabulize it.
Chapter 8: Celebrate Freedom
Chapter 9: Technicolor Dreamboat
Chapter 10: Privateer Knot
Chapter 11: Dismasted!
Chapter 12: Kiteboat!
Chapter 13: Mast Raising
photo note: This first photo is mirrored so the "featured" banner won't obscure the mast it in case this ible gets featured.
Step 1: Dig for Hardware and Pre Rig
Here's the hinged pivoting step for the mast. I thought we'd have to make one from scratch, but digging in the junkpile, there was a gizmo that had some of the the parts we needed.. all of them.. In fact, we could actually just use it... because oh yeah, it must have come off this mast and is the missing part. Big relief - but what do I do with all this caffeine and gumption in my bloodstream? Proceed, I guess.
I went to the chandlery to buy some hardware to connect them to the mast. That last photo is how the three stays connect to the rotating mast on a hobie 18. What we have is a scaled-up version of that.
Victor measured Solara, I measured the mast and the boat it came off of. I dug through the pile of rigging to find three stainless cables that were about right.
We've been collecting gear for the re-masting ever since the night the old one fell. Most important is the excellent mast itself, a gift from a friend. Our dock neighbor Alex gave us a nice pile of stainless cables.
Fiday night Victor, Kenny, Brie, Gus, Rebecca and I got together to prepare stuff. We burned scrapwood in Mr.Fireface and had a good time. Trigonometry ensued. What length of cables would we need? Victor and Kenny waterjetted chainplates.
Step 2: From Yard to Marina
The saturday of the raising came. Gus was there bright and early to help load the ugly truckling.
What could we possibly need? A lot of stuff.
We filled the truck with everything we could think of.
The mast overhung fore and aft a long way. I felt like I was driving a tank.
There were some tricky freeways and bad traffic between here and the marina.
Surprisingly I had no trouble merging in. It's as if the other vehicles didn't want to be anywhere near me.
Step 3: From Truck to Boat
Victor met me at the Marina. We pretended we could lift the mast all by ourselves. It's 40 feet long and weighs a lot. We picked it up and carried it to Solara. Going around the corners on the crowded docks was tricky, but we got help from people who didn't want us to hurt their boats.
We lugged the other might-be-usefuls to the boat in a couple of wheelbarrows.
Step 4: A Big Step
The other captains started showing up with food, drink, and a festive mood.
We used a drill with a hole saw to make the initial incision. But guess what we found under the first layer of stainless steel? A layer of wood. And under that? More wood. And more wood under that.
Pete and Joanna put a lot of work and ingenuity into carving into the old mast step and fitting the new one into it.
Step 5: Competing With China
The plan is to attach a mast rest bracket on the mizzen mast.
When we lean the mainmast back it will rest on this bracket. First we need a ladder up the mizzen mast. We don't have a ladder long enough so we lash a couple of ladders together with innertube.
Pretty impressive you say? Awesome ingenuity and industrial competence?
Check out this photo I shot in Putien City, Fujian province China. Three bamboo ladders lashed together so a guy can weld over his head with one hand hanging on.
Wake up America. If you want to compete with China, you're going to have to try really hard.
Step 6: Testing the Mast Bracket
Eric Makes sure the bracket is strong enough for unintended uses. Science says that at the moment it appears to be strong enough for this use...
Don't worry instructables users, he's a lot more careful with your data than he is with his life.
Step 7: Iwo Jima!
Gus and Victor sorted out halyards and blocks and threaded new halyards through the mast without losing any ends. We have three new halyards. A mainsail halyard, a jib halyard and a spinnaker halyard.
After a lot of other hassling and preparations it was time to step the mast. We carried the mast onto the boat and fit the new mast step into the socket we'd just carved in the old step. "IWO JIMA!" we yelled. "MOUNT SURIBACHI!!!" We raised the mast up onto the bracket on the mizzenmast.
Eric tied it in place with an innertube.
Step 8: Raising!
A committee of captains devised an ingenious system of running stays using the three new halyards. Pete pulled the trucker's hitch on the forestay and stood on the base to keep it from popping out of the step. Kenny and Victor manned the running side stays, and the rest of us labored and scampered and did what was necessary.
The mast rose up, nothing bad happened, and Solara has a new mast, standing tall!
The halyard "stays" hold it up so we can keep the steel stays slack and work on attaching them to the hull. As you can see in the 2nd photo, there are six lines holding up the mast. The outer lines are the three halyards which actually hold the mast up. The three inner ones are the stainless steel cable stays that are slack so we can work on them. There are also two diamond stays, one on each side of the mast. They rotate with the mast and need no further work or adjustment.
The new mast rotates very freely on the step. That pivoting step is a very good design.
The mast looks and feels so excellent we feel like we should upgrade everything else. We spontaneously start cleaning up the rest of the boat. Maybe time to get a haircut and maybe some white pants...