Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 2, 2011.

Someone wrote and asked about “building” a mast. Since I had yet another boat show mast to get ready I snapped a few pictures.

This mast is going to be stepped on a Jeanneau 43 footer.
Once the boat arrived here it went straight into the big tent to be painted. The mast arrives in a long PVC shipping tube.
The standing and running rig are all rolled up and crammed into the cockpit lazarrettes on the boat along with the annometer and the lights. The foils and the rest of the roller furler assembly are usually found down below in the main salon.

The yard uses a crane to pull the mast out of the tube and to put it up on saw horses. I try to gather up all the crap I'm gonna need before I get started. The first thing I like to do is to install one spreader on the mast to make it a little more stable to work on.

With the mast stable and laying face up I install the radars cable. This mast arrived with a hole drilled in the face of the mast and a small “messenger” line in place. I'm supposed to take the messenger line, tape and tie it to the cable and then in theory I should be able to pull the cable gently through the mast down to the foot of the mast.

Predictably it wasn't to be as simple as it could have been (it rarely is). The radar and its cable are shipped here with the boat.
They know how big the cable is but when they drilled the hole in the mast they made it too small for the wire to pass through. So now I have to push the messenger line back into the mast so I can re-drill the hole to an appropriate size to accept the cable. Then I have to go fishing around inside the mast to find the messenger line to once again pull it back up through the hole. If they're gonna drill the hole in the first place why not use an appropriate sized bit. Its a simple enough fix but 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there start to add up. I'm not sure if they don't think it through or if they just don't give a shit but it could all go so much smoother with very little effort.

After the cable is in place I install the mount and then the radar. After that I mount and wire the deck/ steaming light. While the mast is still basically a stick I run the genoa and main halyards along with the topping lift and the spinnaker halyard.

After that I start on the masthead crappola. This usually involves pulling several different wires down through the length of the mast. This mast needs an anchor light, a VHF antenna, the annometer, a windex and of course a television antenna. This style tv antenna is one of my favorites.
It works well and it gives the birds plenty of room to sit at your masthead while they take their morning dump all over your boat.

After the masthead is done I roll the mast over so the radar is hanging down. Then I install the rest of the spreaders followed by the upper and lower shrouds. Then I unroll a 60 foot strip of carpet to lay the roller furler on during assembly. Once the furler is ready I connect the top of the headstay to the mast.
Then the backstay is connected. If there’s any bullshit like burgee halyards I install the blocks on the spreaders now. The last thing I do is to check all the lights on the mast with a 12 volt battery to see that everything works as it should.

Reading back on this it all seems pretty simple. All the little tedious things like drilling holes, tapping holes and soldering cable ends adds up and I spend between 7 and 10 hours getting each mast ready to stand.
The timing worked out perfectly as the mast was ready to stand immediately after the newly painted boat was pulled out into the light of day.


Sabrina and Tom said...

Is that America's Cup Blue - ASA Dennis Conner Stars and Stripes blue? Spectacular color. I don't know what the upkeep is but simply gorgeous color. Really enjoying the posting on all the pre-boatshow prep.

s/v Honey Ryder Caliber 40 LRC

S/V Veranda said...

Your "paint" eye is finely tuned. It is Stars & Stripes blue. It really came out nice. It looks spectacular especially after all the previous dark blue hulls.(Annapolis Camoflage).