Stepping the Mast

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We awoke early and excited about the days events! It was overcast and cool, better than sunny and hot for what we needed to do today. After a quick breakfast and yoga we were ready to get that mast off the boat.

While Stew dealt with the marina staff etc I prepared the cabin. Lots of stuff to move and cover incase of rain. We moved the boat to the dock for stepping… it didn’t look too sturdy. Then they lifted the mast onto the same dock…

Once all the new wiring was done and the instruments were reattached (and rebuilt – our wind direction instrument was missing some pieces) the mast was ready to be raised.

The “crane” was actually a very large metal structure right out of the middle ages. The slings were placed around the mast in two locations, then the wheels with the gears were run making such a loud grinding sound that the guys on the boat balancing the mast had to use hand signals. It was something to watch and if it were not my boat I probably would have thought it was pretty neat. Mostly I was scared that they would drop the mast!!

Once it was in the hole then Stew placed the wedge and they reattached the collar. Then the boom had to be reinstalled.

This took most of the morning and then Stew worked the rest of the afternoon on the rigging etc. I worked on reconnecting the electricity and putting the cabin back together.

After lunch Mike, the engine mechanic stopped by to help Stew with a small leak – what he thought was the stuffing box needing to be repacked. Mike took at look and determined it was a bigger issue – there is a crack in the prop pin that holds the key to the shaft in place… or something like that. We would need to be hauled out to fix it – just in the sling and Mike could fix it and back in the water we could go.

Well, this was a new wrinkle, but not a problem. We were in a full service marina… so we promptly called the marina operator and he said no problem hauling us out… but (wait for it) the mast would need to be unstepped. All I could do was laugh like a crazy person.

Obviously this was not going to be the choice we would go with. There is another marina, Rondout Basin Marina, that could haul us out with our mast up. They were about 20 miles away. But we would need to find a mechanic.

Not to worry, the marina had several they recommenced. After talking to the two that returned Stew’s phone call – they required that we be hauled our and put on the hard. UGH.

We worked it out with the Rondout Basin Marina that we would be hauled out and they would let us live on the boat for a few days on the hard. We had a mechanic lined up. All was good.

That was until we realize there was a 56′ fixed height bridge in Rondout Creek to get to the Rondout Basin Marina. Our newly stepped mast was 58′ with the instruments. But we were advised that we could probably make it if we went during low tide. Ah, but would our keel make it since we draw 6′??? But this would be our plan – tomorrow we head to Rondout Basin Marina and get hauled out – sit for a day or two on the hard and then back in the water and back on track.

By dinner we were exhausted, mostly from the anxiety of the day. We ordered a pizza from a local shop and went to bed early. I was so exhausted I forgot that it was going to rain and woke up at 3AM thinking someone was throwing buckets of water in the window. It was just pouring! Of course mast was leaking because it had not yet been calked.

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