Monday, June 29, 2015

Stepping the Mast

Stepping the mast is one of the final stages of getting our newly-renovated sailboat back in the water. Adam removed the mast to work on her; today we put the mast back on the boat -- called "stepping."
The weather was lovely this morning -- cooler, less humidity! A high of only 86 degrees! I took an early bike ride to better appreciate this climate shift.
morning sun on the Neuse
 Later I drove Adam to the marina, where he motored the boat back to Oriental to the wildlife ramp near our house. We tied her up. He returned home with Peter to get the mast and walk it down the road on their shoulders.
 I stayed with the boat so it was not left unmanned at the ramp, which the authorities dislike.
I love just sitting in the boat, enjoying the gentle rock, just being in the boat.
 You don't have to do anything in a boat. If people see you sitting there in your boat, they assume you're up to something useful. You're boating. It doesn't matter if your boat hasn't moved out of its slip in three years.
Peter and Adam arrived with the mast and boom and all those lines and cables.
 They laid them out on the ground and sorted the situation.
 They walked everything out on the dock. Especially trying were the lazy jack lines, which were everywhere. I had to keep track of the two ends, which needed to be threaded through two pulleys on the mast top.
 Okay ... here comes the mast at last!
 The boys laid the mast along the boat.
 The mast rests solidly in the mast tabernacle -- that box on the deck that keeps it secured with pins. You can see it in the photo below, where the mast end is sitting.
 When the mast is upright, it's supported tightly in place by metal cables called shrouds and stays. The two stays secure the mast to the front and back of the boat. Four shrouds run from the upper- and mid-mast and attach to the sides of the boat deck.
 It was a three-person job, so I was relieved that Peter was there, and glad I could stay a bit to help. The mast is very heavy, especially when trying to lift it to an upright position while standing in the cockpit. Peter is wonderfully strong. It was windy and the water was choppy and unsteady for standing.
I had to leave before the job was finished, but they stepped the mast and attached the boom and tightened all the cables, and the boat got her mast back! A few jobs remain before we can sail. Adam need to finish attaching two winches. He needs to fill in lots of wooden screw holes with wood epoxy. He needs to reattach some registration/number plates on the boat. But today we got one step closer to having a SAILboat again :)


  1. You are patient people! :) Nice work, guys (and gal)!

  2. Very interesting and I know you all can hardly wait to take her back out on the water again.

    Have a nice holiday weekend ~ FlowerLady

  3. Wow! That's a good summer activity! Hard work!
    I'm glad you are sitting in the boat, swaying and loving the view.

  4. How exciting. I bet you can't wait to set sail.


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