Mast Refit (part 3)

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patentnick
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:51 am

Mast Refit (part 3)

Post by patentnick » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:19 pm

With the forestay fittings finished and the parcel containing the mast steps finally here, it was time to start drilling the 60 holes required for the installation. I chose to install aluminium folding steps by Mast Walker, since they combined light weight, strength and aesthetics. The top two steps are of a fixed, closed-loop design, made out of stainless steel, and provide a very secure foothold when working at the masthead. On average, a distance of 40-45cm is recommended between each step. Of course, this will vary according to the existing mast fittings, so in some cases you may have to be a little flexible. As the crosstrees provide a foothold by themselves, I measured the distance from the crosstrees to the main halyard winch (my first “step”) and again from the crosstrees to about 140cm from the masthead. The latter would give me a comfortable position to work on the various masthead fittings, plus VHF aerial, wind indicators, anchor light, etc. The mast steps can either be riveted or screwed to the mast. I chose to do the latter, which required first drilling with a 5mm bit, then tapping with a tap for 6mm machine screws. The holes on the mast—as well as the ones on the aluminium steps—were coated with Duralac, an anti-corrosion paste which also acts as a medium-strength thread-locker.

All in all, I’m really happy with the results. In fact, I got to try out the mast steps on the day the mast was refitted to the boat; I climbed up to install the wind indicator for my wireless instrument, since the crane operator wanted it removed before lifting the mast.

Nicholas
Attachments
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A Mast Walker mast step complete with application of Duralac on the holes.
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Mast steps can be disassembled, making the marking for the holes on the mast easier.
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Holes for mast steps drilled and tapped.
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Baby-oiled mast with rigging attached waits for the crane.
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Moments of Clarity awaits reunion with her mast after a two-month separation.
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Shiny mast with all the new bits, set against an unusually--even for Greeks--blue winter sky.
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Last edited by patentnick on Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
Nicholas Koligiannis
Moments of Clarity
Hull No. 334

MarkRyan1981
Posts: 158
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:47 am

Re: Mast Refit (part 3)

Post by MarkRyan1981 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:21 pm

Great effort Nicholas, thanks for posting it.

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prjacobs
Posts: 226
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Re: Mast Refit (part 3)

Post by prjacobs » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:32 pm

Awesome job, Nic. Thanks for the detailed info and great pictures.
I have a set of aluminum mast steps right at the top, and use a MasteMate to get up there, which is a satisfactory arrangement for the type of sailing I do. The aluminum steps, over time, become a little hard to unfold, but nothing that a gentle tap with a plastic mallet won't cure.
When I rebuilt No.1085 my galvanized beams were in good shape too, but because the new bulkheads were slightly thicker 1/4" had to be shaved off the ends and re-welded.
Anyway, you should have no rig concerns for a long time to come!

patentnick
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Mast Refit (part 3)

Post by patentnick » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:45 pm

Thanks for your kind comments guys.

I used to climb the mast with a 50m length of rope running through a 4:1 block-and-tackle, plus a climber's harness and ascenders/descenders. It was safe and, once aloft, quite comfortable but took some time to set up. Now, using the same harness and the ascenders/descenders gripping the spare genoa halyard, I can climb up really quickly. I liked the Mast Mate but due to the fact that I have a special track for roller-bearing mainsail cars, it wasn't an option.

Nicholas
Nicholas Koligiannis
Moments of Clarity
Hull No. 334

Newanusca
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:52 am

Re: Mast Refit (part 3)

Post by Newanusca » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:12 am

Very interesting Nicolas. I see that you are very precise and you like to do things very well. What has surprised me is the state of the components after so many years. The philosophy of those years was to do things well for a long time.

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