Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mast Time

In the quest to get my new boat whipped into shape, it was time to go where the air is thin for a little recon work. It is known that the PO whacked the masthead on a travel lift, removing the wind vane and wind instruments. Or maybe it hapened when he dropped the mast, tearing the mast hinge from the deck. Who can say. Either way, it was time for a closer look. Yes, this could be inspected when the mast is down, but we may be moving the boat with it only out of the water for one day, so it would be nice to have the any required parts on hand.

For me, the MastMate is the way to climb. With Dave tailing a safety line (halyard) I doubt it took more than 2 minutes to reach the top, perhaps a bit less. Always roll the ladder with the steps flat and they will pop right open. 

Notice the blue EVA foam padding taped inside the leg loops of a standard climbing harness. This cheap expedient greatly improves comfort when you are up there for a while. Coated gloves improve grip on the mast and stays.

 The box for the wind instruments stripped out of the mast, but Rivnuts should take care of that.  I like the new LED anchor light. The VHF will remain unused for now, I presume, in favor of handhelds.

Note that I tie myself off at the top with a few slings and carabiners. This improves stability.

 A Davis Windex fit nicely in the VHF antenna mount. The boat previously had a crane mounted off the back for the Windex, but all evidence of it is gone. Both Practical Sailor testing (me) and market share suggest this is the best vane available.

 And of course, the obligatory pictures of the view. The slip is only wide enough for one ama to extend at a time. We will be moving to a wider slip, although folding takes only 5 minutes.

 Washington Sailing Marina, with Regan National Airport and the Potomac River in the background.


  1. Will you stay at WSM, or move back to Phipps in Deale?

  2. I think I will be back in Deale at Phipps in November. The hydrilla in the Potomac near Washington makes sailing impractical. Too bad. It is closer to home.