Gettin’ the stick up.

We hauled Helacious at Spry Marine, a yard not far from our marina where we could engage in DIY work unimpeded. On the agenda were 1. raise the waterline 3” 2. Re-pitch the prop by 400 rpms 3. Assemble and raise the mast

1 and 2 were quite easy. #3 took a bit of work. Selden provided 5 nice Spinlock rope clutches, 5 cleats and winch pads for both sides of the mast, plus one for the aft side. The mast head gear needed to be installed, including the VHF antenna, Maretron solid state wind instrument, and tricolor anchor light. The spreaders were prepared with flag halyard blocks, flood lights (AquaSignal LED).  Running rigging had to be led through the mast to the correct exit points. Oh , yeah, mice had chewed through the nice neat messenger lines that Selden had run, so we had to figure out how to run 6 lines with 2 messengers ( tricky). I chose New England VPC (vectran parallel core) for the main halyard and the Furlex halyard, and stuck with Samson LST ( polyester doublebraid) for the remainder.

Chris Rooke (Rooke Sails Memphis) and his assistant Boyd arrived right on time with the boom truck. Chris has handled hundreds of masts but when he saw ours he was a little taken aback. “That’s a stout spar” he exclaimed. Well, we don’t want it to bend in the wind, do we?

After organizing and lashing the  shrouds (they were super-easy to install - thanks Selden for a very well designed system) and finding the best balance point, right at the steaming light it turned out, Chris gently lifted the spar up to the deck where Boyd and I wrestled it onto the notched base. We had attached 4 temporary lines to stabilize it and these, along with several of the halyards were used to tweak the mast to a plumb vertical position.

The lower shroud fittings are Sta-Lok studs running into Selden chromed bronze turnbuckles, which I had installed the evening before. As predicted, the first one took an hour to install, the 2nd one took 30 minutes, and the 4th -14th took about 10 minutes each.

We lubricated the Sta Lok stud threads with Lanocote and they seemed very happy, not galling at all. The Sta-Lok compression nut was filled with clear silicon with red loctite on the threads. All cotter pins were opened the Olin Stephen - specified 20˙. I went up the ladder on the crane to measure the forestay pin to pin distance (57’-1-3/4” / 17,418mm) in preparation for installing the Furlex jib furler, which we will do at the dock. I also tightened the spreader ends onto the cables.

Now she’s starting to look like a sailboat. Soon she’ll have some nice crisp sails and will feel the wind urging her along. Soon, my dear, soon.