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Mast Projects

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Mast Projects - John Martin

 It is never easy to work on mast projects, while the mast is rigged and vertical, on the boat.  It takes a capable person willing to ride the Bosun’s seat up the mast, two or three hearty souls to crank the winch, a couple of people standing on the dock, looking up, and some beer to steady the nerves.  We always seem to postpone ‘changing the anchor light bulb’ until next month.  Consider just dropping the mast and doing several mast project.  Boat yard rates are much cheaper for just a mast and no boat.  If launching a boat, you may just want to leave the mast in the boat-yard for a couple of weeks to complete important mast projects.  The following is a list of projects that can be easily accomplished while the mast is horizontal, on saw horses, in the boat yard.
                                                                

Plan the project well in advance.

Purchase the needed parts and materials well in advance.

Line up tools well in advance.

Line up able-bodied help well in advance.

 

Make an inspection of the mast and then consider the following for any mast project:

 

·        Clean

·        Repair

·        Replace

·        Remove

·        Add

·        Install New

 

Mast Projects Check List

 

Inspect and clean all light sockets

·        Anchor light

·        Fore deck light

·        Steaming light

·        Spreader lights

 

Replace light lens

 

Change all light bulb and record bulb information

 

Change from incandescent bulbs to LED

 

Inspect internal wiring

 

Add noise stopper to internal wiring

 

Install internal wire chase

 

Leave messenger line for future work

 

VHF antenna and VHF coax

 

TV antenna and TV coax

 

Radar antenna and coax

 

Ham radio antenna and coax

 

Anemometer and other masthead electronics

 

Wind vane

 

Light for wind vane (for sailing at night)

 

Cover exposed wires with UV protection

 

Masthead Sheaves

 

Mast blocks

 

Mast fittings & tangs & spreaders

 

Replace spreader boots

 

Add a halyard organizer on deck at base of mast

 

Install a pad eye on the mast at base of mast

 

Install a pad eye on the mast at top of mast

 

Trace a cross-section of the mast base

 

Measure mast length

 

Photograph all sides of masthead (put ruler in each photo)

 

Photograph other mast areas

 

Photograph all fittings

 

Install folding mast-steps near mast head (3’ – 4’ from mast head)

 

Halyards:

·        Flag halyard

·        Spare halyard

·        Spin Halyard

·        Main halyards

·        Jib halyard

·        Other halyards

 

Check deck area for water damage, below mast step

 

Add track/fittings for spinnaker pole

 

Install lazy-jacks

 

The mast it self – Clean, wax, repair

 

Sail track – clean and lubricate

 

 

SSC/JM/Atlanta/Sept 2012

 

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