Sunday, December 20, 2015

Getting it up

The new Topping lift that I purchased a few months ago in anticipation of my next mast climb was installed this week, but only to break when under strain! Grrrr.

I ordered a new topping lift wire, it goes from the mast head to the aft end of the boom and holds the boom up when the sail is stowed. So today, I climbed the mast with the safety assistance of the neighbor (Don) that lives opposite where we keep the boat.

Climbing he mast is a process! This time, I used the bosuns chair that I found on the boat and a home made harness and some rock climbing techniques to get up the mast.

Don acted as a safety while I was climbing the Main Halyard using a pair of Prusik knots for my foot harness and bosun's chair harness, with a 1st safety Prusik knot secured to the bosuns chair and the running safety line being maintained by Don. It's seemed to take a while to climb the mast, probably 15 to 20 minutes, but I was able to get within reaching distance of the mast head and install the new topping lift.

Once the wire was installed at the masthead, it was time to descend. It was actually easier than I expected, just had to figure out the maximum I could descend each transition from sitting with my weight in the bosuns chair to standing in the foot harness.

Safely back on deck, I thanked Don, just having him there helped. Now it was time to connect the topping lift wire to the block and tackle on the back of the boom. Arrrrgh! The wire was too long! The riggers had made it 42 feet instead of the prescribed 38 feet!

To get it adjusted would require that I climb the mast again to disconnect it from the mast head and again to put it back! It's not easy climbing the mast, not a bid deal, but it takes a lot of effort to lift my 180lbs 46+ feet up the mast.

After discussing it with the rigger, I purchased a swage tool and swage ferrules with the intent of shortening the wire without having to climb the mast again.

After an hours work, I finally completed the task, the wire was now 4' shorter and the block and tackle on the boom fit great! Phew!

With the boom topping lift installed, cross another thing off the ToDo list in preparation for our sail on Christmas day. - Of course the weather has some say on that, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.

See you on the water.