Pulled our masts

by sarah hair Email

We pulled our masts off the boat at Playboy Marine on September 10th. The event on the whole, went fairly smoothly with only a couple gotchas popping up during the extraction process.

Bobbie, our rigger, arrived right on time and performed along with his assistant, the confusing task of loosening the rigging. The girls and I watched form a safe distance while the three men (John included) finished with the preparation work.

The first difficulty came when the crane operator had to stop and suspend the main mast as everyone realized the yard had forgotten to prepare us a space to land our masts. They were having construction work done in the area where masts are usually laid, and in the confusion of the machinery and workers, had forgotten about our lift this morning. It did take about 30 minutes of men running around finding saw horses and making a temporary landing space while the mast hung from the tip of the machine.

The second difficulty came when the mizzen mast proved to be almost balanced in weight between the top half and bottom half when hung from a harness about the spreaders. This is terrifying when watching from afar and seeing the mast raise from the deck and kick sideways, nearly falling out from the harness and landing in the canal. I can not imagine what it would be like from close up, especially for Nate, who was kicked in the head and received a decent blow with the marks to prove it.

In the end we were finished removing the masts and ready to begin working on the wiring and various fix-ups they were needing. They were laid down so hastily that the main was protruding rudely several feet over the canal, which also rendered our tasks impossible, since the access point into the mast was beyond our reach. We decided this was nothing that a six pack of beer placed in the able hands of hot and sweaty thirsty men around closing time could not fix, and we added that item to our tool list for the following day.

Avalon is now safely at Cooley's Landing again, though a little naked without her masts.

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