Don’t ever take your mast down

So, we’ve been here in Annapolis for two weeks, and while I’d been optimistic that we’d have left right around now to head for Nantucket, it’s not in the cards – mainly, because we took our mast down.

Why in heavens would one do that, you ask?  Well, it all started when our new friend Collin of CL Rigging came by to do an inspection of our rigging.  It all started when we got in touch with him to run our mainsail halyard back to the helm, so that we can raise and lower our mainsail without having to go forward – important when you’re in high winds and rough seas, as every time Brian goes up in those conditions, I pretty much want to throw up from nerves.  However, Collin suggested that it would be a good idea to give everything a thorough once-over, so we agreed he should do so.

At the end of the day, he recommended that we replace our shrouds and some of our other hardware, and once we got over the sticker shock (and ran his proposal by some folks, who agreed that what he was recommending was a good idea), we gave him the go-ahead.

Scary enough pulling in forward...could we back out?  Yes we could!

Scary enough pulling in forward…could we back out? Yes we could!

So, a few days later, after we spent time obsessing about how we were going to get out of our slip at the docks (narrow, you see), we backed ourselves out of the marina and motored on over to Annapolis proper and Jabin’s Yacht Yard to have our mast taken off the boat.






It was a pretty cool thing to see, as they brought a crane over, hooked the mast on to it, and POP!  It was off!  The whole thing was done in about 30 minutes, and we motored our new “power cat” back over to South River, as we amazed at how differently the boat handled without a mast.  Yes, we said to each other more than once that maybe we should just get some souped up engines and leave her as a powerboat.

























This is not supposed to be open.
This is not supposed to be open.

Later that day, we got this picture of one of our sheaves. That’s supposed to be perfectly round and closed. Not a good sign of things to come…











The next day, we headed over to the yard with our friends Shannan and Leigh from Blue Dog, as Shannan was curious to see what was going on and thought about having Collin come by to look at his rigging.  As we looked at poor Maisie the Mast, laying dejectedly on her side, we got a better look at other things that were not in the best of shape:  The track and cars on the mast (what the sail attaches to in order to go up and down).  Our jib furler.  That nasty looking sheave for the topping lift.  It all added up to explaining why we’d had some issues raising the mainsail all the way up, and it meant a LOT MORE MONEY.

The bottom line was that while some things absolutely needed to be done, all the other things, which would probably keep working for the next few years, would keep haunting us and probably fail, spectacularly, when we were offshore in bad weather, as that’s how those things happen.  So, we took a deep breath and opened the checkbook, and started researching where we could sell a kidney.

The upside of all this is that we will have a great, spiffy, super dependable rig that will last for a very long time, keeping us safe at sea.  Also, we’re delving into projects like learning to change the oil and hooking up some of our electronics ourselves – things we were going to hire someone to help us with, but now that the budget is blown, we’ve got to cut costs somewhere.  The downside is that we’ll be here at Edgewater for another 3 weeks or so, delaying our arrival in Nantucket until the beginning of July – not to mention that our cruising kitty is now quite a bit lighter.

However, we’ve decided to hire crew and do a direct sail from here to there, which will shave about 8 days off of the trip and give us some more offshore experience – considering that there is NO WAY we’re doing the ICW all the way south in the fall, we can use all the experience we can get!

  1. why not do the ICW? just planning on part of it? … or will depend on the weather?
    you do remember the old saying “A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money.” … sorry bout your new found poverty!!! but after years of being nuveau poor one does adjust …
    you guys are doing so well with developing your sailing skills and realizing your limits!! … GO YOU!!! … and the limits are becoming fewer and fewer!!
    help Alan with the TV!!! … talk about navigating unfamiliar waters!!! ha ha ha!!!

  2. Great blog! Taking the mast out is scary…we did it once. Make sure you put a coin under the mast when they re-step it for good luck!

    Jabins was our home port for many years. We’ve sailed from Annapolis to Bahamas 3 times and visited Maine last summer for the first time. Currently, we’re resettling in Vero Beach and hope to sail to the Bahamas next winter. Check out my blog for some tips!

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