One thing we really wanted to do for a while is to replace the winch for the main halyard. Before it was a wire halyard fixed onto the old winch, which meant that the winch only could be used for the main halyard. That has been an issue for us when we have tried hoisting the staysail, as we have had to do that by hand and therefore not been able to get it up properly. It has also been a bit slow hoisting the main sail, as you have to use the winch all the way.
We also chose to make a hole in the mast to let the halyard for the staysail and the topping lift go inside the mast instead of outside. The halyards for the main sail and the headsail are already inside the mast. As we have the mast steps it easy for ropes to get tangled around them and by being inside the mast, some parts of the halyard will get some weather protection. We made the cut in the mast as far away as possible from the other outlets for halyards to not weaken the mast too much.
After we’ve done the outlets it was time to climb up in the mast. We used a fishing line with a weight on, and when the weight was at the bottom we sewed the fishing line onto the rope. The weight and rope both gut stuck at some places but by shaking the mast a bit it managed to get down.
Now we can’t wait to try sail, but a proper sail is quite far away for us. By the end of May we plan to haul out and go over the bottom, maybe we can take a short sail to the boatyard, but a longer sail will have to wait.
Last weekend we didn’t only work with the fresh water system (see previous post). We also worked a with fixing a mast track gate on the main mast, continued with the electrical system and other small jobs.
One thing we wanted to fix was an opening we had in the track on the main mast. The opening used when removing/inserting the slides. We haven’t found a piece on the boat that fits here so we decided to make one our own, by bending a sheet of aluminum.
Some of the screws for the windows on the boat have some pretty sharp edges which we wanted fixed. They can easily damage our sails, especially when setting the mizzen stay sail.
We also continued with the electrics on the boat, our next mission is to get the lamps inside the boat working. The days are getting shorter and it will soon be necessary to have proper lights inside the boat.
We also created a simple lazy jack for the mizzen mast, similar to the one we have on the main mast. When lowering the mizzen sail it usually falls all over the cockpit, and has been pretty hard to sort out. With the lazy jacks in position we hope that it will be much easier. We also set up a cup holder in the cockpit, a small thing that will make sailing easier and more comfortable. Unfortunately we don’t have a picture on either.
If you haven’t already noticed we have updated some cost and information about our sailboat equipment last week, check it out by navigation to Cost & Information->Sailboat Equipment in the Menu, or by clicking HERE.
While working with the cockpit we also decided it was time for hoisting the sails for the first time. First one was the furling head sail. We hoisted the furling head sail a calm evening.
We noticed that the sail was to short, so we needed a extensing on the halyard.
The following day we decided to hoist the main sail and try sailing our boat for the first time.
We sailed around in central Stockholm for a while. It was Petras first sail ever and Thomas first sail in a couple of years. The wind wasn’t very strong which was perfect for our first sail. Our sailboat isn’t exactly a racer but we moved forward pretty okay even though we have a lot of things growing on the keel and we weren’t able haul the sails properly since our winches needed some service.
We hadn’t hoisted the mizzen sail yet, since we had noticed a damage on one of the lower shrouds for the mizzen mast.
We ordered a new shroud and when it arrived we mounted it and could hoist the mizzen sail.
It will be exiting to test sailing next time with the mizzen sail. Apparently the mizzen sail is really good hoisting first to set the sailboat in irons and then the rest of the sails can be hoisted.
Finally we added the boom covers for both the main mast and the mizzen mast, which made the boat look like a proper sailboat!
Otherwise we have started painting the cockpit and will soon be able to show some before and after pictures of the cockpit! We are also working with renovating the cabin door and will add a blog post about that soon. But this weekend we will take a break from working with the sailboat to celebrate Swedish Midsummer, in our opinion the best holiday in Sweden. If you don’t know what holiday this is, just google Swedish Midsummer.
The time had finally come to do the mast stepping! 🙂 If you want to read more about our rig, see our blog posts about the rig HERE. Before starting the mast stepping we had to do some final preparations before getting started. We had to mount the windex, change to LED-bulbs in the lanterns, mount the new electrical horn we bought and do a final check of the masts to make sure everything looked good.
When we felt satisfied with the masts it was time for the mast stepping. We had some friends with us to help during the process, since we never done this before and since we have a keel-stepped main mast it is good to have a person below deck to get it into position.
We connected the rig so that the mast would stand in position and then we started to trim the masts the following day.
By having the masts rigged our adventure feels closer than ever (read more about our plans HERE) and soon we will be able to test sailing her for the first time! 😀
But first we need to finish the plastic work in the cockpit, which we had to put on hold for a while due to cold weather. We have been sanding, adding putty, sanding, adding putty for a long time and we are really close to add the final layer of topcoat in the cockpit.
It was time for us to start an overhaul on the rig for our ketch rigged sailboat. As it is ketch-rigged we have two masts; one bigger main mast and a smaller one, called a mizzen mast. The mizzen mast is positioned in the cockpit and is much smaller than the main mast. The main mast is keel-stepped, which it means it goes through the deck.
We started with the main mast, which is made out of aluminum and has one pair of spreaders. First up was to loosen all straps that held the stays and shrouds together. We went over the shrouds and stays, took a close look at all the wires and they all looked good. We organized them to figure out what they all are.
The main mast are held in position with:
2 upper shrouds (starboard and port)
4 lower shrouds (bow; starboard and port, stern; starboard and port)
1 headstay, with a furling system
1 cutter stay
2 backstays (starboard and port)
1 top stays that goes from the top of the main mast to the top of the mizzen mast.
We did the same procedure for the halyards, and those we could remove we did so that we could bring them home and clean them and take a closer look at them.
On the main mast we have the following halyards:
Cutter stay halyard
Then we cleaned the mast to get rid of all old dirt it had collected over the years.
Another thing we went over is the electronics on the mast, on the main mast we have:
1 combined navigation light in the top of the mast (combined light for sailing (red-green-white) and anchoring (white))
VHF-antenna on the top of the mast
Windex with light
1 navigation light, masthead light (white) half-way up the mast for driving under power
2 deck lights, one on each spreader
We had bought a new top navigation light (the old one was broken) and a new windex. Right now we have incandescent bulbs in all our light on the masts, which we will change to LED bulbs in order to get lower electricity consumption. The reason we bought a new top navigation light with incandescent bulbs instead of LED was the price. A top navigation light with LED bulbs cost more than three times as much as the one with incandescent bulbs. So instead we will just buy new LED-bulbs and replace the old ones.
Other things we have on the main mast:
Flag line (for courtesy flags and Q-flag)
We also took a look at our mizzen mast. It has been placed in the marina and first up was to get it down. This mast is much smaller and lighter than our main mast so it was pretty easy getting it into position. The mizzen mast is also made out of aluminum and has swept spreaders.
On the mizzen mast we also begun with the shrouds and stays. Fortunately they looked good as well except for a small damage on the jumper stay. But as it is located on the top of the mast and therefore isn’t exposed for very much force it will hopefully be good enough. On the mizzen mast we have the following shrouds and stays:
2 Upper shrouds (starboard and port)
4 Lower shrouds (bow; starboard and port, stern (starboard and port)
1 jumper stay
1 top stay (between main mast and mizzen mast)
The top stay between the main mast and mizzen mast isn’t used to keep the masts in position as they both stand by themselves.
We removed the halyards we could so that we can clean them. On the mizzen mast we have the following halyards:
Halyard for mizzen sail
Halyard for mizzen stay sail
We also have some electronics on the mizzen mast and they are the following:
Horn (right now compressor-driven, we will probably change to an electrical instead)
Some of the cables on the mizzenmast had dried out and needs to be replaced. Other things we have on the mizzen mast is:
Of course we also have a wish list of instruments we want to have in the masts, some of them more important than others:
Antenna for AIS-transponder
Antenna for GNSS
Next up will be a post about cleaning our halyards and then the mast stepping. The first sail is not so far away now…