The mast went back on yesterday but not without some problems. When the rigger gave me the shrouds to fit, the two aft lowers had the wrong fittings on them. I pointed this out and was told that the rigger knew what he was about and that they would be fine. I was not happy with this and insisted the toggles that I had asked for be fitted. They agreed, so they ordered some additional parts in and fitted them. When they gave the shrouds back I looked at them and thought these are now going to be too long, but they reckoned they knew what they were doing, I decided to leave things be and maybe it would work out. But, of course, it did not. We got the rig on and a short while later I looked at the rigger and said, “They’re too long aren’t they?” He looked disconsolately at me and nodded. So this morning I took them off and gave them back to him. Now he is going to fit new swages to the bottom which should shorten them, hopefully not too much.
But that was not all. I looked at the furling drum and noticed that it was sitting too high. Looking up inside the foil I could see the lower bearing was resting on the top of the swage. Not good. But what was worse was I noticed that half the bearing was missing. I pointed this out to the rigger and he says to me that was the way it was when he took it apart. I must admit I was a little dumbstruck. I asked him, “You mean to say you knowingly put a defective bearing back on? Didn’t you even think it might be something I would like to know about?” The rigger and I are not the best of mates right now. It will be fixed.
The mast back on:
The old forestay:
The above is a picture of the old forestay, towards its lower end. All of the inner strands are broken and some of the outer strands as well. So not much left holding the mast up. And I was advised yesterday by the knackers yard that the old engine head is cracked so they are not able to offer me anything for it. It looks like I have pushed Sylph close to her limits. I was quite concerned about the forestay because most of it is hidden beneath the furler. I can only see the top swage where the forestay had some broken strands way back in Ushuaia. I replaced the upper swage with Norse fitting and had inspected the lower swage which looked OK at the time. But since then have been concerned about the forestay’s condition.
Obviously this refit is happening none too soon.
All is well, mostly.