The alloy mast that I intend to fit is twelve inches shorter than the original wooden spar. Previous owners have told me that she carried quite a lot of weather helm so I am gambling on a smaller mainsail eliminating this problem.

My major concern has been how to determine the lengths of the shrouds and stays required for the new stainless rigging. It seemed as though I would have to step the mast and then measure the difference between the existing rigging whose lengths were known, and the chain plates and calculate the lengths required. I was reluctant to do this for a number of reasons. I had nothing to support the mast when it was up other than the old existing halyards and there were not enough of them. In short it seemed too dangerous, it could only be done on a windless day and I would need at least another five bodies beside myself to secure it to the boat. What was I going to secure the temporary rigging to?. Bearing in mind it is out of the water and the deck is out of reach of any body standing on the ground. The cost of hiring a crane to step it would be doubled as it has to come down again for the new rigging to be fitted before being finally re-stepped. Also access for a crane is difficult.

I have been agonising over this problem for several weeks as no riggers were prepared to step the mast, They would make up the rigging and come and set it up after it was stepped and that was it.

Biting the bullet, I would draw the boat out to scale of 1"= 1ft. on the assumption that if I was a quarter of an inch out on any dimension it would be three inches out on the boat.

I was quietly confident that I could draw the boat out more accurately than that. I set up two datum string lines fore and aft either side of the boat and very carefully measured from these all the salient dimensions in the vertical and horizontal planes. I checked and re-checked them until I was confident that they were right and then transferred them to a drawing. The mast was measured from the base as were all the shroud tangs and stay fittings, length and height of spreaders etc. and transferred the dimensions to the boat.

The end result was that it actually looked like WinaII. I now had two drawings, one of the side elevation and one of the cross section immediately below the mast. From these I accurately measured the eye to chain plate dimensions of the shrouds and stays. If I am 1/8th of an inch out in any of these scaled off measurements it would result in a one and a half inch error on the length and I have three inches of adjustment on the bottle screws. Fingers crossed!

I made out a list of all the various lengths and took them into a rigger one Saturday and asked him to make them up taking into consideration the length of the swaged eye fittings and just over half the open lengths of the bottle screws. They were ready the following Monday afternoon. I could not ask for better service than that. If they are wrong it has been a very expensive exercise.

Meanwhile I had taken the mast into the workshop and stripped it of all the running rigging, shrouds and stays and old electrical wiring. Gave the mast a good clean up with Blakes Mast Clean, excellent stuff this, and fitted a new steaming light and tricolour. Renewed the wiring and connected it up. As I want to rig the boat for single handed sailing, the main halyard and topping lift had to have longer tails to take them back to the cockpit via deck organisers etc. The Genoa headsail will be roller reefed so the halyard can be cleated to the mast. Once it is up it is up.

To date the mast has been completely re-rigged. One thing that gave me some confidence was that the cap shroud and lower shroud eyes on both sides of the mast all lined up exactly. These were three separate dimensions which I had scaled off my drawing.

Once the mast is stepped I can then position the Genoa tracks and cars and the deck organisers etc and fit the Genoa reefing gear to the fore stay.

Before that happens I must sort out a suitable single line reefing system for the main sail. I shall only do this for the first two reefing points and brave working on deck if I ever have to put a third reef in.

January 2006 and very little was achieved last year, February was spent in Singapore and June, July, August and the first week in September spent indulging in my passion of sailing.

The first ten days aboard a Moody 29 cruising the Channel Islands in the most abominable weather and then joining a Hanse 32 in Penarth and cruising the Isles of Scilly and Bay of Biscay down to La Rochelle. The boat was left to over winter there and I shall be joining her again there in April to continue a coast hop passage down to Minorca in the Mediterranean.

Wina 2 took a back seat until the end of September when I managed to get her mast stepped. That was not without its problems, firstly getting a long reach crane as there was no access into the yard itself and the crane had to reach from the adjacent car park so the driver was blind to the boat. Two way radio solved that problem. I had the rigging made up from a drawing in May and every thing was fine except that the four inner shrouds were all six inches short.

I could not see a reason for this as the cap shrouds, fore stay and split back stay were all spot on and believed it was a manufacturing error but how to measure them in situ to prove it was a problem. For safety reasons I had no intentions of going up the mast with the boat ashore and only supported on props. I solved the problem by lashing the shrouds to the chain plates and with the aid of four clipboard type clips fed them over the shroud and clipped the top one to the end of the tape measure and pushed it up the shroud clipping the others to the tape as it went up to stop it falling away from the shroud. It worked and I was able to accurately measure the length.

They were exactly six inches short of the dimensions on my drawing. In utter frustration I went back to the rigging company to seek replacement shrouds and they denied all liability as they had been made five months previously and claimed that they had destroyed my drawing. Suffice to say I shall not go back there or recommend them. I shall get some new ones made up on my return from Singapore where I shall be until the end of March and replace them when I launch in April.

There is still a lot of work to be done on the deck to rig it for single handed sailing. All of the deck pads for the Organisers,Jammers and Winches have been made and profiled to the coach roof and inside backing pads made. The Mainsheet and blocks have been made up ready for fitting as has the boom vang. All of the stanchion and deck fitting for the headsail furling gear are to hand as are the cars and track for the genoa sheets. It will be a race against the clock to get that completed and its final coat of Antifoul on prior to launching as I will be departing for La Rochelle in the middle of April to take the Hanse 32 down into the Mediterranean.

The Launch
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