Temperatures in the low 30's and strong wind out of the NW told me my sailing season was over this morning. I had hoped to get out for one last sail but it was not to be. I think I made the right call - the wind picked up even more later in the day and it never got above 50 degrees. No complaints here, I had a great year on the water.
Instead I got started on the off-season work, pulling the lines and hardware off the main mast for a complete sanding, coat of epoxy and re-varnish. It took a while to pull everything off the mast - three halyards, lazy jacks, topping lift and pennant.
I bagged and labeled everything. I'm very happy with the rigging as it is right now and I want to be able to put it back exactly the same when once the mast is refinished.
I've had some requests for photos of the rigging. This is about as good as you're going to get. That is the main mast with two 3' boom bails and fittings (I can't remember what they are called) for the shrouds. The boom bail on the right is connected to the forestay. The bail on the left holds a double block that has the topping lift and the peak halyard.
I was a little surprised about the amount of gear on the main mast (it had all been put on there five years ago when rigging for the launch of Spartina and had not been removed since). Out of curiosity I weighed everything and it came out to a little over 6 lbs. The mast itself weighs 27 lbs - the riggings adds quite a bit when you look at the percentage.
I pulled apart the shroud and forestay turnbuckles, they were building up some corrosion in the threads, and soaked them in DW 40.
I then went through a pack of 80 grit sandpaper to strip the mast down to bare wood. I'll put on a coat of WEST System epoxy (the hardner I have for the epoxy is five years old and is oxidized - something that does not affect the strength but does give it a nice amber glow) and then add seven coats (with sanding in between) of a good hard varnish.
I would like to get the mast done before the first of the year. Then there are plenty of other little jobs to do. I need to touch up the paint on the hull, both the sea green on the exterior and the steel gray on the interior, get the outboard tuned up and check out all the other gear. My earliest sail of the year, above, was March 7 of 2008. I want to be ready to go by the first of March.