Leading Wind gets her new mast fitted !


The business end of Leading Wind’s new mast complete with a new truck, a tricolour light and a fancy new wind indicator.

Up up and away – the new mast is hoisted aloft !


Despite power cuts (the crane is all electric) and pouring rain, the new mast is aboard and slowly fed through the wooden gaiter on the deck and into the slot in the new mast step, which is a return to the arrangement when the boat was built in 1938. In more recent years the mast stood in a very well constructed metal tabernacle on the deck. The loading on a mast is is very high and boats are designed to transfer that to the keel. The shrouds and fore and aft stays also transfer a lot of the load to hull itself.

The crane operator opens up one of the bottlescrews to its full extent as the old rigging turned out to be slightly short ! The mast is now sitting in its slot in the new mast step and Richard of Tim Gilmore Ltd did the tricky job of feeding the bottom end into the slot. The mast is hollow to hide the electric cables and these re-appear below deck. The wires had to be carefully fed through the hole in the deck to prevent them being trapped or nipped – fingers also had to be considered !

The bottom of the mast showing the cables (to the left with blue tape) for the steaming light, for use under power and the tricolour light, which will be used when she is under sail. The cable in the foreground is for the transducer of the echo sounder which will give us a reading of the amount of water under the hull – very useful in areas where there is shallow water and mud banks lurking below

And finally the party is over and Leading Wind is towed back to her permanent berth !


So back in her berth and I put the boom on and rigged the new mainsheet system. Richard of Tim Gilmore Ltd put a temporary boom tent over the boat to keep the worst of the rain out – the new decks are superb and the former leaks are a thing of the past ! However, before the boom tent, a lot of rain water was getting through the cockpit floor. Sorting out a more weatherproof option is a spring project – for now the next priority is getting everything working and the interior habitable !


About chriswoodartist

painter, print-maker and illustrator

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