Tuesday, 7 July 2009

We motored down to Limhamn a week and a half ago (sunday) to unstep the mast. It was kind of exciting as we have never done it on this boat before. One single bolt gave us trouble for two hours before we beat it, litterally. Apart from that all went well and the mast came down in slow and controlled manner. We put it on the dock over night and motored back to Malmö.
The rot is clearly visible here.

A truck was supposed to pick it up on monday, but it broke down. I think Murphy hates sailors! We were able to arrange transportation through friends though, after scrapping the idea of transporting the 15 meter mast on the roof of our 3 meter Lada (that's a car, although Lotta only gives it credit for being a really nice tractor).
This is a very sophisticated transportation device.

This is a slightly less sophisticated transportation device. We thought it might be easier to handle sharp turns if we put the barrow under the base of the mast but it was too heavy and we had to put it under the spreaders where it balanced better. Then it was "easy" to push it into the barn where the surgery will take place.

Working with chisels and a wooden club I remove the rotten material. It's very easy as it's so wet you can squeeze water from it. The VHF cable visible in the center of the mast is run in a plastic pipe which was broken, so all the water coming along he cable just ended up inside the mast instead of on the outside.

A pile of rotten wood. It's so wet it wouldn't even make a decent fire.

Here's the good wood... Still working with chisels I cut the scarf. Normally it would be 12 times the thickness of the wood, which is rwo inches. However, we found that the mast is pretty much made solid from the base and two meters up, so there will be plenty of good wood for the epoxy to work it's magic on. This scarf is only five times the thickness of the wood. The mast is built from spruce, which is pretty much impossible to come by over here, so we're scarfing in pieces of siberian larch. There will be a slight difference in color, but the larch is a lot more resistant to rot than spruce.

Working with 20th century tools now, I sanded the scarf. It's now completely even and smooth as a babies butt. I used a coarse paper to give the epoxy a slightly larger surface. When this was done I gor ambitios and started sanding the entire mast. I figured I might as well do it now... I've got about 1/3 of the mast sanded down and I've still got to make three more scarfs, glue them together, sand the remaining 2/3 and put at least five coats of varnish on the mast before the start of august. That's aside from all the other projects we have...

Oh! We also had the time to install the new gimblled cooker with oven. It's a wonder of stainless steel and glass. Now Lotta can cook in rough weather! Nest I will give her a gimballed zink so she can do the dishes too...

More pictures will follow as the work progresses.