Winds are up to 20 knots this morning, blowing the cloud cover and rains away. We are waiting – Bob impatiently so – for the winds to lighten so as we can motor over to the jetty to carry out repairs.
He headed up the mast to make modifications in order for the twins to be used as a downwind sail once more.
This completed, onwards and up, to the top of the mast he continued. It was with surprise that I heard him say, ‘We have a serious issue, I’m coming down’.
Releasing the line and gradually letting it out, Bob was soon upon the deck once more, and yes, the problem was totally serious.
The mast is stabilised and held in place by the forestay, backstay (wires running from mast to bow and stern) and the shrouds (wires that lead from the beam – side – of the boat up to the spreaders – the t bars that run horizontally across the mast). If one of these is damaged or breaks, the mast is at risk of falling.
Bob discovered the wire of the forestay which is attached to the mast has unravelled. Of the 19 strands, only 6 remained within the swage fitting. It would not take much wind for this – and the Gennie, which a part of this particular setup – to fall to the deck, or worse: the water.
Being late in the afternoon, prevention measures were put in place. The forestay and backstay were slightly released, which took part of the pressure off, whilst the twin’s halyard was placed upon its furler and tightened in order to take part of the stress. Last of all, it was another trip up the mast for Bob. Once there, he clamped the wires and used halyards to hold the forestay wire and the furler tube. These halyards were then winched tightly from the bottom to add strength.
Have just checked the weather. No light winds until Thursday, so will carry on with other maintenance until then.