And more to report as another milestone passed. Today's challenge was to get the mast up and determine final lengths for forestay and shrouds. This involved attaching the shrouds, the backstays and the forestay to the appropriate places on the mast along with a decent length of strong rope to where the forestay attaches and then heaving the mast onto the deck. The foot of the mast was located into the tabernacle and the rope run forward to a block on the stemhead and then back to the cockpit through the halyard jam cleats. This was designed to provide some control and protect the mast from falling backwards once it was up. Before hoisting, the backstays were attached to provide some lateral stability and to stop the mast going forward. Next job was then to 'walk' the mast up. It helped that D is tall and strong and between us we managed to get the mast up but the decent piece of rope to the stemhead didn't provide much help to get the mast up due to the steep angle. Consequently, we stuck the bowsprit on and re-ran the rope to a block at the end of the bowsprit to give a better angle when dropping the mast down again.
NOTE. If you are going to do this then apply rope to the bowsprit to stop it going skyward as the mast comes down as you can't put the bobstay on as the trailer prevent this and it would be a shame to break it when we've come this far.....
Anyway we got the mast up and marked off what we guess is the final length of the shrouds so I can finalise splicing the hard eyes into the dynastay and D can fit the turnbuckle for the forestay (the only bit of rigging I am letting him do only 'cause he's done it before !).
Handy hint....Also we took the opportunity to test the navigation lights on the top of the mast at this stage in case there were problems. Which there weren't (hooray).
Getting the mast down we decided to call on another pair of hands and our obliging neighbour helped out which made it rather easier, and so dear reader in the gathering gloom we came in to thaw out and celebrate (can you see the theme here ?).
Also, we have been contemplating vehicles as D's vehicle is just about at the limit for towing so we have now identified a secondhand Mitsubishi L200. It is less of a beast sizewise than it looks (see below) and the interior is less van, more car.