November 7, 2023
Calliope Girl 8
I continued work to remove the mast step structure, now on the port side. I could pry up the fiberglass covering the foam-filled space between the webs, but it was still solid at the aft end, where access was poor. I used a multi-tool to cut the tabbing back there, after which I could pull up the fiberglass to expose and remove the foam and such, which I cleaned out to the best of my ability given the awkward and backwards access.
Afterwards, I spent some time with cutoff wheel and multi tool to trim down the tabbing wherever I could to expose as much of the aluminum framework as possible, hopefully to allow for relatively easy removal.
I made a pattern to help me relocate the bolt holes for the mast step plate later, using some of the nearby structures as a guide and for measurements. I made various marks on the pattern that, along with numerous photos I took for my records, would assist in recreating the position later. These photos are just some of the ones I recorded.
I didn’t have enough cutoff discs or other demo tools on hand, necessarily, to allow for full removal of the structure (more on the way), but I thought I’d try and see if maybe I’d get lucky and the whole thing would pop out. I managed to fairly easily break off the four transverse webs near the center mass, using a short mallet. But alas, the center portion remained well adhered for now, and without fresh, new cutting wheels, I quickly found that attempting to cut the aluminum was a fool’s errand for now, as the two old ones I had (and had used for the fiberglass removal so far) were worn down enough as to be ineffective and wouldn’t cut deeply enough either. Attempts to pry or otherwise persuade the structure out also failed for now. So final removal would await another day soon.
Instead, I turned to the chainplates, which the owner wanted replaced with new. There were four stainless steel chainplates installed, with generally good access. To begin, I removed the deck plates covering the slots–a pair on each side.
Next, I unbolted the chainplates from below, which went fairly well though there was some corrosion on the threads and nuts. I had one bolt on the final chainplate (port mid) that wouldn’t budge, so I used my electric impact gun to finally coax it free. Each chainplate also had a thinner backing plate, and some wooden spacers of unknown and questionable value to the overall installation. The chainplate knees were solid fiberglass, about 1/2″ thick and tabbed to the hull. Later, when I got to the surface preparation in the cabin, I’d inspect these for condition, but there were no immediate issues to be found at first glance.
In order below: starboard aft; port aft; starboard mid; port mid.
Total time billed on this job today: 7.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 50°. showers. Forecast for the day: Chance of showers, 57°