May 4, 2016
With the season around the corner, and the owner’s launch date a week or so hence, we made arrangements to get together and install the new sail track systems on both masts. Earlier, we’d done all the required measuring, obtaining the internal track size specifications and overall lengths for the two tracks, and the owner had subsequently ordered them. With the masts removed from their indoor storage shed by the boatyard, we could wrap up the installation. I took few pictures, unfortunately, remembering only at the end when the tracks were complete.
Along with the new track on the mizzen mast, the owner wanted to lower the gooseneck (and therefore the boom) for easier access from the cockpit. The boom height had been surprisingly (and, frankly, inconveniently/dangerously) high from a practical standpoint, making furling and covering the sail a real hassle, and with ample headroom beneath, there was no reason other than aesthetics (the mizzen boom height, as original, was sort of tied in with the main boom height so they looked visually level) not to lower the boom. Since the old mizzen sail was a rag in poor condition, and lacking battens, the owner wanted a new sail made anyway, so it was the perfect opportunity to move the boom height.
I started by removing the mizzen gooseneck, as its existing position was in the way of the track. Then, I had to use a Dremel tool to open up the mast slot a couple feet above the gooseneck, where the track would actually be installed; the existing slot was too short by half, and was open only on one side of the slot. I’d opened up part of a slot on the mainmast much earlier, in order to fit one of the old sail slides at the time, so I was already familiar with the process. Fortunately, the cutting went well and quickly, and we were soon able to install the track in accordance with the instructions. The installation went swimmingly, and afterwards, I reinstalled the gooseneck a foot or so lower, at a location we’d determined previously. We’d carefully measured the track so the track as provided was the exactly correct length.
Moving on to the mainmast, I also had to open up the second side of the existing track slot, as this one was open only on one side as well. With that complete, we installed the track, which went just as well as the smaller one on the mizzen mast. I didn’t have to remove the gooseneck in this case. Overall, the installation on both masts, including setup and opening the mast slots as needed, went much more quickly than I’d ever hoped, taking only about two hours.
I wrapped up my end of this project with a couple odds and ends, including restringing the top line of the main’s lazy jack system, which I’d rigged incorrectly the year before, and installing some new registration numbers on the bow for the owner.
Total time billed on this job today: 2.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation:
45°, cloudy. Forecast for the days: clouds, maybe a shower, high in the low 50s or upper 40s