With the world gripped in a second year of a pandemic there was no escaping the changes to daily life this rained down on everyone in 2021. I’m fortunate in many ways that I only have first world problems to manage. I did very little sailing in 2021 mostly because there wasn’t anywhere I could go; that I wanted to go might be more accurate.
I decided that with borders closed and local cruising grounds often overrun by boaters with limited options, 2021 was a good time to finally tackle a long overdue refit of the mast. It turned out that I was not alone.
This mast project turned out to be the most difficult and problematic one I’ve done yet. What went wrong? Almost everything. It’s hard to relive it by retelling. From contributing to a failed personal relationship, to thousands in extra costs because of pandemic supplier delays, bad weather, rushed work, competing mast projects, a back injury, and more, this one is now #1 on my list of Murphy’s What Can Go Wrong Will.
The mast is now finally back in the boat but not without a fair amount of pain and suffering (of the first world kind). While the rigging was being stripped off the mast to allow it to be painted we discovered a few issues that needed attention. This lead to my deciding to replace the standing rigging to fix the issues and get onto the newest version of the rod fittings. Unfortunately this resulted in an unforeseen 8 week delay waiting for parts to come from Europe. Add $2,000 for mast storage to the yard bill. The company I hired to paint the mast had quality control issues and mast had to be painted twice. By now La Nina is in full swing and the weather is just plain awful but my boat got its Christmas present. I started the project in September thinking it would take two weeks. Ha.
It will be another month or two into 2022 before the rest of the rigging can be completed as the weather is still awful. However, the mast looks great and is corrosion free and should out live me. The masthead has been redone with a new light, repositioned wind sensor and remounted VHF antenna. There is all new wiring and a spiffy new combo steaming light and deck light combo. The boom also got a lot of attention with a focus on a reworked gooseneck. Overall, things are looking good and like all projects gone bad, they don’t look quite so bad once you get it all buttoned up. Maybe 2022 will be a bit nicer for everyone.