19 May 2016

Re-rigging Days 14-21: Finishing touches

After Friday's excitement of getting the mast back on and the boat back in the berth, we take a break and go for a drive Saturday. Sunday weather is back to vile, so we hunker below decks tidying up.
Monday mate returns to Melbourne, and the ship's engineer achieves much in her absence. The rigger returns in the morning to go up the mast and make some final adjustments to the top of the furler, and further adjustments at deck level to the furler and the HF aerial. The engineer begins the task of reconnecting all the electrics, including putting a connector into the VHF aerial wire, as that has had to be cut. This continues into Tuesday, when he also re-attaches rope bags and winch handle holder to the mast. By the time the mate returns on Tuesday evening, nearly all jobs are done, almost everything has been put away and the boat is spic and span below decks.
Wednesday begins windy, but quietens just enough in the evening for us to tackle putting the headsail back on the furler. Captain does the preliminary steps of tying up the barberhauls and attaching the furling line to the furler. We remove the headsail from its temporary home in the back of the car, barrow it to the boat, winch it aboard (it's very heavy). Our previous efforts to pack it neatly pay off as we can unroll it right down the side deck, and the captain can re-attach the sheets sitting in comfort in the cockpit. It's still windy enough to make feeding the bolt-rope into the furler challenging, but neighbour Alan comes past at the critical moment and gives the captain a hand with feeding the last bit in and attaching the tack, while the mate hangs on to the sheets to try and and stop them flailing in the wind and clipping the guys around the head, and works the winch to pull the sail up or down as required. Eventually it's all tight, we furl the sail at last, and feed the sheets back through barberhauls and blocks to the rope lockers in the cockpit.
Now we really are back to normal and ready to go anywhere. Except that the weather is not only back to windy and wet, but also stormy (thunder and lightning), so the new rig probably won't be exercised before next summer.

13 May 2016

Re-rigging Day 12-13: All done!

The snow has indeed blown off the mountain by Thursday morning. There's enough wind to blow a dog off a chain. When the rigger arrives, he confirms our view that it is not the day to try and put the mast back on, so the crane is cancelled, and we mooch around with not much to do. It goes on blowing all day and most of Thursday night, finally starting to abate at about 5am on Friday.
Rigger arrives mid-morning, decides the conditions are improving, books the crane for midday. It arrives early, about 11:40.
Crane erecting
Mast on its way up
Almost aboard
Unhooking the crane
The lift of the mast and return to the tabernacle goes as smoothly as the removal on day 1, and we once again enjoy watching experts work. Once the cap shrouds and inner forestay are in place, the crane is unhooked, folds itself up and goes off, while the riggers attach the rest of the stays and adjust rigging screws.


Forestay laid out on trestles, ready to go up

Then they haul up the forestay, with the furler on it. Ian goes up the mast to attach the furler and do final adjustments, while Chris attaches the foot of the forestay.
By 1pm it is mostly done and we're all hungry, so the mate nips up to the German bakery for cheese and spinach rolls and a couple of pies. After lunch there's a bit more adjustment, and they give us a hand to put the boom back in place. Then we farewell Chris and Ian and go back to tidying up and cleaning the hull.
We consult with bosun Carl about going back into the water. He is planning to put us into the water on Saturday morning, but it's after several other boats and as we have made a lunch date at Koonya, we're concerned that we won't get back into the berth in time. We suggest going in straight away, even though there is still quite a bit of WNW wind, occasionally gusty. Carl agrees, we quickly prepare to move, and we are back in the water by about 4pm. We get out of the cradle and turn Nahani round easily, head back round the marina. As we enter the channel, the wind goes back round to the north, and we get more nervous about getting in to the berth. Fortunately there are people there to pass us lines and help, but despite that we manage to lose control of the back of the boat in a gust, and she swings across the berth and bumps Vanity, the first time we've ever done that. But there is no harm done as far as we can see.
While there is still light we get the mainsail back into the sail track, and re-attach the lazyjacks, so the boom now looks its usual self. Over the weekend we'll re-fit the headsail on the furler, and the ship's engineer will re-connect the electrics on Monday when the mate returns to Melbourne.

11 May 2016

Re-rigging Day 11: Getting ready for the finale

Ship's engineer spends the morning attaching the new tri light and Windex illuminator light on the top of the mast (a fiddly job, but so much easier when the top of the mast is a mere 1 metre off the ground) and refitting the refurbished deck light/steaming light half way up the mast. Meanwhile the ship's painter touches up the antifouling.
Rigger inspecting the top of the mast
Rigger returns just as these jobs near completion and finishes attaching all the rigging except the furler and the lower shrouds - these will be attached after the mast is back in place, as that way there are less things dangling when the mast is lifted by the crane. He books the crane for first thing in the morning, leaves again. We head for the warmth of the club and beef hotpot with mash.
Some of the afternoon is spent putting away most of the tools and equipment that have somehow been needed over the past few days - just some painting gear left to stow. Captain puts a bit of paint in the scuppers in a spot that is unreachable when the boat is rigged. Mate gives the mast a rub-down with WD40, and lubricates the sail track.
After a day with almost no rain and not too much wind, a gale sets in as night falls. Wind gusts are around 50kt in Hobart, over 70kt on top of Mt Wellington. Here in the marina I reckon we're somewhere in between. The boat is rocking in the cradle, and when the big gusts come the wind lifts the jacklines from the deck and slaps them down again. Just as well we've had a long day and will probably sleep through the noise. Just hoping that it blows itself out overnight, as I don't think they would risk raising the mast if it's still blowing this hard at 9am tomorrow.
Did I mention that it's been freezing today? Beanie weather, and snow on the mountain.
May have all blown off by tomorrow

10 May 2016

Re-rigging Day 10: Not much action

The engineer spends much of the day working on fittings for the various lights and instruments that go on the mast, necessitating yet another trip to Map 11. Even more time spent trying to pin down the flapping conduit inside the mast. Eventually bad light stops play.

Lining up for fine adjustment...
The riggers make a cameo appearance in the early afternoon, bringing back partly finished shrouds. Some are fed through the spreaders, then swaged, others have some 'fine adjustment' done to the end that hooks on to the mast. Then the new rigging is left in nice shiny coils under the boat.
Ian tells us that there is a bit more work to do on the furler, and that he'll be in touch in the morning to tells what happens next.

...that does it.
At this stage we're not sure whether he plans to put the mast back in place tomorrow or not.

Rains on and off all day, so ship's painter not game to put the anti-fouling on. The brief moment of sunshine which comes just as the riggers arrived produces a splendid rainbow.

Weather conditions force mate into domestic duties, saloon seat covers are washed, and two pairs of pants hemmed (one his, one hers).
Rainbow, taken from Nahani's deck
Still raining. Not particularly windy today, but occasional very strong gusts which shake the boat in the cradle. Hopefully if it's still blowing tomorrow, it's a steadier breeze.

09 May 2016

Re-rigging Day 9: The gods still live in Tasmania

Good things happen.
First, the rain holds off - it doesn't start until about 4:30pm, when everyone is ready to knock off anyway.
Undoing the forestay
Rigger going up
Coming down, with Windex
Rigger Ian arrives at 8:30am and starts undoing more turnbuckles. When his mate Chris arrives, Ian goes up the mast, unhitches the furler and forestay at the top, takes off the Windex wind indicator, On the way down he ties ropes making a sling between the two spreaders on the mast, ready for attachment to the crane.
Once he's back on deck we all help to take the forestay and furler down, laying them out on Ian's trestles. Second good thing - the length of spare dyform wire that Ian has is just the right length for a new forestay - with less than a metre over!
Chris and Ian pull out the old wire, put in the new, and we watch with interest as they run it through the swaging machine that Ian has in the back of his station wagon. Ian, Chris and the captain wrestle with recalcitrant screws on the bracket that holds the furler, but with no success - they will have to be drilled out.
Crane goes up
With everything done that can be done on the forestay, we have a tea break, then as the crane still hasn't arrived, Ian and Chris go off to do a bit of work on another boat, captain and mate have lunch, then attempt to refold the headsail, bundled rather untidily in the back of the car after removal last week. Marginal improvement.
Crane arrives about 1pm and we watch as what seems to be a quite small vehicle transforms itself into a crane tall enough to reach above Nahani's mast.
The hook is swung in and attached to the sling Ian rigged this morning, then pulled up tight. Ian and Chris undo the four remaining shrouds, and then comes the moment when they tap out the hinge from the tabernacle and the mast swings free.
Mast comes down
It is then expertly led gently over the rails, guided down to ground level still more or less vertical, then lowered expertly on to the trestles, It looks so easy. We are relieved, especially as we discover that the crane driver hasn't driven this particular crane before, and had to have a little practice to check which levers were which before picking up the mast.
With the mast down, work begins on pulling the old shrouds through the spreaders, and threading new wire. Rigger and captain also investigate the source of an irritating flapping noise that we experience in certain windy conditions, when the electrical conduit vibrates inside the mast. It's held in place by a series of pins through the mast, but we discover that two or three of these are missing, allowing the conduit to move. While the captain is investigating and working out a replacement strategy, and the riggers are rigging, the mate is doing some very minor patching on the hull, in the odd places where the antifouling has flaked off completely.
Naked lady

Riggers leave, and we're just starting to tidy up and bring tools and equipment back aboard when the rain starts. Hoping it all happens tonight, and it's not too wet tomorrow.

To see the videos, search for Re-rigging Nahani on YouTube.




08 May 2016

Re-rigging Day 7-8: Hauled out, ready to go

It finally stops blowing on Saturday, but there is nothing much to do aboard. Engineer goes to Map 11 (Moonah) to make assorted essential purchases for the week ahead.
On Sunday it isn't blowing, isn't raining, there isn't a tide running, so when the bosun suggests that we come up on the slip a day early, we rapidly ready the boat and slip out of the berth, round the marina and into the cradle. When she is hauled out we find that the hull is pretty clean, but we scrub as much of the slime and weed off as we can without stripping off all the anti-fouling as well. We're then shifted down to the end of the slipyard, ready for the crane in the morning.
We finally make contact with Steve, Nahani's builder today, who confirms that there is a single run of wire from VHF radio to the antenna atop the mast, so the engineer will have to cut and join. Steve also suggests that we remove the plates at the ends of the shrouds which were originally put there to make it easier to lower the mast, something we doubt we will ever do. And he tells us that the forestay is made of special dy-formed wire, which is stronger than the normal rigging wire. We pass this on to the rigger, who tells us he thinks he has some, but that it will be much more expensive (surprise, surprise). But we want to keep Nahani up to her original over-engineered standard, so if he has some, we will use it.
It starts to rain again this evening, and for the first time ever we have water coming into the boat. The engineer pulled the wires up through the deck last thing today, and although he thought he'd plugged the hole completely with a cork and tape, we have drips coming from the mast step.
Pretty clean, after having her bottom scrubbed

Tomorrow, that big thing sticking up will be removed.

06 May 2016

Re-rigging Day 6: Electrical investigations

Electrical cables which run up the mast have to be disconnected and pulled up on deck before the mast is removed. Captain investigates and labels the various light connections, then realises that there is another issue - the VHF radio aerial also runs up inside the mast. The long cable appears to go unbroken from the radio itself, down the back of the chart table, under the cabin sole, back up the side of the internal compression post under the mast where it joins the electrical cables in the conduit that goes through the deck. Pulling all that cabling out is not a sensible option, so it looks like we have to cut and join. Mate suggests that the captain call the builder before he does this, just to make sure there isn't already a plug connection somewhere we haven't yet found. Awaiting response.
Recording what's connected to what, before we disconnect.