Things to do while mast is off:
Oh, you mean on the boat...
1. Take all of the standing rigging apart. If the spreaders come off take them off. Take off the spreader end caps. Look at everything. The last time I took my mast down I discovered a crack in one spreader. Look at the bushing holding the spreaders on, etc. etc. etc. This is the easiest and best time to check your standing rigging. put on a cotton or rubber glove. Slide along every inch of rigging wire looking for snags.
2. Remove the sheaves. Check the axles. Check the sheaves. Lubricate with lithium grease. Reassemble.
3. Make a list of everything you might put on the masthead: tricolor/anchor light, wind instrument (electronic), wind instrument (manual), radio antenna, lightening rod, TV antenna, etc. Pre-wire everything. In all probability you should replace both the radio antenna and the coax down lead.
3a. Remember to put in a messenger line. you will thank me!
4. Consider everything you might want to fasten to the spreaders and mast. Signal halyards, lazy jack attachment points, spreader lights, radar reflector, deck lights, mood lighting, etc. pre-wire anything you might want in the future. If it doesn't take wires but does attach drill and tap your future attachment points.
5. Look at the mast and the boom. Is a whisker pole in your future? Mount the track. Do you have halyards banging against the mast? Put in line guides. Do you have enough attachment points for reef lines? Vang? Do you want to run a wire out in the mast for a cockpit light that hangs from the boom? Do it now!
6. Do you want mast steps? (I am a huge fan, I solo sail, I sail far offshore, I want to be able to get up and fix things without any help.) They are expensive and time consuming to install but the first time you need them in an emergency you will thank me for installing them.
7. Look inside the boom. Do you have a wire/rope outhaul? Look at the wire - it is part of the standing rigging. If you have reefing sheaves in the back of the boom do the same work you did on the top of the mast. Yes, you can do it with the mast up but it is much easier with the mast down.
8. Further to 7 - this is a good time to replace any running rigging that runs inside the mast. It is just a heck of a lot easier now.
9. Consider the electrical connections at the bottom of the mast. I replaced all the wires I had to cut with plugs. Easier to take apart, easier to put together.
10. REPLACE THE COTTER PINS! (I am shouting!) Don't use the old ones...
I can not advise you on electronics. I use Garmin equipment, I like it. I had had serious problems with Raymarine service, I try and stay away from them. Plus Raymarine had to make NMEA2000 incompatible with their gear (they use different connectors.) Cheap attempt at keeping everyone on the farm.
Hope this helps.
Fair wind and following seas.
Wow, thanks! Haha, great write up. Pretty much everything running rigging wise is getting replaced. I will inspect all the standing rigging and reuse it. I'll replace it next year or so, trying to get it sailing this summer. I have the lights lined up, going to give lopolight a shot(I'll be the new guinea pig for everyone) so all electrical wiring is getting replaced, as is the antenna and it's coaxial cable. I'll give the spreaders a look over and run wires for lights. Probably put some eyes for signal lines.
I don't have a whisker pole, but I have a spin pole. Not sure how the halyards are run(they were barely hanging on and tired to the bow pulpit), so I may look into line guides. I haven't sailed this boat yet so I'm not sure about the reefing just yet. It has a vang already so that's done, just need to clean and lube the blocks and run new line.
I'd like to get some folding mast steps but I'm going to wait on that for another year. I can pull the mast at our marina another time.
Change cotter pins, check!
What kind of plugs did you use for the mast connection at the step?
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