This winter, whilst Sea Bear was laid up ashore I decided it was time to renew the standing rigging. I had arranged for the yard to take down the mast for me and arranged for a rigging company to make up a new set of rigging using the old as patterns. With the mast down I removed the shroud deck fittings to check on their condition and to re-bed them, after all I reckoned the old sealant was maybe the original and so needed renewing.
It was also a convenient time to replace the masthead tricolour as the lens was very badly crazed, so that was replaced with a new LED unit. Another replacement at the mast head was new VHF antena and windex, the old one had lost its direction arrows. The steaming/deck light was also replaced being badly corroded. Whilst at it I replaced all the wiring to the lights and a new VHF cable too. The old wiring was just domestic cable un-tinned so looked and was in a nasty state. All replaced with proper marine grade tinned cables. Last job on the mast was a new radar reflector, the old one having been lost in a storm of Jamaica some while ago.
All that done the mast could go back up, the yard did that when I wasn’t there. Ah but there was a problem. They told me the clevis pins with the new standing rigging were too big to fit so they put it up with temporary pins. They said they had told the rigging company of this and it would be sorted.
When I went down to the yard to finish fitting out I discovered with horror that the baby stay was not connected and the rigging company had put in undersized clevis pins, thinking this would do.
No No No I thought that just won’t do. They took some persuading that they had used the wrong size toggles for parts of the rig when making up the new rig.
The had overlooked the fact that on a Vancouver, although all the wires are the same size at 6mm, the toggles and of course turnbuckles are different sizes for the cap shrouds and forestay from the lowers, back stays and baby stay. This despite them having the old rig as patterns. A rather schoolboy error I thought. Eventually they agreed that they had got it wrong and would make up a new rig. But of course the mast had to be unstepped again. Eventually after much delay the right rigging was supplied and the mast back up.
Meanwhile I had finished the rest of the refit, cleaning, checking and maintenace, a long list as usual. Sea Bear was ready to go back afloat so a date for relaunch was arranged. It will be good to get back in the water. It has felt a long, cold and hard winter.