The work continues on Arcturus. Mia is on day four of scraping Cetol, and the rigging project is making progress.
After school yesterday we headed back down to the boat on our bikes, the best purchase I've made in a long time. Mia had been at the boat all morning, but the scraping was still not complete, so she got back to work. Meanwhile I was trying to figure out how to get mizzen mast down on deck without breaking it in half.
We rigged the main halyard to the top of the mizzen mast by connecting it to the mizzen staysail halyard. With the main halyard tight, we slacked all the mizzen shrouds, and rigged the topping lift as a hoist to the stern (the boom had already been taken off). Mia manned the main halyard and I stood aft at the mizzen, and slowly it tipped forward out of its step. We lowered it to the deck using the mainmast halyard like a crane, and the operation went off without a hitch.
The deck was a tangle of wire and halyards from the mizzen, so I started about taking everything apart and cleaning it up. I must admit that it was nice having a sloop for a while - the cockpit nearly doubled in size without the mizzen back there. But I still want a two-masted boat, so it will go back up. The shrouds came off very easily, including the tangs on the mast, which I need to replace to accommodate the synthetic rigging. We were able to recycle one of the lower shrouds as a bike lock! The mast is currently laying on deck, radar and halyards still attached, but all the rigging coiled up and stowed away. I will begin splicing and installing new 7mm Dynex Dux to fit to the mizzen.
I re-designed the rigging on the mizzen to eliminate the triatic stay and remove the spreaders. By moving the chainplates for the upper and lower shrouds aft about 10 inches, I will be able to eliminate the need for running backstays in all but the worst weather, as well as eliminating the spreaders - by moving the uppers aft, it widens the shroud angle at the mast to within the acceptable 10 degrees, thereby making the spreaders an unnecessary complication. I'll also be installing two intermediate shrouds that will 'drift' forward about 25 inches from the mast, thereby letting us remove the triatic. All of the mizzen shrouds will be lashed to the toerail in place of chainplates.