Learning to Sail – How to Rig a Mast

When learning to sail, you have to realize that sailing, as a sport, demands a lot of offshore experience, and the less time you spend onshore, the more confident you will become. It is natural to be a little disoriented when you first set sail. What is important is not to get overwhelmed and intimidated when being introduced to the basics of sailing because after all is said and done, sailing is supposed to be fun. The key in learning to sail is by doing the right things initially in tiny steps.

Rigging a Mast

Perhaps it is a nightmare for masterracksbd every sailor to be dismasted at sea. However, for those with the right experience and creative confidence, it is just a matter of a perfect jury rig execution. And although each dismantling situation can be different from any other, there are some basic steps that you have to remember when trying to safely rig a mast. It is therefore one of the things that you must remember when learning to sail.

The first thing that you must do is to assess the condition of the mast. Usually, masts break near the upper spreaders which will leave a considerable stump that you can still utilize. Particularly when you are rigging a new mast, a portion of the mast leftover will be a great help. However, there must be a proper evaluation of the logic of preserving the mast versus the risks of creating a hole in the hull. If there is a portion of the mast hanging overboard, if the seas are not in good condition, or if sharp edges are exposed, it may be a safer option to just cut the rig off and allow the mast to sink or lag behind the as a sea anchor.

Keep whatever you can and dismember what you can’t. The boat must be cleared of any wreckage and pick up whatever can be salvaged. Discard all kinds of splintering as they can be hazardous, but if you have pieces that are straight, remove them from the rigging as you can still use them. Use a sharp knife, a marlin spike, and wire cutters to do this. Some zinc chromium paste and a riveting kit are likewise useful.

Raise and secure your mast as you were taught when learning to sail. If part of the mast is remaining, secure it using some ad hoc rigs. You can use halyard blocks for your new mast, then run new lines to replace the shrouds. For a stay, you can use a free topping lift.

Finally, cut new sails. In a lot of dismasting cases, the mainsail usually gets the most damage as well as the mast. But even if it remains intact, the sail may need to be cut off just the same in order to measure up to the new mast. So you still have some work to do to refit the sail. Some sharp knives, a measuring tape, and a sail sewing kit may come in handy for this purpose. It is important to remember that before raising the sail, you first double check the mast’s stability, and to consider setting up the jib to secure some temporary stability to your boat.

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