DE38 Windsong, Removing the mast: by Erick

That’s right folks, time for the ol’ mast to come down.  I have the crane reserved for tomorrow afternoon and am fully prepped for it to come down.  I’ve been kind of shocked at the lack of resources online describing the preparation and process of unstepping a mast.  Most of us need to pay the yard for the actual crane and its operation, but many of us need to save cash and not pay the yard for the de-rigging and such.  Thanks to the guys on the Sailnet forums for helping me out in preparation (link).

Why am I taking the mast out?  Plenty of reasons!  I am replacing all of the standing rigging including chainplates, the mast needs to be re-painted, electronics need to be replaced and re-wired, most hardware will need replacing, replace the compression post beneath it, refurbish the bowsprit (possible replace if I find rot), and a few more projects I can’t think of right now.  I also need the mast and rigging out so I can continue to get the decks and teak caprails completely bare for repair and painting.  Hopefully getting it down will give me some good momentum.

Mast removal a success!

Tuesday afternoon came around and it was time for the mast to come off.  The crane showed up and I had everything prepped for a quick removal.   I told the yard that I didn’t need any help (i.e. pay them $$$) in preparation, but they took that as I didn’t need any help once the crane got there.  Myself and the crane operator tried to give it a go, but once he realised I really didn’t know what I was doing he went to get the yard guys.  They came and lent a hand, and the mast was off in about 15 minutes.  I guess I owe them some money for their help, unfortunately I figure I will get charged for a whole hour of their time.

After the mast was off I spent the day inspecting the mast & rigging, taking it apart, and snapping photos as I went along.  I don’t have many photos of the actual de-masting, since I had to be in the thick of the action.  More detail pictures of the mast and rigging can be found on my facebook page.

Lift off!

slowly let down on the saw horses

The mast step, notice the old nickel!  I want to glass in a nice coin underneath it once finished.

Decks getting pretty bare

For more stories about Windsong visit her and Eric at

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