Sunday, 19 May 2013

Raising the mast on the Heron (Alacrity 19)

This time last year I was out cycling, sailing, catching cod and generally enjoying the days when it wasn't raining. This year's weather has been tough. It's cold, wet and windy. Although I launched the 'mighty' Heron a couple of weeks ago, I had still not managed to rig the mast. This morning was damp and foggy, but that means no wind!

This is what 7m (23 ft) of mast and furler looks like when balanced on a my dinghy. I thought it would be a simple enough task to row across to the Heron. The collected spectators on the quay side seemed to think differently and were generous in their advice!

It worked and with Stuart's help I got the mast footed and raised. Every one of the lines in the above pic has a purpose.

An hour or so of sitting in the quiet of the harbour, the boat gently moving on the flowing tide, and I was slowly getting there, just the running rigging and sails to sort.

Above shows the essential tools of rigging a sail boat.

All done save the foresail. The damp fog was rolling back in and the cold began eating into our bones. We had also ran out of beer so it was time to head home.


  1. Hi Ped,
    I have just got a Valiant 18' but the mast is in a back garden.
    Were you able to raise the mast with just 2 guys?
    (My sister lives in Dunbar)

    1. Hi Dave, one person to stand aft with mast on shoulder whilst the other fits upper tabernacle bolt and cap shrouds. Then person at back lifts and walks forward whilst other pulls on a line from forestay around block at bow. Put last bolt in, attach shrouds, have beer.
      I look forward to reading about your adventures with your new boat.