Pulling the Rig

schooner rigging, windjammer cruises, Maine schooners, schooner masts

Pulling the foremast of the schooner Mary Day, a Maine windjammer offering scenic vacation cruises along the coast of Maine.

Good morning everyone. Pulling the rig? What the heck is that? Well, in a nutshell, it involves pulling both masts and the bowsprit and its associated rigging, deadeyes and lanyards. The process involves a crane, moving the schooner to where a crane can reach the masts and casting off the rope lanyards that hold the mast rigging to the schooner. There are 3 sets of lanyards for each side of each mast. We also have to disconnect the head stay and the spring stay, that cable which connects the two mast heads. Oh, and then there is the part about lifting the mast out of the schooner without taking out all of the interior decorating. The masts are not plucked out by their mastheads but instead by their bases…or somewhere close to the base. In our case we use the saddles which are securely fastened to mast. As you can see from the picture above the line (big, strong line) leads from the saddle to a hitch taken around the mast just above the mast’s balance point. Simple, right? Nerve wracking…yes.

The masts, as you can imagine, are quite heavy. The 68′ main mast weighs in at 4900 lbs and the 65′ foremast just 300 lbs. less, 4600 lbs. The bowsprit is surprisingly heavy weighing in just shy of a ton at 1700 lbs. As you will see in the accompanying video (By JimDugan.com) the bowsprit is such a tight fit that we had to do a lot of wiggling to get it out. So enjoy the video, 2 hours compacted into 1 minute, 11 seconds.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.


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This entry was posted in camden windjammer cruises sailing vacations by Capt. Barry. Bookmark the permalink.

About Capt. Barry

Barry King and Jennifer Martin own and operate the schooner Mary Day. They are both Coast Guard licensed masters and have extensive sailing and educational backgrounds. Barry has voyaged to Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and along the Canadian maritimes to Newfoundland. Barry is a Registered Maine Guide, and a Nationally Registered Wilderness EMT. During the winter Barry volunteers with his community fire department and ambulance service. Jen's sailing career took her to Florida and the Bahamas before becoming captain of Figaro IV, a classic ocean racing yacht, here on the Maine coast. Jen is a nationally certified Wilderness First Responder. Jen and Barry met as students with the Audubon Society's Expedition Institute while earning master degrees in experiential environmental education. This program gave them in-depth experience in a diversity of human and natural communities ranging from a sub-artic fishing village in Labrador to the native American desert southwest. Barry and Jen were married aboard Mary Day and live year round in Maine with their children Sawyer and Courtney. Combining their enthusiasm for people, wilderness, and beautiful traditional sailing vessels, Barry, Jen, Sawyer and Courtney are living the dream. When not sailing they live in an old timber frame barn in the woods of Appleton, ME USA

3 thoughts on “Pulling the Rig

  1. I remember that on my first sail aboard the Mary Day, in fact my first experience on a sailing ship, Captain Barry told us that he had the masts out over the winter. That was probably in the Fall of 2004 as Alabama Al and I shared our first sailing adventure in the Summer of 2005. That got me to looking at photos from that trip. Gee, some of us were a lot <a href=" http://demellier.com/gallery3/index.php/Mary_Day/Eds_Pics/Mary-Day1-028&quot; target=younger and thinner then.

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