Down Rigging

Good morning everyone. The down rigging process has begun and with it the emotional change of seasons. Yesterday we all had a big emotional let down. We were all tired (we deserve it) and the thought of not heading out on the bay again for a year was clearly not too exciting. We live for this windjamming thing and I for one will miss the bay. Forgive me if I keep pining away for he summer sailing. I am not too good at transitions.

Shipwright and dear friend Brad Ellsworth came down to help drop the centerboard out of the boat. We did something I have never done before and dragged the board up along the topsides (with a couple of 2X6s for fenders so that we could take measurements for a new one to be built some time this winter. Today we will put the board back in to displace the water in the centerboard trunk. This minimizes the ice build up when things freeze up this winter. Remember that water expands when it freezes so the less the water the less expansion inside the trunk. Using the throat halyards it is a little bit of a rigging trick but it works. You can actually see the scrapes on the board from where it has been pivoted up and down in the trunk over the years. I know some of you would like to see the new one made out of styrofoam. The steel bands that lend support to the forward and after ends is plainly visible. The end of the main boom was lowered over the side and received a coat of paint and varnish to protect it for the winter. Who says you can’t bring the mountain to Mohamed. Don’t tell Jim Dugan, but it much easier to take untie the lines on the outboard end the sail that way, not that straddling a small slippery stick 12 feet over the water isn’t fun.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.


  1. Goodnight beautiful Mary Day. Thanks for the wonderful memories. Have a nice rest. I’ll see you next year. Saludos y Abrazos, MB

  2. Styrofoam? I don’t think so. I’ve manned the centerboard burton a few times and I do appreciate that raising it is one of the heavier jobs aboard. But doesn’t the weight of the board add stability as well as acting as an underwater counter to the action of the sails and mast? I’m sure raising the main and fore takes more effort but raising the centerboard is limited by space to three people so it can be a job.

  3. I am glad that your season has ended on a high note, although bittersweet that you won’t be out there for many months. Seeing the centerboard for the first time, do I see a few nicks in the bottom? At any rate, I enjoy reading your blog as it is the high point of my day to see what is going on in the great north. Keep up the good work, I hope to see you next year….Tink

  4. When you build the new one, can we have the old one? I thought it would make a wonderful conference room table. However, after further consideration I could not bear to make such a special item have the flow of trivial and useless meeting banter flow across it instead of the fine salt water of the Maine coast. Better to set it adrift and let it end it’s life in honor.

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