Tarring the Rig

Good morning everyone. By the looks of the forecast good painting weather may finally be reaching the Maine coast. Snow drifts still dot the landscape here in Appleton and the last few weeks week have been largely overcast and rainy. But Sunday through Wednesday look positively brilliant and we plan to be on the boat spreading paint fast and furiously.

Yesterday the crew had a chance to get aloft and tar the rig. The saltiest of fit-out work tasks,tarring the rig,involves spreading a mixture of pine tar and boiled linseed oil with a dollop of varnish(approximately 3.274186 ounces per gallon of mix, give or take a drop)on all of the standing rigging. We tar the rig in order to preserve the serving of tarred marline that covers the canvas parceling (also tarred) which covers the marline wormed between the strands of the wire rope (which has an oil impregnated fiber core) that are the mast stays. Did you catch all of that? The smell of pine tar alone does more to preserve my senses than anything else we apply to boat. Jim Dugan, currently starring in the local civic theater production of King Lear, stopped by to photograph the crew in action. Thank you Jim! Who is the old geezer standing around doing nothing?

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.


  1. Great pictures of the crew tarring the rigging. A couple of questions though. In the narrative it states, “…mixture of pine tar and boiled linseed oil with a dollop (approximately 3.274186 ounces per gallon of mix, give or take a drop)…” If the dollop was 3.141592 ounces then it would be a dollop of pi. But it wasn’t pi so a dollop of what?

    Second question. The photo of the crew standing in the standing rigging is great. But how did they get there? Surely they didn’t climb out on top of the cocoon? I’m sure this crew is special but can they fly? Did you use your helicopter to maneuver each person into place? How did they get off the rigging or are they stuck there until the cover comes off? Surely not a dive into Camden Harbor.

  2. How nice to see our beautiful Mary Day getting primped for her season debut. She looks like a caterpillar in her cocoon, waiting to turn into the butterfly of Camden harbor. I’m so looking forward to meeting the crew members who are lovingly tending to her needs. Great pics, Barry. Glad to have you back home.

  3. Hi Folks,

    Sorry about that typo Ed. Good catch. I think I fixed it. It was supposed to be a dollop of varnish. That gives the tar mix a little bit of hardness after it kicks. Now as for the crew getting in and out of the rig. I kinda just want to leave this one a mystery. It is magic, aka smoke and mirrors. Actually we get in to the main rig from the access doors already provided and due to the beauty of shrink wrap we can cut access doors at the fore shrouds and tape them closed when we are finished. Shrink wrap tape had a tenacity that duct tape would envy.

    A light snow this morning reminds us that spring has its temperature tantrums.

    Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

  4. Hey, I just realized this whole entry could have been titled: “Rigging the Tar for Tarring the Rig”.
    How much rig can a rig tarrer tar if the tar rigger can’t rig tar? Ok, so it is a slow afternoon.

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