Esper Refit 45 – tent down, masts up, davits on

Esper's tent comes down, the masts go up and the davitts are on

Yes, you read that title right. Esper has finally been revealed to the outside world and we witness the first ray of sunshine on that beautiful shiny hull, and we even got the masts up, though not without a headache or two.

Weekly Video Round-Up

It’s a short clip this week, cutting down the tent removal, mast erection and davit fitting from two days to seven minutes.

Tent Down

After ten months the tent comes down. It took the yard lads less than two hours to remove the tarps and A-frames.

Tent down in PSS Boatyard

For the first time since the refit began Esper finally reveals her Awlcraft Moon Dust top-sides.

Esper's Awlcraft top-sides are finally revealed

Masts Up

We had to wait two hours for the crane driver to appear (he turned up at 4pm), leaving us little time to get both masts up.

The main mast is raised

Main mast

Although the mast-lifting went without a hitch, a rather silly thing happened. The power cable for the wind indicator dropped down inside the mast and into a pile on the floor. I had used silicone to the seal the conduit exit at the top of the mast but clearly it had not dried properly, so the cable wasn’t fixed to anything. It was a school-boy error so I had to go up the mast to feed a mouse down the conduit. However the crane had me hanging 1m below the top of the mast and I wasn’t able to get any purchase. With adrenalin pumping through me and my body knackered from the heat, I asked our electrician Sombat to go up and fix the problem. This he did, but used the VHF conduit instead.

With the main mast in place we started to fit the rigging together but there was a problem with the split backstay. The starboard cable was short by about 15cm and no amount of winching would get it even close. By this time it was dark and most people had gone home, so we left the cables tensioned and went to bed (actually, we had another BBQ first but that’s by-the-by).

The next morning I got up early to set up some kind of system that would allow us to pull the mast back using a line attached to the topping lift sent to a block at the back of the boat, but still we couldn’t attach the backstay. Realising that my fore-stay furlers are adjustable I decided to let off the stay-sail cable instead, and this gave us enough movement to get the backstay on. I would worry about the stay later.

Next up was the mizzen, which was all pretty straightforward. Lek, one of our original workers, went up the mizzen to connect the triatic, whilst I found a missing turnbuckle which allowed me to attach the baby-stay, which in turn allowed us to get the stay-sail cable back on. It was all a bit hit and miss and we had the crane for five hours, but after a hectic couple of days, one of our biggest head-aches is now over.

Davits Up

Whilst all this was going on, Yoong had been working on the davits. They are now fitted in place.

Davitts on

I’ll write more about the construction and operation of these another time.

What’s Next?

The electricians and Ton the carpenter reckon on finishing within two weeks.





8 Comments on “Esper Refit 45 – tent down, masts up, davits on”

    1. Jamie

      We’ll have to head back to Langkawi to rig the boat, Brian, but we don’t want to spend too long there. We’ll head north for the rest of the NE monsoon.

  1. Dad

    Phew-bet you cursed when that cable came down. Esper is beginning to look more like her old self now, but a great deal smarter. I suppose you will need a rigger to tension all those stays. Any news on the engine?

    1. Jamie

      I was too knackered to curse! We know of a rigger in Langkawi who I met a few months ago. He said he’d be happy to help out.

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