Ernestina’s Masts Are UP!

May 31, 2013 dawned clear and calm.  The crane from N.C. Hudon arrived at 9 am and the crew was ready.   Ernestina was ready too!

Ernestina is ready to have her masts stepped.

Coins all set in the fore step

Placing the coins in the step is an important tradition. Read More …

DCR carpenter Manny Silva documenting the coins in the main step

The main mast rig is all sorted out

The new mast was rigged and rest of the rig was repaired and serviced with matching funds from DCR’s Partnership Program.  Shipwright Leon Poindexter and his crew worked on the project for nearly two months.

The strapping is in place on the fore mast.

The fore mast is off the blocking

The forklift supports the foot of the mast as the crane lifts

The new fore mast is lowered to Ernestina. From a life in the forests of the Olympic Peninsula of WA to Massachusetts Official Tall Ship!

This new foremast was donated to the Schooner Ernestina Commission by Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association, Inc.

Lining up the foot of the mast with the step. You can see the mortise that will match up with the tenon in the step.

The fore mast is through the deck, next through the table and fo'c'sle sole and into the step

far left Marty holds the jib stay which has to be walked forward clear of the rest of the rig.

sorting out the shrouds and lanyards

getting started on the starboard shrouds, the shrouds must be secured on the foremast before the main mast is lowered in

These three-holed blocks are called deadeyes because the position of the three holes resemble the eye and nose sockets of a skull.

The lanyards are threaded through the deadeyes and made fast. The tightness of the shrouds can be adjusted with this system of rigging.

Reeving the starboard foremast lanyards

Need to add reeve to your vocabulary?  Thomas Liddell Ainsley can tell you all about it in his 1871 book on seamanship.

Mast wedges going in

Foremast's in the step! Those coins aren't going anywhere now, the crane measured the mast and rig at 7500 pounds!

Rigging the Forestay to the Gammon Iron.

Steve and Willi taking the jib stay out to the end of the bowsprit

The main mast is off the blocks, up she goes.

As the crane lifts the top of the mast the forklift drives forward to assure that the foot of the mast doesn't drag along the pier

making sure the shrouds and lanyards are clear of the blocking

The shrouds were swinging along with the mast

The crane operator did an amazing job, the mast weighs several tons.

The crane swings the main mast to line up with the step as the crew guides it.

main mast coming down into mast step

Fred and Marty freeing the lanyard coils

the shrouds hold the masts in place athwartships

Reeving and tightening

The lanyards through the dead eyes secure and tighten the shrouds. When the job is done there will be a total of 18 strands of line which gives the rig a strong fastening.

main mast

main mast in the step

placing the wedges for the main mast

Marty tightening the port side main mast lanyards

the geometry of raising the rig, main mast, crane and foremast, beautiful!

Steve and Willi working on the fore stay

there is still work to do, rigging the spring stay and the head stays and more, but the crane is done and getting ready to leave

later that day ... still some tuning to do but Ernestina looks great with her masts in place

Later that weekend a great photo from Tiny Tavares

The masts were stepped May 31 on a perfect day.  It took less than 3 hours of crane work but there are still adjustments to make as the masts and rig settle into place.

It sure is GREAT to see those spars reach into the sky again!

Thank you everyone involved.