Invader 22
Mast Up home allsorts *** ***

One of the problems I had with the wind vane connection plugs was the fineness of the 5 core wires. I tried a tip I had heard of - that of taking a single strand of tinned wire and whipping the ends to fatten them up. It works well - but stick a couple of magnifying glasses in front of your eyes ! The advantage is that you can bare a long end, then double it back onto the insulation as well - then whip the whole thing - so the screw grips the whole wire. Fiddly, especially on 5 core - but worth the effort - works well.

The Belkin plug makes the vane unit removeable - then the cable joins again just below the cabin mast step. There it is simply joined with a marine grade choc box connector housed in a Maplins small equipment box, for stepping the mast. I tried it out a few days ago, prior to finally wiring the mast section and it works fine.

I also scraped back the hardwood handrails - right, pic - and tried out a concoction on them - Lancote, Lanolin mixed with turps and painted on. Interesting to see how long they take to grey up again.

First time I have raised the mast. My system with the temp boom/fenderboard worked very well - with the mainsheet attached to the stemhead and a halyard aft - it really only needs one, or two preferably, steadying it sideways until it gains some height. The beam needed some initial lateral bracing, just a couple of lines either side down to the stanchions.

I'm still undecided on where to mount the radar reflector - either in a permanent position or as a hoisted system. I'm considering using the Gomex vhf bracket to fix it on the side of the mast between the spreaders and the mast-top - though maybe just hoist it - maybe using the Gomex bracket as a hoist bracket somewhere above the spreaders.

Below is the final mast top unit.

The new anchor/tri light combi has been fixed with a moulded epoxy/stainless lug, which is cast in situ to fit one of the holes, then fixed with a single wing nut. Wired directly to the Belkin plug which is clipped to the two Plastimo 25mm clips - so it's simple to remove - to take it down the mast for any repairs. The two clips behind take another 6 pin Belkin for the Target wind vane.

Below - the boom/beam fixed to the front of the mast. The mainsheet goes to the stemhead, then the halyard up to the masthead cleated off at the base. The two side sheets three quarters of the way up steady it when upright - I had them attached to the two stancion bases, but you need to make sure you can adjust them under load. You could get by with just one person aft - to steady it sideways rather than take any weight. Until it gains some height it can swing out sideways dramatically, which if not checked puts a great strain on the tabernacle cheeks. If you rigged the line to the mainsheet blocks at the stemhead so it could be safely adjusted from aft of the mast, you could do it on your own - but, despite the fact I can easily lift the mast on my own when its sideways - raising it on to its end creates some considerable forces - and it's not at all easy let it up without getting something hooked up - so a couple of helpers seems almost essential.