The boat was at the lake, safe on its trailer – but there was still lots to do before we could put it in the water!

Replacing the Halyard

The Marieholm had a wire to rope main halyard with two (yes TWO) splices in it to different size lines.  It seems most halyards are all rope now.  30 years ago, rope technology wasn’t good enough to produce a rope that wouldn’t stretch, but we can now!  That said, I replaced the wire to 3/8″ line to 3/16″ line to more 3/16″ line with a single, new 3/16″ line.  Works great, and is now very smooth.

I had the mast down while doing this.  There is very little chance I could have done it with the mast up.  I spliced the new line to the end of the old line with some heat, Dacron thread, and a finish wrap of duct tape.  I was nervous, but it worked great!  See here for the top of the mast:


You can see the back stay (bottom left) in this picture.  The halyard had that type and size of end ‘loop’ with the 3/8″ line looping through the other way.  I ended up taking the top sheave out, and twisting/pulling the two loops through.  Nerve wracking, but effective!

Polishing the Gelcoat

The Marieholm had been sitting for a while; the gelcoat above waterline was still good, but needed a heavy wet sand, polish and sealant.  I started to do this with pretty dramatic results, but just didn’t have time to finish it.  I wanted to sail!  That’s a project for the fall.


The left side is untouched, and the right side had a 1500 grit wet sand, two step polish with my DA polisher, and a coat of sealant.  Come fall, I’m going to hit the whole boat with an 800 grit wet sand (it really needed more oomph), the two step polish, and a sealant.

Stepping the Mast

When we took the mast down in Naples it was an uncoordinated, stressful event.  The crane operator didn’t communicate with us on the boat what was happening, so it all happened quicker than we expected.  The roller furling headsail split into its four separate pieces (fortunately no damage!), and the mast popped out of its step pretty violently.  Needless to say, I wanted to make sure putting it up was more coordinated.  Despite the fact that we had no idea how to use the mast hoist at the lake, and it took us 15-20 minutes of lifting/untangling the crane, we got the mast up.    I looked up, and realized we forgot a line up top that tied the headsail to the mast in transport.  D’oh!  Down comes the mast, off comes the line, and up goes the mast.  We are pros by this point!


Here we are working as a team to get the mast up (and keep the roller furling straight).

So the mast is up, and the time for my appointment at the jib hoist comes.  We tow the boat over to the hoist, and the friendly DNR guy looks at the boat and says “Yeah, I’m not going to be able to put the boat in the water with the mast up”.  My heart sinks.  We tow the boat back over to the mast hoist, lower the mast (in about 2-3 minutes!) and head back over to the jib hoist.  He pops the boat in the water, and we paddle over to our slip.  At this point I have no idea how the mast is going back up.  My only option is to pay a company ($275!!) to bring a bucket truck to the lake to lift it up.  Hmm….

The day we were doing all of this, there was a big event that the lake’s sailing club (of which we are members) was putting on.  As we talked with people throughout the day, it seemed like they were all cheering us to get in the water and sailing.  We must have looked new!  As I’m standing on the dock next to the boat (with the mast still down), the club president walks by to say hi.  I get to talking with him about the days events, and he says “You know, if you have a block, we can get that mast up in ten minutes.”  Four other club members come over to help, and we get the mast up in right about 10 minutes.  How awesome!  I can’t thank them enough!

There was very little wind, but we decided to take my family out for a quick ‘sail’ anyways.  We had six adults, three kids, and a dog, and we fit pretty well!  That is a testament to how large the cockpit is.  There really wasn’t much wind, so we just paddled out and paddled back.  It was fun though!