Pulling the Rig


schooner rigging, windjammer cruises, Maine schooners, schooner masts

Pulling the foremast of the schooner Mary Day, a Maine windjammer offering scenic vacation cruises along the coast of Maine.


Good morning everyone. Pulling the rig? What the heck is that? Well, in a nutshell, it involves pulling both masts and the bowsprit and its associated rigging, deadeyes and lanyards. The process involves a crane, moving the schooner to where a crane can reach the masts and casting off the rope lanyards that hold the mast rigging to the schooner. There are 3 sets of lanyards for each side of each mast. We also have to disconnect the head stay and the spring stay, that cable which connects the two mast heads. Oh, and then there is the part about lifting the mast out of the schooner without taking out all of the interior decorating. The masts are not plucked out by their mastheads but instead by their bases…or somewhere close to the base. In our case we use the saddles which are securely fastened to mast. As you can see from the picture above the line (big, strong line) leads from the saddle to a hitch taken around the mast just above the mast’s balance point. Simple, right? Nerve wracking…yes.


The masts, as you can imagine, are quite heavy. The 68′ main mast weighs in at 4900 lbs and the 65′ foremast just 300 lbs. less, 4600 lbs. The bowsprit is surprisingly heavy weighing in just shy of a ton at 1700 lbs. As you will see in the accompanying video (By JimDugan.com) the bowsprit is such a tight fit that we had to do a lot of wiggling to get it out. So enjoy the video, 2 hours compacted into 1 minute, 11 seconds.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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