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Sunday, Pix and Nick beat us down to the Squadron and have unloaded a bunch of tools and are ready to go. These fellas are on the ball and reminding us that the one hour trip from where we are staying to the site is a bit much. So today we had packed our sleeping bags and mats and had organised some more food. Getting to work will be easier.

There were two jobs for Sunday. Getting the sail set up and getting the A-frame mast set up. Two relatively simply stated but somewhat complex tasks.

The sail laid out, the yard and boom attached.

The sail was probably the most annoying thing to do. We are using a recycled advertising tarpaulin  – “Freedom from Thirst” – which is pretty tough but slippery and a pain to sew. Frustration is built in. As are bobbin thread knots, broken needles along with swearing, cursing and general self-doubt. ARGH! But we got through, the sail has the desired shape and then we could start hammering in eyelets for the yard lacing. Note that the shape of the sail is very long and flat, close to the water. And leaving space below bridges and overhead lines. Which will be important. The bamboo boom was a good idea at the time but the bamboo that we had access to (some abandoned lot) is floppy and weak – not the structural black bamboo that we would really need for this job.

The A-frame was less of a pain. The two overdimensioned pieces of laminated pine (radiata, not Scots pine (Sylvestris) or anything of quality) were shaped, the electric plane was damaged, the structure was, glued, screwed, bolted and nailed, chocks were cut and after several cups of tea, big sandwiches and too much lemony sweet softdrink, we had a mast. Mounted in the boat – after removing all the old damaged hardware – it is held down with some recycled spectra. A rope hanging point and a repaired bow attachment point – the vessel is ready for a test hoisting of the sail.

Mast rainsed, sail raised (watch out for that light!) and it is all looking fine so far.

The test raising made us a bit more relaxed – it looks like it should do. The sail curves nicely, it looks like we will have enough headroom.

There remains a few details to be dealt with. We need eyelets for the attachment of sheets, and a boom to hold the sail stiff out behind the dinghy. Once we have added length to the vessel, we will have some more attachment points, but we think that a small boom on the outer lower edge (foot) of the sail, like the attachments on the foot of a gaff topsail.

But a good Sunday was had. We move forward. Hurrah!

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