27 hrs blood sweat and tears!

Meet my good friend Spruce stick.


Just finished my mast, three coats of primer + 6 coats of varnish sanding lightly between coats, must say it’s been quite a job and kept me busy in my weekends for about a month! Luckily Ive got a good place in an old glass house to do the varnishing, at 20 minutes from my house, probably used more petrol than varnish I guess, but more importantly it’s a stick to be proud of now and gleams a lovely honey hue, in its traditional varnish which somehow quite enhances the colour due to the golden colour layer upon layer, I’ve used Altura from Boero which I’ve been quite impressed with so far.


I’ve re fastened the fittings to the mast using Vaseline around the screws to seal that so that the moisture can’t get in, when handling my wet mast it was useful to lift it on the winches, but now the varnish is sorted I’ve removed the winches for re-greasing, which was well overdue!

As far as the other maintenance is concerned most of the small repairs etc. have been completed and hopefully I’ll be able to have the boat craned out for the hull repaint soon when there is space in a boatyard due to other boats being launched.

very grungy!


Good for the forseeable future.

Other jobs have made a pair of weather cloth for attaching either side of the cockpit in adverse weather, was amused to recently read Eric Hiscock’s account of his voyage in Wanderer III, he would only put his weather cloths on in rough weather, but in really tough conditions he would remove them for fear of them breaking his guard rails with the weight of waves hitting them, he would then heave too and retire below and have a good meal, shall do likewise.

Sewing a border having first stapled it together.

brown polycotton canvas.


Have also made a canvas cover for my forehatch, not because it leaks but just to give it a little extra protection, especially when rigging the boat it’s very easy to drop winch handles or shackle on it messing up my immaculate finish!

My new forehatch cover


I thought I’d break down what the mast had cost in time and money to re-varnish:

stripping and sanding 9hrs

Priming 3 hrs

6 coats + sanding 12 hrs

Replacing fittings 3hrs

Total  27 hours blood sweat and tears!

Primer € 17.00

Varnish 1.5ltr  €45.00

Petrol € 25.00

Sanding disks€ 24.80

320 grit sandpaper €4.95

Total €116.75

So for 27hrs work and € 116.75 I’ve got a great looking mast, just imagine what that would cost if I hadn’t got two right hands, certainly there would be no change from € 1000,00 at a yard in labour costs.

Now just have to renew the halyards at a cost of € 400, it never ceases to amaze me how the cost keeps mounting up, a point worth considering when choosing a boat as an aluminium mast does kind of simplify the maintenance issues, although most of the stuff I’m renewing won’t need much attention for a considerable number of years now.

Above the completed wooden spacer under the gantry, a great improvement.

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