Sunday, 23 April 2006

mast climbing

Went down to Maggie today to fit the radar... good progress but not finished!!!! The first trip up the mast was eventful.... loaded with the radar mounting bracket, and the cordless drill, it was a bit of a precarious run.... But eventually I got there, and sat at the spreaders and started to mount the radar bracket... it needed 12 rivets..... 4 in complete with Duralac, and the batteries on the drill packed up..... so back down I came.... A cup of tea and a break later, and I was back up there (trip 2)... maned the get the remaining 2 rivets on the side I was on fitted... Back down again, and backup the other side of the spreaders (trip 3).... managed to fit the remaining 6 rivets.... Back down again.... tied the raydome to another line, and back up again (trip 4).... pulled the raydome up, and started the delicate job of bolting in in... a bit of a balancing act, as I needed to remove the line I had pulled it up with to fit it, so if I had dropped it, it would have been all the way down to the deck..... got it fitted OK in the end though..... Next job was to drill the larger hole for the cable to enter the mast. I had stopped at the DIY store on the way down to get a 12mm drill bit... just the right size.... sadly it didn't fit in the chuck I discovered while perched at the cross trees.... so back down I came... I decided that I had to use the largest bit that would fit, and then a circular file....I first drilled the hole at the base of the mast.... and then back up I went (trip 5).... After drilling and filing the hole was big enough.... so I dropped a bit of whipping twine weighted with nuts down the mast...... SWMBO was at the base and had a bit of wire with a 'hook' in the end to fish the line out of the hole..... It wouldn't fit, and she couldn't get it to bend any further... so down I came.... I bent the wire and we still couln't hook the line.... it was too fine.... so I found a larger bit of string, and back up I went (trip 6).... This went down OK, and was soon hooked out.... I tied the cable to it, and we started threading...... the bloody cable just wouldn't go down though..... I seemed to go so far and then got stuck.... probably twisted round a halyard...... I tried to pull the cable back out, and it came so far and then the plastic coating snagged on the inside of the hole and started pulling off..... I gave up before I wrecked it.... So down I came... I couldn't do it either... so I decided to go back up and feed the cable in from the top to get it out of the rain and leave it for today.... so back up I went (trip 7) I eventually managed to feed all the cable in..... What I haven't mentioned so far is that all the while I had been doing this, the rain had poured down.... so now I was like a drowned rat! Sod it.... time to go home! I've decided to pull the cable back out next weekend, using a small piece of stiff plastic rolled into a tube in the hole to guide the cable back out, and have another go at threading the mousing line... Hope it works!

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