We have talked through the stages 1-3 of the rigging program, Stage 4 is the dressing of the mast and re-stepping onboard the yacht.
With approximately a week to go before the re-step the mast is moved into an area large enough for the spreaders to be remounted and the redressing procedure with the rods or cables to be started. With all these in position the butt bar is mounted horizontally across the base of the mast allowing the vertical and diagonal shrouds to be tensioned up against it with chain blocks. This stabilises the mast during the initial lift to vertical by the crane. With the butt bar in position the padding and protection is added to areas that require it and the lifting slings are measured out on the mast and positioned so that the hook of the crane is clear of the mast head.
On the day of the re-step the cranes arrive early to set up as close to the boat as possible. The mast, foils and boom are moved to the lifting area where the cranes will be used to mount the forestay foils and the furler units are secured in position on the butt bar. After a final check has been carried out on the mast and rigging the primary crane is connected into the lifting strops at the head of the mast and the smaller crane takes the weight of the bottom of the rig.
The procedure starts with both cranes lifting the rig horizontally before the main crane continues the lift and the smaller crane lowers and manoeuvres the butt until the mast is vertical. The rig is then lowered carefully down so the butt bar is sitting on two pallet trollies and the tension on the rods and furlers is eased, the butt bar disconnected and wheeled away.
The mast is then swung into position over the mast partners in the deck and slowly lowered through the deck on the mast step. As this is going on there is a continual communication between the team on deck controlling the crane and connecting up the shrouds and head stays and the team below decks who are feeding the multitude of cables and hydraulic hoses into position and lining up the mast foot with the step. This is a procedure that at times requires minute movements to position the mast on the step correctly and is not a job for the feint hearted! Once the rig is in place and the standing rigging connected the mast jacks can be pumped up to apply tension to the shrouds allowing the crane to unload the lifting strops. The crane is then disconnected and starts the lift of the boom straight away.
The boom is swung into position and the gooseneck connected before the hydraulic vang is hooked up and is able to take the weight of the boom. With the procedure completed the cranes are signed off and the decks and mast step area are tidied up in preparation for the rig tune.