Members' Online Book: Maintaining a Cruising Boat, Chapter 11 of 29

The Dangers of Storing With The Mast Stepped


We are in the process of readying Morgan's Cloud for out-of-the-water winter storage, and tomorrow's fun job is to go up the mast and strip all the fragile gear that could be damaged when we unstep said mast.

And then of course there is all the work involved in slacking off the rig and disconnecting all the wiring, etc., not to speak of the pain of breaking the tune we did just a few months ago. Then once the rig is out, the considerable work of readying it for storage will start.

Of course the really depressing thing in all of this is that we get to reverse the process in just five months. Well, if you can't take a joke, I guess you shouldn't live in Nova Scotia where winter is, shall we say, aggressive...and long too.

(The reasons we haven't just got aboard and headed south are the subject for another post.)

It would be so very tempting to leave the mast in the boat. And more and more sailors seem to be doing that. But I think that's a mistake.

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Meet the Author


John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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