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  • Steven Hopkinson

Swapping out the bolt holding the boom onto our mast



Because we've nothing else to do we decided to swap out the bolt holding the boom onto the mast through the gooseneck fitting. It seemed like an easy job, at least in theory.

In reality, it proved to be quite more difficult. Nothing on a boat is easy.

With some help from our French physicist friend Didier, we managed to get the pin most of the way out of the gooseneck fitting by hammering it down using a screwdriver. When it got stuck and we couldn't seem to get it to move down any farther, we tried hammering it up out of the fitting. Either way, the entire boom had to be in the exact right position being hit by the hammer in exactly the right manner in order for the pin to move at all, so we had to drop the sail completely.


Eventually we hammered the bolt up through and were able to work it out of the gooseneck, and we hammered the new bolt down into position as the sun rose higher into the sky.

Only, once we took out the nut to put it on the end of the bolt, we remembered the washers we were supposed to put on -- so we had to hammer the bolt up again until we could slip the washers on, then we had to hammer the bolt back down again. So much hammering!

It was a brutal process, full of moments were the outcome seemed in doubt, when it seemed like the steel pin, which we'd thought would fail and slip out, just wouldn't budge a millimeter despite being pounded on by a hammer with all the power we could muster. But we worked together and came out with a new bolt attaching our boom to our mast in a much more secure manner than before.


Of course, we should have put it in the other way, with the bolt going up and the nut on top, so that there aren't any threads in the gooseneck and so the bolt head is flush -- so we might have to redo the entire thing.


Good times on City Dogs.