On my 3 previous years I have had help in hoisting the mast, but this year I was alone and I was not even sure if I could do it successfully. It took me a long time to prepare the rig, halyards and stays to be connected and fitted correctly and it is amazing how quickly one forgets!
The lee shore had turned the boat so it sat on a bed of sand and with me trampling over it turned it into a quicksand..going was slow as I had to pull my boot out of the soup underneath me.
After 5 hours of of checking and rechecking the rig in case I had forgotten anything it was time to hoist the mast. I did a trial run and found that stays had lodged themselves under all manner of things, after freeing everything I connected the wooden pole/lever that I had fixed to the pivot axle where the mast rotated. This wooden pole had rope either side of it to stop it tilting too far over. The stay was fitted into a groove at the top of the pole and tied so it would not slip out. The end of the stay was tied to a rope and fed though the a pulley at the bows.
I hoisted the mast onto my shoulder and walked towards the cabin slowly edging the mast high as I walked and taking the weight with the rope. When I could not go any farther I tried to pull on the rope and hoist the mast by using the pole and stay…it did not lift due to the angle of the pole. It was vertical but the mast was not high enough.
I dismantled the rope and fitted another pulley to the stay end, so i could thread the rope through two pulleys so halving the strain on the rope. I repeated the process and when it came to the point where I could not walk any further and support the mast I pulled on the rope and the pulley system enabled me to hoist the mast vertical. It was up, I pulled tight and as it slotted into the base I threaded another bolt into the lower mast section, she was secured.
I jumped down, tightened the stays to the boat and made everything tight.