Video – Unpacking the mast

Catching up on all the video files we created during this summer, here is a first quick glimpse on how we started the mast assembly in early July.

The mast was built in the USA (California) and then shipped from Los Angeles via the Panama Canal to Hamburg (with many many stops in between).
From there it went via Customs in Rendsburg to Ancker Yachting in Kappeln, where the very friendly and competent staff unloaded the precious cargo…
Kevin Montague from Northeast Rigging arrived the same day from Boston and organized us very well to assemble the mast in record time of 3.5 days (for an assembly with amateur helpers and without the usual tools he has available in the US).
Due to the mast’s late arrival (by about a month) we had to cancel the first leg (from Germany to Sweden) and cut the second leg (Sweden to Norway) in half.

The mast made it in one piece to Lanzarote with only a few and also manageable hick-ups (we had to built new partners and retape the mast boot in Norway, rebuild the vang bracket threads/bolts in Lanzarote, …).
Once the mast is back home in the US, we will take care of the remaining mostly cosmetic items.


New Mast – next steps

Assembling a new mast is no small task. Just taking all the protective wrap off took the eight of us almost an hour.
We were lucky as one of the Ancker Yachting folks was willing to get the forklift going to lift the mast out of the box onto a series of sawhorses. With the top section lined up we had a good working setup.
While some of us stripped the old mast, others worked on the new, and yet others went to get taps, screws etc as well as groceries for the tour to Norway.
We also received great support from the friendly team at Kiesow, the local mechanics, that did not hesitate sharing their SAE taps etcetc

The two sections are spliced together with 4 internal aluminum brackets and about 120 screws that Kevin had to put in by hand!
It required quite some preparations (we had to mount one of the mast winches to pull the sections together etc) and worked out very well.
We were also lucky enough to be able to “borrow” parts from the trashed masts that got destroyed during the fire a few months ago.

By now, the mast is one piece, has the radar, one winch and two halyards installed and most parts have been removed from the old mast (which took quite an effort drilling out numerous stainless steal screws…).

Goal for tomorrow is to complete all the work required to get to the crane on Monday morning to step the mast.

So far, so good…

IMG_5809  IMG_5827

The mast arrived!!

An eventful day

  • Tioga was launched
  • The new alternator, starter, water boiler and engine control panel were successfully tested
  • Repaired dodger and steering wheel with new leather were picked up
  • Corinna, Lauren and Nick arrived
  • Kevin arrived
  • The Fulghums have a pland to make it from Oslo to Germany


  • the container with the mast arrived.

It took the team a while to figure out how to get this very long (30ft) and quite heavy (app 300kg) wooden crate out of the container, but with two fork lift trucks they got it done.
After we removed about 100 screws from the crate, we were able to rip the lid off with a crow bar.
What a relief to finally have the mast in Germany.
By far outweighs the fact that

  • we had a major oilspill due to a not properly sitting o-ring
  • lost the key for the Edson steering wheel (and now have to get one custom built)
  • that it rains just about every day.

IMG_5789 IMG_5807

Where is the mast??

There is hardly any conversation these days that does not start like this…

We had planned to leave Germany June 16 and sail to Denmark and Sweden. Unfortunately, the lead person at Forespar got diagnosed with cancer a while ago. In addition, it turned out that there was a significant delay when shipping containers via the East Coast. A new plan had to be devised…
The team rallied to complete the mast and the mast was then shipped via San Diego and the Panama canal to Hamburg. While the initial arrival date was June 28th, it seems more likely that the freighter will arrive in Hamburg June 2.
We are hopeful that the container will be unloaded quickly, make it through customs and then get transported to Kappeln.

The freighter arrived in London yesterday and we hope that the next stop will be Hamburg…. – we are getting closer



Kappeln is our final destination for 2015. This is where we keep Tioga over the winter (at Ancker Yachting).

We left Schilksee in the morning (with our special guest, Helmut, a friend from Kiel) and had a nice and windy broad reach down towards Schleimuende, took the sails down, passed the lighthouse and motored against the stiff breeze up the Schlei. Going up the narrow channel of the Schlei is always something special. Lots of thatched roofed houses, a mixture of green forests and yellow farmland, various marinas and lots of shallow water.

Ancker had reserved us a very nice spot and it happened to be next to friends of us that we had met 2 years earlier during a sailing trip. The skipper bought yet another SIM card to keep his internet speed up and the crew (Ellen, Corinna and Thomas) get going packing up the equipment.
As before, it was good to have friends. Urte organized us a Mercedes Sprinter for the next day and Helmut drove it from Kiel to Kappeln and helped us throughout the day to move equipment to winter storage. Thanks a lot!
In the afternoon the mast was pulled and Tioga lifted out of the water. She now sits in the temporary spot where dirty water can be collected after power-washing etc. The engine is winterized and all the remaining equipment is taken off the boat.

We can now focus on fixing the fridge (that had stopped working after the wet sail along the North Sea coast) and more importantly, replacing the mast. This is a big deal and will take us quite a while to sort out. The mast has developed a significant crack and can no longer be used. We were very lucky making it to our winter storage location in one piece. And again, good to have friends. Bob is already connecting us with friends with similar experiences as well as other mast manufacturers in Europe, while Kevin is making sure we are buying the right equipment for the boat.
While this sounds like a very expensive endeavor, we are hopeful to have this sorted out by spring 2016.

Our dinner at the Missunder Faehrhaus was a nice finish to our third leg.

Schlei Kappeln Ancker Yachting