Gordon & Ollie found themselves rushing to Falmouth on a Saturday afternooon in October to help with the re-stepping of M5’s enormous 89m mast. They’d already had a dawn trip to Falmouth earlier in the week, when the expected weather window didn’t materialize. As the mast stepping required lifting 300ft in the air it was crucial that the wind was less than 10 knots. So having returned home to be on standby for the next weather window, they got the call to action on a Saturday afternoon.
The stepping of the main mast was managed by Marine Results, with equipment supply, infrastructure management and hydraulics expertise provided by Pendennis. The primary crane, provided by Ainscough Cranes with a lifting load of 1,000 tonnes, is one of only two in the UK capable of this operation.
The mast was hoisted at dusk whilst there was still just enough light to ensure the mast was safely vertical. It then took five cranes, supported by a team of over 30 people, five hours to complete the complex procedure.
When the yacht originally arrived at Pendennis as Mirabella V the mast and rigging weighed over 45 tonnes. Part of the refit specification was to improve her rig and fittings replacing them with a system made of carbon fibre and titanium, designed and manufactured by Carbo-Link with OYS making the fittings. Although the mast and spreaders have remained original, the 34 new carbon fibre stays have been constructed with built-in dynamic fibre optics displaying the load through a central computer. This change has reduced the weight of M5’s rig by an incredible 18 tonnes.
To watch the re step follow the link on Marine Results web site:
Gordon & Ollie also helped with the unstep last year – spot Gordon on the bow in charge of the furling unit: