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The Abaco Rage is a traditional, wooden Bahamian racing sloop.

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She lives in HopeTown’s harbor, on a mooring.  Now she’s being spiffed up for the HopeTown Sailing Club’s racing series – the first race is this Wednesday.   Her rigging was checked and updated; rot in the mast was replaced by fresh wood; and paint was carefully touched up.  Today, she was rejoined with her rig – her mast was stepped and her boom was reconnected.

Here’s fresh paint at the top of the mast:

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Since her homeport is HopeTown, the paint scheme reflects HopeTown’s candy stripe lighthouse.

A forklift raised the mast, the line around it carefully placed at the perfect balance point. The height the forklift can achieve controls when the mast can be stepped – at low tide, so Rage is far below the boatyard’s dock and the forklift can raise the mast high enough to clear the deck.

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Up, up it goes.  “A hole in one,” the excited forklift driver calls out.  “My first one.”  Meaning the mast dropped perfectly into its hole on Rage’s deck and down onto the keel – on the first try.   Next, the mast was blocked.

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Then the shrouds and stays that hold up the mast were sorted out and attached to their turnbuckles and chain plates.

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Like a nautical “Maypole” dance.  Hooking up the forestay required lots of weight to pull the mast forward.

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Luckily, lots of weight was available.  Goldwin is in the blue and white shirt in the back.

The forklift lowered Rage’s 38’ long boom onto its deck; it was then connected via a gooseneck to the boom.

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Finally, the mainsail was slid up its track.  Someone had to get into a little boat behind Rage to hook up the outhaul because the boom sticks out past the end of the boat by about 10-12 feet.

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Can’t wait until race day.  Here’s a picture of Rage racing last year.

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Goldwin is sitting on deck, waving; I’m on the forward pry, leaning back.  Fun.

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