Winter work has begun in the shop in earnest. Every winter after down rigging we bring the spars in to our shop, one after an other, to scrape them clean and re-oil everything.
This shot shows almost all the spars. The end of the yard that is visible in the right foreground is the main yard. (54 feet long and weighs in at about 1 ton).
The smaller spars to the left are the topsail yards, and the flag staffs. On the right in this shot are the main topmast with it’s square end and heel rope sheave facing the camera, the mizzen yard in the middle and the fore topmast all the way to the right.
During the original crossing in 1957 Alan Villiers, the captain, found the fore topmast was a focus of concern as he referred to it as a “broom stick”. Apparently he was more used to the large steel spars of the grain ships of his youth. His fears were well founded generally as the fore top yard actually broke early on during the voyage.
A sharp eyed observer may notice the fore top yard is made of spruce unlike all the others which are made of Douglas fir.
The fore course yard and the sprit yard are in the shop but not in the photo.