John Denton and Ian Nichol of Whalespars at Peats Ridge build world class yacht masts (they built "Sal's" mast a little over a year ago) and I highly respect their opinion. John has e-mailed me in regards to my problem as follows -
Hi there Tony,
Well done in achieving what you have done already in this dodgy situation. Our thoughts were to reduce shroud tension on starboard shrouds cap and lower to bring mast back into the middle of the boat as good as you can. Think old days ..... galvanised rigging, less load, allow a little movement. Is it possible to lash the top of the chainplate down by holes through deck and as low as possible through bulkhead, where there is some fibreglass sheathing? The simplest method would be to get the chainplate strength returned by holes fore and aft of stainless chainplate, a roving of spectra up-over-down through the bulkhead and then around as often as possible. Cupboards, etc I expect are the problem. To get tension, would it be possible to, working on leeward side, slacken cap and lower at turnbuckles then try to get chainplate as close to original position as possible. Bind with spectra as discussed and then take tension up with turnbuckles again. The biggest concern is making a good hole or holes through the bulkhead and place packing/leather to arrest chafe of spectra in bulkhead, through deck and over chainplate. This angle of trying to make chainplate useful again, we feel, is worth a big go. Contact you soon. The fat lady isn't in sight.
I currently have the top section (where the wires attach) of the chainplate taking no load at all. I did think about trying to get it back into service, but the further I went with my repairs the harder it became to backtrack. However, we now have to do just that.
After John's e-mail today, I had another look at the situation (they are top notch these guys, and one would be foolish to dismiss their opinion lightly) and in doing so I noticed that a rigging wire ABOVE the bottom spreader has now been affected by all the bits that I've added down lower. The V2 is now pulling so that the wire is not aligned correctly to the swage fitting. Make no mistake, it would work harden and break if left unattended causing the rig to come down. So, we start work again to try and implement John's recommendation, and in so doing, get the V2 to realign itself correctly.
Down below, earlier this afternoon, I hacked and chopped more cupboards and timber out to get increased access to the chainplate. I've worked out a list of things to be done starting in the morning. This new lot of work is not cause for immediate alarm, but if not done, would definitely jeopardise our chances of success, so back on the tools.
No matter what you say, it still beats mowing the lawn or going to work!!
Have a good weekend,