by Jennifer Crooks
Tuesday - Wednesday
Southern Spars and Hart marine team work 24hr shifts to prepare the sleeve, which is a 4mm thick carbon fibre mould taken from the inside of the mast.
All work for at least the first 8 hours will be on the ground, with the mast positioned in special work trolleys in the yards at Sydney City Marine.
The mast team will be grinding the outside of the mast with disc sanders to prepare for the joint, as well as continuing to work on the internal sleeve to span across the join.
Mast team will be laminating the mast which involves applying multiple layers of carbon fibre across the joint in various orientations.
Wednesday - Thursday
After the laminating process is complete, a heated environment consisting of thermal blankets will be built around the joint and the temperature will be slowly increased until it reaches 100 degrees Celsius, which will be maintained for some time. It will the be allowed to cool – after which time, it will be stepped into the deck. Cooking the mast and assembly will all take place in the boatyard.
At this stage, it is estimated that we will be installing the mast early Thursday morning, with half a day required to step it and tune it.
This delicate operation with 1000 kilos of carbon fibre will be undertaken by a crane on site at Sydney City Marine.
Once complete, and all going well, the Etihad Stadium Supermaxi crew is hoping to be out on the water for a test sail on Sydney Harbour on Thursday afternoon.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia