Had to wait on good varnishing weather, but I’ve finally wrapped up work on the mast. After finishing up the varnish last week, I’ve been putting all the hardware, standing rigging and running rigging back on. (In an uncharacteristically smart move, I made notes and took pictures back when I took all that stuff off.)
Learned a few things in the process, such as some new knots and how to do a baseball stitch. (Neatsfoot Oil, by the way, really helps old leather and makes it flexible again.) Also wrapped some pine-tar soaked cloth strips around the spreader ends, underneath the boots.
The varnish I used, Le Tonkinois, (six coats) worked out great. It’s not as shiny and glass-like as some other varnishes, but it does look good and will, reportedly, provide a very durable and protective finish.
It all added up to more work than I was anticipating, but it was worth doing. Not only to make the mast look good, but to create a solid base so that a modest amount of yearly maintenance will keep it in good shape — so that I won’t have to pull the mast again for quite a while.

And after the mast is stepped (tomorrow), and the sails bent on again, I can do some of that, um… I’ve forgotten what’s it called… oh yeah: sailing. 🙂