In the heyday of sailing ships, Britain's famous "wooden walls" and the fledgling United States Navy, being "before the mast" meant you were an ordinary seaman, with your quarters in the Forecastle, or ahead of the mainmast. Officers lived towards the stern where there was more room and a more gentle motion than the bow's constant breaking through waves and wind.
In Spark's case, I meant it as the mast is finally being worked on. I have most of her repairs done. Holes have been glued shut with dowels, the split at the top of the sail track has been repaired, and I now have the first coat of varnish on. I still need to glue both halves back together, but I wanted to get a few layers of protective varnish on the wood before I got to that point. Next week, I hope.
Being the first layer of varnish, do not expect much. The wood is dry and "thirsty" and simply soaked it in. It will not be till I get about three or four layers on that the magic will start to happen.
First the repairs:
The plugs are where somebody thru bolted the hounds on, and the top of the last had a split in the carved in sail track. I needed to epoxy that back together before I could sand and varnish. I hope it holds or I will have to 'glass it and paint the top of the mast white to hide the repair.
And now the varnish:
You can see the colour difference between freshly sanded and varnished. I would love to know what wood was used in building this mast. I am thinking some variation on Fir or Spruce due to it's lightness. but I do not know enough about wood to be certain.