Heckmanns Anchorage

Removing the Spars

The masts were lifted out of "Concertina" on 30 September at the Sawpit Wharf in Lunenburg Back Harbour.

The channel is shallow, so the schooner was brought to the wharf on the high tide of the previous day. The objective for this day is to remove the spars, get them secured on deck, and depart the Back Harbour on the high tide.


The schooner is alongside the municpal wharf, in preparation for the removal of the spars. The masts must be removed so that the vessel can be hauled into her shelter on the beach at Heckmans Island.

Letting go the forestay from the bowsprit. Ed is working from Lorne's skiff.

Note the bench placed on the foredeck, ready to support the masts as they are lowered to the deck.

The bronze ring securing the mast boot has been removed, the boot lifted, and the mast wedges removed.

Bob Mossman carefully hands the wedges to Ed, who stores them carefully below where they can be found next spring.


The boom truck arrives and is positioned beside "Concertina".

Removing the masts requires work aloft. Ed is rigging the ship's best bo's'n's chair to the boom truck cable hook.

Ed aloft in the bo's'n's chair at the foremast truck.

Letting go the spring stay and topmast stay.

Next, the boom cable is attached to the mainmast to hold it upright as the shrouds are removed and its rigging lashed to the mast. When this is done, the mast will be lifted from its step and up through the decks, then lowered to its place on the deck. The same process is repeated with the foremast. (There are no photos of this process because it required all hand to complete.)

A half-hour after the boom truck arrived, the masts have been removed. Their lower ends rest on the gallows frame and the upper ends rest on the bench, which is temporarily aboard for this purpose.

Bob is on the foredeck, securing the mainmast to the bench.

"Concertina" departing the wharf in time to make the passage to Heckmans Island while the tide is high.

Passing through the shallow channel toward Masons Island.

Using Lorne's chart plotter.

The route was set to key waypoints previously plotted using the Heck Nowe.

"Concertina" is back at Heckmans anchorage, alongside Lorne's dock, with Bob and Ed contemplating the next step: how do we get the masts onto the beach from here?

A section of the dock was commandeered and equipped with horses. Ed, Bob, John and Nev carried the spars from the schooner to the float, and then ferried them to the beach with the help of the "Heck Nowe".

The float is nosed onto the beach, ready for the crew to carry each spar ashore for winter storage.

"Heck Nowe" and the float are back in place and, with a few necessary preparations, "Concertina" is ready to be hauled on the October spring tide.

Old Gaffers home page
Launching & Hauling Concertina
Hauling Concertina