Happy Times Gets Stacked

New trampolines, a new toilet and, now, a new stack pack. Ka-ching, Ka-ching!

Mikayla and I returned to Grenada with the new Mack Pack, produced by Mack Sails, rolled up inside a golf bag. (Another great travel tip: Golf bags make excellent suitcases, especially for long materials, and they can weigh up to 70 pounds versus the 50 pounds for a standard piece of luggage. Our golf bag held an additional 14 yards of Sunbrella fabric for a new jib cover and other projects.) We added its installation to our long, growing list of to-dos slated for our stay at Port Louis Marina.

Mikayla offered to shinny up the mast to install the Harken blocks for the lazy jacks, part of the Mack Pack system. She quickly realized, however, that using the Makita impact wrench required a lot of strength to drill the pilot holes. She returned to the deck and her father took over. Soon we raised him 32’ into the air (Yes, Mikayla and I can lift a 225-pound man. It’s magic!) where he set about tapping a hole for the new blocks.

Using a tap is a delicate operation, but a necessary one to drill threads for a screw. One must gently twist the tap into the desired location without rotating the tool too much. One must turn it partway, back it out and repeat the step. Otherwise, the aluminum being removed gets caught in the tool and gets stuck. The only way to remove the tool at that point is to break it.

Mikayla quickly caught onto using the tap and soon had drilled enough holes into the boom for the thimbles, the under structure of the Mack Pack. (She let me drill one.)

She and Mike continued to install the Mack Pack, running the lazy jacks through the thimbles now attached to the bottom of the boom. The lazy jacks guide the mainsail as it makes its way down the mast and into the Mack Pack. The Mack Pack then acts as a cloth envelope to contain the sail. Consequently, it will no longer be necessary for Mikayla and me to climb atop the bimini while under sail and risk being thrown overboard. Instead the Mack Pack will capture the mainsail for us.

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About Cheryl Crockett Lezovich

Mom, first mate and writer aboard a 40' Manta catamaran, S/V Happy Times.
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