We put the mast back up and we’re pretty dang stoked about it. The electrical is reconnected, the boom goes back on, and Kirk takes a stab at tensioning our standing rigging himself. Soulianis is finally feeling more like a sailboat again.

Hope you enjoy!

Lauren & Kirk

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Episode Dialogue

Today’s the day we become a sailboat.

We are a sailboat again.

Not yet. Almost.


[Lauren] Last time on Sailing Soulianis, we traveled our final 100 miles on the river. We’re almost to the ocean. Before arriving in Mobile, Alabama.

All the way from fresh water to salt water, from Michigan to Gulf of Mexico.

[Lauren] After being reunited with our mast, we gave it a good bath and made a few upgrades before getting it ready to put back on the boat.

Aw why thank you.

[Kirk] What are we doing?

We’re running all the lines on the mast before it gets stepped this afternoon. When we become a sailboat again.

[Kirk] And why are we running all the lines on the mast?

We took them off because we had the mast shipped from Chicago to Mobile, Alabama, and we didn’t want any of our lines to get ruined while it was in transit; and now we are reattaching our real lines and running those back through.

[Kirk] So show me how this works. We’ve got down here is our…. What halyard is that?

I have the jib halyard.

[Kirk] You have the jib halyard.

Yep. Alrighty we have to tie this line to the end of the jib halyard, and feed it through that exit sheave right over there.

[Kirk] And do we have to tie a special knot?

Yes, we have to tie a bowline.

[Kirk] A what?

A bowline.

[Kirk] But that’s not a special knot and why? Because our lines are whipped, so that we don’t have to tie a special heaving knot or messenger line knot or anything else.

Thanks Linda.

[Kirk] Linda, the previous owner, beautifully spliced and whipped almost every single line on the boat.

I don’t have bowline skills, I forgot them.

[Kirk] Oh no.


[Kirk] You have Instagram photo proving you know how to tie a bowline.

I know that was a long time ago .

Alright. A simple bowline. Line over the top, twist underneath. Your line is now coming up out of the hole. Go around behind and back down below. Pull tight. Simple bowline. We’ve prepped everything on the mast. We just need to put on the turn buckles. We’ve installed a new internally run spinnaker halyard, so that we aren’t constantly annoyed by a slapping halyard on the mast.

Bought a new VHF antenna. Attached the rest of the wind instruments.

Cleaned the mast. Cleaned all of our rigging.

Checked the lights to make sure they worked. And yeah, that took us a better part of three days.

Yeah. We were also working, and we kinda didn’t know what we were doing. We did good.

I’m so nervous.

Yeah, I hope there–

I’ve been nervous for this day like since we took the mast off. It was like a relief having the mast off.


Because our deck was clear, and we were going down the river and everything was going to be hunky dory but then I just want it back on the boat. I don’t want anything to break. I want it all to–

Like our new VHF antenna.

Yeah. I’m hoping we can figure out how everything gets attached again. I mean are we going to have them tune the rig even?

I think so.


Yeah, I don’t know. I mean I read how to do it but we learned a lot running this line internally from Wes the rigger here; and I feel like we could probably learn a lot from him which would be beneficial for the future; rather than just struggling through it ourselves. And it would probably cost an hour of his time, which would probably be well spent. To make sure one of the most important pieces of equipment on our boat is properly tuned. So we don’t die. Alright human tripods getting tired. Let’s do it.

[Lauren] Two inches.

[Lauren] What? Stop!

[Lauren] Stop.

I need the base to come to starboard more.

[Lauren] Base to starboard.

This is it.

Alright make sure that this is pressed down as far as you can get it.


It’s crooked now.

Let’s get this, okay alright.



What’s that behind us? That’s a mast. Hell yeah.


[Kirk] Put that on the table there. Look at how blue it is.

[Lauren] This is a lovely gift from our boat neighbor from Wisconsin, Bruce. He said take this with you on your trip and you can pop it when your mast goes back up and it won’t be long, and guess what happened today?

[Kirk] Wait, am I supposed to guess? Because I know what happened.

That’s so blue, it’s crazy.

We put our mast back up today. Hell yeah.

[Kirk] Cheers. The next day we finished putting the mast back together. Connecting all of the wiring and tensioning the rig.

[Lauren] You on the line.

Yeah, I’m done.

[Lauren] Oh, shoot.

I told you it was only going to take five minutes. We got to test it now but.

[Lauren] It pays to have pictures doesn’t it?

[Kirk] Yes, very much so. Radio. Where’s our handheld? Go to what 78? It works . Here. Hold that. I’m going to go outside. Running a test, running a test.

[Lauren] Oh, test is good.

[Kirk] I’m getting some weird feedback. I don’t know if it’s just cause I’m so close but–

[Lauren] Because you’re three feet away.

[Kirk] Yeah, let me go up on the deck.


[Kirk] Soulianos this is Kirk.

Kirk, this is Soulianos over.

[Kirk] Yeah we are getting some feedback. Does it sound clear transmission to you?

Sounds clear to me.

[Kirk] Yeah I don’t know what that noise is. Can you tell me a quick story?

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy brown dog.

[Kirk] They were both brown huh? Since the rigger hadn’t been by to tune our rig, I decided to take a stab at it myself. This is all starting to make sense to me now. We’ve got our Loos tensioner here or tensioning gauge. So as soon as I started putting a little bit of tension into the lowers, it took tension off of the uppers and those went from 25 they’re now down to 20; which is about where we want them. That’s 20 on the Loos scale, which includes a corresponding table of breaking strengths for the various diameter of wire it’s capable of measuring. But these aren’t still quite tight enough because these have almost no tension on them. Which is okay, I don’t need a ton of tension on them. But what we want to do now is we just want to make sure that our mast is staying straight up. So we are going to measure from the pin at our upper forestay, all the way up to the top of the mast using our topping lift because it’s in the center of the mast head. The rigger who actually was supposed to do this for us used our halyard which comes out of the starboard exit sheave at the top of the masthead. So we’re actually about a half to three quarters of an inch tighter on this side then we were on that side. So, always check your work.

[Lauren] Okay, teach.

Or other people’s work. If you want it done it right, do it yourself; or something like that. Alright so let’s measure this. So you’re going to hold this here.

[Lauren] Got it.

Alright so we are at 66 and three eighths. So closer to what we were before. Now let’s go to the other side. Oh, and we are at 66 and–

[Lauren] It’s not super tight.

But was the other side all the way taut?

[Lauren] Yeah I think so.

Alright so we are going to go all the way taut. We are at 66 and a quarter. So let’s go back over to this side. Nice and tight. You were bang on. That’s 66 and a quarter.

[Lauren] Ooooh!

Alright. Cool. So now we just need to count the turns.

[Lauren] On the turn buckle?

Yeah. So the way this works is you put that guy in there. You pull this guy here. So we’re right at about 19 and a half, 20. Which is kind of exactly what we want.

[Lauren] Okay.

And then if we go check the other side it should be roughly the same, but it’s more important that we get the mast centered then the tension exactly the same. And see that ones a little higher.

[Lauren] What is it saying?

That one’s 22, but we’re keeping the mast centered. I’m going to slowly go around and add a few more cranks on these, and at least I’ll feel better if Wes doesn’t show up until after we leave that the mast is not like all wackadoodle.

[Lauren] Yeah because we had been seeing an S curve in the masthead.

[Kirk] Yeah so the S curve is gone I think.

[Lauren] We ended up reasonably happy with our rig tensioning. Then after getting the boom back on, Soulianis was looking more and more like her sailboat self, and we were ready for a break and some R and R. Alright, we are all packed and ready to go back to Michigan. We have turned the boat completely inside out and–

[Kirk] Yay for me.

[Lauren] And Kirk’s playing hide and seek. Oh man.

[Kirk] Don’t mold. Please.

[Lauren] Please don’t mold. It’s only two weeks and five days. Both of us were really excited to spend a couple weeks hanging out with family and friends in warm houses and actually having some fun outside in the snow. Our plane ended up flying right over St. Louis and the stretch of the Mississippi River we had just traveled.

Ready to do some sledding? I haven’t done that in like ten years.

[Kirk] Coming for you. Oh god . You’ve got to try this one. This one’s like riding a rocket ship. You ready for the speed?

I don’t know if I can handle the speed.

[Kirk] Don’t get scared now.

I don’t know man.

[Kirk] Uh oh.

Don’t hit the tree. Apparently she can’t handle the speed. This is my childhood sledding hill. Coming for you.

Last run. Oh man.

Oh sh–

That was fun can we do it again?

One more time?



I used to live right there too. Can you imagine being half as tall?

[Lauren] A few days later we prepped for a weekend road trip to Montreal to surprise my friend Hadley for her 30th birthday and hit the slopes of Mont Tremblant. It was so good to see old friends again.