20 February 2011

Work on stowing the spars, cockpit tent and permanent sail ties

A weekend of pleasurable fiddling about on the boat. I have finally managed to rig up a functioning set of boom gallows. The only concern I have is that they may not be substantial enough, but I think in practice everything will be tied down firmly and so they probably are.
First two shoes were made up from wood an plywood and screwed to the inside of the coamings on either side. Simple scissor gallows made up to fit in them, with the top angle shaped a bit to ensure the sail track is not squashed on the mast.

Then I screwed on the old tent hoop holders I made last year and slotted the hoop back in. Luckily it comes up just below the cross of the gallows, so I can have the tent up under the boom if I want it.

The tent itself is just a clear tarpaulin with a sleeve at the rear end for the hoop. The sleeve is just made by folding it over and taping it down.

It extends right over the sprayhood and should tie to the base of the shrouds at the front. I need to shap the front a bit to fit the hood more closely. How useful it really will be will depend on the weather. On the whole the spray hood is good enough.

The plan is that on a mooring the boom can rest on the gallows and stop the risk of the lazyjacks failing and the boom crashing. When towing, the main and mizzen masts will rest on the gallows and the boom will hang in a rope sling under the hinge. One end of the sling is fixed to the gallows. The other end goes through an eye, then up over both masts and hangs down with a loop in the end. The main sheet hooks into this loop and when it is tightened and cleated it holds all the spars rigidly in the gallows. The fore ends are supported at the tabernacle. It actually works quite well.

Finally, I have rigged a sail stowage system for the main sail. I have read of a technique of running two bungy cords along either side of the boom, and hooking them together over the sail to stow it. I have modified this idea to use just one bungy, down one side. this runs through five stainless steel eyes and is knotted off at each end, slightly taut.

On the other side of the boom are four clever spring closed hooks I spotted at the boat jumble, each about half way between the bungy eyes on the other side.

In use, the bungy is stretched over the sail between the eyes, and secured in a hook. It works really well. In practice it will depend on whether unwanted things get caught in the hooks or not for it to be really satisfactory. But it means you don't need sail ties to stow the sail. It looks a bit of a mess in the photo, but no worse than it looks with sail ties. With the boom gallows, it will all be much steadier, so I should be able to stow the sail more quickly and neatly than usual.


  1. I always used the two bungy rope method on the Winkle Brig with great success. Occasionally one of the hooks would catch the shroud and everything was suspended on this long piece of stretched elastic! Your idea of one bungy would overcome that problem. Not seen those clips before, will have to search the internet.
    You are demonstrating the advantages of a wooden boat where it is easy to make fixings to the hull.

  2. I love wooden boats. If you get it wrong you can just fill the hole and paint over the mark (I should say I love painted wooden boats! I couln't cope with varnish).
    I had never seen those clips before, I just spotted them on a display on a hardware stand and thought "I could use those." They also had a display example of a smaller one, but they said they were no longer available. I think the slighty larger ones I have got may actually be easier to use. Time will tell

  3. I believe the snap fixings are fender hooks. They are available in the USA as Perko snap type fender hooks but I cant find a supplier in Uk but will keep looking

  4. You are right roger, they ar fender hooks. I have found them here on A2A4 fixings site, but they haven't got a price on them and they didn't have any on their stand at the jumble. I don't know the name of the dealer who had them, but I wish I had bought soem more.