Sunday, March 21, 2010

No fear

Spring has officially arrived and boat work now commences. First up, the gaff which was a weak point in my set up from last year. The jaws have to be changed to a more flexible pitch, which means this has to go!
Not an easy feat when you plan it to be a permanent installation. It had to be first sawn, then the left overs chiseled away, and the remaining sanded to the original gaff wood.
Yeah it looks nasty at this point
A new gaff jaws was laid out and the base cut and fitted to match the curve of the side. The ends were shaped to match the profile of the mast. In my case my mast it approximately the same diameter of my epoxy glue powder jar. much easier than taking the whole thing over to the mast for trial fitting.
It's tapered towards the forward end to allow the jaws to spread around the mast better. It was epoxy glued in place.
 The temporary jaws were made from templates I had drawn up and test fitted. Some adjustments were made before committing good wood to the jigsaw.
The final jaw set was cut from a good quality 1/2" plywood and screwed/glued in place.
Once the glue set, it was given a coat of clear epoxy. As usual it will get 2 coats of epoxy before I apply any varnish.
The other end of the gaff was found to be longer than needed, so I did what made sense, I made it shorter.
I cut off approximately 8" of unused weight at the top of the sail. I sanded the end and also gave that part a coat of epoxy.
While in the shop I put two countersunk holes on the tiller to allow for a stronger fit of the tiller tamer.
The next couple of weeks will see some flurry of activity about the marinas and more importantly, my shop. Much to do and the burgs are on their way.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jib sails

The maiden voyage of Pikake had the jib attached to the shroud by cheap plastic snap on hanks. Not easy to install or remove after the sail. The style was a non removable type. A furling drum and swivel was on order but had not arrived in time for that first trip. The furler was easy to install but with no wire through the leading edge of the sail I got a flapping of the leading edge when close hauled, an annoyance to me. I had hauled the sail tight on the haul up but I fear that the tension would eventually tear the sail.
 Many Navigator and some Pathfinder sailboats have a furler similar to mine and do not have a wire on the leading edge, so they should have the same issues as I do. However, since I have had little experience with furlers and their issues, I have opted to go to brass hanks to attach the jib to the forward stay. 

I might even add a down haul to bring the jib to a full down position, this will keep people off the forward deck to bring it down. It’s simplicity will also ease my mind for longer trips which I hope to take some day. It has also crossed my mind to add a jib boom, (if that’s what they call it), to control the shape of the jib. It’s used on many gaff rigged boats including the big schooners and looks very salty indeed. But right now it’s just an idea.