Monday 21 August 2023

Fitting Out | Mast

It was time to install the mast fittings, so I studied sheet 1 of the plans very carefully.

At this point I had little knowledge of how the rigging is set up, so it took some time to work it out in my head so that I didn't have to blindly follow the build manual instructions.

Then I used masking tape to mark up the sides of the mast - front, back, port and starboard - and the exact location and name of each fitting. This is the fully marked up mast on the bench.

This is an example of how the fittings were labelled, in this case the peak and spinnaker halyard padeyes.

I even added instructions on how to drill holes for the machine screws. It is important to drill from the back because it is a flat surface - the front is tapered.

Next came the drilling. I wanted to be sure that the screw holes were in the right place and perpendicular, so that the various blocks and eyes would fit properly.

Previous experience when drilling freehand - by eye - had rarely gone well. So I set up the drill guide for this purpose.

I set the drill guide up on two identical pots placed either side and slightly above the mast, using a level. Like this.

I was able to drill the through holes with a fair amount of accuracy. Still not perfect, but as good as I could get it and very much better than drilling by eye.

Then came test installation for each fitting. This is the jib halyard padeye, through fastened with machine screws.

And this is the peak and spinnaker halyard padeye.

Here is the cheek block for the throat halyard, fitted with wood screws.

And this is the peak halyard eyestrap, to secure the end of the halyard.

Lastly, when all the fittings were in place I cut the mast sail track to length and secured it in place with a couple of temporary screws in order to mark up the screw holes. Here it is.

Now we move on to the gaff and the boom. Exciting!

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