The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2015.11.20 - Cradle

It has been a pretty awful week weather-wise and I have little inclination to venture outside to work on something that involves having to be outside in the cold, wind and wet. So apart from cutting drilling and assembling the main bearers yesterday (Thursday) I spent a lot of time searching for some of the things I am going to need once the refit starts in earnest. Like port lights. Now there’s an expensive item, even second hand. A new pair of bronze port light the required size for Naiad will set me back over £800 not including delivery. That is too expensive so I spent some time looking around for alternatives and eventually found some in Beccles. An establishment by the name of Traditional Boat Supplies who have a very suitable set of bronze port lights for a mere £300 plus delivery. And so it goes on. The next things I am try one to source are the tabernacle and the mainsheet horse.

Still, the weather today was quite good and after a visit to the local ironmonger for some bolts and other fittings I did some work on the cradle. This will be made with three support positions all of the same height. The two outer ones will need no further adjustment but the centre one will need some extra height to reach the hull which I will put in place once the hull is one the cradle. There’s too much guesswork to do it any other way.

Here the main bearers of the cradle have been cut, drilled and loosely bolted together. Notice that the upper bolt farthest away and the lower bolt closest to the camera are a lot longer than the other two bolts.


The very useful 3-4-5 triangle. Make a triangle with side that are 3, 4 and 5 units long and you will have a right-angle triangle always. Here I have used 3 feet up, 4 feet along and 5 feet along the hypotenuse (that’s the sloped bit for those of you not of a geometry frame of mind). This allows me to measure for the cross-brace.


And here is the cross-brace in place.


Another view of the cross-brace.


So far, so good. The casters are on, the uprights in places and the horizontal bearers that will support the hull are in place. The plywood bracers fastened to the frame and the uprights are there to stop the bottom of the uprights from moving sideways. Likewise the small retainers that you can see at the top of the uprights just hold the horizontal bearers in place.


To finish the cradle I will add some robust bracers from the top of each upright to the frame at an angle which will prevent the uprights from being able to fall over. Once that is completed the next task can begin.