The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.04.06 - The Mast

I went over to the Cruising Club and took a look at my mooring to see if anything needs to be done before I moor Naiad there. Otherwise the tasks for the day were to wash the chain locker and to start the mast.


This is the mooring I have been allocated.


A slightly different view and I think I'll have to put another cross board above the one that is already there otherwise the fenders I have may well end up the other side of the board that is currently there and Naiad will end up bumping against the wood and being damaged.


As you can see it's a sunny day today so the chain locker didn't take long to dry. Ths will need sanding before it is painted.


The mast is going to be a hollow mast made using the bird's mouth construction and the photo below shows how this works.


The photo comes from CKD Boats in Cape Town, South Africa who make masts this way. As you can see the mast is constructed from eight identical staves each one having a notch cut in one end. So my first task was to prepare my staves. They were cut to 16' in length which is 6" longer than I need, just in case, and two adjacent sides were planed. There's no point in planing the side that has the notch cut into it and the outer side will be cut to 16 then 32 sides and sanded so there's no point in planing that either.

The next task was to cut the notch on the table saw and it is here that I ran into problems.


With the blade angled at 45 degrees I cannot get the blade low enough to correctly cut the notch as you can see from the photo above when I ran a test piece through the saw.


To get this corrected I had to raise the bed of the table with a piece of plywood and move the fence over with another piece of ply as you can see here.


Another piece of wood formed a channel into which the strakes will be fed...


And a top piece used so that the strakes were fed uniformly over the saw blade.


Through there!


The result worked well. I set the blade to cut just a little farther into the wood than the diagrams show so that there is a little space for the glue to set into when the thing is clamped together.


And here we are with the either staves planed and notched. The cramps are there just to hold the pieces together for the moment.


The notches have come out quite well.

I had hoped to have done the next stage as well but the delay caused by the problem with the table saw means that the top taper will have to be cut tomorrow instead.

So far, so good.