The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.04.14 - Easter Weekend - Day 1

I'll be trying to get a lot of things done this weekend and I have made a list of the items I would like finished. So in no particular order these are the tasks:

  • Paint chain locker
  • Clean glass fiber edges on chain locker
  • Dry fit chain locker
  • Locate & fit hawse pipe
  • Fit chain locker
  • Cut & shape sampson post
  • Mortice sampson post
  • Bowsprit tenon
  • Bowsprit gammon iron chafe protection
  • Sampson post cross piece
  • Mast bolsters
  • Mast bands
  • Mast truck
  • Drill pivot bolt hole in mast
  • Epoxy line pivot bolt hole
  • Locate tabernacle
  • Fit tabernacle
  • Fit cranse iron

I don't think I'll be able to get all of them done but I'll give it a good go.

First one is the pivot bolt hole. This needs to be done early on so that the epoxy has a chance to harden allowing me to do the tabernacle bits. It's also the trickiest task on the list so attempting it whilst I'm fresh and enthusiastic seems like a good idea. I was about to start this when I realised that the chain locker also needed painting so that the paint has a chance to dry before that gets worked on.


First up, the second coat of paint on the chain locker.


The foot of the mast was put into the drill press which had been turned at an angle and the top end of the mast propped up so that the foot is fairly level on the press.


The centre of the hole in the table was lined up with the point of the spade bit using a plumb bob and the mast moved around until the centre of the markings on the top of the mast was directly under the spade bit and the centre of the markings on the other side of the mast were in the centre of the hole in the table. This involved much laying down on the floor with a torch shining up the hole to see where the marking were.


The mast has to be tilted over a little with a small piece of wood, but eventually all was lined up and the hole drilled.


Here's the hole from the side from which the drilling started...


...and here is the exit hole. You can see from the markings that the hole is pretty much where it needs to be.


I offered up the tabernacle next to check the alignment. Here's one side...


...and here's the other. All seems to be well but there's one final test...


Bernie, the bolt! That's showing my age. Who remembers 'The Golden Shot' these days?


There is also sufficient allowance in the assembly to allow the mast to come right down below horizontal if required.


Now, I deliberately drilled the hole oversize as you can see here. The bolt is M20 and the hole is 25mm.


I entered the washers and drew round them on both sides.


The inside of the hole was covers in neat epoxy.


A board clamped over the lower opening and the hole half filled with epoxy thickened with high density filler.


I greased the bolt and pushed it into the hole.


The excess epoxy was removed, the bolt and washers and nut put in place, the washers lined up with the marks made by drawing round the earlier and the nut tightened up finger tight.


It's a bit messy on both sides but this will be cleaned up once the epoxy has hardened and the bolt removed.

Time for a coffee break!

After a break I made four spacers/chafe protectors for the bowsprit.


These will be fixed to the bowsprit where it passes through the gammon iron and, as the description suggest, they serve two purposes. The first is as spacers between the gammon iron and the bowsprit. The gammon iron is really too large for the bowsprit and these will make up the difference. The other purpose is to prevent the gammon iron from chafing and thus damaging the bowsprit.


The pieces will be placed on the bowsprit in the correct position. I will probably make four more to go in-between these, but for now four is all I need.

The last task of the day was the cutting of the mortice and tenon in the sampson post and on the bowsprit.


Here is the tenon. It was very easy to cut. In fact, it took longer to mark it out than to cut it as the trimming of the end and the two cuts in from the sides were done using the mitre saw. The cuts down the length of the bowsprit were done by hand.


The bowsprit was then offered up to the sampson post and the top of the tenon marked. Construction lines were added and then a router was used to make the mortice. It was made a fraction larger than required to allow for any swelling of the wood. I did make a mistake initially as you can see in the photo but I added the end stops very quickly and the rest of the mortice was uneventful.


Back to Naiad with the sampson post in place with the bowsprit and spacers also in place.


The mortice and tenon is quite a good fit, I think I may have to trim a couple of millimetres off the end of the tenon, but apart from that, a nice fit. The gap under the bowsprit us deliberate, it allows me to tie ropes to the bowsprit if necessary.


The spacers need a little adjusting as well. Currently they are a tight(ish) fit and they all need to be looser so that the bowsprit can move in the gammon iron. In fact the bowsprit should not touch the sides of the iron but float in the centre held in place by the bowsprit rigging.

I was going to take a photo from a short distance away but it started to rain at this point and I hurriedly put the bowsprit back in the workshop!

All in all, a good day's work and not too stressful.