The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.04.30 - Sparring

The works started with the gaff. It needs to have the eyebolt fitted to the end farthest away from the mast and is used to tie the peak of the sail to the gaff. There are two eyes on the bolt and the upper one is used to attach the topsail clew to the gaff.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the nautical terms for the sails, the following diagram show the names of the corners, shown on the outside of the sail, and the edges, shown on the inside of the sail



So, the end of the gaff rounded, drilled and the eyebolt fitted. Wood glue was applied liberally to the part of the bolt that is inside the gaff, and thread lock to the thread of the bolt outside the gaff. The glue is to prevent water getting into the wood and the thread lock is to prevent the eyebolt from coming undone.

After this I applied some elbow grease to the gaff and bowsprit in the form of 100 grit sandpaper as preparation for varnishing.


This is how the spacers now look on the bowsprit when the sprit is located.


It is pretty much the correct alignment as it is but the outboard end will lift up when the sailing due to the pressure of the wind in the jib.

Coffee time

The next task was the to cut a slot in one end of the boom. This will hold a sheave around which the clew outhaul will be passed. The sheave, when it finally arrives, will be 13mm thick by 60mm diameter, so the required slot needs to be at least 14mm wide and 70mm long. The nearest drill bit I have too 14mm is 16mm so that was the size of the slot.


Firstly the end of the boom was rounded.


Two parallel holes 16mm in diameter were drilled in the boom the correct distance apart.


A router jig was constructed around the boom and the slot cut.


The result is not too bad. The counter was not long enough to go all the way through the boom, so the slot was cut in from both sides.


This did result in a ledge in the slot but that should not matter.


The slot was carefully sanded and rounded ready for the sheave.

Time for lunch.

After lunch the next task to be started was the reefing point boom hardware. This consists of two parts for each reefing point, one on either side of the boom. The idea is that a rope is knotted at one end and the other end fed up through a hole in the reefing point hardware, up and through a eyelet or cringle in the sail about two foot up, down the other side, round a sheave or pulley in the reefing hardware and then tied off on a cleat. Naiad will have two reefing points so there will be two sets of fittings.


The first thing required are guards for the sheave so that if knocked it doesn't harm the pulley. I clamped two piece of Douglas Fir together and cut out two circles with a hole saw.


These were then cut to the correct size so that...


...when fixed to the main part of the reefing point it is circular again.


Likewise the other end of the pieces were clamped together and a 20mm hole drilled...


...forming a semi-circular hole in each piece.


When this is fixed to the boom it will form the hole for the knotted end of the rope.


Cut the slots where the sheaves will be placed, tidy things up, round edges off, epoxy the pieces together and this is what you get.


The holes for the pins upon which the sheaves will spin will be drilled once I know what size hole has been drilled in the sheave. The catalogue doesn't say. Still, once the epoxy is cured the boom can be sanded. Then I have to wait until the metal work arrives to finish the boom off.

Time for a tea.

The last task for the day was to make the whisker shrouds for the bowsprit.


The bowsprit was put into place, the bottle screws and shackles attached and thin rope used to measure the required distance for each side. This was 76". An eye with a thimble was made in one end of the wire rope and placed over a screw in a plank and another screw 76" from the first marked the required length. The wire was cut, another eye made and then repeated to make the second shroud.


Both shrouds attache to the boat and tightened up a little. Not too much as the rest of the rigging is not in place yet!


A front view.

And that's the lot for today.