The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.05.05 - The Boom and Gaff Ends

The task for the day is to get the boom and gaff ends dry fitted to the spars so that when the bolts arrive they can be checked and the varnished.


Firstly, round off the end of the spar. The boom in this case.


Having cut two flats on either side of the spar, I decided that slots were too difficult to get right and would take too long, I drilled three holes in the flats that matched the holes in the boom end. This meant making sure that the spar was horizontal and the drill bit perpendicular to the spar.


The flats made it a little easier since they prevented the spar from rolling.


And then check for registration. I don't have the bolts as yet but two drill bits and a pencil were the correct size and the holes all lined up.

However, as you can see from the photo, the flats were made too deep. I seem to have forgotten to account for the width of the saw blade when making the cut and the width of the spar across the flats is 6mm too narrow.

Not to worry, I used the table saw to cut two pieces of Douglas Fir 3mm thick, drilled holes in the correct place and glued them to the flats.


The excess glue will be removed a little later when it has dried a bit but not completely set.

Time for a tea break.


So, firstly round the end of the gaff.


Cutting the flats taking into account the saw blade width give a good fit


Drill the threes holes taking care as before.


And the gaff end fits just right. I had some bolts of the correct diameter to check the fit, these will be replaced by the correct ones when they arrive. However, this completes the gaff so it can now be varnished.


The gaff now hung from the rafters waiting for its first coat of varnish.

Time for another break!

The next task is a duplicate task. I'm not completely happy with the welds on the bobstay fitting, it will hold well enough but it is going to rust. I've asked one of the members of the cruising club that I know welds a lot if he would weld up the part if I cut the pieces. He is quite happy to do this and since he not only has a MIG welder but knows how to use it, the welds will not end up with slag everywhere.


So an hour's work and a new set of metal parts ready to be welded. I'll take along the original since this has the correct angle on it.

The last task of the day was, of course, the varnishing. I debated for a few moments whether or not to varnish this evening since the spars will still be tacky tomorrow morning when I want to work, but there are a few things that need to be done outside first and then I have some jobs to do on the interior of Naiad so the tacky varnish should not be a problem.