Friday, 18 January 2013

Then came the work on the mast.

After the work on the boat, then came the turn of the mast, boom, gaff and the bowsprit. When I got the boat I had all the spars but the boom. this I had to make a new. As somewhere a long it journey into my ownership it was lost.

The first thing I had to do was to insect the spars to see if any had to be replaced, if so how much was going to be the replacement cost and how much work would it involve getting new ones made. Thankfully there was not a lot to do if the mast, apart from a bit of gluing a small spilt which had come about due to the mast been left out in the weather and the glue joint being exposed to the elements. This taken care of, I when about making some new crosstrees to replace the ones that had done missing a long the way. These new ones were made out of well seasoned oak and made up to the length that the sail maker/rigger had set out in his plans for the rig. He had been given the measurements from the original spars that I had, so that he was able to let me know the length of the boom I had to make that was missing.

Like with all new spars you have to find the right wood for the job. This bit was reasonably straight forward. As I had a good contact in the timber industry who was able to source  the bit I needed.
Then came the fun part making it. The hardest part is making a round boom out of a square piece of wood. It takes a lot of planning and moving up and down a piece of wood with an electric planner turning this square block of wood into a round spar.  However, once done it is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Then came the sanding of this and the other spars and the many litres of varnish it took to seal the wood from the weather. This varnishing took a long time as the mast just appeared to soak up varnish as if it was a sponge. But finally it was done has were the other spars and they were ready to have the fittings fitted to the them. The fittings thankfully were not a problem as my local classic boat fitting company( Classic Marine Ltd Woodbridge Suffolk) had the necessary fittings in stock, also was able to fashion custom parts where needed quickly, so to keep the project on track.

They also were able to make up the standing rigging at the same time. Then once the spars were all done it was time to put the mast back up on the boat for the first time in at least 12 years. I bet the boat felt good that it was going to be going sailing once more, after it had been left to get into such a state of disrepair that it could of gone either way. A pile of firewood if nobody had come along to restore her. Thankfully for her it was going to be back on the water and sailing again.

Once the mast was back up and the standing rigging and running rigging was set up it was time to bend on the sails for the first time. This was a glorious  site with its sails once more upon its spars.