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Author Topic: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch  (Read 6275 times)

Glen Howard

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newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« on: January 02, 2008, 11:00:54 AM »

Hi all. I am completely new to scale sailing, but very keen to have a go. So I bought myself a set of plans for a gaff rigged trading ketch and got ready to leap into it. Unfortunately I find I am having trouble getting started as there is SO MUCH I DON'T KNOW! This forum seems an excellent resource, full of wise words from highly experienced people. So I wonder if someone can answer a couple of simple questions for me?

Is it usual to run both mizzen and main sheets off a single drum winch, or should I put two winches in?

When building the hull, what sort of structure should be built in to recieve masts?

Is there a special cord people use for running / standing rigging? I assume there is, I would appreciate some advice.

I'm sure there will be plenty of other things occur to me as I go along, but answers to these couple of things will at least get me started.

Many thanks,

Glen




 
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andrewh

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2008, 11:51:53 AM »

Hi, Glen

The beginning of wisdom is finding out what you don't know :)

My first r/c boat was a Thames Barge - I learned a lot!
The friendly folk of the forum will offer you lots of help and advice (and more!)

 
<<Is it usual to run both mizzen and main sheets off a single drum winch, or should I put two winches in?>>
 depend on what you have - and how big
I happen to like sail-arm servos, normal and large sized, and I later realised that fitting one for the jibs and one for the main would have eased a running rigging mess under the decks. 


<<When building the hull, what sort of structure should be built in to recieve masts?>>
Generally something at deck level to support the mast and a socket of some sort at keel level to locate the bottom of the mast.
An alternative may be to fit a tube (alloy, fibreglass, carbon) from deck to keel to allow the mast to be a plug-in fit
But  - do the masts have to be removable? 
What is the structure of the boat - wood, fibreglass?


<<Is there a special cord people use for running / standing rigging? I assume there is, I would appreciate some advice>>
Probably everyone has their favourites - but it again depends on how big and how scale and the date of vessel you are modelling  (if it is scale)

Standing rigging  - people often use stainless fishing wire (nylon covered) for shrouds, etc, but this can be too thin for scale appearance - in model size we often get more strength than is required for the actual function.

Running rigging - only needs to be free running, strong enough  and preferably unobtrusively coloured - unless you can use a scale location for your sheets.  I use whatever seems to work, generally look in fishing shops for a thin, braided line.

Sorry to answer your questions with more questions, but we can be more specific if you can fill us in a bit more

andrew
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tigertiger

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2008, 12:35:36 PM »

Hi Glen

To add to what Andrew has said.

On my Mary J Ward (kit) schooner, I run Main sail, foresail, jib sail and flying jib, all from one sail arm servo. The Hitec 815BB had about 25kg/cm torque on 6v. When you consider a basic sail servo has about 9kg/cm then you can see that this is big enough for most jobs.

The Masts on MJW run thorough a hole in a deck beam and then down to a mast foot (piece of wood with a hole) glued down at the keel. The masts slide in and out. Water getting into the hole is not a problem.
Masts do not have to be removable. Both my boats are not designed for breaking down. It is a pain in the butt to get them down the lake as I do not have a van at hand.
Over the winter I am stripping down both boats and rebuilding so I can pop the masts off and fold the booms and sails away for transport.

Because the deck beam and mast foot are doing all the work, the standing rigging is doing very little on my model. Mostly decorative.
If the mast foot is mounted onto the deck then the standing rigging will be doing all the work.

I used Dacron cord for standing rigging. I used a mixture of a thinner Dacron chord and braided fishing line for the running rigging. You will also need nylon fairleads to run the rigging through the deck so it runs smoothly.
IMPORTANT you need a line that will not shrink when wet for the standing rigging, otherwise things will get broken, that is why you should not use hemp rigging designed for static models.
Dacron line although white will stain nicely with shoe polish. It also comes in different thicknesses.

You need to decide early how scale you want it to be. You cannot do it completely to scale as you do not have a crew to work the lines, and you may also get some fouling of lines. One example would be some back stays on some boats are removed on the leeward side to allow the boom to go out.
My boat is a long way from scale in detailing, but she still looks good on the water as you could not see a lot of detail 10meters out anyway.  You could say it is a 'stand off' level of detail.

When I have modified my boats the Mary J Ward will have a number of other small details not to scale to allow her to be broken down rapidly.

I recommend you buy a book by Phillip Vaughan Williams, well worth the money.https://sslrelay.com/s84068217.oneandoneshop.co.uk/sess/utn;jsessionid=15477b8365d1550/shopdata/index.shopscript

This book not as good and not very well translated IMHO. But is has other info that you will find useful.
https://sslrelay.com/s84068217.oneandoneshop.co.uk/sess/utn;jsessionid=15477b8365d1550/shopdata/index.shopscript

Traplet has a bit of a sale on at the moment, so may be a good time to buy


You say you are new to scale sail, but have said nothing about your other modelling skills. Scale sail is not as technical as it seems. You will get lots of advice on here, I have.
If you are fairly new to modelling then go for a simple build. If you have more experience you can get more technical. Try not to get bogged down.
There is one boat I was thinking of not doing as my skills are not up there yet, but now I realise, as I am scratch building, I can build her now for experience and do a better job next year.

Enjoy your modelling, and please post pictures of your build on here.
Good luck TT
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Brooks

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2008, 04:46:34 PM »

Tigertiger - When I clicked on your links, all I got was the generic homepage of Traplet; could you name the books you suggested for my search?

------------
Glen Howard - I learned a lot about boat building techniques and tips by reading the building sections/threads for various model racing boats. All classes have something to offer, I find, so dive in anywhere :-). This forum's Yachts and Sail section is a good place:
http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=36.0
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tigertiger

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2008, 06:20:49 AM »

From homepage,

Go to online shop (or whatever they call it) there is one for UK/EU and one for US/rest fo World.

Then on the left there is a list, go to catalogue

Then scroll down to Marine.   Books

Best Book is 'An Introduction to Radio Controlled Scale Sailing Models' by Phillip Vaughan Williams

Other book is 'Historical Sailing Ships Remote Controlled' by Martin Becker.
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Glen Howard

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 10:27:48 AM »

Wow, thanks so much for your thoughts here. Yes, seems as though a bit more detail would be helpful, though your notes are more than enough to get me going. So:
- I'm new to scale sail, but have been building electric powered scale boats for about three years. I've completed one GRP hulled kit (a Model Slipway Loyal Moderator fleet tender) and a scratch build balsa plank on frame broads cruiser. Both reasonably successful, and great learning experiences
- the ketch is a Tasmanian trading ketch from the early 20th century (I'm a Tasmanian myself, though living in Brisbane these days).
- I'm going to build her plank on frame using plywood, though I'll find something nicer for the decking and cabins.
- in terms of scale, I'm happy enough if she looks the part 'standing off', I'm not the sort to worry if the rivet heads aren't exactly to scale.
-  she will have to broken down for transporting, so I'll be simplifying the standing rigging as much as possible. Also I will need to work out a system of hooks and shackles for releasing standing rigging (sorry, thinking out loud now)

Another question occurs to me - I was planning to leave the foresails (three jibs) to run free on the jib horse. Yet someone (TT?) mentioned running them off the servo winch. Do you have any further thoughts on my idea to let them run free on a short-ish sheet?

I'm now able to start working up sections from the plan (I needed to know a bit more what has to go under the decks before I could do even that much). I'll start a build topic elsewhere on the forums and post photos as I go.

That's it from me for now. Time to hit the plans and tracing paper!

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tigertiger

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2008, 10:52:04 AM »

Hi Glen

You can leave them run free, but there is a good compromise solution for overlapping headsais in 'An Introduction to Radio Controlled Scale Sailing Models' by Phillip Vaughan Williams

This will allow them to behave as sailsmost of the time. The book is full of ideas like this and will be the best 10 quid you ever spend on Scale sail.

Have a look at replies #14 and #15 here http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2716.0
This was my cheat. The sails do work, even close hauled to the wind. And they 'appear' to overlap (they do but not as much as appears). And it works for stand off.
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Glen Howard

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008, 11:18:41 AM »

Thanks TT - hadn't yet got around to visiting that link. Will definitely get hold of a copy, good tip.
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andrewh

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2008, 12:23:26 PM »

Glen - thanks for the more details

I had a wee keek at what the net can show for Tasmanian Ketches - beautiful beasts! Anything like these?
is the plan of any specific boat?

Please let us see what it looks like

How big will she be? - the sail plan looks to be well broken up - not too much area in any one sail  - she looks like a candidate for a couple of sail servos or maybe 3 (main, mizzen and jibs??)  They would all work off one winch but there would be a lot of strings ;D

Another resource place and people to tap might be
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=761962

where there are several relevant discussions on scale sailing, including how to tack overlapping jibs!
Please keep us in the picture - and ask anything you need
andrew
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Glen Howard

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2008, 11:06:32 AM »

Yes, Andrew, they are nice pictures of the sort of ship I'm talking about. Yes, she was a real ship, I believe she was built around the turn of the century and lost at sea in 1923. I don't have any pictures of Lialeeta, however I have taken photos of the plans which I'll attempt to post here. Follow this link to see pictures of May Queen, a restored ketch in Hobart. Needless to say when I'm down there next month I'll be taking lots of detailed photos for future reference!

http://www.svmayqueen.org/


I've scaled the plan up and am building it at 1:36 (I think), to give my notso nimble fingers a chance. So she'll come out at somewhere around 800 mm + bowsprit. BTW plans are available from Float A Boat - have a look a their catalogue, loads of interesting scale sailing plans available.

http://www.floataboat.com.au/

Your remarks on rigging control only re-emphasise how much I need to learn! I've decided to get a copy of the book TT recommended, and meantime continue with the hull build. By the time I get through that I should have a better understanding of 'all things aloft'. Plenty of time - I've got a busy life and a young family, so building time is a premium. I took this project on with a view to taking 18 months to 2 years to build...
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andrewh

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2008, 12:28:44 PM »

Glen,

Swift reply - I'm just going to knock off (work) for the week - we work a POETS day on fridays

Thanx for the pics of the plans, and the link to floataboat
Lovely boat - look at that sheer!  must have steep seas round Tasmania!

Shallow and wide, too - not a problem - you were planning on a ballast keel, weren't you?

Thats going to be  lot of boat at that size - will sail beautifully!

Scratch any of the builders around and you will often find a busy, family person, so you are in good company.
I have a 12 year old son and my personal "buiild time" is approx 12 midnight to 2 am

I see Lialeeta was built with a engine and prop - well worth while doing the same - you will need something like a 585 motor, and biggish prop and the sleek hull will take care of the rest.

At this size it would probably be a wise idea to go for large sail servos - and the sail plan shows that the jibs are overlapping, but only by a very small amount, so they will self tack well - my thames barge has 3 jibs (although they are called something different) and they sort themselves out.

rgds, andrew




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Glen Howard

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2008, 12:58:26 AM »

Yes, planning on a ballast keel, though she will also have a centreboard - not sure yet whether I'll do that in lead or timber. Actually, I'm not planning to put a motor in, I just wanted a sailer this time around. Also, was hoping to keep it to two-channel radio (hence my focus on single drum winch control for all sheets) - presumably with multiple sail arm servos would require multiple channels...?
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tigertiger

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2008, 03:54:33 AM »

Yes, planning on a ballast keel, though she will also have a centreboard - not sure yet whether I'll do that in lead or timber. Actually, I'm not planning to put a motor in, I just wanted a sailer this time around. Also, was hoping to keep it to two-channel radio (hence my focus on single drum winch control for all sheets) - presumably with multiple sail arm servos would require multiple channels...?

You can run multiple sheets from one sail arm servo. Like I said the HS815BB with 25Kg/cm torque is plenty beefy enough. I am running 4 sail sheets off on sail arm servo. I am not sure of my sail area but this servo is used for 800sq" of sail on a 50" model

If you wanted multiple sail arm servos they can be run on one channel but I am not an expert so would not know how, but others on here do know how.

If you want to go the sail winch route look at JayDees thread on his Bluenose. http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=616.0

He actually uses two drum winches, but his model is very large.
He has a way of stoping the winches getting tangled. This requires the sheets to run along the deck. One advantage is that the hull can be solid foam, and this makes your boat unsinkable.
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andrewh

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2008, 01:05:44 PM »

Glen,

It is possible to run as many servos as you like (within reason) off a single channel, and so long as they are alll doing the same thing, this works well. 

For large servos it is better is the power comes from the battery directly to the servo(S)  - rather than through the receiver.  There are published ways to do this, and certainly Hitec servos show the electrical schematic in their instructions that come with the sail-arm servo.

As TT says you can run multiple sheets from one servo (winch or sail arm)  - my Thames barge has 4 sets of sheets from one double-sided arm.
At some point this gets a bit "busy" and then it might be an idea to have one servo at each end of the boat, both off the same channel (you can buy a "Y -lead" or make your own)

So don't worry - this is all easily do-able on two channels. 

You will have lots of hull volume to play in - and as long as you can contrive reasonable access through hatches or removable deck-houses or whatever, bob will be your uncle

Funnily enough sheeting sails in scale sail seems not to be desperately important - many/several/some of the racing Thames barges (3 head sails , 2 mainsails and a mizzen sail) have no sheeting whatever - just Vang* control on the main.  All the other sails are set in a medium position and self-tack.  (to be honest there are other racing barges with one servo per sail all on different channels and mixed in complicated ways)

Thats Vang in english - not american!

andrew

andrew
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Glen Howard

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2008, 10:24:11 PM »

Hmmmm, much food for thought. I've read with great interest people's views on the arm vs. winch debate elsewhere on the forums. Glad to know you can run multiple servo's in sync off a single channel. I'm waiting on the arrival of the Vaughan Williams book before I start spending my hard-earned.

I've been cutting out hull sections and hunting out that 'perfect' piece of timber for a keel. So far so good. I really really must start a build thread here...
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andrewh

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2008, 10:58:35 PM »

Glen  - for other reasons I am also hunting a keel piece - about 36 inches long

In the Uk you can buy in the spring and summer garden seats with cast iron ends and hardwood slats about 20mm thick.

They rip into very nice, dense keels!
andrew
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Jimmy James

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2008, 01:56:50 PM »

Glen
 As you are new to the game I would use a single sail-arm servo, it should control the boat easily, is easy to rig and is a lot less expensive on the pocket. as you get more experience you can up grade to 2 sail arms or fit sail winches
 2) I almost always put my masts into a brass tube fitted through the deck and plugged at the lower end. two other ways are to fit a Tabernacle (Like sailing barges) this allows you to fold the masts down for transport or keel mount the mast through a hole in the deck. They all work so its realy up to you.
 3) I find 20 or 30 pound breaking strain fly fishing line is great for running & standing rigging. You can get Laid or platted and in all diffrent colours
 Regards Freebooter (Jimmy James0
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BlueWotsit

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2008, 09:48:21 AM »

The method used at our club often for fitting removeable masts is to fix a wooden block securely into the bottom of the hull with copper / brass tube the approximate width of the mast when fitted in. Between the bottom of the mast and the bottom of the block we fit a spring and a metal washer on top.

The mast obviously comes down through the deck and into the tube stopping on top the washer.

About 1.75 inches above deck level a step is cut through the mast, and another piece of copper / brass tubing fitted over but not sealed to the deck (the area around the decking hole being made waterproof (some people allow the lower tubing to protrude slightly above deck level).

This top tubing obviously covers the section where the mast has been step cut.

To fold down, the tubing is raised slightly then the mast can literally be split apart and laid flat. The bottom bit of the mast staying through the decking. The point of the spring being to facilitate the splitting / rejoining of the mast as it allows flexibility when actioning.

People use this on all sizes of scale sail ship, the pilot cutter in my picture is fitted in this method.
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tigertiger

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2008, 10:03:58 AM »

Hi Bluewotsit

... a step is cut through the mast, and another piece of copper / brass tubing fitted over but not sealed to the deck

Could you please give some kind of sketch to show how the step cut is made?

Quote
...The point of the spring being to facilitate the splitting / rejoining of the mast as it allows flexibility when actioning.

I am sorry I am not sure what you mean by this. ::)
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BlueWotsit

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2008, 11:24:21 AM »

I'll try and answer in words, failing that I will try and get a picture together in the next few days.

(1)
Cut your mast straight across.

Cut about half an inch up through the middle of each section.

Cut in from one edge to the above cut on each section of mast.

The two pieces should then slot together.

(2)
Having the spring I have been told helps allow the mast to come apart from each other if your rigging is quite tight, as by pushing down slightly it helps separate the two pieces of wood. It also helps keep a tension when the mast is up.
Hard to put into words you really need to mock it up to see. I expect there are other reasons I dont know what they are though - it might be that it stops the bottom of the mast being wedged in the tubing if you ever want to replace that section for any reason.

Incidentally just remembered on the bottom mast section a groove is cut in the centre of the mast upwards again about half an inch. In the tubing at the bottom of the hull, above the washer a pin or nail is stuck through, which the groove fits over before making contact with the washer, this helps keep the mast secure and straight and unable to turn around.

Hope this helps - shout if not !
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tigertiger

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2008, 11:31:03 AM »

Having the spring I have been told helps allow the mast to come apart from each other if your rigging is quite tight, as by pushing down slightly it helps separate the two pieces of wood. It also helps keep a tension when the mast is up.

Ahh! I assume then that the mast is dropped while fully rigged.
Am I correct?
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BlueWotsit

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2008, 12:38:20 PM »

Having the spring I have been told helps allow the mast to come apart from each other if your rigging is quite tight, as by pushing down slightly it helps separate the two pieces of wood. It also helps keep a tension when the mast is up.

Ahh! I assume then that the mast is dropped while fully rigged.
Am I correct?

You can do - depends on your rigging and the ship in question. We tend to keep rigging in place where possible as it makes assembly and transportation easier and quicker.

With regard the tubing above deck level we tend to cut down and round off a wooden drawer handle, drill the appropriate size hole and then fit around the outside of the tube. This on some boats then is the section (I forget the name its called) where the main boom rests over and around the mast.
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tigertiger

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2008, 12:44:26 PM »

With regard the tubing above deck level we tend to cut down and round off a wooden drawer handle, drill the appropriate size hole and then fit around the outside of the tube. This on some boats then is the section (I forget the name its called) where the main boom rests over and around the mast.

Now I am completley confused {-) {-) ::)
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BlueWotsit

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2008, 03:48:43 PM »

With regard the tubing above deck level we tend to cut down and round off a wooden drawer handle, drill the appropriate size hole and then fit around the outside of the tube. This on some boats then is the section (I forget the name its called) where the main boom rests over and around the mast.

Now I am completley confused {-) {-) ::)

I'll sort a picture tomorrow    :o
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BlueWotsit

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Re: newbie attempting a gaff rigged ketch
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2008, 10:10:48 AM »

Couple of pictures showing fittings above and below decks.

Note the notch in the fitting in the hull for the pin, to locate mast over.
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