Here is the report about the new boom for the main sail. Nev and I were reluctant to make such a big change in the rigging, but our need for something easier to handle pushed the plan along. Having already sailed over 7000 miles, we had a good notion of what we wanted.
It is over 14 feet long and made hollow of close grained flawless Douglas Fir obtained from Sweets Timber company in Providence. They are an old and honorable firm and a pleasure to deal with. We used no ply in the boom itself. It is oval section with the top straight but the bottom curves, fuller in the middle (5") and gracefully tapering to 3" at the solid ends with a flat area for the small winch and another for the reefing cleats. The flats blend into the curves. All was fiberglassed and painted for easy maintenance. There is a leathered jaw for the mast fitting which is of laminated ply and is also blended in with fillets so it looks like it grew there. Nev used ply and some fir off cuts to make a mast collar. We put some slippery plastic (former bucket lid) as chafe gear for the collar and used leather from a lady's hand bag bought at the Salvation Army for the jaws. Tallow works well and the parrel balls are red, blue, and green beads which look jolly.
We splurged and now have two complete main sheets attached at the boom end to a commercial lifting strop wrapped right around the boom. The other ends of the sheets go to fittings Nev made of s/s and ply attached to the strengthened aft outer ends of the cockpit coamings. It works wonderfully well and we feel that the sail is setting even better than ever.
Part of the job was the creation of a boom gallows made from all fir (some of only good quality from Home Depot) and all epoxied and coated with Cetol like our deck slats which still look brand new. The leathers for the gallows came from some country and western boots also from the Salvation Army. This was a great place to finally put our boat name and home port. The ensign hangs from the aft end of the boom with a weight at the bottom of its luff. Lazy jacks are to be set up shortly. To finish the job, my mother sent money for us to buy a fancy bimini awning which folds out of the way in an instant. Sail trim is easy to check from the aft end of the cockpit even when the awning is up. We put a sink drain in the awning and use it for water collection.
We will now sail to the Bahamas and back before deciding whether to make another boom for the foremain. But first, there is hurricane Isobell to wait for and she hasn't yet decided which direction to go with her 160mph winds... Our new mooring is in an ultra safe but increasingly cool location. We now have mosquito nets over the hatches and fans for each berth, but require quilts to keep warm at night already. The warm is waiting for us in the south and we will be there soon.
© Anne and Neville Clement, 2003