Mast update

Got the mast strengthener in today. I was assuming that it would just slide in; however it jammed after a bit probably due to grit somewhere. Every time I took it out and cleaned it up (filing off the scratches) it jammed again, so I hammered it in using a wooden mallet. Fortunately it went all the way in without jamming completely. Phew.

Strengthener in with the aid of 3-in-one oil and a big hammer

I put the mast foot back on with locktite thread lock on the screws – I don’t want them coming out under sail.

I also tapered the top of the main tube where the topmast emerges. This is to try to minimise the stress concentration at this point.

Having done that I put it all together to see what it looked like

Full mast up with DCA burgee flying

I have hit an issue – I’m not sure how to secure the rear mast chock. It looks like this:

Rear mast chock

I was going to hold it in with a pin through under the deck to join the reinforced tops of the tabernacle. However access isn’t great and I can’t get a drill in to make the hole. The hole does need to be precisely aligned and go straight across the chock. Standard drills are a bit too short to drill the chock. Hmm.

There are some alternatives:

  • Buy a right angled drill adapter. Hopefully this would allow me to drill the hole. However it would be hard to be precise – these adapters need two hands to hold them and tend to flop around.
  • Lash the mast to the deck cleat. This is a normal way to secure the mast, particularly in traditional boats. It would need a few turns to get the mechanical advantage to get the lashing tight enough. Possibly easier than getting a pin through. Using the deck cleat might have the disadvantage that someone might unlash the mast when unmooring the boat. I could add another cleat just for the mast. I would like to keep the rear chock – it makes the partners look tidy and helps support the mast from the side.
  • Lash the rear chock in place with a line going from the deck cleat around the rear of the chock and down to somewhere on the tabernacle. Issue here is what to secure the line to. There isn’t a lot of space on the starboard side of the tabernacle as the halyard and other running rigging lines will come down this side to the turning block. The line will need a few turns to get it tight enough.
  • Invent a complex mechanical system to hold the chock in place. Main issue is there isn’t a lot of space to put the clamp, nor is there much to attach it to.

So at this stage not sure how to solve the problem. In the picture above I just used a line around the mast to the bow fitting and this would work in the short-term.

The cat came to inspect my work

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