We spent this last Saturday working on the dry fittings for the boom. After some diligent work that left our eyes sore, we managed to get some accurate measurements and center all the pieces fairly well.
In other news, here’s a nice image of how the spreader is looking right now on the mast.
Keith put final touches on our spreaders; it really changes the whole boat! We can but imagine how large these were in real life.
Tim and Keith worked on tapping holes for eyes to go on the mast and we’ve screwed them in place temporarily to get everything aligned.
Soon we’ll remove them and send them to a nickel plating company along with some other fittings. Tim also finished up some leftover woodworking tasks while I was grinding and polishing new boom fittings that Mike delivered from our casting company.
Meanwhile, Laura, our rigger, has been doing a great job wire splicing as per usual, and even showed us how to make some tacks from wire grommets!
Keith made a jig to hold the spreaders in perfect alignment while the spreader socket pins set in high-tech glues. The bowsprit is starting to look awesome. You can really get the feeling of how massive it was!
Here are some of Mike’s delivery of castings; ready for final filing, polishing, and nickel plating.
Finally, here are the ladder rungs which will go on the top section of the mast.
Here is the mast jig that Keith built. When we’re ready with the mast and standing rigging, we’ll put the mast into it and then measure all the standing rigging at deck level to make sure we have the correct lengths.
This way, all the main shrouds will be at similar levels when attached to turnbuckles, and the forestay at measured length will ensure the correct 1.5 degree rake aft.
In the meantime, we’ve been practicing our attachment process and with our high-test strain meter calculating how much strain the fittings will hold. Not quite the destructive testing NGH did, but we hope it’ll do! Rigging hanging from the stump mast is ready to go: all seized in eyes to place at the top of the mast.
We need some insight into rigging the RELIANCE model. She has a metal mast, boom, and gaff, so we suppose her rigging differs from wooden-sparred large cutter/schooner rigged boats. You can see this in the mast drawing (86-111), where there are angle iron cheeks.
Here are some questions we have:
1. How exactly is the main sail lashed to the gaff? What material is used?
2. What line is the mate holding onto below?
3. What line are the sailors hauling below?
4. What is the attachment half-way along the gaff which has a loose pennant hanging down? Is that the attachment for the Club Topsail Club? How was that rigged?
5. How are Gaff Span wires attached to the boom? RELIANCE rigging plan (86-101) indicates that these are attached to “collars” which we’d presume are angle irons like the ones on the mast. (P.S.: on the Museum’s large model of COLONIA, it has thumb cleats mounted on the underside of the gaff, but then she had a wooden gaff.)
Some insight would be greatly appreciated!
Plan drawings courtesy of the Curator, Hart Collection, MIT Museum
Photo courtesy of Mystic Seaport
Mike and Sandy have been working on the angle iron “cheeks” on our mast. The forestay, preventer stays, throat halyard, and upper main shrouds will hang from these mechanisms. We’ve also got angle irons for mounting the spreader to the mast. Mike will make wax molds of these complex, compound curve angles.
In the meantime, our worm, parcel, and serve crew has been focusing on the bowsprit area and standing rigging. Our splicing and rigging crew have yet to catch up.
Burr delivered the bowsprit retaining bar and took a drawing with him to make chain links that fasten the topmast forestay to the bar; he did some final fitting in our shop. What a joy to watch him work, even gently bending the brass between his fingers, over a mandrel or with mallet! A true master craftsman…