Keith works on the rudder between all the other tasks we give him. He likes engineering problems and more often than not come up with simple, innovative solutions. He has a Notre Dame engineering degree and Michigan advanced degree, so he’s a conflicted soul. Here it looks like he is invoking a higher spirit into a solution.
Steve is our amateur Astronomer, so we give him work on our mast so he can get closer to the stars.
Tim is a psychologist so we gave him 450 screws to set the boom sail track in place; it’s finicky work that requires precision. We try to play with his mind every once in awhile because we’re worried that in the background he’s writing a “tell all” book about the RELIANCE inmates. In this picture, he has about 150 screws in place – only 300 more, Tim! In the background, Herb is proving his wire to manila splicing technique.
Meanwhile, Laura works on bowsprit rigging. The bobstays are tensioned by tightening the bowsprit retaining bar; there are no turnbuckles on the bobstays.
Ken from Hall Spars dropped by on his evening constitutional and we talked about how boats today tension their shrouds with hydraulic mast rams since the turnbuckles are too short to perform this function. He also noted that on large racers rigging eyes are replacing tangs.
Ken Madeiro of Hall Spars stopped by the shop last week for a brief peek, and an hour later we were still talking! Now he’s got the Reliance bug, too.
Last Saturday he called to say they were just getting a 154 foot long mast ready for shipment and he wondered if we’d like to see a “big stick.” Since they are a local Bristol firm, Bill Lawton and I hightailed it over. This mast is for a new Baltic 108′ and all up with rigging , paint, hardware and spreaders weighs about 3900 lbs. — mast tube with paint and some hardware about 2100 lbs. It’s 21″ fore and aft and 10 3/4 ” side to side . If you look closely in the first picture taken from the foot of the mast you can see Ken standing at the mast head. That’s tall! In the second picture we’re standing at masthead and Ken is talking with Bill. The third and fourth pictures were taken from the second floor looking down. The mast is carbon fiber. Even the shrouds are carbon fiber tapered wing-like from the bottom spreader.
Not to be outdone, we casually mentioned RELIANCE’s mast was 112′, telescoping topmast 58′ and yard 68′ for an overall height of about 194′. But we were one-upped! Never brag around the Hall Spar shop… The fifth photo shows a base section from their 218′ tall mast for a Wally 164′. It is 28 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ in cross-section. The full structure weighed about 13,500 lbs., all up with PBO rigging about 16,250 lbs.
I wish you could see Hall Spars. Amazing!! We were like kids in a candy store. Have to believe Capt. Nat would have been all over this. Imagine an autoclave large and long enough to “cook” these structures! The mandrels, mast tape laying machines for laying carbon fiber tape, and shroud machines! And there was more, they make other stuff too, from UAVs to rocket fairings.
I’m hopeful that they’ll take a look at our RELIANCE mast drawings and offer their insights. Maybe they can even estimate how much it weighed. But I’ll save that for another blog.