Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Mast 6

The mast has taken on its final shape, apart from the area around the base, which will provide some latitude when it comes to matching the mast to the support socket.

Yesterday I made the final touches to the mast with a plane and sandpaper, bringing about a rather pleasing result. I was surprised at the slenderness of the upper part of the spar, but that’s exactly where economy of weight is needed, along with flexibility for dissipating sudden loading in gusty conditions.

Today I enlarged the slot for the sheave in readiness for applying four coats of 6 oz fibreglass. Just before the dew began to fall I managed to epoxy two coats of fibreglass around the top 300 millimetres of the mast, according to Matt’s design.

After trying to buy a sheave 12 millimetres by 30 millimetres without success, I recycled one I found in my bosun’s spares box, but I must obtain a suitable stainless steel spindle for fitting it after the final layers of fibreglass have hardened.

While out shopping for the sheave I looked at a couple of Windex models, but neither seemed suitable for Paradox, because one did not have a suitable mounting base and the other required fitting to a masthead aerial for a VHF set. Incidentally, I’ll use a hand held, mobile VHF.

The forecast is not too brilliant for tomorrow; therefore I am doubtful I’ll be able to apply the remaining fibreglass until suitable conditions prevail.

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