The axle centred
Characteristic of Matt Layden’s micro-sailboats, ‘Minnow’ is rigged with a lugsail furling system that he devised and perfected. Its main components are a furling drum at the forward end of the boom, a curved bronze axle around which the boom rotates, and a brass spacer pipe located between the axle and deck. Within the spacer there is a strop that exits from the lower end, from where it passes through a small orifice in the deck to a cleat within the vent box. When the halyard is hauled tightly, the strop and spacer retain the forward end of the boom. At the same time the boom can articulate from side to side to enable the sail to be sheeted.
‘Minnow’s’ furling system required attention; firstly, because the boom could not be raised sufficiently off the coachroof to facilitate rotation, and secondly, because the reefing line was not correctly aligned at right angles to the drum. Hence, the line bunched and came off the drum.
To increase the length of the brass spacer I inserted it into a longer piece of yellow MDPE piping.
On a minor issue there was no means of centring the lower end of the axel rod on the bolt between the fork supports of the spacer; therefore I cut small pieces of copper pipe that I placed either side. From now on, the bolt will not be subjected to uneven loading, and the spacer and axle will stay in line. Finally, I greased the axle.
As a result of these modifications I shall be able to make sail and reef more easily.