Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Mast 9

Surprise, surprise ……… I thought I had applied the last coat of epoxy to the upper part of the mast, but when I examined it yesterday afternoon I discovered solidified drip marks on the underneath side that had occurred during the curing stage. I also found that the epoxy had dripped to the lower side of the sheave slot, which meant there was too tight a fit for the sheave; therefore I had to file away the drip marks and recoat the area with what I hope will be the final layer of epoxy. It really looks quite smart and I’m pleased with the result.

This afternoon I fitted the main halyard sheave, but I had to be really careful when drilling the hole for the spindle, making sure it was at right angles to the slot. I did this a little bit at a time while constantly checking it was correct by using a Douglas Protractor.

I made the spindle from a stainless steel bolt that was marginally thinner than the hole through the sheave. First I removed the head and cut a slot suitable for a scredriver; then I sawed off some of the thread to make the spindle extacly the right length to fit within the thickness of the mast top. There had to be sufficient length either side of the sheave to provide adequate bearing surfaces for the expected loading when hauling up the sail and spars, and for when tightening the luff of the sail. Matt's plan neatly supplies all the information but the measurements are tight, leaving little room for error.

Instead of buying a Windex for the masthead I bought a Hawk wind indicator that has a better mounting device than that of the Windex, but I think the standard of materials used in producing the Hawk are of a lesser quality although they are perfectly adequate for the task in hand. When I next find the opportunity I’ll have a go at fixing the indicator to the masthead by means of its bracket. I particularly like the ease with which it can be mounted and demounted within a fraction of a second.

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