Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mizzen Mast Progress

Saturday, Dave (B-I-L) and I dry-fit the mizzen mast.

Amazing how much two more hands improve the process. I mean, it went together so easily, Dave asked why I couldn't do it myself. He was sorta kidding but we took it apart and he tried putting it back together. He understood why…

The mast looked pretty good all clamped up but I was surprised to see a distinct bow to it. None of the staves showed any sign of twist, warp, bend or anything but being straight so it seemed weird that the assembled mast would have a bend in it.

Then I learned something… I learned the staves would move a bit even though they were clamped (the assembly was clamped but not as tightly as it will be when glued and we'll probably use twice as many clamps). By putting pressure on one end I could straighten out the bow and with a bit of effort I could bow the mast again. It was a relief to know I wasn't going to build a bowed mast.

I wonder if the staves will slip as easily when we glue it up on Wednesday? There will be three of us - one to mix the epoxy, two to paint the notches with neat epoxy (while the third mixes thickened epoxy), and as many of us as we need for the assembly and clamping. I haven't figured out a good way to estimate how much epoxy to mix: eight staves at 14' each so 112' total. True, the notches are not huge but still, how much will we need? We'll figure that out as we go. Between now and Wednesday, I'll label the staves, take the mast apart, check that the tapers match up - and touch up any that need it, and tape the notches in Staves 4 and 8. We're going to glue the mast in halves so I can match the plugs to the as-built mast. The tape on those two staves will keep me from gluing the all eight staves and allow the two halves to be separated once the glue has set up. I plan to have everything ready to go when Dave and Andy get here Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully all will go well. We'll pay attention to the alignment to make sure we don't glue a bow into the mast.


  1. The wet epoxy will act as a lubricant allowing the whole assembly to more even more easily than it does dry. You will need to support the glued up mast in several places along its length to keep gravity from causing sag.

  2. Thanks for that info, Chuck. The mast will be supported but we'll pay close attention to the alignment.