View Full Version : Peak Halyard to Gaff
I have a solid wooden mast (Oregon pine) and wish to rearrange the blocks controlling the peak halyard to the gaff. Would it be OK to use a eye bolt through the mast, or is there a better way. I have seen in various publications suggesting "mast bands", but where does one find one of the correct diameter to fit the mast at the required location. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks
08-14-2002, 06:18 AM
Gaff, what size yacht is she? and what arrangement is already in place and thus the need to change the system?
A bolt through the mast is a serious step towards inviting moisture into the timber and further problems. Avoid it at all costs. You can get a mast band cast or make it up out of galv. steel. That way you can make it up so as to avoid crushing the fibres and hence the problem of moisture ingress.
The boat is a 24 foot double ender, gaff rigged yawl, designed by Fenwick Williams. The present arrangement is a two part halyard, ie tied off on the gaff, passes through a block on the mast, back to a block midway on the gaff, then back to another block on the mast before dropping to the deck. At present one block is attached to a bronze mast band at the top of the mast, the second is attached to the mast, midway between the hounds and the top, via a rope sling fixed to the mast with a full hitch. It seems to work, but never seen this arrangement before. I believe it was a quick fix from the previous owner of the boat.
I agree that a hole in the mast may not be a good idea.
To stop a band digging into the wood fibres, I assume the band needs to be fairly wide, and perhaps bedded with epoxy or similar.
08-14-2002, 10:32 AM
Nice well oiled leather is nice under bands.
If you've bronze hardware already, it's really easy to make the band you want out of bronze strapping. Establish the diameter where you want the band. Have the strap formed on that circle but not quite closing it. Goes to bent up tabs with a hole for a bolt that will both tighten the band down and will accept the eye or whatever on the block. If you've the need for something on the back of the mast or if there is so much stuff in the way that you can't slide the band on, by all means make the band in two parts with two such bolts.
I made a bunch of these for Goblin (in that case, black iron) some of which held up stays.
Goblin had one piece that was a solid caste ring, very nicely made to match the mast's taper, and apparantly slid down (with a bit of somewhat scorched leather under it) hot and allowed to shrink in place. It had been designed to take a lower triadic from the main to the foremast when Goblin was rigged with a gaf foresail. When she was rerigged as a staysail schooner, this became the attachment for the mainstaysail stay. The more downward thrust (after 60 years of other service) was a problem and when I bought Goblin, that fitting had a distinct downward sag and was gouging the mast. I banged it off, repaired the mast, and when I put that band back (with new leather) I provided a small iron cheek under it to resist the downward thrust.
Sometimes you must improvise.
Actually, the strapping you have sounds rather nice. Why fix what's not broken?
08-14-2002, 11:54 AM
Why not just tidy up the soft eye arrangement that is currently fitted? Make a nice leathered grommet with a thimble seized into it, and thread the bail of the block directly through this (You can easily twist the eye to get the alignment right if you have to).
This would look great on your boat (is she the same as ANNIE?), secured in place with a chock on the forward face of the mast. Much less fuss, money and potential for problems than a band or bolt.
While you are at it, re-arrange the peak halyard so the fall comes from the upper block. ie. bitter end the halyard near the middle of the gaff, thread through the lower block on the mast, back to a block on a span (one end at the end of the gaff, the other half way to the middle) then up again to the upper block and down to the deck. The advantage is that the very last tweak you put on the halyard goes to the end of the gaff, not the middle.
In a perfect world (no friction in the blocks) there would be no difference with the two setups but in practice they always seem to work best with the pull from the top!
08-14-2002, 04:45 PM
best answers in the world . right here, right now.
shes a great place.This place.
[ 08-14-2002, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: John B ]
Thanks for the ideas.
The boat is basically the same as “Ainne” except using wood varieties mostly available in NZ/Oz. Stem and stern in 'Kauri', keelson is Australian 'iron-bark', frames at 9" centres steam bent 'white oak', carvel planked in 1" 'Macrocapa'. Hull is fastened with 'silicon bronze' screws. Decks and cabin top tongue & groove kauri overlaid with 1/2" marine ply, then glassed. Masts oregon and spars 'kauri'. Sails provided by "Hood's" of Wellington
08-15-2002, 08:49 AM
Dunno who Frank is, but he's got a useful site for discussion reference (see bottom for some strop reference):
[ 08-15-2002, 08:54 AM: Message edited by: CharlieZ ]
08-15-2002, 05:10 PM
Frank is a forum member. He's got a Stevensons weekender.
08-15-2002, 06:36 PM
If you go with mast bands, they can be had at www.classicmarine.co.uk (http://www.classicmarine.co.uk) in either galvanized or bronze.
08-16-2002, 11:09 PM
Gaff, I ended up using soft eyes on my little boat, and while yours is a good deal larger, I agree with Ed's recommendation ... tidy up the soft eye. I'm a big fan of "lashing things on" now, after seeing how my mast band (for the peak halyard) has started to dig into my mast, but the soft eyes (for the throat and jib halyards) are kind to the wood. My mast is Douglas Fir, which I think might be a bit harder than Oregon Pine.
I've moved my Gaff Rig Pages to http://www.messing-about.com/gaffrig (the old site still works, and there's a link there to the new site ... but my updates are happening only on the new site.)
If you care to share details of your solution once you decide on it, I'd love to include them in the pages.
08-21-2002, 02:22 AM
Frank: Douglas Fir and Oregon Pine are the same tree.
08-21-2002, 11:46 PM
Thanks! I was thinking it was something like SYP, or hard pine. Learn something every day, which makes getting up worthwhile! :D
09-05-2002, 01:00 AM
Gaff, a soft rope eye is not at all uncommmon. I've also seen them made of wire, and served with tarred twine. The relationsip between the size of the eye and the taper of the mast serves to keep it in the correct spot, or you can add a little wooden chock screwed onto the foreward side of the mast. Best avoided, because it only lets water in around the screws. You know you don't just go to the local marine discount store and buy stuff for this kind of boat don't you?
09-05-2002, 01:31 AM
Marine Discount Store?!? Gotta find me one of them! :D
09-05-2002, 10:50 AM
I thought this question sounded familiar,,,,
Jim, I posted a reply to your question on the By-The-Sea Catboat Forum, ( http://www.everythingboats.com/catboat/forum/bbs.pl ) which seems pretty similar to the last couple of replies here. If you use a thumb cleat to support the strop (as I recommend,) then you can avoid Phil's worry by bedding it on some Sikaflex or whatever.
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