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Thread: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Keyhavenpotterer:

    Are the bronze parts of your whaleboat mast gate cast or machined? At a glance, I saw flat-ish parts and I assumed machined. Looking closer at the hinges, I'm thinking cast. This is very cool if machined, extremely cool if cast. In either case, I'm not going there myself. I'm excited as can be about Velcro!

    Jim

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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    rgthom:

    I am happy that this thread goaded you into chopping up your perfectly nice boat. There are few things like the rush that comes from taking a jigsaw/router/whatever implement of destruction to something that really doesn't need it! It looks like you have a winner there.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimL55804 View Post
    rgthom:

    I am happy that this thread goaded you into chopping up your perfectly nice boat. There are few things like the rush that comes from taking a jigsaw/router/whatever implement of destruction to something that really doesn't need it! It looks like you have a winner there.

    Jim
    Japanese pull saw! My favorite boat chopping tool. I hope John Welsford does not notice what I did to his perfectly good bulkhead, but the ability to tilt up the mast is already a huge improvement. In case John is watching, I am planning to put in some big triangular reinforcing blocks either side of the king plank, to restore some of the lost structural integrity.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimL55804 View Post
    Maybe the best yet, Gerarddm! Is there actually such a thing as industrial strength Velcro and if so, where can I get my hands on some?

    Jim
    Velcro has some interesting possibilities for folks looking at new ways of doing things. Bull riders use some very heavy duty velcro that they use on their belts and I wonder if it's even a heavier grade that what you could obtain in medical supplies. Velcro is pretty pricy stuff but it is very strong for its weight and as you know, very quick to use. If you are successful at tracking down a good source for heavy duty velcro, I'd sure like to know about it.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    http://textol1-px.rtrk.com/textol.asp

    Pretty much all you'd ever need in one spot (no affiliation blah blah...)

    and the Strongest stuff

    http://textol1-px.rtrk.com/t_mva.asp






    Last edited by Lewisboater; 07-01-2014 at 08:20 AM.
    Steve Lewis
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  6. #41
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimL55804 View Post
    Kenjamin:

    What I meant is that your mast gate is totally cool! While I am very glad that many around here are keeping traditional methods and tools alive, I don't really have very much use for traditional stuff myself unless it is actually better (or sometimes if it is easier). I'm still trying to scheme up something on the lines of how a ratcheting ski boot buckle works. Hardly a traditional idea but I might still go with a rope or chain. Any endeavor like this needs people on the edge to keep things moving forward.

    Jim
    Thanks for the clarification on your thoughts, Jim. I guess I'm an overly sensitive and very frustrated small time inventor. Florida State University has been trying for nearly eight years now to obtain a patent on my birdwing masts and it's not looking too good at this point for it to ever become something patentable or widely accepted anytime soon. I guess I should be grateful that it was not my money that was wasted in the patent process. Still, I sure would like to see someone with a decent R&D budget take the idea and run with it. I'll probably go to my grave saying that the mast ought to be the most aerodynamically slick part of a sailboat and some rich guy twenty years from now will see a picture I've posted and try to do something with it. Doesn't look like he'll have to deal with patent on the idea.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Thanks Ken, Adobe photoshop. Will have to look into that, my website needs a complete makeover and its not something im at ease with, need to edit some videos too but no idea where to start on that.....

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    I like everyone's mast gates better than my idea, but since I already started and am limited as a retro-fit I made it anyway.

    The pivot is a fixed bolt, held snug by a jam nut. The slot engages the screw with the rubber knob.

    The center cut-out piece holds the mast. Just a few seconds to drop the plate and tighten the knob - this turned out better than I expected.
    Very nice, Rick! Is the mast supposed to rotate?

    Something I've seen in other photos of mast steps is the forward cut-out piece being longer and reversible -- allowing the mast to be raked back if desired. I know I'm not describing it well, but the forward piece has half-circle padded cutouts at either end and is longer one way than the other. Holds the mast straight in one position, raked back in the other.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    I've got my son's brain whirring and humming over the Velcro mast gate concept. Copied from his email to me:

    "Here is my idea. The stuff works much better in shear than in peel strength, so you would need it oriented as such. So the piece with grain parallel to the bulkhead is glued flush with the tank top, and the fore and aft grain piece is glued on top of the seat, giving however much length you need to get adequate velcro strength. The hook side would get glued and screwed to the top piece of wood, and then a length of the loop piece would serve as the strap. Inside of the wood gets leather or whatever glued in.


    Shear strength is 22psi:
    http://www.jenkinsrubber.com.au/imag..._8_Jan2010.pdf

    So would need 4-5" to require 100lbs to break it free. And actually it would be twice that since you would have an attachment both sides. I don't think there should ever be much loading of the mast pushing aft anyways.

    Even the industrial strength stuff is <$1/yd so just buy a yard or two and replace whenever necessary if there is UV degradation. Could be a pretty slick lightweight option."



    Jim

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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Very nice, Rick! Is the mast supposed to rotate?

    Something I've seen in other photos of mast steps is the forward cut-out piece being longer and reversible -- allowing the mast to be raked back if desired. I know I'm not describing it well, but the forward piece has half-circle padded cutouts at either end and is longer one way than the other. Holds the mast straight in one position, raked back in the other.
    Hey Thorne,

    No, the mast is not supposed to rotate. It has a square tenon at the base, to engage a mortise in the step. The rig will be a balanced lug eventually, which should not rotate per my understanding. I have had to make a relieved radius on both mortise and tenon so the mast can be stepped through an angle, but that is working also.

    I know what you are describing, a way to adjust rake. John Welsford says the mast should be vertical so that is how it was built. If there turns out to be a problem then modification can be done.

    Rick

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimL55804 View Post
    ... I don't think there should ever be much loading of the mast pushing aft anyways....
    Jim
    Severe loading of the mast pushing aft occurs when crossing large boat wakes. Make sure you take that into consideration. My 2 cents.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Rick -

    I wasn't implying that YOUR mast should have the raked gate, that was just something I saw on an old whaleboat rig.

    You Velcro guys -- remember that all these specs are for brand-new Velcro under dry, non-iced or sandy conditions. Real-life use on small boats could easily result in some exciting wardrobe malfunctions...
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Thorne, you make a good point there. Velcro may be more appropriate for holding the thing in place that actually does all the work of holding the mast in place. If you over-engineer and still retain good performance, you're considered clever. If you under-engineer and it fails, you're just a big fool.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Hi, If the aft radius of mast hole is to swing up and to the left, you will need to remove a portion of the rear radius, (right rear)

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by jgmarine View Post
    Hi, If the aft radius of mast hole is to swing up and to the left, you will need to remove a portion of the rear radius, (right rear)
    I will be using a double overlap velcro assembly salvaged and recycled, without any modifications, from a windsurfing rig. It will be installed on my John Welsford SCAMP (number 42). I'm sure windsurf sites have plenty of details. Dennisb in Tulsa,OK

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    To add to this most excellent old thread, here's the mast gate on my Caledonia Yawl before I bought her. I replaced the bungee holding the gate with a piece of marline.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    A good thread indeed. My partner/gate design has evolved since the prototype that opened this thread. I plan to do some more documentation and analysis while we build a Calendar Islands Yawl. My design was based on what I saw from a few sources, mostly from Oughtred. Until I can make a few screenshots of the latest model, here is Larchmont Jim's partner. The timber piece underneath are good. How it looks now is the underside of the plywood tanktop, to which the partner is anchored, has a plywood doubler and the partner pad on top is 7/8" thick. So there are two bronze straps on top and two on the bottom that capture the gate, which swings on one side. The gate is quite thick, a bit more than 1 3/8" and out of very hardwood. The tanktop area is a glued into the bulkhead, glued into the hull, so the whole is very rigid and bombproof. All the kits come with all this hardware and solid wood and patterns use for tracing and cutting.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/XnFqFSdoKYDHQkHh9
    Last edited by Clinton B Chase; 02-01-2019 at 09:02 PM.
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  18. #53
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by John hartmann View Post
    http://

    http://

    This is a mast gate from one of Clint's earlier boats--can't recall if it was the Deblois St. Dory or Drake.....he did some modified drawings of a similar mechanism with some metal flat stock reinforcement as I was brainstorming the step for Waxwing.....
    This is from the original Echo Bay Dory Skiff built by Eric Risch. I like this partner a lot for small, light boats. I may integrate it into the new Caravelle Skiff. The problem for bigger boats is that you want that gate thick and with this design the partner thickness would have to be thick. So the brass plates are nice because they allow for a thicker gate.

    I created a new album called mast gates and added D-Street Dory example. The Dory partner does not have the hardwood pad, but instead the tanktop edge itself is the partner.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/XnFqFSdoKYDHQkHh9
    Clinton B. Chase
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  19. #54
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    If you have any kind of foredeck that you are stepping through, some kind of partner to step box prevents accidents even if you have a gated system. It can be a big u channel. If you have a plunge step through the deck, the box is really important. A long partner can allow for lots of tuning, changing the rake of the mast in which case you will need blocking.
    Ben Fuller
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  20. #55
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Here is the CIY gated partner that I said I would post.

    Ben one of my biggest concerns is in destepping, the end of the mast wrenching the mast step apart.

    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    If you have any kind of foredeck that you are stepping through, some kind of partner to step box prevents accidents even if you have a gated system. It can be a big u channel. If you have a plunge step through the deck, the box is really important. A long partner can allow for lots of tuning, changing the rake of the mast in which case you will need blocking.
    Another thing a box does is allow you to wedge the mast in very securely, with wedges between the side of the box and the mast, below the partner. That can be very handy indeed if something like this happens a hundred miles from home:

    DSCN5613.jpg

    It would have been much harder to deal with without a box:

    DSCN5743.jpg

    Worked well enough that wedges here in the box might become my everyday method of snugging up my mast--less fussy than getting just the right thickness of leather or wrapping.

    But there's something to be said for the simplicity of the "hole through the thwart" type of partner vs. a gate:

    DSCN2633.jpg

    For one thing, doing it this way provides a continuous cleat to hold planks for a sleeping platform. The plans for this boat (Don Kurylko's Alaska) show a mast gate, but the simpler drop-through partner works very well.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  22. #57
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    I'm a simple kinda guy....but I don't do much in the way of cruising nor sail in challenging conditions. Leastwise not with my Shearwater.
    IMG_4423.jpg

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    In my experience having a mast gate to simplify pulling the stick is very important. Some rigs seem to only be reefed when pulled down into the boat, like an experienced spritsail user recently described in his blog. As lovely as it is to beach the boat to reef or pull the mast, that can't always happen -- and that's where something like a gate and BEEFY mast step are vitally important.

    On the topic of mast steps in small boats, I've had to help two friends do beach repairs on steps that pulled out of the boat, so apparently the importance of the step isn't universally understood.

    And in a related topic, the thickness of the mast below the partner is also critical, particularly where it enters the mast step. Yes it's important to reduce overall weight in a boat, but in my opinion the heavily-tapered mast base is more style than function.

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    When lowering the mast, is there a way for the mast to pivot backwards in the step without the mast acting like a crowbar on the step? (Without having to lift the mast out of a hole.)
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    A stout and short stub tenon on the mast foot, and a shallow-ish step to hold it, allowing the mast to tip back when lowering without acting as an enormous lever attempting to tear out the step...no lifting of the spar to get the tenon clear of the step...here is the foot of such an arrangement when in build—the epoxy encapsulated bit is the tenon—just a couple of small shoulders on the mast to locate it in the step:
    604C6D43-C5C8-4598-99FD-D20EC710BF99.jpg

    The step is shallow, only 3/4” deep, designed with weep holes to prevent standing water from attacking the mast foot:
    E24A393E-2127-4FDB-B178-D73F91F45E46.jpg

    The boat has a raised fore deck abaft the step, and the designer thoughtfully placed cut outs in the supporting bulkhead as well as the foredeck itself to help guide the mast foot into the step when walking it into place:
    BA2ADD6F-EB78-4CB9-B5DA-855A32BA60E0.jpeg
    Last edited by John hartmann; 02-04-2019 at 03:43 PM.

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    In my experience having a mast gate to simplify pulling the stick is very important. Some rigs seem to only be reefed when pulled down into the boat, like an experienced spritsail user recently described in his blog. As lovely as it is to beach the boat to reef or pull the mast, that can't always happen -- and that's where something like a gate and BEEFY mast step are vitally important.

    On the topic of mast steps in small boats, I've had to help two friends do beach repairs on steps that pulled out of the boat, so apparently the importance of the step isn't universally understood.

    And in a related topic, the thickness of the mast below the partner is also critical, particularly where it enters the mast step. Yes it's important to reduce overall weight in a boat, but in my opinion the heavily-tapered mast base is more style than function.

    I fail to see why the mast was reduced when a larger hole in the mast step would have worked.The concept of a stress raiser clearly hadn't crossed somebody's mind.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    When lowering the mast, is there a way for the mast to pivot backwards in the step without the mast acting like a crowbar on the step? (Without having to lift the mast out of a hole.)
    Definitely a problem you want to avoid. I will be carving a radius onto the forward edge of the foot of my mast to allow the mast to tilt back freely. I currently have to lift the mast a couple of inches before it will tilt back - not always easy to accomplish and a an extra step that gets in the way of lowering it quickly.

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim.Montana View Post
    I will be carving a radius onto the forward edge of the foot of my mast to allow the mast to tilt back freely.
    Don's Alaska plans show that radius - it works as expected. In high wind the thing comes down with a vengeance as soon as you lift the gate. You have to catch it up high and keep the foot from launching.

    MAST GATES.jpg

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by darroch View Post
    Don's Alaska plans show that radius
    That is interesting. I built Rumsey to Don's Myst plans and I don't recall that detail. I'll have to check the plans to see if I missed it.

  30. #65
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim.Montana View Post
    That is interesting. I built Rumsey to Don's Myst plans and I don't recall that detail. I'll have to check the plans to see if I missed it.
    I don't remember it either--maybe I didn't understand what I was looking at. The mainmast was the second thing I built for the boat.

    Tom
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  31. #66
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I fail to see why the mast was reduced when a larger hole in the mast step would have worked.The concept of a stress raiser clearly hadn't crossed somebody's mind.
    I'm not sure I follow your meaning--are you commenting on the photo with the broken mast tenon? If so, can you explain?

    From what I've seen, using a short tenon at the heel of the mast to fit into the step this way is a commonly accepted procedure. I've seen it in lots of plans. The shoulders of the mast keep the bottom of the mast from pounding the keel and maybe putting a hole in the boat because the weight is taken by the step rather than the keel. I would be very afraid of a mast stepped directly onto the keel of a small boat.

    My problem was:

    1. I made the drain hole in the step too small, so with the mast left standing for several days in a row, the end grain sucked up water and softened the wood.

    2. I drilled the hole in the step over-sized, intending to fill with epoxy and re-drill at the proper size. And then, with my build stretching on for years of on-off work, I forgot to fill and re-drill. That left far too much room for the water-softened tenon to move around in. A dumb mistake--but with the mast in place, it was impossible to see that the hole was too big. And when the mast was down, there was no tenon to compare to the hole.

    Back home, I fixed the step by temporarily jigging a 3/4" diameter dowel (wrapped in plastic) in place and filling around it with epoxy to create a properly sized hole with epoxy as a bearing surface. I fixed the mast by drilling a 3/4" diameter hole about 12" into the base of the (solid) mast, then epoxying in a 3/4" diameter hardwood dowel to re-fill the space. I also shortened the tenon a bit to keep it out of the water in case the step doesn't drain completely, and put a cap of epoxy over the foot of the tenon so the end grain won't soak up water.

    I don't expect any more problems. It was pilot error, not a design flaw.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 02-05-2019 at 06:09 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  32. #67
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by darroch View Post
    In high wind the thing comes down with a vengeance as soon as you lift the gate. You have to catch it up high and keep the foot from launching.
    Hmm. Seems like the gate might give you less control than my method of lifting the mast out of the partner. It does take some care not to let the mast lever against the partner, but it's easily doable for me.

    Overall, I don't think this is as big an issue as some posts here suggest. Mast gates work. Simpler lift-out partners work as well. I have not found it a problem to drop the mast out on the water in my Alaska even though I have to lift it about 12" first--I can do it while sitting on the front thwart, so it's plenty stable. Stepping it is even simpler--the heel is already at partner height with the mast laid across the thwarts, so I don't think it's much more difficult to step the mast that way than it would be with gate. In both cases, you don't lift the heel of the mast--you only pivot the mast to a vertical position.

    It's all preferences and trade-offs.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 02-05-2019 at 06:12 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  33. #68

    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    When lowering the mast, is there a way for the mast to pivot backwards in the step without the mast acting like a crowbar on the step? (Without having to lift the mast out of a hole.)
    If the mast step is shallow and the mast corners are radiused those things will help. But they also raise questions about keeping the mast firmly in place in dicey situations. A deeper step does require a bit more care when dropping the mast, so there are risks either way. My preferences for unstayed masts and for keeping all fittings for the halyard and downhaul attached to the mast (rather than the hull) influence other choices. I like a deeper step, and an independent way to keep the mast firmly secured in it.

    But for the die-hard enthusiast who wants all his bases covered: Why not a gate for the mast step as well as at the partners? Could also incorporate a simple feature to prevent the mast from jumping out of the step when the gate is locked.
    Last edited by Anders Bjorklund; 02-05-2019 at 05:44 PM.

  34. #69
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I'm not sure I follow your meaning--are you commenting on the photo with the broken mast tenon? If so, can you explain?

    From what I've seen, using a short tenon at the heel of the mast to fit into the step this way is a commonly accepted procedure. I've seen it in lots of plans. The shoulders of the mast keep the bottom of the mast from pounding the keel and maybe putting a hole in the boat because the weight is taken by the step rather than the keel. I would be very afraid of a mast stepped directly onto the keel of a small boat.



    My problem was:

    1. I made the drain hole in the step too small, so with the mast left standing for several days in a row, the end grain sucked up water and softened the wood.

    2. I drilled the hole in the step over-sized, intending to fill with epoxy and re-drill at the proper size. And then, with my build stretching on for years of on-off work, I forgot to fill and re-drill. That left far too much room for the water-softened tenon to move around in. A dumb mistake--but with the mast in place, it was impossible to see that the hole was too big. And when the mast was down, there was no tenon to compare to the hole.

    Back home, I fixed the step by temporarily jigging a 3/4" diameter dowel (wrapped in plastic) in place and filling around it with epoxy to create a properly sized hole with epoxy as a bearing surface. I fixed the mast by drilling a 3/4" diameter hole about 12" into the base of the (solid) mast, then epoxying in a 3/4" diameter hardwood dowel to re-fill the space. I also shortened the tenon a bit to keep it out of the water in case the step doesn't drain completely, and put a cap of epoxy over the foot of the tenon so the end grain won't soak up water.

    I don't expect any more problems. It was pilot error, not a design flaw.

    Tom
    By having a sharp transition from the full mast diameter to the spigot,rather than a gradual reduction,the notch was always going to be the point at which a break was more likely.I expect a non rotating mast to have a parallel sided tenon,particularly if the rig has spreaders that need to be kept in position.My limited experience with unstayed masts that are free to rotate saw masts that tapered a little from the largest section to the reduced section on a conical manner if they had a change of section.For an engineering equivalent consider a bolt head on a top quality bolt-it has a radius rolled into the transition from shank to head as opposed to a sharp corner.From my British vantage point the square corners of the windows in the otherwise clever Comet airliner come to mind as an example of what shouldn't be done and all airliners since have had rounded corners to their windows.

  35. #70
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    Dec 2004
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    Default Re: Sail & Oar: Show me your mast gate!

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Hmm. Seems like the gate might give you less control than my method of lifting the mast out of the partner. It does take some care not to let the mast lever against the partner, but it's easily doable for me.

    Overall, I don't think this is as big an issue as some posts here suggest. Mast gates work. Simpler lift-out partners work as well. I have not found it a problem to drop the mast out on the water in my Alaska even though I have to lift it about 12" first--I can do it while sitting on the front thwart, so it's plenty stable. Stepping it is even simpler--the heel is already at partner height with the mast laid across the thwarts, so I don't think it's much more difficult to step the mast that way than it would be with gate. In both cases, you don't lift the heel of the mast--you only pivot the mast to a vertical position.

    It's all preferences and trade-offs.

    Tom
    You may appreciate the gate more if you start using the forward mast position. Almost anything works in flat seas and light air almost all the time. When it's time to actually strike the mainmast and re-step it in the middle position (or step the mizzen in the middle) it's already blowing and because you're lying-to or hove-to you're getting tossed around by a sloppy chop or wind-driven waves. You must perforce be kneeling athwart the anchor well. I've felt myself being launched from this position a few times and had to wait to attempt getting the mast down until a favourable trough appeared. There's no standing or even kneeling up at this time - you pop the gate with either hand and guide the mast down into the crook of your arm while sliding your arm up closer to the pivot point. The mast comes straight back into the middle of the boat and you need to control (in strong wind) the heel of the mast.

    I agree that it is very easy to do as you describe in the middle mast position, although when stepping the mizzen in the aft step it is still easier to control using the gate than trying to do it without. Standing up and looking down can be disastrous in these conditions.

    The radiused 'mast step tenon' for Alaska's mast are on drawing 206.

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