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Thread: Why does 1929 gaff-sloop 16 ft wood boat have six mast positions?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
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    Saratoga Springs, New York
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    Default Why does 1929 gaff-sloop 16 ft wood boat have six mast positions?

    We are restoring a 1929 gaff-sloop 16 ft wood boat with six mast positions. We think it is a free-standing mast without stays or shrouds. There is a 3 foot metal sleeve that fits over the mast base. The boat was build by Barnes in the Finger Lakes area of western New York. We have two questions:

    1. Has anyone ever seen a sailboat with multiple mast positions? Why have this feature? Changing the mast position changes the balance of the boat and makes stays & shrouds very complex.

    2. Is anyone familiar with Latham Barnes, the builder? He appears to have lived in the Elmira New York area and and built both sail and power boats. He worked at American LaFrance in Elmira.

    Thanks for your help!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    Bay of Islands,N.Z.
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    Default Re: Why does 1929 gaff-sloop 16 ft wood boat have six mast positions?

    Sure, different mast positions for different rig configurations in different seasons perhaps or just different jobs. I put 3 in my stripper.
    Una for single handed and then two more for ketch or schooner for light winds or for fun.
    6 sounds like there was a bit of change over the years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    East Quogue,NY
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    25,146

    Default

    I agree, John.

    As designed, the boat likely offered three mast positions. Then, at some time in her life, a new sail of a different shape was used. Then tgey added mast steps to suit.

    Are there plans available?

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Hills of Vermont, USA
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    44,857

    Default Re: Why does 1929 gaff-sloop 16 ft wood boat have six mast positions?

    I can't speak to the positions (though I 'spect John & Kevin are right) - but I just have to say that's a pretty boat!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    Default Re: Why does 1929 gaff-sloop 16 ft wood boat have six mast positions?

    Could we get a photo of the step?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Dubai, UAE
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    359

    Default Re: Why does 1929 gaff-sloop 16 ft wood boat have six mast positions?

    Quote Originally Posted by sailandpower View Post

    1. Has anyone ever seen a sailboat with multiple mast positions? Why have this feature? Changing the mast position changes the balance of the boat and makes stays & shrouds very complex.
    Two mast positions are standard on a Mirror dinghy depending on whether you use the mainsail and jib or just the mainsail alone. There are two corresponding sets of chainplates for the shrouds:

    mirror 1.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
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    4,682

    Default Re: Why does 1929 gaff-sloop 16 ft wood boat have six mast positions?

    Nice, clean little Mirror

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