Taking flight

Congratulations to Griffin as he heads across I-80 to Univ of Northern Colorado. Your parents are very proud of your work and choices to start this next life step!

Jeanne is making the drive with him, and the house is eerily quiet today. So the builder buried his head in the boat work today so as not to mope about the place.

Last week we visited Dean Pederson’s place to see the custom 25′ Brown tri he’s preparing to launch (more on that when we get some photos); that boat has a lovely 35′ custom carbon mast. The rotator cup looked built on to an end plate. And the next day Keith at Skateaway Design laid out our plan to add one more fore/aft web inside the last foot of mast, then cap the bottom and affix the new steel cup to that cap. All the compression downforces will then be shared through both the forward walls of the mast and a Tee structure inside. This cardboard mockup shows the internal webs underneath via blue ink.

The cap was made by laminating a dozen layers of 12oz under vacuum on the work table. The cup has bolt head recesses cut inside – the backing nuts will be entombed after the cap is bonded on so we will secure them thoroughly.


Now we’re waiting for a piece of aluminum channel to make that final web inside the mast.
The new gooseneck position was drilled and tapped today. Goose visited yesterday and worried how we’d get that backing plate 31″ up inside the mast. It got slathered with high density putty and hand placed about 28″ in, and slid the last inches with a pusher stick. Careful repeated tapping set the plate down in the epoxy putty mix and it bonded well overnight. This morning the mast was flipped back over and the thread tapping for 8 bolts went in fine.


To beef up the last two feet (spread the load a bit above the 12″ internal webs, we added one more spiral wrap of 5oz tape and 28″ more of 6oz longitudinal uni.

Above the gooseneck area the mast is now complete so the painting progressed well this week. It’s done in Interlux Platinum color – same as the beams last month.


This has been good learning of the roll & tip method, and more importantly how imperfect fairing or priming shows through. If the surface isn’t perfect before painting, the paint ‘ain’t gonna hide it, but rather it accentuates the blemishes. And yesterday we learned that trying to work all angles vs gravity is tricky, as in painting around the whole mast at once. The face that was pointing up looks great (those photos above), but what had been facing the floor ended up with some paint blotches and runs. Pretty frustrating tonight to be sanding away money and causing repaint work tomorrow. See the after-wet-sanding spots from tonight.

With the mast almost done we made it back to the main hull today, and thanks to Charlie’s loaned right angle drill finally tackled the awful access job of boring five big 5/8″ holes in the forestay bulkhead to receive that chainplate. Colligo Marine took our specs and custom cut the chainplate in titanium. Thank you Guy Stevens for challenging me how we’d inspect and/or replace a stainless steel chainplate since it’s getting permanently bonded in place. The titanium is going in to this “forever” spot instead.
It was over 90 degrees up in this corner of the shop, with really bad angles for the installer’s knees, etc. After many foul words uttered and about an hour and a half all holes were lined up and the plate successfully dry fitted. It’ll get bonded in once the right bolts arrive.

The boat shop will go quiet for a few days while I fly to CO and join Jeanne for freshman parent orientation and sightseeing in Greeley/Boulder/Denver area. Then we’ll get this mast project wrapped and hammer away at the cabins finish details…

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