Monday, April 28, 2008

Mast is Assembled, and Tabernacle Built

(Posted by Scott B. Williams)

I've been working in the Boatsmith shop for 8 days now and we've accomplished a lot on the Tiki 30 project, with many parts in process simultaneously while I've been working on the mast. The full crew has been back since Friday, and David and I worked alone on Sunday while they took the day off.

Today I completed the assembly of the mast, and hopefully tomorrow will begin the shaping process - taking it from the rough laminated box section to a perfectly round spar. I've also complete the building of the mast step and tabernacle assembly that fits onto the mast beam. The photos below show the steps taken to get to this point.

As I did on my Tiki 26 mast, we installed conduits for masthead wiring and a VHF antennae coax. We used thin-wall PVC pipe for this, as it can be easily glued with epoxy if it is sanded first. One conduit was installed in each mast side, exiting near the foot at an angle and straight out the top. The photo below shows one of the exit points, through a hole drilled at a low angle. The mast foot is also visible glued to the other side half to the right.

Here the aft wall is being glued to one of the side walls. A level and straight form like this helps tremendously, enabling this process to be done in control without a mad rush to assemble all the parts as once as shown in the plans.

Today we glued in the final piece, completing the square box section of the hollow mast. It is almost completely hidden under the dozens of clamps used in the assembly. Having all these clamps is another great aid to building a mast, and there is certainly no shortage of clamps in the Boatsmith shop.

Here is a view of the clamped assembly from the other end. In the background you can see some of the other processes going on in the shop. Both hulls are inverted for shaping and fiberglass sheathing, and the crossbeams, tillers, rudders and gaff are all in various states of completion.

Yesterday I began building the mast tabernacle. This is quite a stout structure that is not shown on the Tiki 26 plans, but I like it so much I might incorporate it on the mast beam of Element II. It certainly will make raising and lowering the mast easier, and will provide more security at the foot.

Here is the complete tabernacle still in clamps, as it was glued up at the end of the day yesterday. Today I have completed the shaping and fillets, and tomorrow it will be sheathed in fiberglass.

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