I needed a method of safely dipping the mast under the Pacific Coast Highway bridge over Newport Back Bay. Alice Gale’s designer Francois Vivier provided a drawing for my modified ‘Balanced Lug Sail’ plan with a detail for a laminated mast guide. I used mahogany cut into 2-4 mm strips. These strips where bent into shape and epoxy glued. After the epoxy set I shaped each guide on the bandsaw and then sanded to final shape. The top of each guide is dowel jointed to the mast partner and the lower guide is screwed to the center board with a center brace epoxy glued. The guide was bright finished with varnish.
Category Archives: Building Stage
I have completed the build of the Mast, Boom and Yard. I am applying the multi-coat varnish to each and my next task will be to launch the boat long enough to lower the center board so I can finish the center board case top.
I used the mast construction table, shortened to build the boom and yard.
First the staves are cut and scarfed together. Each stave is cut with a birdmouth and tapered as needed to match the design diameters. The yard has good taper build in while the boom had no taper.
Now that the bulk of the build for “Alice Gale” is completed it is time to tackle the birdsmouth mast, boom, and yard. I am a bit intimidated by building a 20 ft birdsmouth mast but I am moving forward based on the very good information from the Internet on how to build a birdsmouth mast.
First I finished up a few odds and ends with the trailer. I finished wiring the lights, and added the side bunks.
I used my table saw and band saw to make the 8 boards for the mast. Each board is scarfed to the required 20 ft length. Also I tapered each board to create a narrow diameter at both the bottom and top of the mast.
Next step was building an accurate construction table that was both level and had the right sized forms to hold the mast straight. You have to build in the taper on the forms too, else you end up with a warped mast. I used a normal level and a laser leveler to make the building jig with correct level and taper. Glue up went well doing the work without help. I used West Slow Hardener and had the necessary time to get the mast together before the resin went off. I was careful to put the resin in a large flat pan to prevent excess heat from the resin and worked as quickly as possible in painting the resin on. As long as I quickly spread the resin out I was able to mix several batches of resin as I worked. It took about 1/2 an hour to complete the entire glue up and alignment checks. Preplan the entire process and it seems to work out ok. If I had screwed up anypart of the glue up I would have had to start over.
The plans do not call for a hollow mast, but at my age I wanted a mast a bit lighter then solid wood. The finished mast weighs in at 29 lbs, (no hardware) and I am pretty satisfied with that.
More shaping and then on to fitting the halyard sheath and eye-bolts for the stays.
Took a week off for spring skiing in Vail CO, but found time to work on a few items since loading Alice Gale onto the trailer.
I still have to construct a side guard bunk for the trailer but I finished an underhull bunk that will stabilize the boat during transport.
The bowsprit has a two eyed mastband that was fitted.
Started work on the centerboard. After fairing it will be primed and painted.
The rudder was also sanded and prepped for primer and paint.
This week I worked on interior details and getting the boat ready for loading on the trailer. By Friday she was ready for the move from the garage floor onto the trailer. I used my garage hoist to lift the bow onto a furniture mover and then a couple of car jacks to lift the transom onto another furniture mover. This allowed for easy mobility of the boat and I was able to swing the bow around toward the garage door. Once the boat was aligned with the trailer I used the winch on the trailer to pull “Alice Gale” onto the pads. The trailer design, a tilting bed trailer, made the transfer easier. A neighbor helped with keeping the boat steady as she was pulled onto the trailer. I used the same temporary hull stabilizers on the trailer. I still need to build a permanent runner system for the hull to stabilize loading and transportation needs. And finally at last, the big question, will the boat fit as planned into the garage. Like a glove! I have just enough room to move behind the transom to the rear door and the width of the trailer just fits through the door opening.
Here are few more build photo’s from the past month. I have been working toward finishing the interior of “Alice Gale” for months now. I think she will be on the trailer within a few weeks.
The bronze fairleads that I purchased from Classic Marine did not match up cleanly with my round oak rub rail so I needed to fair the rail to fit the fairlead.
With the canvas deck cover I need to protect the area of the mast partner. This area will have a few holes drilled for belaying pins, so I cut out a cover from oak. This will match the color of the gunwale rub-rail when varnished. Also shown in these photo’s is the forward deck trim.
I made my locker door handles out out extra mahogany stock.
I also added a few new low cost power tools to ease the final building details.