Birdwatcher-2 Mast and Sails

Birdwatcher-2 Sailboat, designed by Phil Bolger

The Bolger-designed rig is called a "Solent Lug," and utilizes a vertical yard that extends the height of the mast. It is mor-or-less a balanced lug rig with the yard arranged vertically. No attachment exists between the sail and the mast. This requires quite a bit of luff tension to keep the yard vertical and parallel to the mast. As will be explained below, and on the sailing page, this rig has some undesirable features that are being worked on.

Mast under construction

While contemplating the construction of the mast, good fortune smiled on the project in the form of some surplus Sitka Spruce available from Nehalem Dave. With assistance from Dave and Cal Drake, I managed to haul home enough 2x8 boards to make the full collection of spars. These were ripped and planed to the required sizes to make the hollow mast. Next, scarfing of the boards made them long enough for the 19-ft mast. These were then glued up, using epoxy and filler, being careful to keep everything straight.

Finished Mast

After gluing and sanding, the mast was covered with 6-oz fiberglass, and finally coated with Cetol UV-resistant varnish. The 8-sided structure is simple to work with, and eliminates some of the challenges associated with making a round mast.

Main-halyard sheave

This is the main-halyard sheave.

Main-sheet cleat

The lowering of the main sail is aided by good control of the halyard. At the suggestion of John Kohnen, an oversized cleat was made up for the halyard. With a turn around the cleat, the weight of the yard and sail is more easily controlled.

Mast step

Here is the mast step, before installation of the sole. Any water coming down the mast drains into the gutter, running aft to the bilge-pump well.

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This was last revised 2 May 07. Bob Larkin, Corvallis, Oregon