Prepping for grandchildren aboard. So the last few days, I've been working the odd peculiarities of my mast brace before a couple of my itty-bitty sailors step aboard Baggy Wrinkles for a test sail. It's my agenda, not theirs, as the mast brace will go sight-unseen to their big eyes once they step aboard.
As I mentioned earlier, the Cape Dory has a peculiar bit of mast flexing on the top of the cuddy cabin. Nothing apparent tot he human eye, but more visible on the leeward side when underway, the shrouds will waggle much more than they might if she were stiffened up. As the last post suggested, I have no idea what the technical terminology is for it beyond the word "flex."
But it's not like she doesn't sail well nonetheless. And she's not meant for racing, so it's more of a purist concern to stiffen up the rigging than it is a performance glitch. The photos shown here provide the "cuddy view" inside the Dory. At left is the bracing bar positioned as it will be when finished. The bar has a ball joint at the bottom permitting it some ability to move into place and a small amount of variability for positioning and flex. At right is the work area. As you can see in
the photo, keeping the cabin sole intact is important. Not only because of the age of the dory, 1974, but just that no more holes are needed in a boat! However the only openings to use are the fore opening seen in both pics above and the opening for the keel hook in the following photos:
Although there is a ring hook on the keel visible through this small 4 inch diameter access hole, I've not heard anyone in my neck of the woods tell me that I could lift the dory with it. Therefore, we leave it be.
However, in order to stabilize the tension bar in the fore of the cuddy, it is necessary to somehow transfer any pressure from the mast directly to the keel. That means something must be inserted between the bar and the keel, voila, timber!
Then utilizing my expert abilities as a contortionist, I was able to push the device forward, using another expandable rod already inserted, I pushed the device into place, almost. It did not want to go all the way forward, after all the grunting and sweat, now pouring from my face, I determined it would be an insert from the foc'sle location opening instead! In the next view you see it neatly in place, the white tip of my push rod peeks around from the other end:
Working on my trailer "work bench" my Ryobi saw and batteries gave up on the project and I set to work with my modeling planer, strapping the block onto the trailer tongue and doing it the old fashioned way, one skinned finger at a time.
I am certain that BMW designed these straps for its roof rack to be used in just this way too!
So, after pushing and shoving and sizing the blocking device, I got it into place and sized up the results measuring the tension bar, seen in the first photos and in the last below, so that I could estimate the design of the support I would fabricate for the top of the cuddy cabin where the tension bar would push up against the cabin.
Have to keep in mind that sailing is a dynamic event too, and anything that looks stable on the hard with perfect conditions is likely to be thrown across the cabin in a tormenting wind. So, figuring this bracing bar "looks good" in photos does not mean it will work good under pressure. Therefore, I then fashioned a fitting for the bar into which it would sit so that it could not slip out of its position. When I take the dory out for a sea trial, if the footing on the sole slips, I will use a heavy duty Velcro tape to insure it remains in place.