Tag Archives: Gunter yawl

Caledonia Yawl Project: Spars, Spars and more Spars

I am pleased to say that I’ve finally reached what I think is the final big project standing between making this boat ready to launch. My friend Patrice has a Penobscot 17 hull that he purchased a few years ago that had only been used for rowing and also needs spars to unlock it’s full potential. So we are teaming up to build all the spars at once. In his case it will be the schooner rig with standing lug sails. While in my case it is the Gunter Yawl rig. In the fall of 2019 I was able to have two 20′ long beams of sitka spruce milled down into rough sawn 2×12″ pieces in Maple Ridge. It is not an easy wood to procure and until I found this supply I was ready to use douglas fir or even consider using carbon fiber spars. But now that I have it I am pleased to have this beautiful wood.

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lots of sitka spruce

What do we have to build? For the Caledonia Yawl:

  • 1 birdsmouth construction main mast
  • 1 main boom (solid)
  • 1 main yard (solid)
  • 1 mizzen mast (solid)
  • 1 boomkin (solid)
  • 1 sprit boom (solid)

For the Penobscot:

  • 2 masts (birdsmouth)
  • 2 yards (solid)
  • 2 booms (solid)
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checking for checks in the wood and mapping around the knots that exist.

Fortunately we’ve been given access to Patrice’s friends wood shop for this step. So we have access to excellent equipment in particular a skookum table saw, thickness planer/jointer and solid router table.

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More to come soon as we dive into all the cuts and glue up the spar. We are starting with all the solid spars first as they are easier glue ups and smaller pieces. Once those are done, we’ll then tackle cutting all the staves for the three birdsmouth spars we are building.

Caledonia yawl project: joggle stick and making the frame

The plans drawn by Ian Oughtred are incredibly detailed but there are several rig options to include in the plans and so some details are just lightly addressed. The one that popped up for me was with the choice of the gunter yawl rig the plans show the location of the  chainplates and frame for the gunter sloop rig but not gunter yawl.

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I had to do some math to look at the distance of the mast step from the chainplates and frame location and then transfer that based on the location of the three sail gunter yawl mast location on the plans. I guess it is there but you have to work a little harder to get the answer.

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I have committed to my approach and now the challenge was to measure the shape of the frame I will have to laminate at the intersection of the chainplates. I read a nice description of the use of the “joggle stick” by John Welsford http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/15/howto/jogglesticks/index.htm#.WnklLvyIY0M

Which I liked as a faster process than making a template with hot glue.

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Pardon the low quality of images, the protective lens on my cell phone cracked unexpectedly in the cold. I’ve been able to fix it and the camera is back to its old form.

Then transferred the joggle stick points to a sheet of plywood.

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I also glued down the floor 2.5 and started to fillet all the laps on the inside of the hull.

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