June 14, 2007

I've removed the boomkin and have started to build a new one.

OK, "What's a boomkin" you ask? It's sort of the opposite of a bowsprit. The bowsprit sticks out the front of the boat and the main forward stay (holding up the mast) runs to it. The boomkin sticks out the back of the boat and the main aft stay (holding up the mast) runs to it.

But since the rudder also sticks out the back of the boat, the boomkin is actually two boards in the shape of a 'V' with the backstay attaching to a crosspiece behind the rudder. Here's a picture of the stern of Galena while we were underway.

You can see the tiller and rudder at the bottom left and to the right is a yellow board running aft with a million things bolted to it. That's the port half of the boomkin.

The boomkin is removed and the running backstays are holding up the mast. I'm fabricating new boards in my garage.

Here's a picture of an old boomkin board.

Note the number of holes? Some had a little rot but overall it wasn't in bad shape. However, here's a shot of one of the bolts holding the boomkin to the deck of Galena.

Because of these bent bolts the little spacer blocks under the boomkin had all split.

As with the bowsprit I had to glue-up two boards to get the right sized members. The boomkin is made of boards that are 2.5" by 4"

That means gluing two 2x6's together and then ripping and milling them to size.

I should be done with this project in a week or so. I'll paint them and remount them. Then I will add the new stern pulpit and solar panels. So much to do and October is right around the corner.

Jul 24 Finally, the stern of The Good Ship Galena looks like a Westsail again. The boomkin beams are in place and securely bolted down. The stern pulpit is bolted into place. The new mainsheet blocks are rigged and secured. The tiller is bolted into the rudder and Galena is ready to sail... almost.

The stern pulpit was purchased over a year ago over E-Bay. The seller said it was salvaged off of a Westsail. It was the same pulpit that Bud Taplin sells. It had the loop in the middle for the mainsheet block; and I wanted to keep the mainsheet at the end of the boom. So it was exactly what I wanted. It was also a few hundred dollars cheaper than a new one from Bud (sorry, Bud).

However, when it arrived I noted two problems. First of all I had a lot of things bolted onto the boomkin. And fitting the stern pulpit (or 'pushpit' as some of the stranger sailors call it) around all that equipment was not possible. Wherever I tried to mount it, there were problems. Either the mainsheet wouldn't clear the boom gallows, or the tiller lost way too much of it's throw side-to-side.

Secondly, it had been 'crushed' a bit in shipping. The legs would have to be spread out a little to actually set on the boomkin boards. But the large stainless steel tubing was too stiff to manipulate by hand. Capt Ron (s/v Lastdance) and I used a car jack and a few boards to jack it open to the right width.

With a brand new boomkin, with nothing else yet attached, the stern pulpit could be placed where it belonged rather than where it would fit. Also, I used a car jack to spread the tubes to fit properly. My dock-mate, Ron, helped a lot and with a lot of trial and error, got the pulpit to fit the boomkin.

Now I have to get all the other equipment attached. That includes the Aries steering vane, the Air-X wind generator mounting poles, and a couple of yet un-purchased small solar panels.