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The New Boom and Gooseneck (Page 5)
This page was last updated on 13 April 2005.

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Final Boom Preparations
By the time I had the new boom painted, it was late in the season.  With only a few weeks remaining, I decided that it would be easier to just wait to do the actual boom transfer till the boat was at home, giving me lots of time to transfer the old hardware, install the new gooseneck fitting on the mast, and so forth.  So I finished up the 2004 season using the original boom without incident.

In early April, on a beautiful, warm day, I pulled the two booms out of storage and prepared to transfer all the old reefing and outhaul hardware from the old boom to the new.  Because I had liked the original setup that I had, I had elected to not install internal reefing equipment on the new boom, though I did have an internal sheave for the outhaul.

The new boom sure was nicer-looking than the old!  I couldn't wait to get it on the boat.  To begin, I laid the two booms side by side to see how things lined up.  Even though, to the eye, the new boom somehow appeared shorter (probably because it was of wider section), it actually was longer than the original, so at least I had no worries about fit.

I began at the mast end and transferred the double line stopper and winch pad to the new boom.  I had ordered a winch pad along with the boom, which I installed with a single screw through the provided hole; the screws securing the actual winch would also pass through the pad, further securing it in place.  Beneath each piece of hardware, I applied a thin bed of polysulfide caulk, mostly as a sort of gasket between the various metals, in the hope that it would prevent any reactions between the pieces and prolong the painted finish of the boom.  I installed all the hardware with stainless steel fasteners (the same as removed from the old boom) into tapped holes in the new spar.

Over a period of 3-4 hours, I carefully removed all the remaining hardware--line stopper, small fairleads, outhaul blocks, and reefing line track--and transferred each piece to the same position (roughly) on the new boom.

On the starboard side of the boom, my reefing setup had previously consisted of a pair of cheek blocks, through which the reefing lines ran on their way forward to the winch.  These had required careful placement to ensure that they would provide the correct lead for the reefing lines.  On the new boom, I installed a second length of T-track, similar to that on the port side (where I had a track section with two movable eyes for securing the bitter ends of the reefing lines), on which I placed two new cheek block reefing cars that I had purchased.  With the new setup, I would be able to fine-tune each reefing point for the most advantageous position, as well as allow for discrepancies in position should I get a new mainsail in the future.

Amazingly, I had to only run to the hardware store once, for additional 1/4-20 x 3/4" stainless steel flathead screws used to secure the second set of T-track.  I had a number in stock, but was short by about 6.

Finally, I installed a new winch on the winch pad forward.  Originally, I had used an older Barlow winch for this purpose, which worked just fine but was imperfect; the head of the drum was narrow, and with the winch mounted horizontally, lines tended to try and come off the drum as it was turned.  A few years back, I had purchased a nice Lewmar #7 winch on Ebay, which I had intended for use on the mast for the genoa halyard.  I had never gotten around to installing it, and decided that in any event it would be of more use on the boom for the frequently-used reefing setup, rather than the set-it-and-forget-it jib halyard.  So I installed the new winch on the base with five stainless steel machine screws, which I drilled and tapped through the winch base and into the boom extrusion.

When I disassembled the mast for painting in the fall, I had measured up to the old gooseneck location and noted the measurement.  Now, I marked that position on the spar in preparation for locating the new fixed gooseneck.

Using the old bronze slide as a guide to help me locate the height of the mainsail clew--since the boom, and my measurement, were actually slightly lower than this--I positioned the new gooseneck on the spar in the correct location.  As it happened, a stainless eye strap that I needed for securing an outhaul block was in the way of the new gooseneck, but with a very minor adjustment I could incorporate one of the eye stray fasteners into the gooseneck, so there was no major problem.


I drilled and  tapped the mast for the eight 1/4-20 machine screws that would secure the gooseneck, and after cleaning off the metal shavings, I coated the back of the gooseneck with polysulfide and secured it permanently to the mast.  I removed the swivel and toggle for safekeeping until the boom was ready for installation.

Next:  final fitting once the mast is stepped.  That's coming on May 18.

Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381
www.triton381.com 

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