Now that the workshop has been repaired and the new lighting installation has started, the working area of the workshop is becoming a lot less cluttered as I have to clear spaces in order to place the stepladder in a safe position. This fairly naturally means organising the mess on the floor and putting things into places that they either lived before the leaks, or should have been put all along.
All the concerted effort has encouraged me to think about the new boat. For example, the aluminium mast that came with Naiad has been stored in the workshop rafters since Naiad first arrived here and I have had to move it out of the way whilst I installed one of the new lights. Firstly, I should really put the mast up for sale somewhere and secondly, should the new boat have a lowering mast?
The plans call for a mast that is simply lifted into place and since it won't be that long or heavy that could be sufficient, if I were young and fit, but I'm neither and frankly, lowering the mast by lifting it up and out of the mast step has always been a pain even when I was young and fit.
So,I'd really like to have lowering mast. But that has it's own problems. With such a mast, as you can see from Naiad, you need to have a permanent forestay or the mast simply falls down when you lower the jib.
We are going on a Broads cruise in a few weeks time and that reminded me that Broads sailing boats have counterweighted lowering masts where the tabernacle reaches from the keel to the pivot point allowing the mast to be supported by the tabernacle so that a permanent forestay is not needed. At least not on a small boat.
This is a short clip from Martham Boats showing how to lower and raise a mast on one of their sailing boats and you can easily see what I'm talking about. Martham Boats are a great boatyard for wooden sailing boats, the only disadvantage is that they are situated upstream the very low bridge at Potter Heigham meaning that to get anywhere other than Hickling Broad and Horsey Mere, you have to get through that bridge.
So, I think this will be the way to go. The mast will pivot just above the foredeck but the heel of the mast will still be down near the keel and a metal mast-gate will clamp across the front of the tabernacle down low preventing the mast from being lowered.
There's no point in counter-weighting the mast on such a small boat, however, it's too light to be needing that.