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Bobcat mast

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  • Jim
    I built a Bobcat catboat a few years ago. I built the mast as designed and it works fine. However, I am having a problem as I age. That is it is getting
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 31, 2006
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      I built a Bobcat catboat a few years ago. I built the mast as designed and it works fine. However, I am having a problem as I age. That is it is getting increasingly difficult for me to set the mast in the boat at the ramps I frequent. So, I'm trying to figure out a tabernacle type arrangement that will work without having too high an ugly factor. Here in the middle of Minnesota there is a dearth of knowledgable people to talk this over with.

      O recognize that switching to an aluminum mast would solve the problem but I'd really like the mast to be a wood one. I have no problem adding stays and, if necessary, a bowsprit for a forestay.

      I also know that if I add a bowsprit I'll end up wanting to add a sail up there.

      Any ideas?

      Thanks,

      Jim



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lincoln Ross
      What are the dimensions of the mast? What kind of wood? Is it tapered when it gets above the gaff jaws? I wouldn t be too sure that an aluminum mast would
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 31, 2006
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        What are the dimensions of the mast? What kind of wood? Is it tapered
        when it gets above the gaff jaws? I wouldn't be too sure that an
        aluminum mast would help. Unless you get a custom mast, a tapered wood
        mast is going to be ligher where it counts: the top. (Would a Laser
        mast be appropriate?) My Brick mast is about the same length, and it's
        extremely easy to handle. You can hold the base and wave the other end
        around, horizontally. But I suppose the Bobcat mast is a lot larger at
        the top and a bit larger at the bottom. (Can't tell actual dimension
        from the book.) I'll bet that it's designed with a very conservative
        wall thickness in case the wood is not good. I wonder if you made up a
        mast from some more expensive clear grained wood with the wall thinned
        appropriately for whatever type you are using, if that wouldn't be
        light enough. I suppose fir wouldn't look quite the same, but Port
        Orford Cedar is very pretty and I understand it is quite strong. Or
        maybe someone sells clear spruce.

        If I had a Bobcat and was considering an alternate material for a
        mast, I think I'd look into old windsurfer masts and beef up the first
        few feet of one. Or else figuring out a way to incorporate one of
        those joints about 3 or 4 feet up in my existing mast, but that seems
        like a big PIA. (Some of the winsurfer masts are two piece.) I might
        consider using a piece of a windsurfer mast above the gaff, and paint
        it black to make it look like it's just painted wood.

        Do you step the mast when the boat is in the water or on land? If on
        land, what about making a tripod and using that to hoist the mast by
        its middle until it was high enough to drop the butt into the step?
        The tripod wouldn't have to be all that strong. The tripod could be
        the height of the bow over the road plus 8 feet.

        Something tells me that Bolger has already thought this all out. He's
        old enough to appreciate the problem. If it were me, I'd ask him
        before trying anything wacky.
        --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <allaire@...> wrote:
        >
        > I built a Bobcat catboat a few years ago. I built the mast as
        designed and it works fine. However, I am having a problem as I age.
        That is it is getting increasingly difficult for me to set the mast
        in the boat at the ramps I frequent. So, I'm trying to figure out a
        tabernacle type arrangement that will work without having too high an
        ugly factor. Here in the middle of Minnesota there is a dearth of
        knowledgable people to talk this over with.
        >
        > O recognize that switching to an aluminum mast would solve the
        problem but I'd really like the mast to be a wood one. I have no
        problem adding stays and, if necessary, a bowsprit for a forestay.
        >
        > I also know that if I add a bowsprit I'll end up wanting to add a
        sail up there.
        >
        > Any ideas?
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        > Jim
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • John and Kathy Trussell
        I have a somewhat larger gaff rigged cat on my Marsh Hen. My tabernacle is a stub mast with cheeks the width of the actual mast and which extend about 18
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 31, 2006
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          I have a somewhat larger gaff rigged cat on my Marsh Hen. My tabernacle is a stub mast with cheeks the width of the actual mast and which extend about 18" above the stub. The mast is pinned on the top of the cheek pieces and pivots around the pin. When vertical, the mast hits on a stop at the bottom of the cheeks (which stop it from rotating too far). The mast is held in place by a bolt (1/4" in my case) which goes through the cheeks and mast at the bottom of the cheeks and mast. I'm also old and on a Marsh Hen, the geometry of the arrangement is such that I cannot raise the mast by hand. The solution (developed by Herm Hopple, the previous owner) is a chunk of 2x4 used as a gin pole. The 2x4 has cheeks which fit over the pivot bolt and the lazy jacks go to the end of the gin pole and then to the trailer winch. The result is easy to crank up and stays in place while you wiggle the bottom bolt into place.

          I have found that a balanced lug sail the same shape as a gaff sail requires a much shorter mast which I find easier to step (and which is also a more sedate sail than a gaff, being mostly self vanging and gybing gently). However, you have gone to some length to build a small Cape Cod Cat boat and it might be a shame to spoil the effect with a non -traditional sail.

          Good luck.

          John T


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Lincoln Ross
          To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006 4:07 PM
          Subject: [bolger] Re: Bobcat mast


          What are the dimensions of the mast? What kind of wood? Is it tapered
          when it gets above the gaff jaws? I wouldn't be too sure that an
          aluminum mast would help. Unless you get a custom mast, a tapered wood
          mast is going to be ligher where it counts: the top. (Would a Laser
          mast be appropriate?) My Brick mast is about the same length, and it's
          extremely easy to handle. You can hold the base and wave the other end
          around, horizontally. But I suppose the Bobcat mast is a lot larger at
          the top and a bit larger at the bottom. (Can't tell actual dimension
          from the book.) I'll bet that it's designed with a very conservative
          wall thickness in case the wood is not good. I wonder if you made up a
          mast from some more expensive clear grained wood with the wall thinned
          appropriately for whatever type you are using, if that wouldn't be
          light enough. I suppose fir wouldn't look quite the same, but Port
          Orford Cedar is very pretty and I understand it is quite strong. Or
          maybe someone sells clear spruce.

          If I had a Bobcat and was considering an alternate material for a
          mast, I think I'd look into old windsurfer masts and beef up the first
          few feet of one. Or else figuring out a way to incorporate one of
          those joints about 3 or 4 feet up in my existing mast, but that seems
          like a big PIA. (Some of the winsurfer masts are two piece.) I might
          consider using a piece of a windsurfer mast above the gaff, and paint
          it black to make it look like it's just painted wood.

          Do you step the mast when the boat is in the water or on land? If on
          land, what about making a tripod and using that to hoist the mast by
          its middle until it was high enough to drop the butt into the step?
          The tripod wouldn't have to be all that strong. The tripod could be
          the height of the bow over the road plus 8 feet.

          Something tells me that Bolger has already thought this all out. He's
          old enough to appreciate the problem. If it were me, I'd ask him
          before trying anything wacky.
          --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <allaire@...> wrote:
          >
          > I built a Bobcat catboat a few years ago. I built the mast as
          designed and it works fine. However, I am having a problem as I age.
          That is it is getting increasingly difficult for me to set the mast
          in the boat at the ramps I frequent. So, I'm trying to figure out a
          tabernacle type arrangement that will work without having too high an
          ugly factor. Here in the middle of Minnesota there is a dearth of
          knowledgable people to talk this over with.
          >
          > O recognize that switching to an aluminum mast would solve the
          problem but I'd really like the mast to be a wood one. I have no
          problem adding stays and, if necessary, a bowsprit for a forestay.
          >
          > I also know that if I add a bowsprit I'll end up wanting to add a
          sail up there.
          >
          > Any ideas?
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > Jim
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >






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        • Nels
          ... designed and it works fine. However, I am having a problem as I age. That is it is getting increasingly difficult for me to set the mast in the boat at
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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            --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <allaire@...> wrote:
            >
            > I built a Bobcat catboat a few years ago. I built the mast as
            designed and it works fine. However, I am having a problem as I
            age. That is it is getting increasingly difficult for me to set the
            mast in the boat at the ramps I frequent. So, I'm trying to figure
            out a tabernacle type arrangement that will work without having too
            high an ugly factor. Here in the middle of Minnesota there is a
            dearth of knowledgable people to talk this over with.
            >
            > O recognize that switching to an aluminum mast would solve the
            problem but I'd really like the mast to be a wood one. I have no
            problem adding stays and, if necessary, a bowsprit for a forestay.
            >
            > I also know that if I add a bowsprit I'll end up wanting to add a
            sail up there.
            >
            > Any ideas?
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > Jim
            >

            If you go here you will see an example of a tabernacle on a Chebacco
            which looks pretty good to my eye. Some Pictures - David Nedder

            http://www.chebacco.com/articles/018/01/article.htm

            But first I would look at John's idea. Make a saw-horse type frame
            of some kind to support the lower end while you walk the mast up
            from the cockpit. I would design it and practice it in my driveway
            first - while not even being in the boat. A fairly small framework
            that attaches temporarily at the forward end of the cockpit might
            work - or aft end of the deck might work too.

            Another option is to ask for help and treat whoever does to a drink.

            Nels
          • Bob Chamberland
            Hi Jim, Yes manhandling that mast alone is getting to be a chore for me also. I suspect that you ve outlined the solution which is stays and bowsprit. I m
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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              Hi Jim,

              Yes manhandling that mast alone is getting to be a chore for me also.
              I suspect that you've outlined the solution which is stays and
              bowsprit. I'm looking at the drawings now and the real problem is the
              boom almost right down on the deck right where any tabernacle is going
              to be. A hinged mast would be simple with a stayed mast except if
              built as designed it is hollow at the bottom. I would build a new
              mast. I'm not savvy enough to figure where the stays should attach. My
              guess is that a forestay would attach just above the gaff. I would
              worry that an unintentional jybe would demolish the shroud. Perhaps a
              tabernacle arrangement would work if you dispensed with the boom jaw
              and used a gooseneck instead. In any event it will be quite a project.
              In my humble opinion any other rig-sailboard sails etc- would negate
              any reason to have a Bobcat. I have a set of drawings for Martha Jane.
              I think that arrangement could be the basis for a solution. I would
              suggest thinking of it as a hinge rather that the counterbalanced
              arrangement of MJ. No stays would be needed. It would not be a large
              chore to raise the Bobcat mast if it were hinged. The problem is
              lifting it, holding it up and dropping it through all those holes.
              Bob Chamberland

              --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <allaire@...> wrote:
              >
              > I built a Bobcat catboat a few years ago. I built the mast as
              designed and it works fine. However, I am having a problem as I age.
              That is it is getting increasingly difficult for me to set the mast
              in the boat at the ramps I frequent. So, I'm trying to figure out a
              tabernacle type arrangement that will work without having too high an
              ugly factor. Here in the middle of Minnesota there is a dearth of
              knowledgable people to talk this over with.
              >
              > O recognize that switching to an aluminum mast would solve the
              problem but I'd really like the mast to be a wood one. I have no
              problem adding stays and, if necessary, a bowsprit for a forestay.
              >
              > I also know that if I add a bowsprit I'll end up wanting to add a
              sail up there.
              >
              > Any ideas?
              >
              > Thanks,
              >
              > Jim
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Bob Chamberland
              Hi Jim, Yes manhandling that mast alone is getting to be a chore for me also. I suspect that you ve outlined the solution which is stays and bowsprit. I m
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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                Hi Jim,

                Yes manhandling that mast alone is getting to be a chore for me also.
                I suspect that you've outlined the solution which is stays and
                bowsprit. I'm looking at the drawings now and the real problem is the
                boom almost right down on the deck right where any tabernacle is going
                to be. A hinged mast would be simple with a stayed mast except if
                built as designed it is hollow at the bottom. I would build a new
                mast. I'm not savvy enough to figure where the stays should attach. My
                guess is that a forestay would attach just above the gaff. I would
                worry that an unintentional jybe would demolish the shroud. Perhaps a
                tabernacle arrangement would work if you dispensed with the boom jaw
                and used a gooseneck instead. In any event it will be quite a project.
                In my humble opinion any other rig-sailboard sails etc- would negate
                any reason to have a Bobcat. I have a set of drawings for Martha Jane.
                I think that arrangement could be the basis for a solution. I would
                suggest thinking of it as a hinge rather that the counterbalanced
                arrangement of MJ. No stays would be needed. It would not be a large
                chore to raise the Bobcat mast if it were hinged. The problem is
                lifting it, holding it up and dropping it through all those holes.
                Bob Chamberland

                --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <allaire@...> wrote:
                >
                > I built a Bobcat catboat a few years ago. I built the mast as
                designed and it works fine. However, I am having a problem as I age.
                That is it is getting increasingly difficult for me to set the mast
                in the boat at the ramps I frequent. So, I'm trying to figure out a
                tabernacle type arrangement that will work without having too high an
                ugly factor. Here in the middle of Minnesota there is a dearth of
                knowledgable people to talk this over with.
                >
                > O recognize that switching to an aluminum mast would solve the
                problem but I'd really like the mast to be a wood one. I have no
                problem adding stays and, if necessary, a bowsprit for a forestay.
                >
                > I also know that if I add a bowsprit I'll end up wanting to add a
                sail up there.
                >
                > Any ideas?
                >
                > Thanks,
                >
                > Jim
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Bob Chamberland
                Is the tabernacle on this Chebacco part of the original design? If so could some kind person scan the tabernacle detail from the original drawings and post it.
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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                  Is the tabernacle on this Chebacco part of the original design? If so
                  could some kind person scan the tabernacle detail from the original
                  drawings and post it. I would be very interested in this approach.

                  Any change of this sort to the Bobcat rig will also involve removing
                  spliced attachments.

                  Bob Chamberland

                  snip
                  --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "Nels" <arvent@...> wrote:
                  > If you go here you will see an example of a tabernacle on a Chebacco
                  > which looks pretty good to my eye. Some Pictures - David Nedder
                  >
                  > http://www.chebacco.com/articles/018/01/article.htm
                  snip
                • Kenneth Grome
                  ... I would consider a tabernacle like the one on chebacco as suggested earlier, and I would even go so far as to add a small hydraulic jack -- set at an angle
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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                    > It is getting increasingly difficult for me to set the
                    > mast in the boat at the ramps I frequent. So, I'm trying to figure
                    > out a tabernacle type arrangement that will work without having too
                    > high an ugly factor. Here in the middle of Minnesota there is a
                    > dearth of knowledgable people to talk this over with.

                    I would consider a tabernacle like the one on chebacco as suggested earlier, and I would even go so far as to add a small hydraulic jack -- set at an angle between the deck and the aft side of the mast -- for help in raising and lowering the mast if necessary.

                    You will need to reinforce your deck (and possibly your mast) where the jack would push against them, but these types of jacks are really cheap for the 2 ton and 5 ton models, and probably either one would easily handle the work of rotating the mast in a tabernacle with minimal effort on your part.

                    Even a small child could raise and lower the mast using a system like this, and if the jack is too ugly for you, just build and install the brackets that it would push against, but remove the jack and stow it when it's not actually being used.

                    Kenneth Grome
                    Bagacay Boat Works
                  • Jim
                    Hi All, At this point I am thinking that I will be doing either a Chebecco type tabernacle, a hinge arrangement similar to that used on at least some
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 3, 2006
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                      Hi All,

                      At this point I am thinking that I will be doing either a Chebecco type tabernacle, a hinge arrangement similar to that used on at least some Weekenders or a combination of both - that is a hinge fore and aft with side pieces like the Chebacco. In the last case the side pieces would be a part of the lower section of the mast that is then pinned through the upper section. The height of the boom above the deck works against using this last. Also, I will definitely keep the lower section of the mast to carry the weight rather than trying to beef up the foredeck to carry it.

                      Whichever method I use the mast will be plugged and I'll plan on three stays but will start out with a forestay without a bowsprit. We'll see how it goes.

                      Jim



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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