Third round – rope stropped blocks


This is my 3rd – and hopefully final attempt at stropping these blocks. This time with loops I made from 1/8″ Amsteel . There is no stretch in the strop doing it with this stuff — and I’ve improved my seizing technique a bit also. It is terribly rough on the hands though. I did two and will let my fingers recover before moving on with the rest.

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Double block

Got one of the double blocks shaped up today too. The doubles are for the downhaul. That is 1/4″ line on there – so you get an idea of the size – they are pretty small. Soaking in teak oil overnight – then I can strop this one – and move on with the rest.

I promise I wont post a pick of each one as I go…:)



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Rope stropped blocks

Here is my first attempt at making my own blocks. The wood is a piece of purpleheart a friend at work gave to me, and then some oak for contrast. The delrin pulley I turned on my drill press. The selvagee strop I made from #6 bank line that I bought from a place called The Thread Exchange I found online. I did lay up some rope grommets, but wanted to try out this selvagee strop after I read about it. The strop is basically 8 turns of the line in the size strop you want with marline hitching all around to hold it together. Really strong once it is all done up.

I have the rest of the blanks glued up already and the remainder of my blocks should go together a lot quicker than my prototype did.


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Mizzen ready

I think I have my mizzen all sorted out now. I stepped way down on the mast diameter to just an 1-1/4′” closet pole. I had my doubts, but raised that 12 sq ft sail this morning in a good 20 to 25 mph wind and stood back to see what happened.
The mast did not break – it does bend probably a good 6 inches, maybe more in a gust. but the thing held up so I think I’m good. Maybe a good thing it bends to spill some wind. I’d say it is about the limit of how small maybe any mast should be. There is about 7 foot of mast above the partner, and I tapered the upper 30 inches or so down to about 1-1/8″.
I doubt I’ll be trying to sail this boat in any more wind than that! There is a reef in the sail too so I could kick it down a notch if need be. Some other parts of this boat I built with some similarly small scantlings and those worked out OK. I hope the mizzen mast does as well also.

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The Spar Catcher

Playing around with this new rig some more…
I got all the spars made, but not yet varnished. They came out really good, nice and round, nice tapers. Very enjoyable but quite messy making them this time around.

… So I’m trying out this “yard lift” or “spar catcher” idea to keep the yard under control when raising or lowering the sail:…rcatcher1.html and…rcatcher2.html
…and the same idea is mentioned by Ben Fuller in this old thread Taming the Balanced lug Yard

The thing works great. It is one extra halyard to deal with, but so far seems to be worth the little extra complication.
It is really blowing pretty hard out there today for testing in the back yard (21-28 mph), but when dropping the sail the yard was under control – coming down upright, parallel, right next to the mast. Then when this second halyard is lowered the rest of the sail and the yard easily drops into the boat without any real fuss. It is still all kind of halfassed right now but in the end I’ll want to get everything set up in such a way that it is quick to setup and break down.

It may even give me a second reef – as there is a triangle of sail left up with the yard in the vertical postion. Maybe strapping in the foot of the yard to the mast and tying in the rest of the reef… we’ll see…

The Sailrite sail really has a nice shape to it when I get it full of this much wind – it looks like it will have some real power.

I wish I could show you a video of how it works – but not today – there is way too much wind out there to turn my back on the thing even for a second… I gotta be ready so the thing doesn’t take off in a good gust! It’s strapped down to the trailer, but I still can’t take any chances.

To cold to be out there any more anyhow – the wind chill was 26 degrees when I came in. Done for today.

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The rain made me do it

The rain made me do it…
Yesterday was nice and I pulled the boat out and played around with the new lug rig some.
Today has been nothing but rain all day so I couldn’t continue more of the same. Yesterday I was attaching the yard ala Storer’s GIS and I do like doing it that way.
I needed something to do inside so I made up a mast traveler ala McMullen. When the weather clears again I’m anxious to try this out. I made it from some heavy duty long pegboard hangers that I just happen to have a ton of.
It is somewhere close to 7/32″ thickness or .210″ Was easily bent around a 2 inch holesaw for the ring, and the hooks I just bent around a bolt. All welded up it is really strong. I’ll paint it with some POR15, and try to leather wrap it after the paint is dry.
Good rainy day project. I hope it works.



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More spar making

Man – what a beautiful Feb day in Cleveland. It seems to be a trend going here – maybe spring is really here 🙂

Of course I worked in the shop all day making the new mast. It is fully shaped now with a bit more sanding to do. Made from the same douglas fir – 10 foot long – 2 inch diameter at the fattest.
Weighs 5 pounds on the old reliable bathroom scale. Might lose another ounce with the finish sanding.

I should have been out there rowing on a day like today, but I’m glad this got done.

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Spar making

I finally got out in the shop today to actually do something instead of just talk about it or dream about it.
Nice weather today – damn near 60 degrees in February in Cleveland? I’ll take it!
Started making the yard for the lug sail. I’m trying something a bit different. Making it like one would do scuppered gunwales on a boat. I think it will be like a truss effect making it stiffer than a solid spar.The ends and the area where the halyard will attach have longer “blocks” for added stiffness there. The ends were tapered with long tapered blocks during this first glue-up. Once the glue dries the taper top to bottom will be cut to match the other. I then plan to glue another thin 1/4″ strip to the top and bottom to close it up. The result will be a partially hollow, truss-like spar. My idea is (hopefully) a simpler alternative to birdsmouth, which would have been pretty fiddly to assemble with the small stave sizes needed. The yard will get the corners rounded off after the second glue-up is dry. I used Titebond III this time, avoiding the epoxy mess was a nice change.
While the yard is sitting in the clamps drying – I started making the little Delrin pulleys for the wooden blocks I’m going to make for the new rig too.
No pictures today. I’m kind of too embarrassed to show what condition my shop is in these days. I’ll get you some pics – just not today.

Start of the yard. Just out of the first glue-up. What should I call this thing? A box truss? Does that sound about right?

I have planed down the opposite tapers and have the enclosing strips gluing up now.


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Messin with the mizzen

It was a nice day today – for February 6th – in Cleveland –

I raised the new main sail on some halfassed spars, and then tried out the mizzen in the same halfassed way.

Nothing permanent – just seeing how things will look.

I’m liking it so far…

A new main mast one foot longer will take the place of this one. That will give me an extra foot of clearance under the boom as it sits here.

IMGP9863 IMGP9868

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The new lug sail… and maybe more…

I got the new Sailrite lug sail all stitched up and ready to go. I’ll be making some new spars for it. But now I have started playing with the idea of adding a small mizzen sail also. I think I can use a small sail that I already have from my other boat. The main idea of the mizzen is a bit of a safety blanket – so I can heave to in relative safety to deal with raising, reefing, or striking the main sail single-handed, which is how I do most of my sailing.

Here’s a rough drawing of the idea, fairly close to scale:


This little sail is 12 sq ft – with a little reef to drop it to 7 sq ft

It a fun little exercise fiddling with this idea – maybe it will even work. 🙂


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