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To Tabernacle Or Not On Lapwing


Kennneee
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I am leaning towards a tabernacle on my Lapwing 16 build.  Years ago I dropped the mast on my Flying Scot when I was stepping it.  Wanting to avoid that unpleasant experience, a tabernacle seems like a good idea.  Anybody want to chime in to talk me out of it or give 2 thumbs up. Thanks.

Ken

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4 hours ago, Kennneee said:

I am leaning towards a tabernacle on my Lapwing 16 build.  Years ago I dropped the mast on my Flying Scot when I was stepping it.  Wanting to avoid that unpleasant experience, a tabernacle seems like a good idea.  Anybody want to chime in to talk me out of it or give 2 thumbs up. Thanks.

Ken

A Tabernacle has the advantage that your mast is fixed in place so there’s not the same faff involved in tying it on when getting ready to trailer home, and it provides a secure ‘Centre’ pole if you are going to throw a tarpaulin over boat and trailer to protect from weather.  That’s the good side. The downside? They look a bit agricultural? And there are simple ways to secure the mast to a jockey inserted in the mast step… I know your masts are light - AYC - what do you estimate the finished weight (and length) will be compared to your Flying Scot? Easier to manage? Not a fan of the tabernacle personally, but then not a fan of sprits messing sail shape either. So I’m going booms - or possibly a heavy bottom batten a la Hobie style. To put this in context, this is from a guy who has raced small dinghies since before the Crimean War and still needing to adapt to a different type of sailing…

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I can still step my DF masts, but it is getting to be less fun.  I am considering a tabernacle for the main.  The mizzen is easy to step as you don't lean over the fore deck trying to insert the foot of the mast. The masts can be a support for a tarp wether on insterted carrying brackets or tabernacle.  The only down side to a main tabernacle is that the mast will extend a couple feet past the transom while trailering. I would have to make the hinge pin easy to remove as my boat won't fit in the garage if anything extends beyond the trailer hitch or transom.

 

@Murray Sprits used to bother me before I tried them.  The minimal loss due to sail shape doesn't bother me any more.  I find the advantages out weigh the head clunker and extra lines. I figured I would try them first, and convert to wishbooms or conventional booms latter.

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Ken,

I don't have an axe to grind either way but there is one small extra step that you have to remember with a tabernacle is that the mast no longer rotates. This means that when you ease the sail you also have to ease the snotter or it will flatten the sail as the snotter winds around the mast. We have come up with a partial work-around by attaching the snotter to a line between two eyes traps  attached on opposite sides of the mast.

 

The extra hardware accounts for some of the debate on sprits being short.

 

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I bought a canoe 30 years ago and when I asked how much it weighs the elderly salesman said 52 pounds but it got 5 pounds heavier every 10 years. It took me a minute to get it. 

 

I Sail with a lot of different friends with difference types of boats and I watch the challenges of raising masts. That I can raise both tabernackled masts on my CS20.3 with one hand is a joy. 

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As we all know everything on a boat is a compromise.  We all want our boats to be as efficient as possible.  If I were planning to race Lula efficiency would take on a different meaning than just going out for leisurely sails.  I think my sailboat racing days are in my past so I want to be able to get this boat to the water with as few obstacles and as efficiently as possible. 

Murray, my adventures on the Flying Scot were well over 40 years ago so I don’t really remember how heavy the mast was.  As Steve pointed out, everything was lighter then. Strange.

I have never sailed a Cat Ketch so that in itself will be a new adventure for me.  Most of my sailing has been on sloops and cutters.  Never touched a snotter in my life so there will be a lot to learn.

One question I have might best be answered by Graham.  If I decided on a tabernacle with a wooden mast, are there any structural considerations in the mast construction? I imagine either some solid blocking where the mast fits into the tabernacle or perhaps a G10 or aluminum tube through the mast where the hinge pin passes through. Any wisdom on this would be appreciated before I do my glue-up this week.

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Ken,

 

Yes, you should plug the mast at the tabernacle.

 

Another thing that I like to do when I glue up a birdsmouth spar is to setup cleats across my spar bench like you showed in a picture of your setup. I make sure that the top faces are straight from head to heel. I cover the tops of the cleats with duct tape then choose a stave and nail it to the cleats with thin headless brads. I nail the heel, then the head. I check for straight and fasten the middle accordingly. 

 

This assures that the mast will come out perfectly straight. Yes the bottom side will be straight and the taper will make the rest of the mast curved. I just make the straight side the aft side of the spar. You have noticed how slippery glued faces become when clamping. Many birdsmouth spars end up bent because the staves near the head are very limber and with the clutter of your clamps hindering your view, makes it hard to be sure that it is perfectly straight. Getting all of the edges glued and the eight staves corralled and in place can be a bit of a fire drill, it sure helps to have a spare set of hands for this operation. You can also setup some 45 degree chocks to help keep the first two staves in the right place against the bottom stave. With the bottom stave fixed you are not chasing a moving target. 

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Graham- Thanks for the helpful tips!  I wouldn’t have thought to keep the aft edge of the mast straight.  Luanne, Lula, will have to don some gloves and help if she wants her name on the side of the boat.  I am a taskmaster.

I do need one more bit of info and that is to know where the tabernacle will be located on the mast.  The plan I have shows dimensions for a keel stepped mast in a tube with a length of 222 1/2” with the deck level being 21 1/16” from the butt end.  I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that with a tabernacle the mast will be shorter.  Not sure how high the tabernacle is from the deck, etc.  The full plan set is still in transit and what I have may not have all the sheets. 

Ken

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At age 72, I am still stepping the masts on my Bay River Skiff 15 without worry.  I’m sure there’ll come a time when it begins to be a struggle.  

I would never put a boom on one of these boats.  The leg o’ mutton rig is part of their charm.  My crew loves the fact that she’s not going to get cracked in the head during a tack or gybe.  But whatever you choose, the boat will sail like a dream.  It’s just the way these boats are designed.

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Don- I don’t see enough of a downside to a tabernacle not to do it.  I am pretty sure I can step the masts without one but why not make it easy?  I agree about the boom. Given my experience with B&Bs designs I expect no less.  Two builds so far and both have been great.  

Alan sent me the tabernacle page from the Core Sound 15. That helped to clarify many of my questions.  I should have the masts glued up soon.  Just picked up 3.5 gallons of epoxy today so nothing is standing in the way.

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  • 1 month later...

I can only see two downsides to putting a tabernacle on your Lapwing.  Graham mentioned the mast rotation factor.  Also, the tabernacle adds “visual mass”, and  I prefer a cleaner looking deck.  But, if you’re comfortable with the aesthetics, and adjust tour rig for no mast rotation, then go for it.   The convenience would probably worth it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good choice.  It will allow you to sail longer in life.  I suppose I’ll be a victim of the old adage—  “Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.”  Or maybe I can find a nursing home with a boat dock.  (Monday morning black humor.  LOL)

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The Lapwing kit is coming along well. Here is the 1/2 scale model being built,

almost read to be able to test the planking. At the bow is an experimental jig to aid installing the inwales.

 

The planks are all cut , the first three have been loosely wired together to see if they will drape over the hull. Instead of a side stringer to support the cockpit seating we have tried a ply shelf. It has the advantage that it helps to space the bulkheads and transom precisely at the side. While the boat is upside down it will be heavily filleted to the planking. A side stringer cannot work well because it has to go across planks which cannot be a fair line.

 

The first thing that everyone says when they see it for the first times is, "it's so cute".

 

lAPWING MODEL1.jpg

Lapwing2.jpg

Lapwing3.jpg

Lapwing4.jpg

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Yes, that is exactly what I meant, 1/2 full size or just under 8' long. The point was to prove that the 3d modelled planks unwrapped, would fit when cut out and wrapped back around the hull. We are pleased to report that they did fit exactly and we have half of a beautiful fair hull.

 

Why so big? It was just right as we used 3mm ply which was 1/2 the full thickness. The parts were cut with a 1/16" bit so that everything would be exactly replicated.

 

Here are the pics of the planking. 

lapwing7.jpg

lapwing6.jpg

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When I read the “1/2” bit I wasn’t paying enough attention to the post. I thought Kennneee wrote it and it didn’t really look half scale. Plus, I thought he was building it 16 feet.  
Thanks, Graham, for clarifying that YOU are doing the 1/2 scale.  THAT sounds like a fun project.  I’m very glad the Lapwing kit seems to be coming out well. 
I’ve pondered trying my hand at making a small model of my CS15 l, just for fun, if I run out of projects to keep me busy. We’ll see if I ever give that a shot. 
Now that I realize yours is half sized I’m more able to recognize its scale in the photos.  
Yes, how “cute” this is going to be.  😄  Are you maintaining the two mast setup???  (Or is this just for the kit development?)

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