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Pete McCrary

Core Sound 20 Mk 3 -- #4 "Chessie" . .

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I have always put the lower tabernacle bolt through the lower bulkhead facing forward. While brainstorming the main the mast design with Alan, he said "why don't we flip the bolt around so that the wing nut can be spun on while raising the mast through the hatch?" We worked through the various issues and it seemed feasible, so we went with it. Doug has demonstrated that it works for him.

 

While building Carlita I had a lot of time think about which way I will do my bolt. One of the reasons we switched the bolt directions was that so many people said that they did not want to have to go over the deck to raise the main mast. That has never been an issue with me, I have raised the march larger Southern Skimmer main mast so many times, walking over the cabin, holding it in position and spinning the wing nut on. The other issue was that the fore hatch would have to slide rather than hinge.  Because seaworthiness and a totally dry cabin was a priority with me, I opted to walk over the cabin to raise the mast. Therefore I went with the lower bolt facing forward and a hinging forward hatch. The hatch will be gasket-ed and dogged down. The forward facing bolt is fixed through the bulkhead and therefore easier to seal. As the mast  heel is swinging through an arc the bolt hole has to elongated vertically to prevent the bolt from binding. With the aft facing bolt, the elongated hole has to be in the bulkhead rather than in the mast when the bolt faces forward.

 

Pete, because you already have the bolt done, and done well, why don't you leave it for now and change it later if you do not like it. I do not believe that you will need extra mechanical assistance to hold the mast in position as discussed earlier. You can go back and check Doug's posts, I recall that he posted on raising the main mast and that it worked well for him. Admittedly he has a trench hatch. I am having a memory lapse but I cannot remember any issues with raising Jay & Carols mast. Perhaps he will chime in.

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Pete, I opted for a sliding hatch on Summer Breeze so I could raise the mast from the forward hatch. I have "acted out" the operation and for me, reaching down into the anchor well while holding the mast to attach the nut is much easier than ducking back through the hatch to put the nut on from the inside. With a folding hatch, the mast is in the way of opening the hatch to raise the mast, so going on deck is the only option. I agree with Graham to wait for now to try it out first.

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Arn't small-boat compromises endless? I'm quite happy with the mast bolt fixed in the foot [nut end] facing aft. To hold the mast upright while I go below to secure the bolt, I'll start with a pendant from port to starboard across the foot-bolt and belayed to a cleat on the starboard side [of the tabernacle]. On the port side I don't think I even need a pad eye -- instead I'll just have a hole (in the side of the tabernacle) and a "stop knot" securing that end of the pendant.

I'm not concerned with raising the mast while on the water. A sailing friend was injured (and mast badly damaged) doing that task when he was caught unawares by a wake that shouldn't have been there. My mast raising / lowering will be in my driveway or on the ramp's parking lot (or a very calm canal). I'll probably have some kind of crutch (the handle of an oar?) that I can brace up against a partially raised mast (from the cockpit or cabin roof) while I then access the foredeck by ladder on the ground (or by climbing over the deck) in order to raise the mast fully upright. At that point I'll belay the "foot pendant" to secure the foot -- and then back around to the cabin to put the nut on the bolt poking thru Blk#1. A bit of a "dipsidoodle," but it would only take a couple of minutes.

I've pretty much given up on the idea of a trench companionway. I like Graham's two-hatch approach -- especially with the space between the hatches being available for solar cells. I like Graham's forward hatch hinged along the aft edge. I also like Jay's, which (I think) each hatch slides over the in-between space -- meaning both can't be opened simutaneously. That wouldn't be a big problem [for me]. But, I think for "Chessie," I'll have the forward hatch slide under a small hood.

But nothing is yet fixed design wise. Suggestions are welcome.

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Here are a few pics of the forward hatch on the Breeze. Notice the "mini sea hood" to keep water from getting under the front of the hatch.

 

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Only one hatch can be fully open at a time, or each can be partially open. The entire mast raising is easily completed from the forward hatch with no need of "gadgets" to hold the mast while installing the nut. When lowered, the mast is resting on a boom gallows.

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Hi all! Hatches..... Thought and thought, and now I am thinkin again on the hatches. My forward hatch slides aft, so we can stand in the hatchway and raise the main mast, much easier than I thought it was going to be! I milled out some new slides this week, I am replacing my original slide tracks for the forward hatch with 2 pieces of the spiffy sail track we got at the messabout. The track I originally used works well but is a little scrawny in a seaway. I am concerned I will snag and break the current slides. My mast holder upper bolt is actually a piece of 3/8 stainless all thread rod. It goes forward to aft, in that the forward side of the raised mast has 2 nuts, on either side of the "front" face of the mast. There is a nut on the aft inside of the mast. When the mast is raised, the al thread rod sticks inside the cabin ( through a oak doubler and a bronze plate) and is spun down. Snug, with the patented one leg nut, discussed earlier. We arrived at a drawbridge near our old sailing area and it had gone to a schedule, so we lowered the masts and puttered through. It was a total none event, board down, full ballast tank. I lowered the mizzenmast and Carol held it from falling overboard till the main mast was in the crutch, then the mizzenmast mast settled into it's crutch. Super easy, I was pleasantly happy!

My main hatch is a hinged pop up gig, that works well for a gnome, but us ( well me anyway) continue to get bobos on my head. Keep thinking I will either remember or grow a callous on my noggen. Hasn't happened yet. I have considered a slide ( and there is room) but I will run afoul of the solar panels. Not having electrical supply issues is a real luxury! Panels stay! I put a rubber hose on the hatch holder upper spring to keep it from getting a full swing on my head but still not completely happy. Thinking of 2 barn door hatches that will swing open to the sides, outboard of the main hatch. Haven't got the leak issue figured out quite yet if I mount it that way. As it is now I can take the boat through a quarter car wash and it will stay dry insides. First sailboat I can claim that!

Amazing how comfortable we are on Southern Express! That sucker is FAST! And when we settle down in the evening we are very comfortable. Keep forgetting it is a 20 ft big dingy!

As usual not home now but Carol can snap any photos if desired.

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Chick,...

When you say "no need of 'gadgets' to hold the mast while installing the nut." You must be placing the nut on the end of a bolt that is poking its threaded end out of the forward side of the mast while holding the mast upright with your other hand. That's why you have no need of a "gadget." Have I got that right? You can do it all while standing in the forward hatch and leaning over the cabin roof and Blk#1.

Otherwise, something (or somebody) would have to hold the mast while you (or somebody) threads the nut on the bolt in the cabin on the aft side of Blk#1. I have to do it all solo. There's no "somebody" when I'm raising the mast. So, I'm pretty sure I need a "gadget" if the threaded end of the bolt pokes thru Blk#1 inside the cabin.

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Pete, when we first raised the mast we ran the main hallard through the anchor roller and back to the deck cleat. After a time or two we realized when the mast goes into it's tabernacle and the bolt has gone through the #1 bulkhead the mast seems to know where it is supposed to be. I can raise the mast solo by walking across the cabin and then reaching into the open forward hatch and spinning the nut on. I also can stand in the front hatch and raise the mast solo, but the angles don't work in your favor but I can do it with out popping a gasket.

I think both Carol and I like the mast nut inside the cabin. It is easy to spin on, hasn't had any tendency to loosen. No problem in my mind. The 1 bulkhead slot for the mast bolt is longer than I thought it would be, but the radius of the mast heel arc governs that. With the bronze wear plate on the oak vertical on the aft side of the #1 bulkhead the hole isn't much elongated. Keep in mind I don't have any shelving on the 1 # bulkhead. We are installing some shrimp netting ( new) on the outboard sides between bulkhead # 1 and 2. We can stuff bedding and dirty clothes in the netting areas.

I think I would remain a sliding forward hatch, you can open the hatch with the mast down. When you need, a breeze booster can be rigged to get a breeze through the cabin, both mast up or down.

We both like the removable companionway doors with the windows, that is a winner. Flip up main hatch errrrrr, I am rethinking that now. May open with 2 panels mid line on removable hinges. Again the work leak comes up.

Pete, when we first raised the mast we ran the main hallard through the anchor roller and back to the deck cleat. After a time or two we realized when the mast goes into it's tabernacle and the bolt has gone through the #1 bulkhead the mast seems to know where it is supposed to be. I can raise the mast solo by walking across the cabin and then reaching into the open forward hatch and spinning the nut on. I also can stand in the front hatch and raise the mast solo, but the angles don't work in your favor but I can do it with out popping a gasket.

I think both Carol and I like the mast nut inside the cabin. It is easy to spin on, hasn't had any tendency to loosen. No problem in my mind. The 1 bulkhead slot for the mast bolt is longer than I thought it would be, but the radius of the mast heel arc governs that. With the bronze wear plate on the oak vertical on the aft side of the #1 bulkhead the hole isn't much elongated. Keep in mind I don't have any shelving on the 1 # bulkhead. We are installing some shrimp netting ( new) on the outboard sides between bulkhead # 1 and 2. We can stuff bedding and dirty clothes in the netting areas.

I think I would remain a sliding forward hatch, you can open the hatch with the mast down. When you need, a breeze booster can be rigged to get a breeze through the cabin, both mast up or down.

We both like the removable companionway doors with the windows, that is a winner. Flip up main hatch errrrrr, I am rethinking that now. May open with 2 panels mid line on removable hinges. Again the work leak comes up.

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Pete, yes. "You must be placing the nut on the end of a bolt that is poking its threaded end out of the forward side of the mast while holding the mast upright with your other hand."

I also solo sail and have no help. Everything on the boat is rigged for that. 

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I usually drill a hole in the end of pivot or lock bolts for a keeper of some sort. Often with a washer between it and the tabernacle side. There's several styles. The bottom one is one handed operation, so you can't drop or lose a keeper.

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Pete, I wasn't sure what thread to put this in, but since I know you and I are enamored with the trench hatch idea I'm throwing it here. This is an idea that came to me after looking at Chick's hatch. It's a concept only, but it may have merit. As you know, when I saw Doug's boat I was thrilled with the trench. I envisioned myself enjoying the boat a lot at anchor this way. The cons to his hatch were the expense and the fact the cabin is not secure. No Cabin is secure, but a hard hatch at least gives the appearance its secure.

 

When you were kind enough to send me the hinge material I realized that making a 180 degree trench hatch was not really feasible, as promising as I thought the concept seemed. 

 

I like some of the two hatch ideas, but I'm 6' like you, and bending low to pop out the forward hatch when stepping the mast or doing stuff at anchor isn't the same. So I've been trying to think of a way that would work and when Chick posted his hatch it triggered a concept. Still unsound of course, but maybe the start of a good solution.  I've stolen Chick's picture and drawn the basic concept. The illustration at the top is a center-line cross section (left is forward) that I hope you can follow. 

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How to capture this removable center hood is not clear. Ideas include spring loaded pins or screws from the inside through the rails (any ideas?) to capture it. There are questions for sure. Is the trench long enough to split this in thirds and make it work? Will a wave over the bow/hatch flood the cabin through that reverse bevel? Will taking the three hatch boards off create a storage problem? 

 

Any thoughts?

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How to capture this removable center hood is not clear. Ideas include spring loaded pins or screws from the inside through the rails (any ideas?) to capture it. There are questions for sure. Is the trench long enough to split this in thirds and make it work? Will a wave over the bow/hatch flood the cabin through that reverse bevel? Will taking the three hatch boards off create a storage problem? 

 

Any thoughts?

It definitely needs to be removable, and result in no damage doing so.  It does not need to be quick-release.  It should be a very seldom exercise.  I would simply bed it in place and use a few bronze screws from the outside.  Oval head bronze screws seem to disappear like white noise.

 

Looks great!

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Dave, I think maybe you missed the fact I want to make it removable easily. I expect it to be an often used feature. To have the boards off stowed in light wind and definitely in bug-less evening at anchorage. That whole center section needs to pop off with no trouble that can't catch you when you are standing in the trench.

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Steve, I really like the concept! I'll think on it, make some sketches, etc. Can't do it now, but I will within the next few days. Maybe an idea will come to me during the homily (the PA system and my hearing aid don't like each other). I'm already thinking: What if you could configure the forward slider so that its forward edge could be "lifted slightly up" (just enough) so it could be moved "up-and-over" the hatch's fwd coaming. That slider would have a lip (a downward coaming?) that would keep the slider in place until slightly lifted and moved aft. The center cover could still be used for solar cells.

To visualize this better I need to do some design sketches.

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Why the need of a removable center hood? You said: "I'm 6' like you, and bending low to pop out the forward hatch..."? You slide the hatch aft. I'm a shorty at 5' - 10 1/2", but that's not much less than 6', and I don't find it difficult to kneel on the forward end of the berth and then stand up in the hatch. Obviously, with a trench, you'd start out standing and not have to kneel. If your center section is semi-permanent as Hirilonde, what's the benefit?

 

Are you planning a trench instead of two sliding hatches? Graham has sketched out a "cascading hatch" with each hatch sliding under the next forward one, to be used for a trench. Why remove the "three hatch boards" at all? The whole afair would slide to the forward end or aft end of the trench. Seems complicated to me, but it could be worked out.

 

If you need a place to mount your solar cell panels, just build a "bridge much as you've shown, but above the hatches and not interacting with them in any way.

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Pete and Steve, I once had a boat where the companionway ' "lifted slightly up" (just enough) so it could be moved "up-and-over" the hatch's fwd coaming.' to lift over the drop boards to eliminate the gap between the top of the boards and bottom of the hatch. It worked quite well.

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Chick, I was on a Skiff America once with the trench and it was awesome. You could stand up and change your clothes, and watch the sky when sleeping. You could go forward quickly. So the compromise here is to have the hatches like yours under many conditions, but if the weather dictates it, open it right up. 

 

I can't find Graham's design currently. Never mind, I found it. I like the idea, It is promising as well.

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Thanks Chick, for the encouraging words on sliding hatches. Let's keep thinking about it.

More progress on Chessie. Seems like I keep finding little things to do ... Just to keep from getting into the big stuff. My latest "little thing" is a faux mast just about 3" tall! It should keep driving rain (at 70 mph) from entering the foot-bolt hole in Blk#1. My last little job was a plug (2 & 3/4" diameter) to jam into the foot of the mast (when lowered) to keep rain water out -- but more importantly,.. birds and othe critters from nesting in the mast while parked on my driveway.

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The bottom of the faux mast is trimmed with about a 5 degree slope so that dripping water will be lead away (forward) from the tabernacle. Tomorrow, I promise, I'll start on the bunk tops. But don't hold me to it.

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Fellow builders,...

Finally ran out of small jobs -- and now I get to see big things happen. Today I prepped the bunk tops and their hatches and hatch frames & covers. The little hand held router put a 1/8" roundover on more than 1,000 inch-edges. My hand began to "cramp" up.

post-4915-0-11157800-1454115529_thumb.jpeg Getting things lined up.

post-4915-0-22452800-1454115592_thumb.jpeg Setting up for the glue session.

post-4915-0-98930100-1454115636_thumb.jpeg Glue, clamps, weights followed by "cleanup" of the "squeeze-out."

The port-side bunk top had its hatch frames glued on. To keep shop temps up to about 60 degrees, I'll have about 4 kilowatts of electric heat going overnight.

Then on Sunday I'm driving to Guntersville, Alabama, hoping to sell my PocketShip, "Tattoo." An interested buyer from Alexandria is having a marine surveyor look her over. If there's a sale, we'll both trail "Tattoo" back to Virginia. I'll probably bring her back even if there no sale because I have another interested buyer from Alexandria. I'll be back working on "Chessie" before Super Bowl Sunday.

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