Category Archives: On the Hard / From the Shop

Masts for Gemma, a Cat-Ketch Daysailer

We’ve been so pleased with how Daysailer hulls with a few reinforcements and minor modifications perform and meet our needs, that despite despising fiberglass work, and having spawned more than one plywood cruising dinghy design to build, we’re now beginning to experiment with alternative rigs for Daysailers.

The first of these experiments is Gemma, which is currently undergoing a transformation into a cat-ketch, with unstayed wooden masts. Normally Daysailers have a fractional sloop sail plan on an aluminum mast with steel stays. A shorter mainmast should allow her to sail under a bridge at low tide that divides the two branches of the Westport River.  The unstayed masts will allow a following wind to be easily spilled, as the sheets can be eased as far as needed, instead of being stopped by the shrouds.  Greater sail area will hopefully give us more options in lighter conditions.

Lu has been busy in the shop and writes, “Ken showed up after working all week and madly spread epoxy goo all morning to make this possible! A monumental glue-up on a day way too hot for epoxy work.”

The below pictures illustrate the process of building a hollow mast that will be lighter and possibly stronger than one turned from a single piece of solid wood.

The jig set up for the 21′ mainmast
The mainmast all glued up
The finished 16′ mizzen mounted on the lathe

Plenty to do still before we find out how she performs. Stay tuned!