Help us design a dream boom gallows/solar support/bimini

  • 02 Mar 2011 03:13
    Reply # 535874 on 535794
    Deleted user
    David Tyler wrote: ... So out I went into the rain to take a snapshot of my current arrangement...

    Thank you for doing that so quickly, and in the rain no less!

    I haven't given a lot of thought to side panels, but it might be a good idea to think about that while we're designing the rest of it. Putting curtains around the cockpit adds a lot of comfortable space to an otherwise modestly-sized boat. Sometimes I think we are the only boat on the east coast of the USA without a fancy full enclosure.

    ~ Meps
    Last modified: 02 Mar 2011 03:13 | Deleted user
  • 02 Mar 2011 00:47
    Reply # 535794 on 535770
    ... So out I went into the rain to take a snapshot of my current arrangement, which has just sort of grown up over time. It's in my profile albums, in "Tystie". 
    You will see a couple of sturdy arches, of 1 1/2" alloy tube supporting a cambered plywood top, on which are mounted two solar panels with a gap between them ( so as not to be shaded by the mizzen when stowed). Two more panels are mounted on plywood and canvas wings that can be taken off, or angled differently, as required. The plywood top is 3' wide, and it shades the watch-keeper from sun and rain, but allows him to peer out from underneath to see the set of the sails. The wings can shield him from low sun and driving rain. There is a bolt-rope groove round the front and sides (there should be one at the back as well), and I can take off the wings and replace them by a winter tent enclosing the companionway, for a long stay in harbour. An awning can extend from the back, for use in harbour. This plan of a small, permanent, hard-top, with extensions of various kinds, works well, I find.
    It wouldn't take much more to add a cradle for the mizzen sail bundle to drop into - but I've never found gallows to be at all necessary. My topping lifts are set up fixed ( but I can lower the bundle to work on if I need to), and my double sheets triangulate the sail bundle when furled. 
  • 01 Mar 2011 23:52
    Message # 535770
    Deleted user
    Here's a fun and intriguing issue we need to resolve regarding our mizzen sail.

    We have the luxury to design the mizzen sail (including boom gallows), bimini, and solar panel supports all together. The challenge is coming up with something that gives us maximum cockpit shade, minimal shadows on our two 135W solar panels, and easiest handling of the mizzen sheet without catching on solar panel corners.

    Flutterby's cockpit is wider than it is long, about 6 feet long and 8 feet wide. Right now, the panels are temporarily mounted on some cheap lumber on top of the bimini. Without a sail bundle up there, we're spoiled with the amount of unshaded sunshine we get, hence lots of electricity …which we use to connect to the internet and surf the Junk Rig forum.

    Now we have to figure out how the permanent solar installation will work with the mizzen sail, both when it's in use and when it's stowed.

    We've listed some of the considerations below. The question is, are there issues we're missing? We have only limited offshore experience on OPBs, and lately have spent most of our time in pleasant anchorages. What problems might this setup incur?
    • It would be natural to stow the mizzen sail bundle suspended above the solar panels, but that will make for lots of shadows. So here's the alternative: Stow the bundle in some sort of gallows that is between and maybe even slightly below the solar panels. The cockpit is so wide that we can allow about 24 inches between the panels for the stowed sail bundle.
    • Obviously, when it's in use, whether reefed or full, it needs to be above the solar panels! (PJR says at least .05*B clearance, or 7 inches for my mizzen) Our current bimini is about 24 inches below the clew.
    • The boom gallows needs to be somewhere in the middle of the cockpit, not the forward or aft end.
    • The sheets will probably go two-blocks when the bundle is lowered into the gallows. We could pull the traveler over to one side and maintain sheet tension that way.
    •  The mast lift will stay put, keeping the bundle at a fixed position at the mast. That means the sail bundle will angle down toward horizontal or below on the aft end. I don't think this is a problem.
    • The panels are also a foot shorter than the cockpit, and could project forward a little bit without causing any harm, so we have some room to move them forward and get them out of the way of the mizzen sheets.
    • The bimini framework is in good condition, but it's not sturdy enough. It would have to be reinforced anyway, so we may just replace it.
    • The fabric and stitching need to be replaced anyway, and since the solar panels provide plenty of shade, we might just use a simple piece of fabric between them. By the time we've sewed our sails, this will be a piece of cake.
    We'd love to have some thoughts on this, especially since we're really free to think out of the box. What would you do to create a dream bimini/gallows?

    Barry  & Meps
       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

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