2672Hrs – Jib Bridle Work
I’d planned a full days work today but I ended up helping out with show jumps for 3 hours this morning so started a bit late. I decided to make a start on the jib bridle connections on the bows.
To be honest I was a little apprehensive about the job as once again it involved drilling big holes through my nice hull!
It’s a little hard to explain the purpose of these attachments but I’ve found a photo that hopefully will make it a little clearer. Basically there is a wire strop attached between the bows to which the bottom end of the forestay is fixed. The forestay is a wire that runs up from the front of the boat to the top of the mast and to which the jib or staysail is hanked when sailing.
As you can see from the photo above the bridle is also used to attach the forward safety netting. Obviously the attachement points need to be very strong as the stresses imposed by the jib when it’s blowing well can be huge.
The Wharram plans call for a stainless steel ‘U’ bolt to be used but up until the Beaulieu Boat Jumble the other weekend I was going to use an alternative method which I saw on Jacques ‘Pilgrim’ and that I’ve also seen on David Halliday (Boatsmiths) Ariki. With this method you simply drill holes through which rope can be inserted and knotted to stop it pulling through. Here’s a photo of the one’s on ‘Pilgrim’
My worry about using this method was that it needed double the amount of holes drilled through the bow and that the holes really needed sleeving and thoroughly coating with epoxy to keep the water out of the stem timber. All in all a lot of work. At Beaulieu though I found some super ‘U’ bolts at the right price and I didn’t hesitate to snap them up.
Once I’d marked the attachment positions on the bows I made up a dummy spacer out of easily cut insulating foam, drilled the holes in the correct positions and then used this dummy as a template to make the proper ones out of oak. I then temporarily screwed them into place so that I could use them as a guide to drill through the bow.
My heart was a bit in my mouth as I waited for the drill to break through the other side and in hindsight I should have moved them back and inch or two but it’s no problem I’m more than happy with the results and they’ll be plenty strong enough. I’ll make up some backing plates for the outboard sides and then cut the excess threads off later.