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Rigging and Hardware Installation

In this issue I will go over the hardware installation on the Mudpeep. I do not yet have the sail for this boat, but I will get everything ready for the final rigging when the sail arrives. I will come clean and admit that I do not know much about sailing or rigging a sailboat. One of the driving forces to do this series of articles was to learn how to sail, so bear with me if some of my vocabulary is a little rusty.

I will start with the deck hardware installation. Fig 1 displays the standard method for installing hardware. It is a good idea to use bolts, washers and locknuts whenever possible.

Epoxy Plywood Stitch and Glue Design

One of the problems of hanging hardware is drilling holes into your boat. If not done properly, all the effort made to thoroughly seal your boat from moisture can be compromised. The best way to bolt on hardware is to bore the holes a little larger than needed and seal the holes with epoxy. I find it easiest to use a nail or piece of wire dipped in epoxy to wet out the hole. I like to seal the holes from each side to ensure complete coverage. Epoxy will tend to drip from the holes so keep an eye on it or put some wood or cardboard under the hole to collect the drips. After the epoxy cures the hardware should be installed with a polyurethane bedding compound such as 3m's 5200 or Sikaflex, which I prefer to use. The Sikaflex should be applied liberally so you have squeeze out around the entire perimeter of the piece of hardware that is being installed. I also like to apply the bedding compound to the threads of the bolts to fill gaps that may be present if a hole is bored to large. Not only is Sikaflex an extremely good adhesive, it also cures into a very strong gasket and filler. The downside of Sikaflex and 5200 is the difficult cleanup. It is tenacious and seems to get on everything, so always use latex glove when using polyurethane bedding compounds. One of the best and most common products available for cleaning up Sikaflex is mineral spirits. Clean up all excess Sikaflex from hardware installs as soon as possible, and you may need to go back several hours later to clean up any late squeeze out that may occur.

All the hardware I used is bronze and all fasteners are stainless steel. I used the oarlocks that are shown in Fig. 1 on my boat, but because of the structure under the side decks I did not have the room for washers and nuts so I used #10 x 2" screws instead. When bedding hardware with screws and not bolts, pre-bore the holes and use just bedding compound. There is no need to try to epoxy seal screw holes. A good location for mounting oarlocks is 12" aft of the rowing bench.

The traveler eye straps are located about 4" forward of the transom and far enough outboard to get a fastener into the interior shear clamp where the deck and hull meet. I used screws and Sikaflex to fasten the eye straps to the deck. 4" deck cleats were installed on the side decks, one just forward of the aft bulkhead and the other about 1' aft of the forward bulkhead. The two deck cleats on each side of the boat are thru-bolted to the side decks with #10-24 machine screws. The location fore and aft really is arbitrary but the location on the side deck will be determined by the structure underneath.

With the mast in place, I thru-bolted a cleat on the forward face of the mast and about 4" above the deck that will secure both the tack and the halyard. The snotter will be a line with an eye spliced in it that goes into the notch in the sprit and loops up and around the mast and through an eye strap that is located on the aft face and 4'6" up from the bottom of the mast. Fig 3 also shows the top of the mast where I bored a " hole that runs fore and aft and I also carved a small groove on each side to help the halyard slide through. There is also a bow eye installed for towing or trailering.

Plywood Epoxy Stitch and Glue Construction

I mounted the gudgeons on the transom as far apart as possible, but not too high or low as to make it impossible to put nuts and washers on the bolts from the inside of the aft compartment. I mounted the pintles on the rudder so the tiller would sit 1" to 2"above the aft deck.

Plywood Epoxy Stitch and Glue Construction

The line I used for all the rigging on the Mudpeep was 1/4" 3 strand filament Dacron line. I started by splicing an eye in the grommet at the throat of the sail and ran the halyard line through the hole at the top of the mast. The sail was hoisted a few feet and tied it off at the halyard cleat. I then spliced another eye at the throat of the sail and ran the line around the mast and through the next grommet and back around the same side of the mast. The idea is to have this line on the same side of the mast at the grommets, and each grommet will put the line on the opposite side of the mast as the previous one. Keep hoisting the sail as needed to thread the line through the sail. See Fig. 1

Tie the line off to the last grommet at the tack, and then splice a loop through the tack that runs around the mast and down to the halyard cleat. This loop will hold the tack down when the sail is raised.

Epoxy Plywood Stitch and Glue Construction

I ran into a bit of a problem when I started to rig the sprit. The sprit was not long enough to stretch the sail at the peak and be tied in place with the snotter eye strap on the mast. The problem may have been with the sail dimensions, the length of the sprit or the placement of the eye strap. Since I wasn't about to order a new sail or make a new sprit, moving the eye strap up the mast 12" seemed to be the best fix. I spliced an eye at the end of a line that went into the notch at the end of the sprit, and wrapped the line around the mast up through the eye strap on the aft face of the mast and back down to the notch in the sprit. See Fig 1 .The snotter is not meant to be adjustable on a boat this small so I adjust it to get the wrinkles out of the sail and tie it off at the end of the sprit. The traveler can be as simple as a 1" metal ring that slides back and forth on the traveler line.

I have used the boat several times now and am quite happy with it. It was a fun project and I have even learned a bit along the way. It is not the perfect little sailboat or the best rowing skiff one could have, but it turned out to be a good compromise and I ended up with a very versatile little boat. She rows very easily and is quick under sail and should be a fun toy for my 11-year-old daughter and myself.

Epoxy Plywood Stitch and Glue Design


This is the Devlin design "Mud Peep", for more information on this design and others offered by Devlin Boat, go to devlinboat.com

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