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Gaff and Boom Jaws - what wood?

Started by Rick, June 21, 2020, 05:21:54 PM

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Request from David Wood - Our fore stay parted and the mast fell down smashing the jaws of both gaff and boom which need to be replaced. What wood should we use and where can we source it. With thanks David


Hi Rick
I'm not going to be much help with your question ... my jaws are bronze ... but I'd be interested to hear about your fore stay break - as mine did that a few months back.
On mine the SS cable just above the roller reefing drum sheared. It broke right at its entrance into the sheath that clamps it. The guys replacing it said they'd never seen such a clean break and even asked if there was any chance someone had cut it . I'd been sailing for a couple of hours and was just unfurling the jib after a lunch stop so seems it was metal fatigue. There'd been no sign of any broken strands previously .. it just snapped.
What's the story with yours ?



I have replaced my old rigg inclusive Mast, Boom and gaff. The complete old gaff with jaw, an Aluminium tube with wooden top and wooden jaw is available. I have to have a look for the boom jaw, if still in my workshop. If you are interested I could send you photos. If you are interested to these parts we will find a way for Transport.


BTW I have an high peak gaff. Additional a brass gaff saddle would be available, this one is new and for sale because not compatible to my Rigging.
Life is happy, life is sweet, on a gaff rigged boat of 16 feet!


I was posting the original question on behalf of a member, and I asked him about how the forestay broke - his reply was "The lacing gave way – our fault for not checking. We have sourced Columbian pine."

Personally I have never been too happy with the concept of using a lacing lanyard on something as vital as as a forestay - so if I'm in an area of not needing to drop the mast (somewhere like Poole harbour) I use a bottle screw (galvanised, not stainless), but if I'm on the Broads it's replaced by a block on the end of the sprit with a line leading from the forestay back to the cockpit, enabling lowering the mast whilst underway so as to shoot bridges. Works quite well, but be careful you know which rope does what!

Why a galvanised bottle screw? I never trust stainless, I've had them fracture on me (not on a Winklebrig, but on a much larger boat) - with galvanised I know where I am!