Bluenose Canadian Schooner
November 24, 2017
With the masts rigged, attention shifts to rigging the booms and gaffs. Booms are like horizontal masts located low on the ship near the deck. Gaffs are higher up.
The Bluenose has three booms. The jumbo jib boom is located near the bow, forward of the fore mast. The fore boom is located between the fore and main masts, and the main boom is located aft of the main mast.
The booms were built earlier, and have been sitting on the shelf for a while. Like the masts, I’ll do as much of the rigging as I can before I install them on the ship. When they’re installed, I’ll avoid gluing anything so that they can be easily removed – I’ll need to take them back off when I do the sails.
I started with the main boom since it is the largest.
The first bit of rigging on the main boom was the footropes. These run on the outboard end of the boom and gave sailors a place to stand when they needed to get out to the end of the boom.
These were made from 0.008″ black rigging line, and secured with eye splices.
The boom tackle consists of two blocks (pulleys) with some rigging line run between them. Both ends of the tackle are hooked to the bottom of the boom, and the free end is belayed to a pin on the boom.
The boom tackle was made from 0.018″ tan line.
There are two identical boom crutch tackles – one on each side of the boom. These keep the boom from moving side-to-side. Each tackle consists of two blocks. One is secured to the boom, the other is hooked to an eyebolt on the rail. The free end is tied off to a belaying pin. These were made with 0.018″ tan line.
The boom sheet is right below the boom, and holds it down towards the deck. It consists of three blocks. A large triple block is secured to the boom. Some 0.018″ tan rigging line runs from the triple block to a double block that is secured to the main boom sheet buffer. The free end of the line then runs through a block that was attached to the deck just forward of the boom sheet buffer, then tied off on one of the bitts.
The main boom topping lift looks a little complicated, but it isn’t as bad it looks. The topping lift pulls the boom up, and runs from the main mast cap to the outboard end of the main boom. It has a set of sheaves and blocks at the end to allow it to be tightened or loosened.
The sheaves in the boom were done when the boom was built. They were simulated by drilling holes through the boom and filing the space between them.
The pendant (the top part of the lift) was made from 0.025″ black rigging line. An eye splice and a shackle was used to secure it to the main mast cap.
The other end of the pendant has an eye splice with a hook that attaches to a single block.
This block has some 0.018″ tan rigging line running through it. The line is secured to the end of the main boom, then it runs up through the block and back down. The other end is spliced to a double block.
The double block has some more 0.018″ tan line running through it. This line also starts with an eye splice to the boom. It runs up through the block, down through a sheave in the boom, back to the block, through the second sheave, and out the bottom of the boom.
The free end then runs all the way down the boom (passing through a fairlead), and is tied off to a belaying pin.
There are two quarter lifts – one on each side of the main sail. They are identical. These run from some metal pieces on the bottom of the trestle trees down to the boom.
A double block is hooked onto the trestle trees.
0.018″ tan rigging line is secured to a single block, then run up through the double block on the trestle tree, back down through the single block, up through the double block again, and back down. It is tied off to itself.
This single block is also secured to some 0.025″ black rigging line. These lines run down to the boom.
At the boom, hooks are used to secure the quarter lifts. They can be hooked in different places depending on the position of the boom. I chose to secure them near the stern.
The final step is to secure the jaws around the main mast. This is done by running a line through the holes in the jaws. Between the jaws are parrel beads, which are round ‘balls’ with holes through them. These allow the boom to remain movable.
The kit doesn’t include parrel beads. Some modelers make their own, while others buy small beads from a craft store. I found it hard to purchase them in small enough scale, so I ended up ordering some from Modeler’s Central. I believe it was about $4 for a bag of 100 beads. If you plan to build multiple model ships, it is worth picking up a bag, since you’ll need a few on every build and one bag will likely last a lifetime.
And that finishes up the main boom. As mentioned earlier, the boom will need to be removed later when I make the sails, so everything was tied off – not glued – so that it can be easily removed.