Bluenose Canadian Schooner

Fore Sail

December 9, 2017

Day 617.

I tackled the fore sail next.  This sail is a little more complicated than the jumbo jib sail.  It has four sides, it’s larger, and it has reef bands.


This sail took three tries.  The first attempt came out the wrong size.  The second attempt fit correctly, but I mistakenly put the hems on the wrong side, so it didn’t have the ‘nice’ side to port.  The third try went quickly and turned out fine.

This followed my normal practice for making sails.

A template was made from paper, and given a quick test fit.  (After the first sail turned out the wrong size, the template was adjusted and remade.)  The hems and strip stitches were added.


The paper template for the fore sail.

Lastly, the reef bands were stitched in using the ‘ladder’ stitch on my sewing machine.  The ropes for securing the sail were installed on the reef band.


Reef bands are sewn in.

Attaching to the Fore Boom and Fore Gaff


The fore boom was de-rigged and removed from the ship.  This required disconnecting the fore boom sheet and topping lift.  The fore gaff was also removed from the ship, requiring removal of the parrel beads, throat halliard, and peak halliard.


The fore sail will be laced to the fore boom (bottom) and fore gaff (top).

The sail was then laced to the fore boom and fore gaff.   The lacing was performed in the same manner as the jumbo jib sail.


The completed boom lacing.


The completed gaff lacing.


The fore boom and gaff were then re-installed with their various rigging lines reconnected.  Since the boom and gaff fully support this sail, no other running rigging was necessary to get this sail installed.

Fore Downhaul



The fore downhaul is a very simple run.  Its purpose is to allow a sailor to pull the end of the fore gaff down towards the deck.  This is made from 0.008″ tan line.


The downhaul is attached to the end of the fore gaff.

It is secured with an eye splice to the ring at the end of the fore boom, and it hangs loosely as it falls down to the fore boom.  It is wrapped and tied off on the fore boom.


The downhaul’s fall is tied to the boom.

Mast Hoops


The fore sail needs to be secured to the fore mast using mast hoops.  The mast hoops are wooden rings around the mast that were installed back when masts were built.

The sail was attached to each hoop with a short piece of thread, pulled tight, and tied off. This is easy, but repetitive.


The mast hoops are tied to the sail with some tan rigging line.


The completed fore sail.