Category Archives: Sails

The design/development and building of Befur’s sailing rig. This is a modern development of the ancient Chinese Junk Rig design

December ’19 – a progress update…

Well winter is with us

A quick note on where we are at, while we wait to hear from Windermere Lake Wardens on our application for a berth at Ferry Nab next year….

The boat is back in Heggerscale, and we are working on the following items:

  • LP cylinder “small end” (crosshead bearing) replacement: This had worn, partly due to a severed oil line at some point last year, and partly due to the fact I had to “re-ream” it at erection time to correct some misalignment. So a new bush fitted and reamed to size.
  • HP valvechest to HP Cylinder block leak: This is a recurring problem, there just is very little sealing surface round the port pockets. This year’s fix is an Oakenstrong gasket and Steamseal – let’s see if this works!
  • Cabin roof: Learnt a lesson here about cheap plywood…A small leak around the  antenna cable resulted in the delamination of almost the complete forward part of the cabin roof. So it’s now been cut off, and will be replaced with “genuine” marine ply, and clad in epoxy and cloth like the hull – hopefully with more resilience! As it happens the removal of this rotten wood made the next job much easier.
  • Erecting the mast: As you may have read in an earlier post the Mast Partners had been made, so in the last few weeks we installed this on the boat, inserted the mast, and then started to wonder how on-earth we were going to raise the mast to a vertical position. Practical Junk Rig as usual came up with a good solution. This involved using a “bi-pod and running fore-guy” which worked faultlessly, so we saw the mast upright for the first time yesterday! This is almost a single-handed job, which is good, as it will be repeated each time we need to trailer and re-launch her.
    Mast-head fitting

    Masthead fitting, with halyard crane, and other blocks for various parrels and lasy-jacks.

    The next bit of this process, is to fit the masthead fitting (pictured above), (with navigation lights, VHF antenna and various shackles and blocks. Then we will cast a hard rubber square block at the foot of the mast, to secure it in the tabernacle base – the only problem with this is that the rubber components say they need to be mixed and poured at over 20-degrees C to cure, and it’s currently about -5-degrees C….

  • Once all this is done, we will put the boiler thru her annual test, and then reinstall the engine and hopefully enjoy SY Befur in her intended mode as a Sailing Yacht!
  • Oh yes, and we also need to turn a pile of sailcloth, blocks, shackles, rope and ally battens into a sail – more on that later!

Onwards!

A Start on Befur’s Sailing Rig

Time to make a Yacht!

Following on from appearing to have (temporarily at least) sorted the steam plant, it’s time to get on with fitting Befur with her Junk-Rig sails, so that she can truly be the Steam Yacht that she was always intended to be. The embarrassment of having to be towed home on three occasions also sharpened our desire to get this job done. Continue reading

Mast Ordered!

Today confirmed the order for the mast for Befur. A 6.4metre extruded alloy lamp post!

This is an unstayed mast, to support 16sqM of sail. Spent a long time trying to figure out how strong it needed to be – then suddenly realised it was much simpler than trying to figure the maximum wind load on the sail (guessing at maximum wind speed we might encounter) and realised it only had to be able to capsize the boat!!!

So the answer was a 177mm diameter, 4mm thick lampost, that tapers down to 90mm at the head.

Also reached the point where we could compile a list of the 70-odd outstanding jobs to finish Befur and divide these into Jobs to be done in Hampshire and jobs to be done once we have relocated to Cumbria. While it’s a daunting list, at least it’s fairly complete.

Fuel Tank, Mast Structure and Galvanizing

This is a hotchpotch of notes on progress we have made in the last few weeks.

I am now focusing my attention on the internal fit-out. We need to get Befur in a state to move her on a trailer to our new home in Cumbria in August, this is adding some needed pressure, to ensure we get everything done in time… Continue reading

Fit-out and Steelwork

Fitout

The current process is trying to finalise the major items in the fit-out of the boat, so that I can install the major structural elements for the cabin and mast. This is a bit of a “round in circles” process, You imagine how it will be, draw it out, see it doesn’t fit, imagine it again etc. Clearly some items will fall out later in the process, but we do need to get the mast, boiler, engine in the right place and make sure that one is not sharing the loo (head) with the other members of the crew or a few hundredweight of hot steel! Continue reading

Mast Partners and Step – CAD/CAM

As noted in the last post, the plans for the cabin/mast arrived from Selway Fisher. Having poured/poored/pawed?? over these for a few weeks we have concluded we are going to slightly modify the proposed arrangement by installing a set of steel bracing inside the boat to support the Mast Partners (the thing the mast hinges in when being trailered), so that we can reclaim a little more internal space. We understand this is another bitter pill for the wooden boat druids to swallow, but hey, this is the 21st Century! Continue reading