Skerry Mast Step

Its been a while since I've been able to put in any time on my Skerry build and I have been pondering a problem. The boat is complete except for the mast step and another coat of varnish on the interior.  I have discovered that the forward bulkhead has been installed with the bottom tilted slightly aft causing the mast to tilt forward.  I intend to use the balanced lug sail and am wondering if I reinforce the forward seat area where the hole for the mast goes through and move that hole back an inch will that adversely affect the performance of the boat?  With that adjustment the mast will be perpendicular with maybe a slight rake aft. This will effectively move the mast an inch or two aft of its designed position. Is it necessary to have an aft rake to the mast with that sail or is it not advisable?  I don't want to try removing that bulkhead to start over.


2 replies:

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RE: Skerry Mast Step

Decades of observation, starting with a Bolger-designed double-ender I built around age 16, suggest that hulls with narrow, double-ended waterlines are amazingly permissive about sail balance.  It's worth a magazine article at some point.  

Moving the mast aft an inch won't matter a fig.  

You can also fine-tune the lug-rigged Skerry's balance a lot by shifting the downhaul attachment point.  

RE: Skerry Mast Step

   When I first contemplated switching to the lug rig I mocked it up with a cheap wood mast and a polysail. OK, it's not the most glamorous but it worked in light and moderate wind.  So, I sailed the boat a couple of times and then I steam-bent about a 5-degree rake in the mast because of the exact issue you mention.  Upshot?  I couldn't tell any difference.

Honestly, I think that where you sit in the boat is going to affect balance more than an inch or two of sail adjustement fore and aft.  I'm really putting some effort into making a comfortable space in the aft half of the boat, but as close to the thwart as possible.

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