Birds Mouth Spars

Larry McInnis lives in Virginia, and is planning to build himself a CLC Skerry sailing Dinghy and started with some spars.

He emailed me some of his photos and graciously allowed me to share them here.

photo of spars  using the birds mouth method.

He is using Southern Yellow Pine for the spars and the forks are made of Walnut he had left over. Lucky man to have left over walnut!

Here he is checking the fit and general look of the assembly. I think he used thinner pieces after testing them here. They seemed like a bit of overkill.

photo of spars  using the birds mouth method.

Another view of the birdsmouth spars put together but not glued yet. The yellow pine is very handsome with nice straight grain. I also used pine on my spars and they have held up very well. They are also lighter than the ones I've made with Douglas Fir. Pine is usually a bit softer and will dent if banged.

photo of spars  using the birds mouth method.

Details of the walnut forks. He is hoping to put a lug sail and maybe a jib on his boat. The spar is glued but the forks are not yet attached.

photo of Spars  using the birds mouth method.

Here is the full length of the spar. (I rotated the image to fit it better.) Once the wood has finish it will just jump out and be gorgeous. I'll post photos if Larry sends them.

photo of spars  using the birds mouth method. photo of spars  using the birds mouth method.

Larry has sent more photos! In his words:
"I've lots of fine sanding to do but these are pretty well shaped. Definitely need to run a hand-held paper down the length of each to get rid of the bumps - they're close to round but need some tuning. Notice how nicely the Walnut plug shapes/highlights the end of the gaff!"

"The boom is 8 ft; the gaff 7.5 ft. Have to work out my sails size based on those dimensions (thank you TurboCad!). I put an out-haul rig on the end of the boom; the cleat is only screwed on and may get replaced (fashioned it this morning but not crazy about it). The thumb on the gaff will keep the sail pulled out; two/three others will be needed for the lift bridles."

"I'm cutting the mast members next - that's gonna be a job at 16 feet long. I have room in the garage (just) but getting it all epoxied and tightened up should prove nerve-wracking!"

As an aside, my mast on the Skerry I built is only 12 feet long and I have not found that I am underpowered. I have in fact reduced the size of my sail after various experiments. I guess a longer mast is useful if you want to experiment with different sails.

photo of spars  using the birds mouth method. photo of spars  using the birds mouth method.

Read about building a Skerry

Links to the [hull part 1] [hull part 2] [Birdsmouth mast, including Video] [rudder and centreboard] [sail] [oars][cleats] [ daggerboard well and mast step ] [ it floats! ] [ I'm sailing my Boat now! ] [ My Boats ]

emails: Christine

This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view.