Monthly Archives: December 2020

Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 14: Mounting the Main and Mizzen Sails

The end of the year is drawing very near and it’s time to finish up the Dana build. All of the deck work is done at this point, and it’s time to mount the sails. I’m beginning by finishing the booms and gaffs. The booms are the spars that secures the foot of the sail. The gaff is the spar that secures the top or head of the sail.

The booms have to have a single block attached to each, so that the line that controls the angle of the sail to the wind, the sheet, can run through it and through a sheet block attached at the deck. Meanwhile, the gaffs need a length of line with both ends attached to it. One end is attached near the end of the gaff, and the other end is attached about 1/3 of the way down the length of the gaff. Both booms and gaffs will need a small eyebolt attached near the jaws.

Before going on, I figured some people may need a bit of help with the nomenclature. Not wanting to post any more copyrighted material than necessary, I drew up a quick and simple diagram.

Sails of the ketch-rigged Dana.

Diagram of lines of the Mizzen Sail. The Main Sail is similarly rigged.

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Ship Modeler Gary Maple Passed Away

I received a phone call the other day from the daughter of friend and ship modeler Gary Maple. Sadly, she called to tell me that Gary had passed away in September. I didn’t ask the specifics, but I know he had been having a lot of health issues.

Gary was an avid ship modeler living in Citrus Heights, CA, not far from Sacramento. He was one of the founding members of a group of ship modelers that met for a time at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, several times a year. Gary was always a very kind and supportive man. He enjoyed helping beginners learn to build ship models, and he always made sure to participate in all of our meetings, bringing books and tools to show and discuss. He seldom brought his models because they were just too big and fragile to make the long drive. But, many of us got to see his terrific models at his home. He loved to research his subjects and always made sure to incorporate that research into his ship modeling work.

Gary will be missed…