Making the Mast Spars

This step looks impressive and is impressive from the casual observer, but really it’s not that complicated.  Just take your time and follow the right sequencing.

And then when something goes wrong…take a deep breath and figure out how to fix it.  Boat building is really about problem solving, like life and relationships in our life.  The key is in learning how to fix it.


Practice on scraps to get the Bird’s Mouth cut adjusted correctly.  Notice the top cut is too long and the bottom cut is a tad too short (you can see the sliver of wood left in the bottom of the V in you look carefully).


The cut length is good, but the angle needs to be narrowed a bit.  I narrowed the cut from 45 deg. to 44 deg.  and it fit perfectly.


Did I mention obstacles?  This spar broke right over a knot in the wood.  I’m grateful it broke now as opposed to later in the build.  I hardly noticed the knot, but while flexing the spars, I heard the wood begin to break.  This sound lead me to the problem.  With a little pressure it gave way.


And, my replacement Spruce stock contained a split right down the center of the board.  Now what?  Head scratching…


So, I had to open up my own bag of tricks.  With the left over broken pieces in my hands, I decided to scarf them to produce a full length stave.  Now it’s long enough and I’ve used up the left overs.

Once cured, I’ll taper the staves to spec and get ready for epoxy.

2 thoughts on “Making the Mast Spars

  1. Way to role with it Brent!
    Every heard if anyone has used a solid or laminated solid spruce mast on a SCAMP? Wonder what the weight difference is in the end.

  2. Thanks Randy, I’ve never heard of a solid spruce mast on a scamp, but I bet the weight would more than double. The light weight hollow mast is the bomb. Don’t be scared off by anything here…it’s the way to go in my way of thinking. This stuff (Sitka Spruce) is so light, I love to go out and just lift one of the boards and smile. Fun stuff man, really fun stuff. My wife thinks I need therapy.

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