This section covers the making of a boom or gaff spar for a Fowey 14’ river sailing dinghy. It uses a different technique than other solid wooden spars (see ‘Making a Wooden Spar’); in this example the spar is made in two halves to enable a boltrope channel to be machined into it.
A gaff is a spar attached to the mast and used to extend the upper edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
A boom is a long spar extending from the mast to hold or extend the foot of the sail.
The process is demonstrated in the accompanying video clip with a step-by-step guide. The conversation with the boat builder, in this case, Marcus Lewis is unscripted and covers the technique from his experience.
At the time of recording, Marcus Lewis had two Fowey River sailing dinghies in build, so he was planning to build two sets (two booms and two gaffs). The process covers a single build of a spar, however, the initial stages cover all the timbers for all the spars being produced at this time.