I mentioned previously that during the sailing trials it became apparent that we would have to do a few things to make life easier for pre-sail rigging and to correct what we felt was a tendency for the jib sheets to snag on the snotter arrangement every time we changed tack.
The first priority was to look at a tabernacle arrangement so that we could take away the 'struggle' (for us) of inserting the hollow wooden mast through the fore deck and into the step.
The advantages would be considerable by reducing the rigging time, take away the risk of a dangerous slip or fall whilst trying to locate the mast, and finally allowing us to use the mast when hinged down and at rest as a structural support to the boat cover.
Paul and I had lots of discussions on the best design and we did a lot of asking and web searches. We then produced a mock up to test the feasibility before taking the plunge and cutting the old round hollow wooden mast at a point above the foredeck. The old 'discarded' piece was replaced by two new solid pieces; the lower portion maintained the round section to go through the foredeck but had a rectangular section above the foredeck which fitted into the tabernace. The 'upper' section had the same rectangular section to fit the tabernacle but then tapered to fit the old round section of the mast. Paul made both of these new sections on his lathe. A few photographs are worth a thousand words!
Although we made most of the tabernacle ourselves we eventually took it to a local fabricator who welded a back plate on for us and polished it. The result was extremely pleasing and worked well using two 10mm x 80mm 316 stainless dropnose pins as pivot and locking devices. The design meant that all the compression forces were transferred to the keel via the mast and also via the tabernacle itself.