Severn Swan

Masts and Rigging

Severn Swan has two, deck-stepped, aluminium masts supported by steel, under-deck columns down to the keel.  The chain plates are ½” galvanised with backing plates and the chainplate bolts were recently withdrawn and checked/replaced.  Turnbuckles and shackles are all stamped with their safe working load (SWL/WLL).  


There are aluminium booms for the staysails and an aluminium boom with in-boom furling for the mainsail.


Most of the standard rigging is galvanised and has all been replaced in the last 3 years.  Prior to installation the rigging was soaked a number of times in boiled linseed oil, allowed to dry and soaked again.  Splices received further treatment then were whipped with traditional tarred marlin for protection.  Rigging screws are packed with grease, taped and exposed threads wrapped in Denso tape then whipped with traditional tarred marlin for protection.


The exceptions are the forestay (new 2016) in the Furlex and the two staysail forestays which are stainless, as is the fisherman roller core.


The forestay, backstay and triatic are10mm, cap shrouds 11mm, lower shrouds 12mm. The bob and boomkin stays are 16mm chain and fittings.


The radar, radar reflector, fluxgate compass, wind instrument, VHF and tricolour/anchor light are all mounted on the main mast with the windex and steaming light mounted on the foremast.


A separate 6mm long-wire radio antenna goes from the boomkin to the main masthead obviating the need for an insulated backstay.

The laminated douglas fir bowsprit made in 2012 by Noble Masts, Bristol, UK is protected with 12 coats of varnish.  It sits in a strong galvanised steel shoe bolted through the deck with load spreaders below and further strong guides.  It is held laterally by 10mm Grade 4 painted galvanised short link chain (2013) and vertically by a16mm stainless steel chain (replaced in Aug 2016) and dolphin striker.

The boomkin serves to extend the rig aft of the aft deck. It is currently used as a platform for:



There would also be room to store a small dinghy here if desired.  It is also provides great access when moored stern-to while keeping the rudder safely away from the harbour wall.


In addition to the significant number of halyards for the sails, there are plenty of spare halyards for climbing up the masts, dressing ship etc.  Her traditional style pin rails are a great way of managing these, keeping them (quietly) away from the masts and making it easy to see which is which.


Running backstays on the mainmast with 4:1 blocks and the tail lead to the windward jib winch.  These are only needed downwind in a blow or big waves to balance the forces of the fisherman’s/main staysail.


We have 5-part gybe preventers, port and starboard, for the mainsail and also have preventers for the staysail booms.


The foremast winch, a Barlow 29, is used for tensioning the fore stays’l halyard and for controlling the cruising sheet tack line to the bowsprit, hoisting the dinghy (and any MOBs!) on board.


There are two large Lewmar 55 self-tailing jib winches in the cockpit for handling the jib and spinnaker.  A Lewmar 40 self-tailer in the cockpit is used for the mainsheet when the wind is heavy (otherwise we just use the cam cleat).  A further cockpit winch (Barlow 28) is used to tension main and main staysail halyards and then to control the fisherman’s sheet.  All of these pass through a Lewmar triple clutch, new 2016.


The shroud arrangement allows for ratlines to be fitted to the forward shrouds for coral navigation (not currently fitted).


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Bowsprit and Boomkin

Running Rigging and Winches