Posted by: tflana | October 7, 2014

Boom Gallows – what are they exactly?

Boom Gallows as purchased

When we started talking about refitting Scout, Brian asked if I could find a classic looking boom gallow system out in my electronic world. A challenge put before me is always fun, especially when this one was not going to be easy. First off, what is a boom gallow (aka boom crutch)? It allows us to put our boom in a set location while at anchor so the boom is not bouncing around putting strain on the mast, boom and all of the fittings attached, not to mention a moving boom is just an accident waiting to happen.

Ok, so I started with Cruisers & Sailing Forum and asked the group if anyone had any suggestions on where I could purchase such a thing. I also checked out a lot of Marine Consignment shops, Ebay, and the local Craig’s List. Well, lucky for me, a response came in from the forum saying there was a set for sale on Craig’s List in Boston! Yeah for me! Not only was there a listing, it was still active, and the set was beautiful, a perfect addition to our very classic boat. Took a little negotiations, and figuring out how I could get it picked up in Newton, MA 3 hours away on the time schedule the seller was offering.

Again, thanks to a great friend, Hollus, who of course was willing to drive to pick it up and deliver it to us during our annual Cinqo De Mayo Party! Ok, step one completed. But there is so much more to this story! Not only did it need to be installed on the deck, pipes needed to be cut down, and holes drilled through the deck but we need the wooden crutch part built. We just spent a lot of money to get this most amazing bronze set up, we could not scrimp on the woodwork. Again, Mike Whitman of Monroe Boat Shop, came through again and Brian and I got to play too!

I am attaching a series of photos of the 3 of us fabricating the mahogany strips to create the spand of wood between the bronze claws. Each piece of wood was about 1/2 inch thick, and there were 10 pieces that needed to be glued together with epoxy and then bent, and oh yeah, this all needed to be done in minutes before the epoxy kicked and the entire process would be garbage. It was so cool to be in Mike’s workshop and to be part of something that was to be our crowning glory for Scout! As you can see, we worked great as a team!
Mahogany layers glued together with Epoxy
All glued awaiting the clamps to get the bend set
Mike Whitman and Brian working as a team

Mike was able to plane the wood to perfection, and was kind enough to put 2 coats of varnish on it for me. He really did this because he is less than pleased with my varnishing techniques! He cut out 3 troughs for the boom to sit in. The end result is Brian and I are beyond thrilled with the end result. Not only does it look beautiful, but it is so functional as we are motoring or while sitting on anchor!
Dry Fitting the wood
Mike Whitman deciding if it is a good fit!
Gallow with first trough installed

One of the things we both will miss the most is coming in contact with so many new friends that helped us bring our dream into a reality! Thanks Mike, you travel with us in all of the amazing woodwork on our girl!

Happy sailing to all
Brian, Tara, Pickles, and Phinneus

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