A New Boomkin for Mayflower II

What’s a boomkin you say? Well, I will tell you. It is the spar that protrudes off the back of the poop deck and whose primary purpose is to give us a place to attach the sheet block for the mizzen sail. Of course.


Take a look at this picture:

Mayflower II under sail, 2007.

Mayflower II under sail, 2007.

As part of our winter maintenance work we removed the boomkin for inspection and refinishing. I should say it was Andrew’s idea to remove the boomkin right off the bat.

When we got the timber back to the shop and gave it a chance to thaw out we discovered a significant bit of rot on the underside of the boomkin. As it lays flat on the poop deck it is clear water has been sitting between the boomkin and the deck and over time rot has developed.

As I mentioned earlier the far end of the boomkin is where the sheet block for the mizzen is attached. Someone has to sit on the boomkin, lay out flat and reach for the fitting to which the block is attached. That someone has often been me. Now seeing the rotten bit on the boomkin it seemed like a good idea to replace the timber. Thank you Andrew for suggesting we tend to this bit of maintenance. The distance to the water from the boomkin is about 30 feet.

The new piece starts with the tree:

Splitting out wood for the new bomkin.

Splitting out wood for the new boomkin.

Andrew has the honor of splitting off a piece of White Oak from the tree we received from Framingham State University. the piece he chose has just he curve the new boomkin will need for it to be as strong as possible.


Shaping the new boomkin.

Shaping the new boomkin.

After much labor Andrew has the new piece nearly shaped. Int he foreground of the photo is the plywood template he used to shape the taper into the timber. The boomkin is square at its forward end becoming round at the aft end.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *