IMG 4776 almost finishedMarch was a very busy month on the boat.

With some help from Kirsty, I reinstalled the rubrails, adding a seam of caulking to stop them squeaking against the hull if flexed.

Most of the hardware has been installed: sheet blocks, fairleads, centreboard uphaul and downhaul, and sheets and other lines cut to size.

The pintles and gudgeons for the rudder have been installed and final coats of epoxy applied to the rudder. Whilst this was being done I also shaped and glued the pieces for the tiller, and temporarily installed the hardware for the rudder uphaul and downhaul and the tiller extension. These were then removed, the tiller and extension given a final sand, and then coated with Deks Olje.

The forward hatch has been fitted, using shock cord to hold it down. I used this method on Kirsty Ann, and was happy to use it again.

I spent a weekend working on the end connectors for the wishbone booms, laminating them from multiple layers of 6mm plywood. Once the connecting pieces had been glued, they were fitted to the booms. The forward connecters were glued in place, and the rear connectors were glued to one boom. I've fitted a pin through the rear of the other boom, to allow me to open the boom to slip them around the masts, and then lock them in place. I've sewn webbing straps to fit around the masts, for the beckett blocks, and have fitted another block to the front boom connectors. The snotter line feeds through these blocks, and forms a 2:1 tensioner to hold the booms in place.  Another hole has been driled through the aft boom connectors, and lines passed through these, to hold an S hook to clip on to the clew of each sail, and the blocks for the sheets. Once I had everything fitted, it was all removed, and the connectors sanded down to the same profile as the booms. The booms were given a final sand and then everything was coated in Deks Olje.

The snotter for the main sail is led back through some blocks and fairleads, to a clam-cleat at a point that is readily at hand for the helm. The snotter for the mizzen runs through a clam-cleat that is fixed to the mast. Downhauls for both masts run through S hooks at the tack, and are connected to the thwart or breasthook. Apart from tensioning the sails, this will also keep the masts in place in the event of a capsize.

Amelia gave me a name plate for the boat at Christmas, and I have now made a wooden panel to fit the name plate onto, and have fitted this to the reinforcing timber for the rudder, using it as a way to hide the bolts for the upper gudgeon. The name? I have called our Lapwing Pitthirrit, the name for a Masked Lapwing in the Dhauwurd Wurrung language of the people of Gunditjmara country (the area around Warrnambool, Victoria). Given the changes I've made to the deck layout I thought that it was an appropriate name. Pitthirrit is pronounced Pitirit. You can see an animation of the Gunditjmara Dreaming Story of Pitthirrit on the Monash University Indigenous Studies Centre website.