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Old 13-09-2014, 12:03   #1
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Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Since many of the 100+ 2" wooden parrel beads that came with Neeltje's tapered, gaff-rigged wooden mast have already fallen apart, I thought this might be a good time to replace all of them, but while researching suppliers for the parrel beads, I came across a few who also offer Mast Hoops that seem to have the same function (i.e., facilitate the raising and lowering of the mainsail).

Does anybody out there have a take on their comparative attributes and limitations?

Cost-wise, it's a wash as far as I'm concerned, but I was wondering if one might be more "modern" and/or more practical than the other, or if they are even interchangeable.

Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

Jacques
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Old 13-09-2014, 14:08   #2
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Wouldn't the beads, by rolling, be easier on the timber of the mast? I'd think the hoops would scuff the timber more on each raising and lowering of the sail.

Ann
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Old 13-09-2014, 18:33   #3
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Wouldn't the beads, by rolling, be easier on the timber of the mast? I'd think the hoops would scuff the timber more on each raising and lowering of the sail.

Ann
Ann,

That's precisely what I was thinking when I posted this, but upon further reflection (read: 5 minutes later ), I began to wonder if a combination of parrels and hoops wouldn't be best. The parrels on the gaff throat are a given, since that's the only pressure point on the mast when you're raising the sail (luffed, of course) or bringing it down. This said, wouldn't hoops be easier on the mast once the sail is set and swinging around from side to side?

Most of the Tjalks I've seen pictured seem to "thread" the luff of the mainsail to the mast, with apparently no hoops or parrels involved, but I dread to think of how they get their sails down in a pinch, especially under load.

Even with parrel beads and/or hoops, you'd think they'd connect them with a dedicated pull line going from one to the next, just in case they got hung up on the way down.

If this sounds a tad nit-picky and/or nutty, please bear with me. I'm trying to learn how to sail the hard way, and my 112-year old gaff-rigged Tjalk will appreciate all the help you can give me at least as much as I will.

Jacques
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Old 13-09-2014, 18:41   #4
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Looking at it logically, the parrels seem to be a better system.....especially since the parrells were developed after the mast hoops were in vogue early on.......
Just my Dutchmans take on it......
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Old 13-09-2014, 19:03   #5
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Jacques,

On Panope, I used Parrels on the Gaff Saddle and lacing for the sail luff.

When first launched in 82' my dad tried wooden Parrels on a line. This tended to jam so he replaced the line with a metal hoop. This worked good for about 20 years. Recently, when I got the new rig done I tried to reuse the old, teak Parrels but they jammed terribly has the hole was worn and no longer in the center. I remade the Parrels with starboard (used a hole saw to cut from 3/4" sheet) and have never looked back. Absolutely no jamming. I realize that plastic on your authentic ship might not be appropriate.

We have always used the "forth and back" style of luff lacing. Note that with this technique the line does not spiral around the mast. This system is simple to rig and has absolutely no tendency to jam when raising sail or lowering.

Steve



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Old 13-09-2014, 19:05   #6
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

On edit, Panope got in just as I first posted. His plastic beads look a treat!

Plus, Neeltje already HAD parrels, must be a reason why.

Ann
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Old 14-09-2014, 05:32   #7
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Thanks to all for your replies!

Steve, I'm definitely going to try the "forth & back" lacing, as well as the Starboard parrels. (That Starboard stuff doesn't come in "Weathered Walnut" by any chance?). Speaking of which, what is your throat hoop made of? It looks like a curved SS rod from here. Also, as far as the lacing line itself is concerned, is it better to go bigger or smaller in line diameter? My existing rig uses 2-1/2" parrels on individual strands of 1/2" hemp rope.

Lastly, since I have to varnish my telephone-pole-of-a-mast anyway, I was thinking of using Le Tonkinois instead of Epiphanes. The few bits I've used Le Tonk on seem to be less "sticky" than the 12 coats of Epiphanes I've got on the leeboards and rudder, and since the mast folds down easily enough, slapping on an extra coat every year or two shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks again,

Jacques
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Old 14-09-2014, 15:47   #8
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Hello All Just would like to add a little .. The L.F.H.Schooner 64ft loa 50 ft. lod
(design 257. original name "Jo ann" My Schooners name "Mary Harrigan"
Gaff schooner launched 1985,timber ,built to plans..
Started out with hoops . Oak did not last long. tropical ,heat and rain soon rotted them . tried a few replacements ,but difficult to rivet in place ,or bolts,
scratched the paint. Went to luff lacing ,,that was a long time ago ,after 10's of thousands of sea miles I can report complete satisfaction . Cheap,easy to replace ,kind to the paint. They just need to be properly applied , see
'The gaff rig handbook' pg.41, done any other way and it won't work ....
Parrel beads >> On this Schooner I have had now for almost 30 years parrels on the gaff saddles ,made of black locust about 2 in. in dia, They look about like when new ,no splitting or noticeable deterioration.They have been in the weather the entire time. They have become a bit concave where they make contact with the mast The line that runs through them is hard lay pot warp .It has been there from the start .This Schooner has been sailed by me ,about 130,000 miles , Now in NZ.
Parrels are easy to make. don't buy lumber Get locust limbs ,turn them in gangs ,saw apart ,drill . soak in old cooking oil for as long as possible . Put them in place and go and have some fun Cheers to all.
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Old 14-09-2014, 19:00   #9
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Thanks Len, I just ordered a copy of John Leather's "The Gaff Rig Handbook".

Best regards,

Jacques
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Old 15-09-2014, 00:56   #10
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Parrel beads can be laced on easily, hoops have to go over top of stripped down mast, a friends schooner uses leather covered stainless steel hoops put on 25 years ago and need to releather in place on the mast ever 4-5 years.......
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Old 15-09-2014, 03:09   #11
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

I've also had good success with the dutch back and forth lacing. Well worth trying as its cheap and will be traditional for your design. It works much better than a spiral lacing. You do need enough setback (distance from the sail to the mast) to get best results. You can add black poly tube to reduce chafe. And hoops made from rope covered in black poly pipe have worked well on a 100 foot brigantine I worked on and my parents 45 foot gaff ketch.
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Old 15-09-2014, 07:35   #12
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neeltje View Post
Thanks to all for your replies!

Steve, I'm definitely going to try the "forth & back" lacing, as well as the Starboard parrels. (That Starboard stuff doesn't come in "Weathered Walnut" by any chance?). Speaking of which, what is your throat hoop made of? It looks like a curved SS rod from here. Also, as far as the lacing line itself is concerned, is it better to go bigger or smaller in line diameter? My existing rig uses 2-1/2" parrels on individual strands of 1/2" hemp rope.

Lastly, since I have to varnish my telephone-pole-of-a-mast anyway, I was thinking of using Le Tonkinois instead of Epiphanes. The few bits I've used Le Tonk on seem to be less "sticky" than the 12 coats of Epiphanes I've got on the leeboards and rudder, and since the mast folds down easily enough, slapping on an extra coat every year or two shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks again,

Jacques
Jacques,

Rod is 3/8" ss. I had a machine shop thread the ends.

Luff lacing does not see much tension so small line is fine. I use 3/8". Main sail is 480 square feet.

Steve
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Old 25-09-2014, 17:35   #13
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Another alternative, that I use on my own 31' pilot cutter, is mast hoops made of weedwacker line, wrapped round and round, then serviced with 1/8" heading twine. Dirt cheap, very strong, reliable, and no chafe. Pictures on my website which is in my signature.
On the 80' schooner I work on, we grease the boom and gaff jaws, as well as the leathered oak mast hoops with Vaseline. Five hoists and strikes a day, the grease makes all the difference.
Ben
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Old 26-09-2014, 14:14   #14
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Thanks to nwdiver, Snowpetrel, Steve and Ben for your replies, and if I didn't respond sooner, it's only because I've been spending an inordinate amount of time sitting on the Throne and reading Leather's Gaff Rig Manual (a wealth of information in itself).

I think I now have everything under control as far as the basic rigging is concerned, but I'm not quite sure about how to tell Bonnie where her Vasaline went...

Jacques
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Old 26-09-2014, 14:57   #15
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Re: Parrel Beads vs. Mast Hoops?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neeltje View Post
Since many of the 100+ 2" wooden parrel beads that came with Neeltje's tapered, gaff-rigged wooden mast have already fallen apart, I thought this might be a good time to replace all of them, but while researching suppliers for the parrel beads, I came across a few who also offer Mast Hoops that seem to have the same function (i.e., facilitate the raising and lowering of the mainsail).

Does anybody out there have a take on their comparative attributes and limitations?

Cost-wise, it's a wash as far as I'm concerned, but I was wondering if one might be more "modern" and/or more practical than the other, or if they are even interchangeable.

Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

Jacques
I'm jumping in a little late here. I'm familiar with parrel beads at the gaff and boom jaws, but can't recall seeing them used in place of sail hoops. Two-inchers you say? Any photos?
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