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Mike Goodwin has decades of boat building experience under his belt and is a generous contributor to the boat design list.

Wood Mast Hoops:

First,  traditional:

       Use a strip of ash about twice the circumference of the
mast ( cross sections depend on how big the boat is ) .
       Take a sharp plane and make a ramp on one end about 1/6
the length , flip and do the opposite side on the other end   /--------/ . 
Kinda like that but more taper .
On a bench top make a set of dogs, ( 4 minimum ) in a circle the diameter of
the mast .
Now here is where you can get creative; Put a kettle on to boil while you wrap
the ash in a heavy bath towel .
When the water is boiling soak the towel with boiling water continually for 5 or
10 minutes .

Alternate one:
      Cap a piece of pvc longer than the strip , have a second cap ready . You can always build a real steambox too .When the water boils, shove strip in pvc add water and cap .

Wearing gloves , quickly pull the strip from towel or pvc , take to bench ,clamp
one end to dog and bend around jig clamping other end . Over bend , as the two
ramps should pass each other slightly .
Let cool and there you are , now drill and add a couple of copper rivets after you have aligned the ramps .
That was workboat style .

Now for Yacht style , you make a longer thinner strip that would give about
three complete layers or laps and a much shorter 'ramp' .

I advise a steambox if you are making very many , I have made 2 dozen in an
afternoon .
Size ? for a 8" mast I like a 10" hoop , less clearance might be ok with smaller
masts  , my 10" hoops never jammed on Blue Moon with my special attachment
method .

It is quicker to make these things than to write about it .

Mike G

I've had folks contact me begging for Mike's "special attachment method" for his hoops so I persuaded him to tell us... in his inimitable style...;-)

I use a simple line on the opposite side of the mast from the sail , it connects all the hoops by being siezed to each hoop and is attached to the gaff parrels at the jaws . When the sail is hoisted , it holds all the hoops up on the leading edge so that they are parallel to the waterline . As the sail goes up it keeps them from binding and also when the sail comes down by holding the hoop up and out from the mast .
I can rig it faster than I can splain it to ya .
Have one person hoist the sail slowly , stopping on demand or command . Hey man , you da man , no , you da man! ( full moon , you know )
Start by tying a light  line ( 1/8") to the front of the gaff jaws ( I always used parrel beads and attached the line in the middle of the beads ) .
Hoist the sail until the first hoop starts to lift off the pile , belay .
Now drink a beer .
Now lift hoop's front edge until it is square to the deck , sieze the line to the hoop ( I like a double clove hitch ) .
Now a shot of good dark sippin' rum!
Haul away until the next hoop lifts, belay , sieze and repeat until the main is hoisted and you are thoroughly plastered .
Do it all over the next day when you are sober and get it straight this time .
I sailed my old gaffer for 15 years and never had a jam after rigging that line . It probably falls into the category of a "jackline" of some sort .
I suggest some use Meyer's dark rum or Captain Morgan's if you can't get anything better  & please , no 'lite' beer , it has no place on a gaff rigged boat , a good hearty ale or a stout is more fitting . After all we have an image to maintain .

Mike G.

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