stepping mast on old Lark

Michael Galaty

Posted: 02 Sep 19 15:34
Message ID: 2661
I did some searching, but apologize in advance if my initial post protocol is slightly off (let me know best articles to read for that.)

My friend and I both bought a pair of Larks from Wesleyan college in Connecticut and I'm looking for some rigging technical advise. Seems that I got mast #9 and boat #5 in their fleet and the mast is really tough to get through the rectangular whole in the boat. I am gouging the hole to get the mast in and thus some questions...

1) Were there different design masts? Thus I have the wrong mast.
2) Would you grind a track to get the screw in easier? I think that would be fine because the mast is held with the stays and for stay.
3) The boom seems to be loose fitting into the mast fitting. Should that be tight and is there some sort of interlock?

So far we've sailed the boats with some jury rigging; things like an extra line to hold the boom in place, extra lines in places to keep things together.

I'd appreciate a conversation and/or welcome advice on this. I am trying to teach my eight year old daughter something about sailing. She's actually taught me a few knots she learned in sailing school and has taken the rudder quite well. Definitely some learning going on here.

Appreciate anyone's time who's interested in discussing.
Thank you.

Paul Roe

Posted: 29 Mar 20 09:05
Reply ID: 6870
Sorry for the late answer hope this is still useful:
Some Larks were bought in the States with carbon masts which would likely have been narrower, but I'd expect a whole fleet to be the same. The standard mast for all old boats was the Proctor (Selden) C section.
found from:


The Lark is only raced in college sailing regattas at Tufts University in a suburb of Boston, but Wesleyan University in Connecticut and many British Universities sail the boat as well. The Lark is incredibly similar to a Firefly with its hull shape, bendy rig, and ease to tack. The Tufts Larks could not suit Mystic Lake better with its extra large square top main sail and carbon rig making it easy to get races off and have productive practices in shifty unreliable wind conditions. An ideal flat water venue dinghy, the Lark is one of the fastest boats in college sailing. Because the Lark accelerates so quickly and speed almost doubles, sailors can sometimes chase a filling puff instead of waiting for it to arrive.

It is normal for the mast to be a tight fir and to have to rotate it to get fittings through.

Paul Roe

Posted: 29 Mar 20 09:23
Reply ID: 6871
The boom is just a sliding fit on the gooseneck, it is very unlikely to come off during sailing particularly with the modern practice of fastening the tack of the mainsail around the mast rather than to the boom. The kicker also pulls the boom forward.