Making the Crossbrace
In order to stiffen up the bow and provide some support for the mast, we added a crossbrace. It is mounted to a 2"x2" block that is bolted to the side of the hull with another 2" x 2" piece of wood on the outside of the hull in a clamshell fashion and this will serve as the rigging platform (see earlier hull construction steps). They are fastened together by the use of carriage botls.
The crossbrace itself is two nice quality 1" x 4" well finished pieces of wood (pine) which are fastened the 2" x 2" through the use of carriage bolts.
The easiest way to determine the measurement (width) of the brace, is to lay the pieces of the crossbrace across the hull where they would sit on the wood blocks, and trace the angle of the cut on each side. Simply cut along the lines, and you should have two boards that fit perpendicular to your hull sides and fit nicely in place.
Note: In lieu of two smaller boards, you could use one larger board - eg. eight inches.
Once in place, we then drilled a hole with a 2 1/4" hole cutter in the centre of the crossbrace for the mast to pass through.
The crossbrace is mounted in place, it can be stained or varnished later.
Another shot of the bow crossbrace. Note: This brig is using wooden mast steps.
Another shot of the crossbrace showing rigging platform.
Step 2: Apply seat support pieces to daggerboard trunk
OPTIONAL FORWARD SEAT
There are two basic options for placement of the daggerboard and forward seating. If you decide to have the daggerboard in the forward location, you will want to put in reinforcements for the seating. Otherwise, just lay strips inside the midseat frames, and around the daggerboard trunk in option #2..
We added 1" x 1" pieces around the daggerboard trunk to provide a more solid surface to mount the midseat to. The seat will extend slightly towards the bow so a gunner can either face to the bow or to the stern. This will enable the gunner to have easy reach of all four guns. (see the first daggerboard picture above) and adjust crew weight depending on sea conditions etc.
A view of the dagerboard - Type 1 - Through the frame
Position/Type #2- Between Mid-seat
The advantage of this design is that it gives more forward leg room. It is also easier to build the seat, as you do not have to build the forward seat system. We have one brig built using each of the different methods and sailing characteristics and relatively similar. We prefer the 2nd option for long legged adults. It does help to make the daggerboard slightly longer (higher aspect) for better sailing characteristics.
The #2 daggerboard position - placed midseat - no frame cutting involved.
Step 3: Notch Bow - Install Bow Sprit Support
Before mounting the mast step, if you haven't done so, you will want to notch the bow (2" x 2" square) and fit the bow sprit mount. The bow sprit bolts through both the mount and trough the crossbrace, where it is bolted in place. This is sufficiant enough to hold the bowsprit in place, and allows our bowsprit to be removable for transportation & storage purposes (unbolt). We add further support, by the placement of a vauxhall.
Installing the Bow Sprit