As anyone who has sailed a Flying Scot knows, the class design includes a unique halyard arrangement. (A "halyard" is the nautical term for a rope or wire that raises a sail.)
The halyards dead-end in a halyard box on the mast. Inside the halyard box are a pair of metal spools. Each halyard (one for the jib, one for the mainsail) is wound around these spools by means of a dinky Model-T-style hand-crank.
It's actively ridiculous, this system, reminiscent of a hamster-wheel -- one designed as a miniaturized Steampunk contraption that's needlessly and unscientifically complicated.
Complaints about the hamster-wheel are legion: the hoist is imprecise -- too tight or too loose by half a click. The spools jam. The stoppers fail. The halyards kink and override on the spool. Hand-cranks tend to leap wildly overboard during moments of excitement. The standard cranks -- made of pot-metal -- sheer off inside the mechanism on a regular (if unpredictable) basis, leading to all kinds of unfortunate finger-pointing on the boat, and name-calling, sometimes even descending to scratching and tattle-tale-ing.
Still, year after year, the class has kept the halyard box, despite (or perhaps because of) its shortcomings.
Since the Frankenscot stopped being a Flying Scot after the first application of the Sawzall, the boat is not subject to those class rules. This was one of the first modifications we planned: to put on a Lightning-class style claw-and-ball system -- so that a few arm-over-arm yanks raise the sail and then the halyard slips into a sort of hook to hold it in place. Simple, quick, easy.
It's ironic that this whacky-doodle little halyard box is one of the very few parts that persists unchanged from the original conformation of the Frankenscot. But then, as our source-text and inspiration, we have.:
“In other studies you go as far as others have gone before you, and there is nothing more to know; but in a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder.”
Perhaps the hamster-wheel contains the very spark of Flying Scot-ishness. As it were, FrankenScot's soul. In the interest of keeping the townsfolk from riot, or in the pursuit of expedience (less than fifty days to go!), perhaps it should keep its place.
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