Help with Boom Gallows

I've been thinking about upgrading Comet II's boom gallows for a while, but it hasn't been a priority until now: in order to get the boat into her new berth in the shed at the LaHave River Yacht Club this fall we had to remove the old one. It was a bear to get off, and was damaged in the process. So, since the new gallows will have to come on and off annually, it's now time for the upgrade.

Many of Comet's sister schooners in the NSSA fleet have gallows of a similar design, and I'm leaning toward it. It consists of a bronze upright which has been welded to a bronze bar that is bent to accomodate a wooden crosspiece. The uprights are then set into a bronze socket which is screwed onto the deck. A good example of this design is on Tom Gallant's schooner AVENGER (see photos below and on Comet's 2005 Logbook entry).

I realize that there is a similar commercial product available (see, but the lines of these home-grown versions seem more in keeping with the workboat heritage of our schooners (and I'm hoping to save some $$$).

Another interesting option is to recreate a gallows that I spotted in a shed at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath (photos below). This looks like it might be easier and cheaper to do.

I would welcome any thoughts fellow members might have. Particular questions that I would ask are:

  • Which version do you prefer (or do you like the original oak below)?
  • Where might I go (in the New England / Nova Scotia area) to have the necessary bronze welding done?

Blackbird's Boom Gallows

Alex -

I have Blackbird's original boom gallows. You can borrow the bronze fittings and have them re-cast. I will take some photo's after a neighbor's x-mas gathering tonight and post them to the web. Basicly its a deck fitting into which a bronze pipe slips, and the gallows has fittig that slides into the pipe. Sorry, its an American Alden design, rather than a Canadian Steven's design, but it will work well none the less.


RE: Blackbird's Boom Gallows

Thanks, Peter, I'd appreciate that. Send on the photos! Do you have any suggestions for where to get bronze casting/welding done? Lunenburg Foundry would be one option, I wonder about somewhere more local to us in New England?


Castings and bronze fabrication

Alex try Frank Luke at Paul E. Luke, Inc. 15 Luke’s Gulch East Boothbay, Maine 04544. Telephone (207)633-4971

He has all his bronze props cast, then finishes them at his shop. High quality work. He would know a good casting source. If you wanted it welded he could also do that. His lead guy is really good. That would be the least expensive way. Castings can be expenseive. He just did all my hardware for Blackbird, so feel free to use my name as an introduction. I'll try to get pictures up tonight. The bronze fittings that are let into the wooden part of the gallows would be welded, my bottom sockets (much like a stantion socket) are nicely shaped castings. Might also try checking w/ John Eddleman in NS to see if he has any antique ones around.

Bronze castings in Massachusetts

Here's a small foundry with a lot of marine experience. He has done a couple jobs for me. The last one - I gave him a broken four-way bowsprit band. He reworked it into a pattern, and cast an improved one from better material at a very reasonable price. Ed is a very knowledgeable guy. I believe he does a lot of work for the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.

Ed Pike
Denis Brass Foundry
250 Main Street
PO Box 608
Amesbury, MA 01913

978 388 1620