Gaff jaws and the yardarms of lugsails require
some means of being held close to the mast. The answer is
to use a short line with parrel beads.
beads work great and I searched for years to find a source
of suitable beads for parrels. I found the Hygloss large
plastic beads right away. They are the right size (about
an inch in diameter with a 1/4" hole), but they come in
a box of 100 for 10 or 12 bucks and each box is a mixture
of shapes and colors. I thought this was unacceptable as
two of the shapes are not usable (for parrels, anyhow) and who wants rainbow parrels?
Ok, Gary Blankenship (see photo at right) may be secure
enough in his manhood to sport multicolored parrels on his
but I am not sure I am.
So finally, partly out of frustration, I decided
to buy 10,000 beads and sort them for shape and color and
figure out later what to do with the ones that don't sell.
I am pricing them according to how I think they will suit
the job and will adjust that according to popularity. Pick
your shape and size. Here is what you have to choose from:
||Cylinder - This is a good shape for a parrel, not
traditional, but I can't see why it would not work just
||Cube - Obviously this bead will NOT work! But it may have
other uses. Let me know if you come up with a use for
||Sphere - Here is the traditional shape - Ok, they could be
wooden, but these will last longer and will look fairly
||Double Cone - This shape is probably the least suited as a parrel, but it is cheap enough that you find other uses for them. Perhaps you might
braid some into your beard.
||Tall Oval - This bead should work fine. Note that Gary Blankenship
used these alternating with round ones on his Frolic2
||Short Oval - I think this may be the best shape of all. They will
have more for the same size mast which means less friction?
At least there will be a smaller angle between beads.
I attach a photo of your parell beads used to attach the mainsail to the mast on my Drascombe Open Longboat.
These beads made for easier hoisting this season, as contrasted with smaller beads previously used.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Don't have any ideas on the square beads, though they look like maybe they might distribute pressure better for chaffing or clamping. What I was thinking might be good was that the short ovals or spheres would work for making sliding fixtures. An example is a plywood sheet saw. Various DIY plans have U-bolts covered with beads sliding on tubes, holding a circular saw mounted on plywood. The executive scarphing jig for instance.
Below is the gaff throat on Denis Menegaz' Pathfinder with 5 green spherical parrels
Here's a pic I took this morning - it's a good one showing the beads at work (or in this particular case at rest as the main is not bent to spars yet and the gaff is peaked)
You can also see the throat halyard (red/yellow starboard of the gaff jaws), peak halyard (purple), jib halyard (port of the gaff jaws), Krypton-D stays (white) - I got from you guys.
The gaff is of traditional design with a tumbler which pivots and maintains alignment with the mast vertical, and a stainless plate for the throat halyard and nock attachments so that halyard, gaff pivot and mainsail throat are all kept in column for good sail set.
Your parrel beads are both perfect side and shape for this. The orange color isn't too clashy either.
Below is a photo of one of our long oval beads being used as a tie point for shock cord used to hold a hatch cover. The boat is Bill Moffitt's Mikesboat.
I have been obsessing on how you can sell/use those square
beads. Then I saw this pic on Shorty's site and the answer
came -- as spacers! Here is Shorty's paddle holder and
the beads would work here where he shows the spacers .
. . Potentially lots of uses on boats...
Recently I was up in Portland for the Columbia 150 cruise and met Rick Russell. He built a Houdini, which he was sailing there, and had equiped it with sailties made from our short oval beads and short pieces of 3/16" shock cord. Clever
I have been getting those plastic beads from you and I use them to stow Greenland paddles to a kayak bow. They help hold the line off the deck for sliding the paddle under the line and when tight, act like wheel. Anyway, someone saw a picture of it and asked me where I got them. It turns out, they are not easy to find. Some people use super balls but they dry rot pretty quick and cedar balls that are easily found seem a little small. Just wanted to share that.
We have a tandem kayak which has a pair of lines - one raises the rudder and the other lowers it. They both run through a jam cleat and are hard to distinguish since they are terminated with identical round beads.
One of your fine two cent beads fixed all that - the cube is easily distinguished from the round bead by feel – important since the cleat is behind the cockpit and so most changes are done by touch. In fact the cube is the best shape for this job because of its feel. Plus in our case the color somewhat coordinates with the kayak.
As soon as the kayaking world is aware of this, the demand for your cubic beads will grow so that you’ll need to raise their price to maybe as much as three cents.
I bought more of your cube beads and will use the rest to teach multiplication to our six year old.
Keep up the good work – good prices and speedy delivery.