How to repair the gooseneck on a Flying Scot


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Usually the Flying Scot gooseneck doesn't break, it's very strong and simple and has only three major parts. One part fits through the boom endcap and has a spring, one part is the middle of the u-joint, and the third part slides onto the track on the mast. It is designed to allow you to reef the main by rolling the sail up on the boom. Shown is a broken gooseneck, the part on the left snapped when the mast fell down (trees do that to sailboats). While the two pieces on the right can be changed out with a simple cotter pin, to change the one on the left you must remove the boom endcap.


Removing the end cap is not complicated, but be careful. If your endcap is attached with pop rivets it is simple to just drill them out, if your Flying Scot isn't very old it will be attached with drive rivets. If your endcap is attached with drive(hammer) rivets see my How to remove drive rivet page to avoid enlarging the holes in your boom.
After removing the three rivets, gently, oh so gently, tap here to try to loosen the endcap. Also tap around the endcap to break any corrosion loose. The endcap shown is on a 1965 Flying Scot, yes she's 39 years old, and it took 30 minutes to break it loose. It had been removed before, and replaced with epoxy to fill voids. I first scraped as much epoxy as I could from the crack with a knife, then started tapping and praying. Finally I saw a crack between the endcap and the boom!
Using a punch, I tapped on the sides of the endcap. When it moved out, I tapped it back in. This is important, to get a stuck piece out without breaking it, don't just keep driving it out, drive it back and forth to reduce the corrosion to dust that hopefully falls out.
Here's the inside of the boom, you can see the remains of the epoxy used to fill the voids. I decided to leave this for a tighter fit and rely on the three new drive rivets to hold the endcap in place. If you use a new endcap you'll want to clean this out.
Removing two cotter pins, one to put the spring on the new fitting and one to attach the fitting to the gooseneck, the gooseneck is attached to the endcap as shown. The endcap has a square hole to fit the gooseneck part, so to reef the main you just pull the boom away from the mast and turn. On rolling as much main around the boom as you want, you let the boom return to the mast so the "square peg fits in the square hole" and retighten the halyard.
Insert the endcap into the boom, the holes should line up exactly as shown, all three of them. Here you can see the corrosion on my 39 year old boom. I wanted to cut this off, but that would mean the holes would be in the wrong place, the boom would be shorter, and I would have to grind off the sailtrack some. I decided to wait another 10 years or so, when it might be necessary.
Since the endcap is a bit thicker on the two upper holes, I use a #8 on them and a #6 on the bottom one. (these are the numbers Flying Scot uses if you get your rivets from them). If the rivet pin stops moving don't hit it harder, just grind off the excess pin. Do NOT drive the pin past flush with the head.
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The boom is ready to reinstall on the boat, and I see trees MUCH better when I'm driving with my boat behind me. Makes me want a sign to put on my dashboard, YOUR MAST IS UP! I have two friends that have also broken their masts by driving under a tree. While it is a fun thing to do, sorta, I don't recommend it.