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Mystery solved! They Are 5-Way Sticks
They sure beat different-sized paint stirrers!
When I purchased Avemar in November of 2021, the two pieces of wood in the photo above were under the Force 10 stove in the galley. They had a few burn marks on them and a little grease.
I kept the sticks because this boat has so many well-thought-out design features that I knew these sticks had to serve a specific and unique purpose.
They didn’t work well for pulling out the oven racks, but I used them all the time to push hot grates back inside.
The width of the wood was an exact fit between the grate on top of the stove. I could put my cutting board on top of the strips and keep it off the grate and above the burners.
Were they designed to stop the stove and oven from swinging on the gimbals by jacking up the lower front of the stove and bracing the bottom on the trim below?
On a port tack, that could work, but how do you stop the swinging on a starboard tack?
That idea didn’t exactly fit, either.
I occasionally thought about these sticks and carried them around the galley, fitting them here and there to determine their intended use.
What could these sticks be?
Last summer, I met Bill and Lillie Taylor, the second owners of Avemar, when I sailed to Annapolis for the fall boat show. (Bill sailed past Avemar last summer in Spa Creek, and that’s how we met!) They sailed thousands of blue water miles on Avemar during the 90s and early 2000s. They sold her in 2002 to buy a sailboat with a deck-stepped mast for the ‘Great Loop,’ and they still sail that boat today.
The Taylors were responsible for most of the cool design features and fittings on Avemar today.
A couple of weeks ago, the Taylors revisited Avemar here in Stuart, Florida, to check out all of the work that April and I have been doing for the past couple of months. After lunch, as they were leaving the dock, Bill commented on the paint stirrers I used to hold open the custom deck hatches.
Bill said that when they sailed Avemar, he built the hatches with a 5-way hatch stick to open them at five different heights.
It all makes sense now. If you were going to make custom teak deck hatches, why not make a custom hatch opener arm too?
As he explained his designs and how they worked, I realized that I still had those unique pieces on board.
Twenty-one years later, those sticks were still below the stove.
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