Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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That appears to be an old roller reefing style boom. There should also have been a strong spring inside your boom that held the cast male square inside of the square socket cast into the aluminum.
Also in terms of the order with which the parts would have assembled there would have been a spring against the aluminum, then the fender washer, then the first nut, then the lock washer and then the second nut.
In order to reef, the way these booms were made to work, you pulled the boom aft away from the mast, disengaging the the cast male square from the square socket. Then you wrapped the mainsail around the boom, and then let the the cast male square engage the socket holding in the reef.
It was a pretty poor solution in many ways so many, if not most boats of this era have upgraded by replacing their roller reefing with slab reefing.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay