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View Full Version : balanced lugsails and push/pull tiller extensions...the doubting begins



Alan H
12-01-2013, 03:18 AM
I got out for a "sail" today....not that there was any wind, but I hoisted the nifty sewn-up dacron lugsail on the skerry for the third time, today. So this massive "three times out" plus the three times I had the polytarp lug sail out **Hardly** qualifies as making me any sort of expert, but I'm starting...

...just starting, now, OK? The jury is still deliberating, but it's looking less good....

I'm starting to consider the possibility that the balanced lug sail is not all that some folks seem to make it out to be. In fact, to be blunt, so far the damn thing is a bloody pain in the ass. Half the time the yard gets on the wrong side of the mast before hoisting it and then you have to fuss with it to get it right. I don't think I've lowered it once on the water that the yard hasn't gone IN the water. Seriously...did it again, today. I'm setting up the halyard like Michael Storer recommends, and today, sometime in the middle of the afternoon during a screaming half-knot reach :p, the knot "up there" let go and the yard came crashing down on my head leaving the halyard 12 feet up in the air. Oh, and then it went in the water. Again. Honestly, my impression of the rig is that it's incredibly "twiddly' to set up. I know this will sound like heresy to many on the forum, but that' s my impression.

You know, NONE of this ever happens with a bermudan mainsail. You set up the wires, you hoist and cleat, it's done. So far, from my experience, the great advantage to this lugsail is that it looks cool. ...which I must admit, it does. ...but that's about it. I've spent a mess of time getting this thing together, so I'm not chucking it yet, but I have to say that a stayed mast and bermudan sail with a jib is starting to look better and better.

Don't even bother preaching to me about how I must be doing something wrong because lugsails are the be-all end-all of everything good on the water because 1.) I've heard it all already on this forum and that's why I'm working with it in the first place and 2.) because so far, internet chatter-talk is fine, but on-the-water reality is what matters, and so far, it sucks.

However, I'm LEARNING stuff, so it's still all good. Again, six whole times out with a lugsail hardly makes me any sort of "expert". I'm aware of that. I'll be trying this thing a good dozen times more, at least. I mean, I stitched up the stupid sail, I might as well use it.:rolleyes:

As for the push-pull tiller, it ain't for me. I just don't seem to be able to get used to it. My brain doesn't process the amount of push-pull into the rudder angle so I'm always grossly oversteering *Especially* in light air.. So I think the skerry is getting a regular old tiller, here, pretty quick. Note that it's not that I think the push-pull is a BAD system, just that it's not working for me and my brain on this particular boat...that's all. It's entirely possible that if I spent a lot more time with it, I'd learn it and it'd be just fine, but on this particular boat I don't think it's necessary and a regular old tiller will work just fine. I think I'll make a nifty laminated one.

Redeye
12-01-2013, 05:37 AM
I think this post might be better in designs and plans but,
I'm no expert, however in the two times I've hoisted a balanced lug, it was simple and effective. also managed to sail the boat from the back to the front of the fleet in almost no wind. Secret there was to go for speed and not pointing. it was 1-2 knts puffs.

seemed a very easily managed rig to me and offered a surprising amount of sail trim options.

You sure you got it set up right?

skuthorp
12-01-2013, 07:07 AM
I have a single balanced lug on my Macgregor canoe, and some of your problems occur to me because of the narrowness of the hull (32"). That said I've been sailing her for over 12 years now. I just have to remember that a sailing canoe with a leeboard is not a high performance dinghy with a dagger plate:d.

My steering is with a continuous line and tensioning spring and a couple of jam cleats.

slug
12-01-2013, 07:46 AM
No one in ther right mind would sail with a boom, yard...up in the air !

Marconi is always best...always always always.

the problem with marconi it the expense and the structure needed to handle the loads.

Im not exactly sure what a skerry is but I suspect its a little fellow.

to add a marconi rig may be impossible and if you did find a way the tall mast and rigging would curse you.



if you like experimenting ...a rather short freestanding rig. ...mainsail only...with the main fully battened....low aspect...large roach...would be worth exploring
If these battens were light and stiff...carbon...they could be used as booms.

reef... Simply lower sail..remove mainsheet from first batten boom and attach to second batten boom.

slug
12-01-2013, 07:50 AM
Also..consider inflatable battens..booms.

they work

Ron Carter
12-01-2013, 08:35 AM
Have used a p/p tiller rig for years. There is a learning curve but in a small boat like the Skerry I think the advantages seriously outweigh the disadvantages. The knot "letting go up there" Is easily solved with a bit of marlin spike seamanship. My sail was sewn from dimensions gathered from "The Sailmakers Apprentice" and works wonderfully but it took most of a season in MI to sort out the "twiddly" bits. It's part of the fun.

WI-Tom
12-01-2013, 09:19 AM
Anything new takes a bit of getting used to. For what it's worth, I don't use Michael Storer's system for the halyard. I run the halyard up the starboard side of the mast, through a dumb sheave from starboard to port at the top, and tie it to the yard with a constrictor hitch, making sure there's a good long tail. Next, take the tail back around the mast from back to front, and tie off to the yard again with another constrictor hitch, this one maybe 5-6" in front of the first one. That keeps the yard held close to the mast. I've never had a knot come loose and drop the yard.

Dropping the sail is best done quickly--almost an actual DROP rather than lowering slowly and giving the yard time to spin around. I usually don't worry about the sail, just grab the yard to control the thing. It gets easier and smoother the more you do it.

I'm not sure how the yard ended up on the wrong side of the mast for you--I've never seen or heard of that. Lay it out carefully on the port side, and gently lift the yard with one hand as you pull the halyard with the other. I don't usually let go of the yard until it's above my head, so it's never free to get on the wrong side.

McMullen and others would point out that a mizzen holds your boat into the wind so the sail drops right into the boat.

I don't like push-pull tillers either. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

Don't give up! It really is a fantastic (and simple) rig.

Tom

James McMullen
12-01-2013, 09:22 AM
Ha ha ha ha! I can't believe you fell for all that propaganda! The balance lug and the push-pull are terrible, terrible ideas, the bane of all small, lightweight boats everywhere. And you got totally suckered in!

Look, the only reason those surly louts to the north of you make it look so easy is just because they've actually got it set up properly and use correct techniques. Do you seriously want to go to all that trouble? Of course not! No way, man! Sloops rule!!!

WI-Tom
12-01-2013, 09:24 AM
Marconi is always best...always always always.

Nice to see such an open-minded, non-biased take on rigs!

How much experience do you have with lugsails in small boats like a Skerry (a small double-ender about 15' long if I remember rightly). I think anyone who uses small boats like these would say exactly the opposite of what you said. Marconi rigs have SO many disadvantages at this size. I've sailed both.

Tom

slug
12-01-2013, 09:27 AM
Nice to see such an open-minded, non-biased take on rigs!

How much experience do you have with lugsails in small boats like a Skerry (a small double-ender about 15' long if I remember rightly). I think anyone who uses small boats like these would say exactly the opposite of what you said. Marconi rigs have SO many disadvantages at this size. I've sailed both.

Tom
Of course...but you failed to read what I wrote !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woxbox
12-01-2013, 09:31 AM
Don't give up yet. It's just learning something new. Give it a bit more practice and you'll begin to appreciate the advantages. As far as lugs go in general, you've got your sail area lower down than you would have it in a bermudan, and that counts for a lot in a small, light boat. And you have discovered that the sail is self-vanging and light on the sheet for its size, right? And you know that you can set up and strike the entire rig on the water in a few seconds, correct?

But yes, the yard does like to go over the side when lowered -- to manage this I cradle the boom over my left arm when I release the haylard so that I can catch and gather sail and yard between my upraised forearm and head. It works without injury.

I've opted for a continuous line over a conventional or push-pull tiller, too. I can reach it from anywhere in the boat, a Whisp, and the rudder holds it's position when I let go of the line.

WI-Tom
12-01-2013, 09:48 AM
Of course...but you failed to read what I wrote !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I read it. Still curious about how many small boats you've sailed with lug rigs, because I'd be extremely surprised if anyone with a lot of experience in both types would say "marconi is always better" when it comes to small boats of this type. It's not just setting up the marconi that is difficult or impossible in a small boat as you say--it's the actual everyday use of it.

I'd never choose a non-lug rig for small boat cruising after trying a few other options and comparing.

Tom

James McMullen
12-01-2013, 09:50 AM
And you know that you can set up and strike the entire rig on the water in a few seconds, correct?

Pffft! More propaganda! You all know it's just trained stunt doubles and CG effects. In the real world nothing is actually that easy. It couldn't be.

WI-Tom
12-01-2013, 09:51 AM
Pffft! More propaganda! You all know it's just trained stunt doubles and CG effects. In the real world nothing is actually that easy. It couldn't be.

That explains why it's never raining in any of your PNW sail-and-oar threads--it's all done in front of a green screen with digital manipulation. What frauds.

Tom

James McMullen
12-01-2013, 09:55 AM
I'd never choose a non-lug rig for small boat cruising after trying a few other options and comparing.

Good grief! I can't believe how closed-minded you're being, Tom. Just because you have actual, real-world experience in small boats of this size with a variety of different rigs, you now turn around and extrapolate your own experience to others. Quit being such a bully!

You obviously haven't spent enough time untangling jib-sheets to understand how fun that is.

Ben Fuller
12-01-2013, 10:09 AM
Don't give up yet. It's just learning something new. Give it a bit more practice and you'll begin to appreciate the advantages.

But yes, the yard does like to go over the side when lowered -- to manage this I cradle the boom over my left arm when I release the haylard so that I can catch and gather sail and yard between my upraised forearm and head. It works without injury.



To aid and abet controlling the sail I run the halyard and down haul through a couple of turning blocks then under the first thwart to cam cleats. Means that I don't have to go into the eyes of the boat to set and strike sail. I use full battens rather than a lower boom, but it is real tricky to get the lowest batten's flex right.

slug
12-01-2013, 10:26 AM
Best to leave tradition to people who like that kinda stuff then concieve something better.

Things like battens. Inflatable battens have been used for years on big boats. For a small boat a bit of ingeuity and a few bucs will produce inflatable battens and booms. Combine these with an efficient low aspect sail on a free standing spar and you will have a winner

James McMullen
12-01-2013, 11:40 AM
That's the spirit, slug! Having no actual experience with this type and size of boat, or its particular constraints and requirements, should be no barrier to coming up with expensive, complicated and untested improvements that are far superior to what those poor chumps are currently using. Good job!

Ben Fuller
12-01-2013, 11:52 AM
Yeah, I actually kind of like my very high aspect ratio short footed lug. Seems to be reasonably efficient, and only has some decades of full batten scores of years of cat and sailing canoe rigs behind it.

James McMullen
12-01-2013, 11:54 AM
No one in ther right mind would sail with a boom, yard...up in the air !

Truer words have never been spoken!

Yeadon
12-01-2013, 12:06 PM
My lugsail was a pain to wrangle before I had a mizzen. I'd pull the thing up and the boat would become an out of control square rigger (especially with all my weight forward). She'd just turn and run downwind. I had a half dozen sketchy near broaches. Not until I added the mizzen, which allowed me to weathercock the boat and move with more deliberation about Big Food, did the lug become a truly useful tool.

Good luck, Alan.

slug
12-01-2013, 12:09 PM
Its entirely possible to use modern thought and modern materials on classic hull forms.

new classics are born every year

the low aspect square top main

http://s28.postimg.org/ensaigbj1/image.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
subirimagenes (http://postimage.org/index.php?lang=spanish)

Chip-skiff
12-01-2013, 01:19 PM
While I sketched my sail to resemble Storer's plan for the Goat Island Skiff, the final plan was refined for my boat (a Phil Bolger Gypsy) by Todd Bradshaw. The details of the rig were gathered from several books on traditional sails and synthesized in a way that made sense to me. For instance the yard and boom are tethered to the mast by toggled rope loops strung with parrel beadsó

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-3xstGj9TOQY/TfvD3auvtVI/AAAAAAAABc0/boiX0SMjyds/lug2.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-PUDJZYXSUv8/TfvD1pHI45I/AAAAAAAABcw/YJ5WdRis5a4/lug1.jpg

The beads allow a free run both up and down while keeping the spars close to the mastó I've never had a problem with a flyaway yard or with either spar hitting the water. It's been sailed (with a reef) at the upper end of Force 5 (25 knot) with no problem beyond nerves. I was able to strike the rig underway and then reset the sail in about 20 knots. Having sailed several craft with Marconi rigs (14 to 40 footers) and sailed this skiff with a leg-of-mutton sprit-boom, I think the unstayed balance lug is the handiest and best suited for my boat and style of sailing.

Here's the first try for the sail and rig: I hadn't blocked the trailer wheels and it started sailing up the ramp. So I got to test how quickly I could strike it.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UARrOaIOgs0/TfvEHa7SQ4I/AAAAAAAABdE/uIIz-Jyw4gQ/lug6.jpg

David G
12-01-2013, 01:22 PM
We all know a lot about some things. We're all ignorant of some things. I, for instance, have done some repairs on traditionally framed/carvel planked boats... but have never built one from scratch. I'll never know as much about sails as Todd, or Mik. I'm no welder, nor machinist. But ask me about woodworking, or building small boats, or finishing, or designing interior spaces, or spars, or... well, you get the idea. We all have our strengths, and weaknesses. After doing this for <mumble, mumble> decades... I think I've reached the point where I know enough to know how much I still don't know.

Slug... you do not seem to have reached that stage. It appears to me, from what you've said so far, that you're making comparisons and giving firm advice without having sufficiently broad experience to legitimately do so. I'd dial it back. It doesn't help your credibility. And more importantly, it doesn't aid the OP or the wider audience who read without commenting.

AJZimm
12-01-2013, 02:30 PM
Nobody has yet addressed the push-pull tiller part yet. If you find yourself constantly over-correcting, it is possible that the length of the rudder arm is too short. Remember that is the effective length of the rudder, not the length of the push-pull stick. You want to make the length of that arm connected to the rudder head as long as you can get away with, practically speaking, without breaking it off on the dock coming alongside for instance, to give yourself the most control.

davebrown
12-01-2013, 04:26 PM
The push-pull must be something that one gets used to or not. I have a skerry and prefer a push pull over the rope rig on m Coquina, and over the standard tiller I have used in several others' boat but never myself owned. It makes sense to me that a mizzen might be needed to balance out the lug. What is sq footage on that?

davebrown
12-01-2013, 04:36 PM
Slug, I sent you a pm. I would like to learn more about the sail you posted, and how tension is kept at the peak without a little gaff.

Ben Fuller
12-01-2013, 04:47 PM
The gaff on a fathead is in the pocket with some serious tension. Then there is a serious downhaul, swept back spreaders allow mast bend. At least this is how we do it on International Canoes and what you'll see on 14's. There is also a pretty substantial vang.

Alan H
12-01-2013, 06:35 PM
We shall see. One very good thing has happened through this process, and that is that after a very long time of assuming that everybody else knows more than I do, I'm coming around to the notion that it's my boat, and I can and should set it up in a manner which seems best to me and makes me happy. Also I am really starting to think of this boat as a learning experience more than a vessel which I'm trying to bring to some state of perfection. As such I'm starting to read folks' opinions differently. This is good, I think. We'll see. There's a lot more to learn here, but I'm going to learn it on my terms.

Woxbox
12-01-2013, 06:35 PM
The gaff on a fathead is in the pocket with some serious tension. Then there is a serious downhaul, swept back spreaders allow mast bend. At least this is how we do it on International Canoes and what you'll see on 14's. There is also a pretty substantial vang.

Right, and it's all very very costly. My traditional balanced lug, minus sail, was put together with spare wood on hand and maybe $50 or $60 for line and a couple of small blocks. And the sail itself would have cost much more if I'd wanted to go all high-tech with it.

James McMullen
12-01-2013, 07:42 PM
. . .I'm coming around to the notion that it's my boat, and I can and should set it up in a manner which seems best to me and makes me happy.

Okay, I'm breaking out of the character I often portray on the forum here to ask you an honest and sincere question: what took you so damn long to figure that part out? I'm honestly still a little annoyed at you for how much grief you've slung my way in the past before you realized this. The only possible person to whom it would really, genuinely matter how you rig your skerry is a guy named Alan H.

David G
12-01-2013, 07:58 PM
We shall see. One very good thing has happened through this process, and that is that after a very long time of assuming that everybody else knows more than I do, I'm coming around to the notion that it's my boat, and I can and should set it up in a manner which seems best to me and makes me happy. Also I am really starting to think of this boat as a learning experience more than a vessel which I'm trying to bring to some state of perfection. As such I'm starting to read folks' opinions differently. This is good, I think. We'll see. There's a lot more to learn here, but I'm going to learn it on my terms.

True enough. At the same time... there's no good reason to reinvent the wheel. There's a large body of knowledge available out in the world. There are three ways to procure such knowledge. First - you can read. That's fun and fairly inexpensive given access to a decent library. Second - you can identify experts in the industry and purchase their advice. This is much quicker than doing your own research, but requires you to FIND the right experts. Third - you can ask question at places like this - the WBF. There's a huge base of experience here to be drawn from. Trouble is - there's also a wide range of folks, with a wide range of knowledge, some of whom are only too glad to offer advice regardless of how much they actually know. That's the trick... figure out WHO is actually knowledgeable enough to listen to. That takes both effort and good judgement.

If you choose to winkle it out on your own... just be aware that it might be a long and frustrating (not to mention costly) process. If you expect this to be but one boat of many still to come... such hard-knocks learning might be a worthwhile investment. If this is the one and only boat... maybe not.

Good Luck!

Woxbox
12-01-2013, 08:06 PM
David -- You forgot to mention the fourth way to learn and my favorite: Trial and error! And I'm not dead yet.

David G
12-01-2013, 08:37 PM
David -- You forgot to mention the fourth way to learn and my favorite: Trial and error! And I'm not dead yet.

That was the thrust of paragraph #2.

darroch
12-01-2013, 08:50 PM
I got out for a "sail" today....not that there was any wind, but I hoisted the nifty sewn-up dacron lugsail on the skerry for the third time...the damn thing is a bloody pain in the ass. Half the time the yard gets on the wrong side of the mast before hoisting it and then you have to fuss with it to get it right. I don't think I've lowered it once on the water that the yard hasn't gone IN the water. Seriously...did it again, today...during a screaming half-knot reach :p, the knot "up there" let go and the yard came crashing down on my head leaving the halyard 12 feet up in the air. Oh, and then it went in the water.

And you did the 2008 Transpac? This is a hundred-pound boat with a 60 sq ft rig. Something is amiss.

Alan H
12-02-2013, 12:07 AM
I'll answer a number of questions here:

James: Oh, I knew it all along, it's just that except for sailing El toro's as a kid, and having a 12 foot fiberglass Koralle Jr sloop, and then a Mirror 20 years ago, all my sailing experience is in 20+ foot fiberglass keelboat sloops. BTW, my first Cal 20 didn't have an outboard, which I think you'll approve of. I sailed that boat all over SF Bay with no engine and learned a lot. Note that all the "big" boats since then have had engines, however. Whatever the case, this "little wooden boat" thing was new to me. I came to it because after the SHTP I decided that my boating, for a good long while would be low-budget. I've written all this before. What lit up my eyes the most? A.) Ran-Tan...saw her in the Wooden Boat Small Boat magazine a few years back and went *wow*. B.) Rowan, that lovely vessel and her owner which I discovered here on the WBF. So seeing as I discovered those boats, and they appealed to me, I set a large value on their owner/builders ideas and opinions. I might, add, that I still DO pay attention to their owners opinions!

It's just that now I've read a lot more, gotten out on my own little boat a lot more, gotten out on other peoples little boats a lot more and I'm discovering that my own opinions are just as valid as other folks...that in fact I DO know a thing or two.

Part of this is tied up with basically giving up on the McMullen/Hvalsoe/Yeadon version of "sail and oar". I mean, it's just not gonna happen around here. We've been over all that before. Yes I can sail the boat and row it when the wind dies, but the multi-day, island hopping, secluded-cove-campround-to-the-next-campground sort of cruising just isn't doable here. I've come to accept that. With that acceptance comes a certain freedom.... I think I'll be daysailing the boat and rowing it when the wind dies. Maybe once a year I can do a Delta trip. That's a different kind of "sail and oar" eh? So now I'm sort of free'd up from whatever limitations/rules/guidelines might be summarized from the McMullen/Hvalsoe/Yeadon version of "sail and oar", and that notion is again, something new.

David G. I'm gonna be blunt, here and I hope you take it in the friendly spirit in which this is offered. If I feel like reinventing the wheel, I'll bloody well reinvent the wheel. That's part of the fun as far as I'm concerned, now. That doesn't mean that I disregard what everybody is saying, it's just that for every opinion on this board there are five other guys with dissenting opinions. I figure, if it A.) floats and B.) goes forward when I pull on the oars, or C.) when the wind blows on the sails, and D.) doesn't turn itself upside-down, it's all good. Beyond that, pretty much everything is individual opinion, as is evidenced by the myriad of opinions on this board. Miraculously, I'm starting to develop my own opinons, because finally I feel like I'm not completely ignorant any more.

Interestingly enough, some of those opinions, regarding ME in THIS boat may run contrary to what a whole lot of people think is sort of the conventional wisdom. So be it.

darroch: Yes, I did the 2008 Singlehanded TransPac in a Santa Cruz 27. I also sailed solo to Hawaii in 1996 in a Ranger 29. Those boats are pretty significantly different from the Chesapeake Light Craft skerry.

You know regarding the lug rig....I need to remember that from Day One, my approach to the lug has been "let's try it and see"....rather than "I'm sold on this and this is how it's gonna be". I don't have a wad of money invested in this rig...time, yes but not money. The skerry I got had a spritsail in it and I recut the head to turn it into the lug. I just used the materials from Sailrite that I got when I bought the unfinished kit in the first place. If I sail around 20 more times with the lug and decide that I don't like it, I can find some used dinghy sails off of Craigslist or something...add some stainless steel tangs to the boat, get some aluminum tubing or whatever, and some stainless steel wire and set up a sloop rig for probably $200. Then I can sail that around for a while and see if it's any better. It's all good.

Alan H
12-02-2013, 12:22 AM
I still don't think I like the push-pull tiller though. :d That's totally a personal opinion, which I feel that I'm entitled to have, now that I've tried one for a while.

That doesn't mean that I think that people who use them are stupid or misguided.....just like I don't think people who build Bolger and Michaelak box-boats are stupid or misguided. They're just not for me.

David G
12-02-2013, 12:46 AM
Alan - Blunt is good. Reinvent away! Your boat. Your choice. Some people find that approach preferable. The folks I know that do are tinkerers at heart. They're as much interested in the journey as the destination. They have no timetables to meet, no huge expectations to fulfill at all costs. It's not the most efficient of approaches. And I've many times seen people get so lost, so off-track, so confused, and so frustrated by that approach as to abandon their project. Which is probably why I discount it. But don't let my personal prejudice sway you. Have fun.

Alan H
12-02-2013, 03:48 AM
Alan - Blunt is good. Reinvent away! Your boat. Your choice. Some people find that approach preferable. The folks I know that do are tinkerers at heart. They're as much interested in the journey as the destination. They have no timetables to meet, no huge expectations to fulfill at all costs. It's not the most efficient of approaches. And I've many times seen people get so lost, so off-track, so confused, and so frustrated by that approach as to abandon their project. Which is probably why I discount it. But don't let my personal prejudice sway you. Have fun.

Well, not much worry about getting lost here, as there's nowhere in particular that I'm going. :D I have no timetable, and as I wrote above, the expectation/hope/goal I had.....the McMullen/Hvalsoe/Yeadon brand of sail 'n oar... I've pretty much dropped. So, no expectations, either. I'm just gonna mess around with the thing and do what entertains me. I'm thinking that I might do the Texas 200 in 2015, we'll see about that. I'm not wedded to the idea, nor am I wedded to the idea that the skerry is the boat I'm taking to Texas in 2015. I might buy a beater fiberglass O'Day Daysailor, fix it up a bit and take THAT.

This relaxed attitude has not always been the case with me and boats, but it sure is, right now.

Anyway, right now I'm of the opinion that there's more to learn but that the balanced lugsail is not the be-all end-all solution to all small-boat sailing challenges that a lot of people (not just James) seem to broadcast that it is. This is MY OPINION based on a pissant ridiculous small amount of data. More data will be gathered. That doesn't mean that I can't get this balanced lug to work a lot better, just that I didn't fall over in a dead faint about how wonderful it's been the last several times I've had it out on the water. In fact, it's been a pain in the ass.

BTW, I still think the boat rows like a dream come true.

As an aside, there's much talk about how that awful, tall Marconi rig is going to make the boat all tippy because the center of effort is up so high. um....I weigh 305 pounds. The boat weighs 100. I throw utility poles for fun on the weekends. If I move my fat butt six inches to one side in this boat, I induce 15 degrees of heel. I'm not real worried about "tippy".

In the last year or so I've gotten out in some Lido's and Hobie 14's. These are marconi rigged boats which are roughly the same size as my boat. They're not unduly "tippy". The boats sailed great, having jib sheets didn't bother me in the slightest, just like they didn't bother me when I was sailing my Koralle Jr. 'glass boat, or my Mirror, twenty years ago. Setting up the rig is three wires/shackles and takes about 3 minutes in the parking lot. This is opposed to one minute for the standing mast, plus the bungee cord I have on it to keep it in the boat if I do tip it over. 3 minutes versus 1 minute? No big deal guys and I honestly think that pounding this point to death....that those three wires are just SUCH a nuisance to set up is really stupid. As for jib sheets, those horrible jib sheets don't bother me at all. They may bother YOU, James my friend, but they don't bother me.

Striking the rig on the water.... Look, if I was going to be multi-day cruising the boat then maybe this uber-simplicity of striking the rig that so many of you write about would be terribly important. But it turns out that I'm not going to be doing that. I'm going to launch the boat from a trailer, on a ramp, and sail for 3-6 hours. Then I put the boat back on the trailer and go home. If the wind goes away and I'm within rowing distance then I lower the sail and row. But I'm not going to be rowing for 15 miles. I might...MAYBE get to do that on the Texas 200 or my hopeful once-a-year trip up the Delta, which I STILL haven't done, BTW. There are lots of small sailing boats that poop around the waters of North America with masts held up by wires and they do just fine.

Honestly, all the reasons I keep hearing, over and over and over again about why the balanced lug is SO much better than a marconi rig just don't make sense to ME. Maybe they make great sense to you but they don't make sense to ME and I've read them all a hundred times. Y'all are just going to have to accept that I don't buy your logic. Sorry.

However, I tell you what. If I tire of the lug or become convinced that it really DOES suck, and build a marconi sloop and sail it around and I discover that you all were absolutely right all along, I'll admit it and eat crow. I might just keep both rigs around and sail whichever one happens to appeal to me on any given day, eh? Actually, that kind of sounds like fun. I have to admit that the balanced lug IS definitely the sexier, cooler, prettier, more counterculture rig.

slug
12-02-2013, 06:11 AM
With a marconi consider the compression loading on the mast step and the loading on all rigging attachments.

this is a complication on a small boat and a good reason to consider unstayed masts...think of the Laser

James McMullen
12-02-2013, 09:19 AM
Good for you, Alan.

For what it's worth, I think the reason you can't wrap your mind around the true glory of a genuine Sail & Oar™ lug yawl yet is because you've never even seen one in person let alone gone sailing in one! Your tipsy-tiny little Skerry with its jury-rigged mast and a lugsail cobbled together from a kit for an entirely different sort of sail has not much more in common with Rowan or Ran Tan than your Santa Cruz 27. You have been making very broad assumptions out of a constricted and mostly irrelevant data set. Stop it! That specific Sail & Oar™-style boat those PNW hotheads keep yammering on about is a specific category with specific qualities--and a Skerry doesn't come very close to fitting the specification.

I think you should try out a boat that actually fits the Sail & Oar™ category before writing it all off. You haven't yet. I ask Skip every year when I see him at the PT Wood Boat Fest why he didn't bring you along, and usually it's because you're busy flinging telephone poles end for end or some such nonsense. Well cut it out! Get yourself north to the Promised Land next year so that you can learn and see with your own eyes how this stuff works. Then you will have enough data to start making a genuinely useful evaluation and comparison. Right now you're just whistling in the dark.

DGentry
12-02-2013, 10:53 AM
A push-pull tiller is initially annoying to use if you were trained to use something else. That being said, the annoyance only lasts until your 7th time using one.
But, seriously, for most people it's merely another skill one learns - just like one eventually learns to drive a car, or to steer a boat with a regular tiller.

A Skerry with a Laser or Finn rig and a standard tiller with a long extension could be a fun set up for day sailing (assuming you could get under the boom).

keyhavenpotterer
12-02-2013, 01:02 PM
Some pointers.

1. Raise and lower the lug sail with the boat into or just off the wind at the start and end of the outing. If your boat is a very small double ender you've got less space in the backto drop it in. So keep head to wind.

2. Raise and cleat off the main halyard. I'm assuming its about the right length along the yard.

3. The downhaul purchase on your boom pulling the front of the sail taught needs to be at least 6:1. 8:1 or more is better but it ends up pulling the boat apart or the mast into a bow if you go really powerful. Current racers are even at much higher tensions on reinforced boats with kevlar reinforced luff lines...

4. Pull that hard on. Damm hard on. Like you don't care. Think sloop forestay tension. Its the same deal. You want that luff 'kin rigid. That's where you upwind performance comes in. Your downhaul to work needs ball bearing blocks and some non stretch dyneema rope. Cleated off or the block assembly attached to reinforced deck or the mast base. This is why you don't want a mast bend - it robbs the downhaul of tension and the sail's entry angle gets worse. Its why stayed rigs perform better as it hold the mast tip and the mast can be lighter. But sail and oar can mean unstayed dropable rigs. Still a lug mast can't be too stiff. You want to build in a solid anchor point for the downhaul or isolate it to the mast base.

5. Your sail cut might need looking at. Especially as its polytarp and recut from a sprit sail. It may need reinforcement in the luff with a non stretch fibre for a lug's downhaul to pull it really taught but not stretch if you want to point. You probably need a decent sail. You might not be able to put much luff tension into that polytarp sail to get it to point well. This is the boats engine. Get a good engine from Todd Bradshaw. Even a new sail over an old one will perform 25% better.

6. Fix a kicker so the boom doesn't lift up at all when off the wind. Its the same as a sloop and needs one. Ballpark - push the boom right out to just before midway, then pull the kicker on so its tight and the boom not lifting.

7. Have 2:1 (light air) 3:1 or 4:1 (heavy air) mainsheet to mid or end boom depending on your spar construction and boat layout. A bridle will reduce rope length. Two blocks on the boom and be used or just one when you want 2:1. You don't want any bend in the mast or boom. If your boom is bending, your losing outhaul tension and the sail camber is greater. Again not good upwind. OK for downwind or in waves. That's why its best with untaper ends, especially at the front where the max downhaul tension is. If your mid boom sheeting, an untapered end will avoid losing tension up the leach. The boom can't be too stiff. Is your sail flat cut or deep cut for waves? That makes a difference too. Yard bend towards the tip is OK if you want it to spill wind when its windy.

8. Tie a knot in the mainsheet end so that only enough runs out to let the boom go just before midline or before its touching the shrouds to reduce chafe.

9. Consider your position in the boat. Your weight will affect the longitudinal position of buoynacy and the skeg immersion aft. generally on very fine tender boats you need to get forward for tacking to lift the rear skeg out and let the stern turn. If your foils are basic and not NACA or rounded at the fron, turn the rudder gently so it doesn't stall. A long push pull tiller is good for getting forward. If your over correcting, check and eliminate any play in the tiller, rudder head and blade. Check the blade and centreboard are straight and behind each other.

10. Coming to the beach, turn up into the wind, and when just off, let the main halyard go gently and the sail will drop into the boat.

11. Like any sail it will take a while to get it to set just so after adjustment at its attachment points.

The balanced lug should be more docile to gybe, quicker to raise and drop - its got no attachment to the mast, and point maybe 5 degrees off a bermudan when optimised like for like.

If you don't like it. Try a roller bermudan. It is equally quick to reef, can be unstayed and points higher.

Alan H
12-02-2013, 01:48 PM
keyhavenpotterer...look at what you just wrote and then tell me that the rig you're describing isn't complicated. You just told me eleven things to "look out for" and "pay attention to" with a lug rig. Of course, at least half of those things are common sense stuff that applies to any rig, and you kind of lost me on #8 where you tell me to do stuff with my lug sail before it touches the SHROUDS to avoid chafe! :d

BTW-- #1 I do that. You do that with a marconi rig, too. #2. Um.... I do that. Doesn't everybody? #3. Mine is 3:1 and the the cleat is on the mast, not on the deck, so there is no compression load transferred to the boat...pushing the mast out the bottom of the boat. I can get the leading edge of the sail pretty tight...tight enough to bend the mast. #4. So, do you want a stiff mast for a lug rig or a flexy mast for a lug rig? I can't tell from what you wrote, mate! #5. The sail is 4 ounce dacron with a triple-sewn, doubled over tape taking the load between the tack and the throat. Todd coached me through cutting a more correctly shaped head curve, on this very forum. The polytarp sail is sitting in my garage. It will probably become a tarp again, soon or wind up in the garbage. #6. a kicker? Really? on lugsail? But I thought everybody waxed poetic about how a lugsail boom didn't need vanging downwind? Hmmm...a kicker, huh? That sounds like an extra layer of COMPLICATION on this supposedly uber-simple rig. #7. My friend, you just told me that the boom needs to be stiff because a boom that bends loses outhaul tension and then you went right ahead and told me, two sentences later, that the boom can't be too stiff. In fact, I'm using 8-9 foot closet poles for the boom and yard. They're not tapered, obviously, so you'll like that. I have the boom set up for either end-boom sheeting or mid-boom sheeting, and the back end of the sheet passes through a block on a bridle. I think you'd approve of that! #8. A knot on the end of the sheet? Well, duh. That way you don't lose the sheet. But then you write about "shrouds"??? #9. Like I said, I'm 300 pounds. When I move around the boat, the thing floats different. So yeah, I'm kind of aware that my bodyweight affects how the boat trims. #10. Um....drop the sail when head to wind. Yeah. OK. I've done that for about 25 years, now, on every boat I've ever sailed, from El Toro's to the Koralle Jr. to the Mirror to the Santana 3030 and the Santa Cruz 27.. #11. Probably true and with more experience I might figure more details out. Absolutely. Like I said, I've had a lugsail up on this boat exactly six times.

James, just in case you think I ain't got no love for ya no mo, I'm gonna show you a picture.

https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1472096_10201891789710308_1025430903_n.jpg

y'all see that boat cover? I made that. It's been on my boat for about a year and a bit more keeping the rain and the sun off of the varnish. It's sunbrella and no, I've never gotten around to fixing up the pointy end in front. BY:D In fact I just washed it this past weekend. But James, who on the forum has also made a boat cover for their boat which is pointy at both ends? Who inspired me to make that...I mean, figuring if YOU could do it, then I probably could do it too. Every time I walk up to my boat, the first thing I see is something that YOU inspired me to make. So rest easy, my friend!

Alan H
12-02-2013, 02:13 PM
Good for you, Alan.

For what it's worth, I think the reason you can't wrap your mind around the true glory of a genuine Sail & Oar™ lug yawl yet is because you've never even seen one in person let alone gone sailing in one! Your tipsy-tiny little Skerry with its jury-rigged mast and a lugsail cobbled together from a kit for an entirely different sort of sail has not much more in common with Rowan or Ran Tan than your Santa Cruz 27. You have been making very broad assumptions out of a constricted and mostly irrelevant data set. Stop it! That specific Sail & Oar™-style boat those PNW hotheads keep yammering on about is a specific category with specific qualities--and a Skerry doesn't come very close to fitting the specification.

I think you should try out a boat that actually fits the Sail & Oar™ category before writing it all off. You haven't yet. I ask Skip every year when I see him at the PT Wood Boat Fest why he didn't bring you along, and usually it's because you're busy flinging telephone poles end for end or some such nonsense. Well cut it out! Get yourself north to the Promised Land next year so that you can learn and see with your own eyes how this stuff works. Then you will have enough data to start making a genuinely useful evaluation and comparison. Right now you're just whistling in the dark.

Could be. But I don't live in the PNW, and I don't have a peapod or a Hvalsoe 16 or a Ness Yawl. I have a skerry and it rows real nice and it's pretty and it fits in my front yard and at this point I'm not going to dump the skerry because I go bonkers over another boat. I set out to design something very much like what you guys use, and maybe I failed, eh? That very well could be...I failed to design an acceptable PNW Sail 'n Oar boat! So the skerry, which is for all intents and purposes what I designed, might also not be a PNW Sail 'n Oar boat. I'll take your word for it!

I might possibly build another boat, it's not like that's impossible but the qualities that set me to designing my "ideal boat" a couple of years ago....which turned out to be a skerry clone, are still in effect.

You wrote this --- "That specific Sail & Oar™-style boat those PNW hotheads keep yammering on about is a specific category with specific qualities--and a Skerry doesn't come very close to fitting the specification."

I think you're absolutely right. Even if I don't know anything, I'll still take your word for it, since as you point out, I've never been on one of those McMullen/Hvalsoe/Yeadon boats. Once upon a time I thought I wanted those qualities because of the sailing that I thought I was going to do. However, turns out that I won't be doing that sort of sailing, so I don't need those sorts of qualities. This is a good thing, because as you point out, I don't have a boat that's very much like your boats.
James, you ASSUME that everybody...or at least me....wants a boat just like yours, because we all want to do exactly what you do, and we all live in places just like where you live. That underlying assumption is the foundation of your last post in this thread.

However in this case, with me, none of those things are true. I don't live where you live. I can't do the sort of sailing/cruising that you like to do and so I don't need a boat like yours.

NONE of which has any bearing on whether I'd have a blast coming up to Port Townsend for the WBS and hanging out with you guys and reducing the draft of the "beer tender" and going for a daysail with you or Yeadon or Eric. That would be a riot of fun! Neither does it have anything to do with whether I think Rowan is just the prettiest thing EVER...'cause I do. She's a lovely, lovely vessel. I'm by NO MEANS "writing off" the PNW sail 'n oar boats. For heavens sake they're wonderful things, sailed around on marvelous adventures by good stout lads having a grand time. What's not to love here?

Honestly, the "next boat" if there's going to be one is probably something like an O'Day Daysailor to do the Texas 200 in....though I might take the skerry. I just dunno, yet. After that, the next boat will be a 27-29-foot fiberglass cruiser-racer to do another SHTP in and then cruise through Micronesia.

keyhavenpotterer
12-02-2013, 02:42 PM
Alan,

Sorry if you didn't understand. The mast and boom wants to be very stiff, within the bounds of lightness.

Kicker is how we do it in the UK. It stops excessive leach twist and stops the sail luff stretching if the boom raises.

I said pull the main halyard first as, it gets better sail tension than the downhaul first.

I was making the point that a small double ender doesn't have so much aft real estate to catch the sail off centre re your comments about dropping the sail into the water.

Shrouds are optional. We do it that way on the Solent, but they are used as sailing boats not sail and oar boats. It gives a more tensioned rig and helps control sail shape but at a cost of ease of dropping the mast obviously.

Rig the sail up on the boat and see if the closet poles your using for the boom and yard are bending too much.

I've fluctuated between bermudan's, lugs and recently gaffs.

Lugs are best for quick up and down.

Bermudan's natural point high without doing much. A lug takes some rigging into shape and the boat constructed specially for it to get it close upwind.

Off the wind, the low aspect sails keep driving where as the bermudan seems to run out of puff, without hoisting downwind sails. I can feel this a lot on my current gaff sail. Offwind from a reach you really feel more drive. Gaff sails don't seem to need much fussing at all. Just kinda work. More halyards though. You can control sail shape a bit and you get a more adjustable outhaul on the fly as the boom is fixed. You might like gaff rig. A Joel white marsh cat sounds like your boat. It will take your weight without noticing and the wide boat will give a lot of space for you. Will sail well.

Alan H
12-02-2013, 03:14 PM
Whoah, whoah......hold on a minute keyhavenpotterer.

you guys sail lug rigged boat with SHROUDS? ... and a forestay, maybe? Can you point me at some photographs of boats like this? I would be interested. I am thinking that the mast I built is a little bit light, as it does flex a fair bit when I tension the downhaul. A forestay would help with that.

As James has quite rightly pointed out, I might have a boat which sails, and which I can also row, but it's not really a "Sail 'n Oar" boat as defined by them cool dudes up in Puget Sound, nor do I plan to undertake the sorts of cruising adventures that they do. Shrouds and a headstay don't bother me in the least. I would like to learn more about this.

Canoeyawl
12-02-2013, 03:23 PM
http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/images/Valgerda-1.gif

Alan H
12-02-2013, 03:25 PM
Ah...these guys.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3038/2799141427_3620e6f760.jpg

and this, a lug rigged cadet dinghy.

http://www.rlyachts.net/rl4-LugRigCadet.jpg

Interesting. I'm not sure if I really "need" this but it's interesting to consider. I could easily rig a headstay on the boat, which would take a lot of bend out of the mast. THen again, so would $30 worth of carbon fiber... :d

Alan H
12-02-2013, 03:27 PM
Hey, canoeyawl!!! .... I'm still bummed that I missed our trip. What IS that lovely thing you just pointed out, there? Never mind....I see it, it's Atkins Valgerda. HMMM. I dunno. I'd have to check the geometry to see if this would work on Vingilothiel.

keyhavenpotterer
12-02-2013, 05:24 PM
That's dad racing his scow. He was a race winner.

Broadley you can attach shrouds and a forestay as per normal to the mast head. Some boats the front of the yard might touch the forestay, some boats, like the Lymington scow have room for the yard to swivel still. The oughtred boats do too usually, but you have to look at the sail plan, or build a slightly taller mast, as I've done on my shearwater.

The rig is less floppy and taughter, though a stiff mast can be freestanding if its a big diameter obviously. My cormorant is free standing gaff and works well, a wolstenholme coot with a floppy rig was like sailing a washing line by comparison and put me off free standing rigs for a while.

If the mast tip isn't falling off the halyard doesn't slacken and the luff stays taught. And with a forestay the mast doesn't bend aft when the mainsheet is pulled in.

Dad's last scow was high tech. The spars were carbon fibre tubes - very light but actually not quite stiff enough. Standing rigging was dynema, as was the running rigging through harken blocks lead aft along the centre case. Downhaul and kicker adjustable on the fly. There was reinforced structural foam under the gunwale to stiffen the boat to stop it twisting or squeezing together. Usual racing mods down to low friction bottom spray they use on GB rowing boats at the Olympics. Most people's spars are marine alloy. Carbon windsurfer mast tips often used for a flexible yard, but the sail is actually cut for all aluminium spar bend profiles.


The sail is cut with a closed foot and a shelf to keep the sail camber working right down to the boom. Sail attached to yard and boom with sail track.

The dyneema halyards and carbon tubes didn't scratch the boat, but the dyneema is less abrasion resistant so it needs changing every few years. The shrouds stay permanently attached and the forestay is let go and the mast dropped. When its pulled back up, its tightened with a small purchase then clipped on.

He put some pictures up once, I might be able to find them.

If you want to look at the rig this was his second black scow that he liked the best.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=lymington+scow&client=tablet-android-asus-nexus&rlz=1Y3NDUG_enGB516GB516&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=VAedUu-fLdCrhQeM1IDYDA&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAA&biw=600&bih=904#facrc=_&imgrc=OMHT411txuZxqM%3A%3B9d5eZNhj2t2oBM%3Bhttp%25 3A%252F%252Fwww.storerboatplans.com%252Fwp%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2012%252F08%252F2821243592 _a13a748979.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.storerboa tplans.com%252Fwp%252Fdesign%252Flug-rigs-for-racing-performance%252F%3B345%3B500

Got it very well balanced so he could change direction with small weight shifts. Dialled out all the weather helm so it was neutral to reduce drag. Keeping some weather helm is big boat thing. People said he was wrong on that, but he just pointed to his trophies.

If you want to build a wood version (they were originally all wood) you can get plans. We plan to build one in 4mm and carbon reonforcement and go out to stick one up em one day. They have a lot of rocker and turn on a six pence. Displacement boats but can be made to plane if pushed in a force 4 and sat out.

They use a jib with a passenger. The front of the boom is then held at the mast to bring the mainsail back to help balance making the mainsail more like a standing lug. They also use a forward canting mast to keep the mast base central and help sail balance when under main only. Also makes the boom auto go out when the sheet is released.

They sail better with shrouds, but unstayed rigs can be made to work if the spars are stiff enough. They are the dinghy used in the Solent more than any other, balanced lug and all...they are all launched on trolleys from dinghy parks so there is no set up issue with the shrouds.

Chip-skiff
12-02-2013, 07:31 PM
If you can't figure out how to work a dead-simple balanced lug (rigging the spars on the wrong side of mast is not a mark against the rig, but a mark of your inattention) then I'll not waste further time on you and your troubles. If you'd be happy with a carbon-fibre mast and a square-top marconi main, be my guest.

Happy holidays, etc.

Alan H
12-02-2013, 08:19 PM
If you can't figure out how to work a dead-simple balanced lug (rigging the spars on the wrong side of mast is not a mark against the rig, but a mark of your inattention) then I'll not waste further time on you and your troubles. If you'd be happy with a carbon-fibre mast and a square-top marconi main, be my guest.

Happy holidays, etc.

I think that's an excellent idea, chip-skiff! Carry on!