View Full Version : gaff saddle for gunter

06-13-2014, 12:53 AM
I have acquired a set of new sails for very little money that will be useful on a couple of different boats, as I fool around with rigs and improve my sailing ability. The sails are for a CLC Passagemaker dinghy, jib and main gunter, 59 and 17 sq. ft. I have nearly gotten killed with my unreefable (yes that is a word, and I encourage all of you to use it) spritsail on my skerry, and so I want to try it, and I also thought it might make a fun light air mizzen on my Coquina, which now has a 100 sq. ft. McLug main. I also thought this might be a good rig for the HV13 I am going to build if I can stop distracting myself with all this other stuff that consumes my time, including a crab skiff that I have been almost done with for 6 months now (it reminds me of the Richard Prior joke about how cocaine is not addictive because he knows people who have quit 15 or 16 times). So here is the question: can we hear about some options on a gunter/gaff saddle? Before some rocket scientist writes "google is your friend" from his mom's basement, see below for what I have already dug up. I am inclined to buy a 4" piece of 2.5" or 3" copper pipe and copy the homemade version but the attachment on the spar side might be challenging. I have very little metal working experience but I am possessed with a certain amount of Don't Know When To Quit.

06-13-2014, 12:54 AM
Homemade gaff on the forum. I saw this so long ago I can't recall who. Seems like a great option but maybe overkill on such a small sail.
https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t1.0-9/10471197_10203254115346166_2135376078216371666_n.j pg

06-13-2014, 12:56 AM
The above will have a bit of a tricky bolt attachment on the back of the leather,gaff side. That might be hard to fabricate or repurpose, for me.

Some of the process:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/t1.0-9/10474763_10203254114506145_6418734918198983599_n.j pgThanks to a forumite for these.

06-13-2014, 12:57 AM
Different one but same idea:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t1.0-9/10340158_10203254116066184_6671365252613634164_n.j pg

06-13-2014, 12:58 AM
Spar end attachment:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/t1.0-9/10440234_10203254118506245_2961983164285575299_n.j pg

06-13-2014, 01:00 AM
Wooden version, also from a forumite. I have some walnut with this wood grain, which is not greatly strong, and I have some locust that would require some amount of steaming, but I would really be involved in some seat of the pants engineering because I have no experience with thickness required on a 59 sq. ft. sail. Probably light but there is some torque, and some twist, in that joint.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/t1.0-9/10330491_10203254119666274_5985494636778940966_n.j pg

06-13-2014, 01:02 AM
Ultra low-tech, which might be just great. The attachment on this spar appears to be nothing more than a rope saddle. Not sure how that would work with reefing (this sail has two sets) but I do need the ability to reef.
https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/t1.0-9/10415647_10203254112506095_3047097731731438415_n.j pg

06-13-2014, 01:07 AM
gunter saddles, exquisite, from Classic Marine. About how much I paid for the set of new sails.

with stainless steel spar fitting. Now we are at cost of the sails:

06-13-2014, 01:13 AM
More Classic Marine. COuld this be silver brazed?


06-13-2014, 01:16 AM
wow! And I would prefer bronze...

06-13-2014, 01:21 AM
CLC has a small boom gooseneck which might be usable, if attached to a piece of leathered copper as above. That would be a cheap solution. Incidentally, the gunter jaws on CLC's plan are just triangular ply, bolted to an aluminum spar. No No No No No. That cannot do. I have one of the below and it is quite small and light. edited: for some reason the photo didn't load.


06-13-2014, 01:25 AM
Just for fun here is a photo that shows, rather poorly, the spritsail rigged with the jib. So I am quite excited to put in the gunter, which will involve some minor step and partner surgery to balance the helm. But not bad as is.

https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/t1.0-9/10313573_10203183300815847_4264219309827705109_n.j pg

Peerie Maa
06-13-2014, 04:29 AM
Another woody option, made from curved grain ash.
http://i408.photobucket.com/albums/pp164/peerie_maa/DSC01608.jpg (http://s408.photobucket.com/user/peerie_maa/media/DSC01608.jpg.html)

The short end hanging behind the sail is a tail with a thimble eye for the halyard.

wizbang 13
06-13-2014, 05:18 AM
My friend has a bequia whaleboat about 20 feet , gunter rig. He has no jaw or saddle, the bottom of the stick just floats next to the mast, on halyrd tension.
A few months ago I raced on a 44 foot Carriacou sloop, also gunter. His boat has a fine complicated saddle, but when the main is hoisted and the boat is sailing, it ha4dly touches the mast, the halyard tension has it floating just off.
It is quite different from a two halyard gaffer
For such a small boat, you may be fixing something that is not broke!

06-13-2014, 06:27 AM
Seems like you either want something fancy looking (nothing wrong with that) or looking at the complicated set ups. As Bruce has said, similar to your posted picture of the yard with a rope heel around the mast could work. I fabricated a steel rod saddle for a 5 ton boat, but for a lightweight dinghy, i would go with either the rope os something similar to the Mirror dinghy.


Wooden Boat Fittings
06-13-2014, 07:53 AM
I'm not surprised you're not happy with that spritsail -- the tack should be lower (and the luff longer) and the leech much longer.

Here's how Aileen Louisa was rigged (100 sq ft main and 20 sq ft jib) --


And yes, it could be reefed.


06-13-2014, 08:58 AM
Thanks thus far. Have some minor comments later today when not running out the door to work. Keep'em coming.

06-13-2014, 05:47 PM
Maybe my walnut grown crook will be ok if the saddle rides off the mast when underway. I used walnut on a boomcrook and it has been fine but not much torque at that position and the jaws are slightly oversized. I do not have the opinion that walnut is in the league of white oak or locust in strength.

06-13-2014, 06:38 PM
maybe mast gooseneck would function too.

Todd Bradshaw
06-13-2014, 10:34 PM
I can't imagine the need for anything fancy on a gunter that small, if anything at all. Luff tension alone usually keeps the gunter top section's butt end in line reasonably well. At most, maybe a hoop or rope loop around the mast or a set of jaws with a bit more curve than typical gaff jaws and a parrel should work fine. Saddles and expensive hardware would seem to be totally unnecessary (and probably no more effective) on a system that size.

...and do get the tack and foot down where they belong. Those "standing headroom booms" on dinghies and small boats look totally out of place and just contribute to excessive heeling in windy conditions.

06-13-2014, 10:39 PM
Thank you Todd. I am inclined to put a pair of little walnut grown crook jaws on there. It sounds like there just isn't much torque there at all.

Todd Bradshaw
06-14-2014, 11:02 AM
The butt end can tend to wander around to the sides of the mast a bit (more on some points of sail than others) on gunters, but the best way to keep it to a minimum is usually by having good luff tension. I think your walnut jaws would be plenty, as well as look good.

wizbang 13
06-14-2014, 03:33 PM
Taper and round off the bottom of the stick .
Jaws are not needed, and may just wind up jamming on the halyard , getting jammed in the jaws and whatnot.
On the same token, maybe consider how the Dyer Dingy Gunter works. The stick has mini pintles and the mast has gudgeons.

06-16-2014, 12:04 AM
Bruce--your mailbox is full. Dave