View Full Version : Sprit Pole vs.Gaff
11-11-2001, 06:27 AM
I am currently Building a 16'sloop (Sam Devlins 'Nancys China'). She is designed with a sprit Pole, But I am thinking about using a gaff. It would be harder to build but would look great and looks like it would sail better. Anyone have an opinion on this?(lol)
Please note Mast is 17' made of 4 pieces of mahogony laminated with west epoxy. Also I have added a bowsprit. Leech of the gaff rig would be about 9.5'.
I have a sprit rig on my 22" Wharram Hina catamaran. It can be a little bit awkward getting the pin on the sprit's end into the grommet on the sail if the wind is blowing hard. Also I've seen the sprit bend in heavy winds to the point where I was sure that it would explode, but it hasn't. Both mast and sprit are made of Douglas Fir.
11-11-2001, 09:51 PM
I'm not sure you're going to gain much going to a gaff on that boat. The sprit main in the plan is pretty high-peaked and has a boom. There is no reason that it shouldn't sail pretty well. It is somewhat unclear how much, if any, the bottom end of the sprit will interfere with the jib while tacking but there are a lot of boats set-up that way.
The gaff would be more complex, probably would benefit from having shrouds added and most likely needs a heavier mast with no taper from the partners up past the gaff jaws to keep the halyard tension and sailing loads from bending the mast. It is a different look, but I'm not sure it will make for a better sailing boat.
11-11-2001, 11:55 PM
So just where now did you learn more about boatbuilding and sailing than Sam Devlin?
11-12-2001, 05:41 AM
I, in no way mean any disrespect to Mr. Devlin. And I will also be checking with them before I make the change. I have already made some changes to the design that make it better suited to my needs, not a better boat. His plans try to accomidate a wide variety of people and skills. I am sure his design would sail beautifully. I have already been on line with several builders who love theirs. In his book he proclaims boatbuilding is an intuitive exersize. He has not taken offence to anything I have done, why should you. I teach my students to start thinking for themselves from the start (I teach woodworking and cabinetry at a local Tech school). Im sorry if I went off a little here, but the reason I am building is that I want something unique.
11-12-2001, 11:46 PM
Wolf, forget what Dale said.... the big difference you should be considering between gaff rig versus sprit rig is the weight aloft. Gaff rigs require proportionately much more equipment aloft than the sprit rig. If you really want to go to a gaff rig, I would suggest you contact Devlin and ask him for a reduced sail plan using a gaff rig. That is the trade-off you may have to make if you want to use a gaff rig. Alternatively, you might have to add ballast to offset the increased weight aloft.
Either way, you probably aren't the first adventurer to ask Sam Devlin for a gaff rig design for 'Nancy's China' so take your best shot and let us know how it comes out (translation.... pictures).
11-13-2001, 05:37 AM
Thanks PugetSound. The Weight aloft is something I hadnt thought about. And yes I do contact Devlin before any serious changes are made. They have been quite helpful.
Sorry about the rant. The 'you are not qualified to think' attitude really gets my goat.
Thaddeus J. Van Gilder
11-13-2001, 02:27 PM
Just remember, just because you have published a book doesn't mean that you know more than someone else, It just means that you are less lazy http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
11-13-2001, 11:15 PM
thaddeus j. - who published what?
AND - i'm sure lotsa people have modified rigs of lotsa vessels over time. ain't a sin.
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