Hello, guys, it's me again. Me and my little boat Melatelia, enduring a headache in preparations for the new sailing season once more. For those unaware, she's a 10' 7" pure sailer (no oars, except for emergency sculling), 48" on the beam, ultra light 3/16" ply stitch&glue construction - hull weights 66lbs, light enough to car-top single handed without any gear. There's no trailer, she's always car-topped. Off-season, she's stored in a small, cramped garage (workshop). Her current rig is my home-sewn balanced lug. 83 square feet, giving her a SA/D ratio of 30 when sailed single-handed (extra displacement allows for one passenger of female gender). All spars are made from pine, rectangular section, yard and boom are solid, 1.6"x2", both 118" long, tapered to 80% on the ends. Mast is hollow box section, 2.5" diameter, 0.6" walls, 158" long, tapered to 80% at the top. Here's a screenshot from my CAD program, and several photos from the latest regatta:
Though she wasn't designed a racer, the performance is superb, competitive with Lasers, 420's, 470's, even multihulls in light air. That part is pretty amazing for a $500 home-made. The problem is weight aloft. Rig is so incredibly heavy, that it feels like balancing a unicycle on a circus rope. If the boat capsizes, it is barely possible to right her back up by stepping on the daggerboard - the leverage of the rig is just too much. Even with the massive side flotation tanks, the cockpit is full of water afterwards. As much as I love the simplicity of the lug, the weight aloft makes it all very impractical. Also, storing that 157" mast is a constant headache. It can barely fit in my garage, and there's nowhere else to put it.
I am wondering if there is any alternative rig that I could use on the boat. The list of requirements is as follows:
1. At least 80 square feet of area (now, I know, I know, you'll say it's way too much for a boat this small, but believe me, 95% of the time, it is still undercanvased - in my country, winds are very light... Except when a sudden storm comes without a warning, so the rig must be sturdy enough too);
2. At least 3% lead - that is the lead on my lug sail, and I can tell it's borderline. Any less, and the weather helm will be too much.
3. No spar can exceed 157" - but frankly, I'd be much happier of all spars fit inside the boat - that puts the limit at 118". I can build joints if needed, but I'd like to avoid it on the mast (frankly, I REALLY want to re-use my current mast by shortening it... My budget isn't exactly ready for another mast).
4. Center of mass must be as low as possible. I can't stress this out enough.
5. Boom can't be lower than 17" above mast partner - any lower, and the front passenger will be unable to duck under during tacks.
6. Weatherliness... At least the same a lug can provide. I'm not asking more than that.
7. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity... This is a small boat, and I'd hate to spend more than 10 minutes rigging and un-rigging it each time... It would defeat the purpose.
Now, there are plenty of traditional rigs that meet most of the criteria, but the problem is getting that 80ft^2 sail area without moving CE too far back. Thing is, CLR is just 31" aft of the mast. So, it means that some of the sail area must be in front of the mast if I ever hope to get that sail area without making a towering mast (which is, by definition, heavy). My limited knowledge tells me that I'm left with lug, junk, lateen, or multi-sail rig. Lug, as I figured out now, requires spars that are just too heavy. Junk rig would be pretty much the same, plus a ton more lines to deal with. I hoped that boomless lateen might be the answer, but after making another thread on this forum, I realized that the resulting rig would be just as heavy. So, by my reasoning, I'm left with some kind of sloop rig. The simplest I can think of is peak sprit with a jib, for example, like this:
Sail area is 76 square feet, all spars are 118" long (I can re-use my current mast by shortening it), lead is 3%. I can up the sail area and move CE forward a bit if I use a 2-piece sprit pole. Center of mass is very low. Sprit sails are also said to be very weatherly, more so with the jib. The obvious downside is lack of simplicity. Handling two sails in a boat this small singlehanded might be a little over my capability, especially when launching and landing in foul weather.. Also, since the jib is boomless, it might create more weather helm than the mainsail, so maybe my 3% lead isn't enough... I don't know. This option doesn't fit all my requirements, but this is the closest I got on my own.
For those still reading... I would like to ask, if I may, could someone consult me and help me to choose a rig that would fill all these requirements? I'm hoping that I'm missing some simple and obvious solution due to my lack of knowledge and experience. If you want to make a sketch or something, here's an "empty" boat with just a 118" mast, and CLR marker. The long dashed line is just vertical extension of CLR for easier visualization. Short dashed line marks the 5% lead position... Ideally, CE should end up there. I can't get it that much forward while retaining that 80 square feet figure, and by gods, I must have it!
Thank you for your time... And I hope that the requirements I set for this rig aren't asking for the traditional addition of "does it have to circumnavigate too?"