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Thread: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

  1. #1
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    Default John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    I have a 2015 edition of John Leather's excellent book about gaff rig. However, at the top of chapter 6 there is a photo that seems to have been mis-printed. The caption says it's "A Thames hatch boat, Engraved by E. W. Cooke 1828. Note vangs to the gaff, sprit mizzen, and rudder yoke." But the photo only shows a portion of the topsail. Does anyone have a scan of the full photo from another edition of the book, or from somewhere else? I would love to see it, because the Mackinaw boat I am building shows a Boomless gaff foresail.
    Thanks,
    Ken

  2. #2
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    Default Re: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    In my 1970 edition the engraved illustration that goes with that caption (page 81) shows a vessel with no topsail set. In fact, she looks reefed down. However, the vangs to the gaff peak are visible in their entirety. If the illustration was cropped, so long as it shows the gaff peak and the doubling you wouldn't be missing anything of note.

    All that said, should I try and scan mine?

    Alex

  3. #3
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    Default Re: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    The image that you describe Alex is in here: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...20boat&f=false

    What exactly do you hope to learn from it Ken, bearing in mind that the Hatch boat/Peterboat/Bawley line have standing gaffs, so are more like a brailed spritsail than a gaffer.

    Lose footed gaff foresails are normally just that, with the sheet lead far enough aft as you would with a loose footed lug, and some of them were lug footed so that they overlapped the main mast.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    And if you do build it with a boomless gaff foresail, it isn't a bad idea to have some means of experimenting a bit with the sheet lead out on the water before you screw it down permanently if at all possible. The ideal angle and placement of the lead for a boomless sail or headsail can vary a bit with the cut and rigging of that particular sail. It's kind of a bummer to be out there thinking "Gee, I sure wish I had mounted that lead block (or track) six inches forward, aft, inboard, outboard, etc." (been there, done that).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    Thanks for the posts: to Nick, that link didn't work for me, error message that it was either unavailable or I had reached my viewing limit. So if someone could send a jpg that would be fab. To the other replies, I want to try the Boomless sail for the same reason I am building the boat, to see how it behaves and what the old dudes were up against. I suspect they did it mostly to leave the wet well area clear to work, which is not my situation, obviously. Opinions differ about the overlap of the Boomless sail. Some say that the overlap makes a slot effect as is often discussed with a jib, others say that the slot effect is over-rated and a pain. It seems clear that the lack of a boom will make it harder to control the swing of the gaff, especially off the wind, hence my interest in a gaff vang. Yes, I agree about the sheeting angle, and I don't know what to do about it except rig up a bridle between a couple attachment points and mess around. The under side of the side decks will be accessible, so I will be able to put cleats or ring bolts wherever I want. A track would not be appropriate on this boat. I have found that it is fairly easy to score used Marconi sails from racers who are getting new sails and my plan is to hack a large main off at the head & sew in a gaff attachment to have some no cost rags to experiment with before I pop for a real suit of "clothes."

    thanks,

    Ken

  6. #6
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    Default Re: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbowen View Post
    Thanks for the posts: to Nick, that link didn't work for me, error message that it was either unavailable or I had reached my viewing limit. So if someone could send a jpg that would be fab.
    Ken
    I got the same message, scrolled down then back up and the page had loaded. The image showed the complete ship.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    Quote Originally Posted by ulav8r View Post
    I got the same message, scrolled down then back up and the page had loaded. The image showed the complete ship.
    Thames hatch boat.jpg

  8. #8
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    Default Re: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    Hatch boats evolved into these


    Bawley.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: John Leather / Boomless Gaff?

    Seems so easily to reef..

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