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Thread: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

  1. #1
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    Default A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    I'm closing in on finishing my Shellback dinghy build (I want to wrap it up before my 40th birthday this May so I can celebrate in style).

    I've read comments here and there that the sail is a bit small (54 sq ft for an 11 ft dinghy). We have chronically light air in the summer here in Ottawa, so it might make sense to beef this up a bit if it's practical & sensible to do so.

    Wouldn't even know where to start on such a project though, or how it would work. Would the mast grow taller? That would surely cost stability. Would the sail extend further forward and aft of the mast? Would a different rake or mast step position be required?

    Anyway, bit of an idle question at this point. If there was a fairly clear approach to increase the sail area a bit, I might go for it. Or, if there was a way to substantially increase the sail size, perhaps I could make a second rig for light air...

    Then again, maybe I'll learn to love rowing.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Depending on the rig you have, a topsail on its own spar may be an option. That way the extra weight of the spar will only affect the stability when you use the topsail.

    /Mats
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm not a robot by Marina and the diamonds

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    When I built an 11 foot Oughtred Acorn Skiff I decided to go for the 15 footer sail. Iain suggested moving the mast forward one station, which I did and it worked out perfectly. I think all four sides of the sail are a bit bigger, it's a lug rig. And of course with the bigger sail area it's a bit tippier. The standard sail probably would have been fine.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    FWIW WB Issue 157 has articles about topsails for peapods (which are a bit bigger than a Shellback) but the rig is worth looking at for ideas.
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?


    I'd consider a taller mast with an additional foot on the hoist of the sail and a foot deep reef to return it to a heavier weather sail at need.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    where in the area are you sailing? I've got a shellback, but have only just recently moved (back) to Ottawa, so I have not sailed her much here. that said... I've taken her out a few times on the St Lawrence (down by Cornwall) and had no desire for more sail, AND a couple times sailing even further down river in Québec where I wished I had a second reef point to put in... (ok that was silly, and the tiller cheeks broke... but what an awesome sail it was) also had her out a couple times near Carlton place last fall, and didn't lament the smaller sail...

    if you were not itching for a May finish date, I volunteer to play guinea pig and provide you some feedback from this coming summer's sailing in whatever body of water you'll be using... I'll be splashing her a lot in Muskrat Lake (up by Cobden) this spring/summer... never sailed there before, so I'm hoping the wind is steady and moderate. (little kids prefer lighter winds and less hell anyway)

    if you do decide to have a larger sail... don't skimp on the reef point (s)...


    Andrew

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Thanks for the input all.

    Sailor's Brother: I'll probably be mostly sailing on the Ottawa river, but I'll take the boat down to Kingston and the Thousand Islands a bit too. And up to Riviere de Lievre. Cool that you're in town. We should go sailing together sometime!

    Anyway, I'll try it out with the standard rig this summer and if I think I want more drive, I'll look into beefing it up for next year. (Probably be on to the next boat by then anyway!) I like the topsail idea. I'll definitely check that out!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    You might also consider using the Pooduck mainsail rig, also by Joel White at 65 sq.ft. The Pooduck is a slightly larger version of his Shellback: https://www.woodenboatstore.com/prod..._Pooduck_Skiff https://www.sailrite.com/Poo-Duck-Sk...-Main-Sail-Kit
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    I had a buddy put a topsl sloop rig on an 8 footer,3 sails.
    Thing is, it had no halyards. When he wanted to reef, he took the mast out and laid it down on the boat and un tied the top or the jib. Then popped the rig back up. Then...vice versa.
    It was freakin ridiculous but he worked it pretty well and was cool looking.Kicked my nutt regularly.
    (he was a young dude)


    edit,
    BUTT,,,he kicked my butt regularly.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamarthurryan View Post
    Thanks for the input all.

    Sailor's Brother: I'll probably be mostly sailing on the Ottawa river, but I'll take the boat down to Kingston and the Thousand Islands a bit too. And up to Riviere de Lievre. Cool that you're in town. We should go sailing together sometime!

    Anyway, I'll try it out with the standard rig this summer and if I think I want more drive, I'll look into beefing it up for next year. (Probably be on to the next boat by then anyway!) I like the topsail idea. I'll definitely check that out!

    Rivière du Lièvre, you keep sailing south from there (and a couple/ 10 km of portage) and you'll run into me... no getting tanbark sails or I might walk off with yours ;-)


    Andrew

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Love the idea of the topsail rig. Have to try it out some day!

    Andrew - I'll keep an eye out for you if I ever decide to shoot the dam at Bowman. And I'll keep an eye on my sails too.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamarthurryan View Post
    Love the idea of the topsail rig. Have to try it out some day!

    Andrew - I'll keep an eye out for you if I ever decide to shoot the dam at Bowman. And I'll keep an eye on my sails too.
    the topsail comment got me thinking and trying to imagine how a topsail would work on a shellback... the yard goes to within a couple inches of the top of the mast... so you'd need some means of increasing the height of the mast...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Something like this?
    https://digitaltmuseum.se/0110242689.../media?slide=0
    This is how we'd traditionally rig a topsail above a spritsail here.

    /Mats
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm not a robot by Marina and the diamonds

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Or this
    tremanning.jpg
    The top sprit sails are laced to their own spars and the sprit is set before hoisting them.

    /Mats
    Yes the avatar depicts me; yes I drew the comic boat pic, it's a joke on the pop song I'm not a robot by Marina and the diamonds

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Call or e-mail Woodenboat Magazine and ask for a reprint of the article in issue 157, pp 14-15 which show how William Garden added a topsail to a 15' peapod's sprit rig. It's detailed, easy to follow and quite simple.
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A bigger sail plan for the Shellback dinghy?

    Quote Originally Posted by mohsart View Post
    Something like this?
    https://digitaltmuseum.se/0110242689.../media?slide=0
    This is how we'd traditionally rig a topsail above a spritsail here.

    /Mats
    This is what I pictured in my mind... but now the most important question of all... Do I have enough clear grained spruce for it...

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