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Thread: Gunter vs balance lug performance

  1. #1
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    Default Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Hi Guys,
    Iím currently working on an 15í Oughtred Gannet in glued ply and am torn between these two rigs: 120 sq. ft. gunter/jib vs. 89 sq. ft. balance lug. Iíve read tons of stuff about the convenience of the lug and, since this boat will be trailered, that would be nice. Also nice to have no standing rigging to build. My concern is a loss in performance. Iíd love to hear from those with experience in both rigs. Should the decrease in sail area be an issue? Underpowered? Any help would be great.

    Steve Zicree

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Where will you be sailing? What will your auxiliary power be -- oars or outboard? Usually singlehanding?

    The lug will be easier all around, but yes there's potentially less canvas for really light airs. Often the simple rigs are significantly safer as well as quicker to rig and easier to operate -- less to go wrong.

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Boat will be sailed in very small lake and also inside breakwater in Long Beach, Ca. Mostly singlehand. Oars only.

    Steve Zicree

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    "performance" can be a very personal thing. I have sailed with both rigs, be it on different hulls. I do like balanced lug for its simplicity, and they can perform well when set up right. The extra luff length of a gunter yard should in theory give better performance up wind, but the yard usually blows off the same as a lug yard. The small increase in slot effect from a jib is the one thing going for it, and a mainsail that might not flog you or beat you over the side when attempting a quick sail drop or reef. The past few years i have only been using single sails, and do not miss the jib.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I'd say that the lugsail with two sets of reef points would be your best choice. Without a mizzen you'll probably be dropping the whole sail bundle to reef while on the water, which is easier than struggling with gunter and jib to reef. If you later decide that you need more sail you can always get a bigger lugsail to use on a taller mast, but might find yourself sailing with one reef in a lot of the time.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    From a sailmaker's perspective, it's a lot easier to get it "right" (sets properly and gives good all round performance in a variety of conditions) with the lug than it is with a one-off gunter. The combination of two different luff angles, two different mast flex ratios (sometimes even three if the topmast section is whippy up high) and the parts being held in position mostly just by a hunk of rope just isn't a great formula for consistent performance. If you're building ten of them over a period of time and get a chance to study the performance and make needed adjustments to your building plan, that's one thing, but expecting to end up with the same sail on a one shot gunter is quite another situation and not likely to be nearly as successful.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Peerie Maa has a sliding gunter, but I am seriously considering copying her original cotton mainsail as a gunter lug, like this one:
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Peerie Maa has a sliding gunter, but I am seriously considering copying her original cotton mainsail as a gunter lug, like this one:
    Nick - Isn't the rig in the photo what is normally called a folding gunter, as opposed to a sliding gunter? I wouldn't call it a lug as the spar doesn't cross the mast, but rather a gaff if I had to not call it a folding gunter.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunter
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Nick - Isn't the rig in the photo what is normally called a folding gunter, as opposed to a sliding gunter? I wouldn't call it a lug as the spar doesn't cross the mast, but rather a gaff if I had to not call it a folding gunter.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunter
    The gunter lug is a standing lug sail with single halyard hooked to a mast traveller but cut so that the yard is peaked well up. That is why the camera angle disguises the amount of sail forward of the mast. You will see that no mast hoops not lacing are fitted to the luff as there would be with a sliding or folding gunter.
    Some better pictures


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

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    You can brail that lug or rig some lazy jacks to pull the sail rig and boom up to the mast up while you row. Spars will stow easily and it will rig in minutes, unstayed. Plenty of power and simple for the area you mentioned.

    IMG_3172.jpg

    John's SWEET DREAMS Penobscot 14 sailed with plenty of power, we were impressed with the rig.

    IMG_5840.jpg
    Last edited by signalcharlie; 02-12-2019 at 10:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    A nice shot showing the difference between a gunter and a standing lug....



    Great pics Nick.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Steve,

    The balanced lug area looks fine to me. As a trailer boat, you would be right to focus on rigging speed. You will steal a few more evening sails after work with an unstayed balanced lug rig. If you have a stressfull day job and you go sailing to relax and see the coastline, you will probably prefer it. Its also relatively well mannered in a gybe. It will produce its power most efficiently on a reach when you might get your Gannet planing. We had a trailered gunter Tammie Norrie, Gannet and Tirrik and I would probably have swapped the gunter for a balanced lug if I could have clicked my fingers: there was always a bit of a tangle before launching, and with experience also of balanced lugs, I knew my afternoon didn't have to be that way. Most people will also prefer to have just one sail to deal with in a tack or to trim.

    On the downside, the balanced lug shown doesn't look like it could have stays. Maybe it the forestay will just clear the yard? While unstayed is quick to rig, it does detract performance still further. There is no taughtness to it, the mast will be bending, affecting sail trim, usually in negative ways. Myself I don't like unstayed balanced lugs, as it's always felt like sailing a washing line. Though that may have reflected the unstyaed masts I have experience of to date (a few canoes and several Wolstenholme Coots). I'd concentrate on building a stiff mast if I did. Plenty of others are Ok with them.

    My current 15ft boat is a gunter - jib as I keep it in a dingy park next to the water. I have no rigging or un rigging other than lifting the jib and yard. On the plus side, the shrouds mean I can have a lighter mast than otherwise, it holds sail shape very well, and the jib increases efficiency, bending air around to the main. I have greater luff length, so i have more length of sail where the negative pressure develops when working upwind. That greater total negative pressure mean I get a faster boat to windward and a tighter pointing angle. The apparent wind hits me in the face, on a balanced lug its more in your ears. There is probably 10-15 degrees in it. Its noticeable. Even a slack half arsed old bermudan will point better than a racing balanced lug tuned to an inch of its life. But a balanced lug will work more than well enough and you are not likely to race another Gannet or probably be that bothered. If you had to work to windward regularly as part of your cruising, the higher VMG to windward can be advantageous and get you out of tide or around promontories or make leaving crowded narrow rivers easier without so much tacking. Having a rig attached to the mast also offers me an on the fly adjustable outhaul - so I can flatten or make full my sail. Flattening a sail is under rated and is as good as a reef. Combined with a decent kicker you really have good control of camber and twist. The main downside for me is also having to deal with the jib sheets in a tack and when trimming the boat, sailing solo. If you are going a distance, it's not such a big deal, but if your short tacking and messing about in a narrow river, a single sail, is a more enjoyable afternoon. Technically the jib also puts the mast slightly further back which is better and when the main is reefed you keep luff length and the center of effort doesn't change much. With a jib and genoa option, with a gunter main you have pretty good options and performance. I think a bermudan main has less spar weight aloft over a gunter under full sail, but as it reefs, the spars lower in a gunter which is preferable. Also left on a mooring, a gunter's short lower mast reduces windage, but you wouldn't leave a Gannet on a mooring probably. With the stays you could also run a small spinnaker on the gunter version if you were up for the challenge.

    If you're stressed at work and go sailing to relax, you'll probably be happy with the lug, if you're bored at work and go looking for a bit of stress at weekends (dinghy racing mentality) or usually sail with a crew you will get rewards from the gunter - it is literally more highly strung. It can be a pleasure getting performance out of a rig, knowing that you sweated the details and made it point is a technical challenge that rewards time, effort and money. I don't race around the cans, but like everyone else, two boats within eye shot of each other, there is always a race for speed and pointing on!

    On the design displacement side, the Gannet will be designed for two. Solo, at reduced displacement it will be a bit more flighty, though with a round planing bottom still stable enough. The lower area of the lug is probably a better match solo, the greater area on the gunter for two people, but that depends on your prevailing wind conditions and when you prefer to go out. Mines a bit less, 11.5 sqm total/ 6ft beam/ non planing round bilge hull - and can hold it fine into the 20-25 knots solo at 90kg with the rig controls. A Gannet hull should be stiffer so you'd probably manage the gunter area OK.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 02-13-2019 at 06:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    As above, unstayed masts need to be stiffer than unstayed, so you usually end up with a bit more weight aloft -- but a MUCH easier setup and takedown, combined with the option to easily unship the mast in extreme conditions.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Much useful information about rigging a lug for optimal performance at this link:

    https://www.storerboatplans.com/tuni...ent-lug-sails/

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Steve,

    The balanced lug area looks fine to me. As a trailer boat, you would be right to focus on rigging speed. You will steal a few more evening sails after work with an unstayed balanced lug rig. If you have a stressfull day job and you go sailing to relax and see the coastline, you will probably prefer it. Its also relatively well mannered in a gybe. It will produce its power most efficiently on a reach when you might get your Gannet planing. We had a trailered gunter Tammie Norrie, Gannet and Tirrik and I would probably have swapped the gunter for a balanced lug if I could have clicked my fingers: there was always a bit of a tangle before launching, and with experience also of balanced lugs, I knew my afternoon didn't have to be that way. Most people will also prefer to have just one sail to deal with in ...........
    Edward pretty much sums up my thoughts on this. The Marconi sloop or gunter sloop versions will almost always do better to windward. If your general sailing includes a lot of local racing, or you just have to include a lot of close windward work, this is probably the best option. If you have a chance to relax just a little, the lug sail should perform a little better on most other points of sail from close reaching to broad reaching. It will be easier to handle in most situations, with less strings etc.
    The difference will not be huge in either case. Both rig choices will do both types of sailing.
    I'd also consider a fully battened sail...sort of like an old 'bat wing' canoe sail with a hint of 'fat head' new agey stuff. This includes some of the advantage of the lower area of the lug sail with less healing, with a more efficient windward sail. The presence of the battens helps keep the sail behaving... This is not a huge thing in a small sail.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Perhaps I shouldn't muddy the water but how 'bout a standing lug?

    I've never sailed a Gunter but my 11-1/2 foot Summer Breeze uses a 63 sq. ft standing lug sail with a sprit boom and I had a short-lived Bolger Featherwind ( 12 dollar a sheet underlayment doesn't make a long-lived boat) that I rigged with a 100 sq. ft. balanced lug sail.

    Of the two rigs, I think I prefer the standing lug with sprit boom. I find it fast to rig, easier to reef than the balanced lug, the sprit boom really does tame the sail and the sheeting force is nothing. And I might be kidding myself but I think the standing lug is a little closer winded than the balanced lug.

    I believe that Bolger wrote that a balanced lug rig was as good as a gaff rig but simpler, in small sizes anyway.

    My Featherwind was about 16 feet and 120 pounds, not to dissimilar from the size and weight of your boat I imagine. The 100 sq. ft. balanced lug rig was to big for her and I all but flipped her over a time or two, but it sure drifted well in light airs. Once I blasted downwind under full sail for many miles as the wind increased and the chop grew, exalting in leaving all my friends far behind in their much more pretentious boats. But when I decided I'd had enough I found out that I was in trouble! The wind was so strong I had to not only lower the sail but throw the mast overboard before I could tame the boat and row it ashore.

    image084.jpg

    So an 89 sq. foot balanced lug sail sounds about right for your boat, unless you live in a light wind area.


    This is the 63 sq. ft. standing lug with sprit boom on my smaller boat before I added a line of much needed reef points


    sailing 088.jpg

    You don't have to be as cheap as I am, but these are simple to rig.

    sailing 094.jpg

    I find the self-vanging properties of the sprit boom are better than those of the balanced lugger, and the sprit boom give better control of the sail. You can adjust the snotter to flatten the sail in higher winds or slacken it a bit for light airs. When you reef, just let the sprit stick out front a bit more. Loose the snotter and drop the sprit entirely and the sail will flap but it's pretty much tamed no mater what. Much easier than dealing with the jiffy reef and lazy jack lines that I found I needed on the balanced lug rig. The sprit boom itself can be quite light and easy to handle. Mine is just a cedar stick.

    Most folk I sail with beach their small sailboats to reef, and I found it best to do that to with the balanced lug, but I never bother to with the standing lug sail.

    If you live in a light wind area I'd think about a 100 sq.ft. lug sail of one type of the other and be sure I knew how to reef well. I'd never bother with the gunter and jib in such a small boat, unless messing about with the rig was part of the reason you're building the boat in the first place.

    No need for a stayed mast in such a small size! My masts are cedar saplings. A bit thick perhaps but very light and I've never noticed any bending, except in really fierce winds when I should have been reefed or not sailing at all!

    Just sayin'

    I'm sure you'll have fun with whatever rig you go with!

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I have an un-stayed CLC Eastport pram with a lug rig and a gunter-sloop rigged CLC Passagemaker pram. The lug is much easier to rig, but the gunter points considerably better. The additional rigging time is worth it for me since it only adds a few minutes to rig and de-rig over a multiple hour sail. The real thing that slows me down both before and after the sail is the number of people that stop me and ask about the boats. That has easily taken up to an hour out of my day.

    My standing rigging is Dyneema with Wichard snaps, a soft shackle and a tension adjuster. With that being said, the pointing ability may be due to the jib and not the mainsail type, so a lug with a jib combo would probably point better, but then you're looking at a stayed rig again. Sorry about the pics being sideways...

    IMG_6808.JPG

    IMG_6750.jpg

    sail5.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by CaptainSkully; 02-17-2019 at 02:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    ^That is hardly like with like. The luff of that gunter is taller than the entire standing lug rig.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I chose the gunter rig for my Whilly Tern and got lucky with my home grown sails, they set very nicely and she points well above the lug boats I sail with. Yes, more string and stays, but I have optimised the set up to about ten minutes from arriving at the slip.
    The mast is little different from the lug option and one still has a yard and boom, as the lug. I made them all in birdsmouth. Not tricky or time consuming.
    Now, if doing it again, I would probably go for the lug, but, back then, I had never sailed one but I did have a little gunter GRP boat the was a lot of fun.

    If brisk, I forget the jib. If not, I have a ply board that locks onto the c/board case with fairleads and jamcleats for s/handing. Crew, just hang onto the sheets.

    Most of the photos of Iain, show him in the gunter option, since he like winning..

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    ^That is hardly like with like. The luff of that gunter is taller than the entire standing lug rig.
    Huh? I'm not talking about relative speed, I'm only talking about pointing ability. The size of the rig doesn't come into play.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSkully View Post
    Huh? I'm not talking about relative speed, I'm only talking about pointing ability. The size of the rig doesn't come into play.
    Pointing ability is a feature of foil efficiency. Aspect ratio and so on.
    Dan McCosh
    10-01-2007, 06:31 PM

    Taking the question literally--that is how high you can point, rather than how fast you can get to windward, the answer is to look at the factors influencing lift and drag for the two foils (sail and keel) as well as the hull drag. You need to minimize drag and maximize lift. Oddly, the slower the boat, the higher you can point, due to the issue of changing the relative wind angle due to boat speed.

    P.I. Stazzer-Newt
    10-01-2007, 07:33 PM

    The Lift-to-Drag ratio of the sail(s) and the Lift-to-drag ratio of the underwater form.

    These two factors define the ability to go to weather.

    Taller the rig, no matter what shape, the more efficient. Short fat like that standing lug will stall out later but shed huge inefficient draggy tip vortices.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Taller the rig, no matter what shape, the more efficient. Short fat like that standing lug will stall out later but shed huge inefficient draggy tip vortices.
    I don't understand what you mean by "more efficient".
    More actual drive per sail area? Closer winded?

    As far as I know, the taller the sail the better they work in light airs, because sticking that sail up just a little higher catches what little breeze there is.

    On the other hand, with a shorter four sided sail one can spread a great deal more area for a given mast height - As with that 100 sq. ft. sail I showed which is set on a mast only 12 feet tall! That thing on that light boat ghosted better than anything else I've ever come across, tall or short mast.

    Given adequate wind and good sail geometry, I'n not sure a tall sail is naturally closer winded than a shorter sail.

    I consider lug sails very efficient - They spread much more sail on a low, unstayed mast, everything can be easily home-made for very little coin, setup is a snap and they sail fine. That says efficiency to me. Less rigging and expense per given sail area is efficient.

    But yes, I'm sure the Gunter with a jib is a little closer winded of the two types, if that is important. Downwind or on a reach, I'm quite sure a single big Lugger of equal area would be faster.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    I don't understand what you mean by "more efficient".
    More actual drive per sail area? Closer winded?

    As far as I know, the taller the sail the better they work in light airs, because sticking that sail up just a little higher catches what little breeze there is.

    On the other hand, with a shorter four sided sail one can spread a great deal more area for a given mast height - As with that 100 sq. ft. sail I showed which is set on a mast only 12 feet tall! That thing on that light boat ghosted better than anything else I've ever come across, tall or short mast.

    Given adequate wind and good sail geometry, I'n not sure a tall sail is naturally closer winded than a shorter sail.

    I consider lug sails very efficient - They spread much more sail on a low, unstayed mast, everything can be easily home-made for very little coin, setup is a snap and they sail fine. That says efficiency to me. Less rigging and expense per given sail area is efficient.

    But yes, I'm sure the Gunter with a jib is a little closer winded of the two types, if that is important. Downwind or on a reach, I'm quite sure a single big Lugger of equal area would be faster.
    Compare the wings of a glider with some air craft with a big fan on front, or those of an albatross with a swan and the amount of work they each have to do to get and stay airborne. Long slender foils are more efficient and will work at a lower angle of attack than short and stubby.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Pointing ability is a feature of foil efficiency. Aspect ratio and so on.

    Taller the rig, no matter what shape, the more efficient. Short fat like that standing lug will stall out later but shed huge inefficient draggy tip vortices.
    Yes, yes... I understand all that. I'm a Mechanical Engineer with a background in aerospace (e.g. Euler & Bernoulli, etc.). My response to you was concerning the fact that you implied that I was comparing my two boats "like with like" when obviously the two boats are completely different. I was just sharing my general experiences with the two different rigs to try and help the OP.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I think you're saying that a long slender foil produces more lift than a wider foil of equal area and would thus be a more efficient sail for a given size?

    Actually, my understanding is that at the really low Reynolds numbers that sail boats actually work at the optimal airfoil is a single surface of wider shape.
    Think of hang gliders and perhaps insect wings which operate in airs speeds a little closer to what sailboats do, as compared to the gliders you're thinking about. Such gliders with long, narrow airfoils land at around 60 miles per hour or better! They are in no way low speed foils and do not compare directly to sailboats. Unless you sail in 60 mph winds all the time, anyway.

    Anyway, I think it's just that my definition of "efficiency" as applied to sailboat sails has more to do with least heeling force, sophisticated material and cost needed to drive a boat, rather than theoretical optimum airfoil shape.

    For decades I worked as a project engineer at a systems integration company. My designs have always stressed mud simple and dirt cheap solutions for any given application. My home is a small, low-cost, simple off-grid straw bale cottage designed and built by myself. By contrast the chief engineer I worked under designed and built a 5,000 sq.ft. monstrosity of a home with unbelievable features - That will never be finished. His engineering designs were always expensive, super complex and complicated to operate and in my view, very "inefficient."

    We always produced our best systems when we managed to put our egos aside and work together, and met somewhere in the middle!

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    The Sliding Gunter:
    A versatile Traditional Sailing Rig
    by David Nichols
    www.arrowheadboats.com Traditional sails can be a very efficient, low tech engine for your boat. In fact, in some cases, a traditional sail can be better suited to your particular boat than the standard jib headed Bermuda rig.
    The Sliding Gunter is a traditional rig that has always been more popular in Europe than on this side of the Atlantic, but it’s hard to find a better sailing rig for small boats. One of the main advantages of the Gunter is the use of a mast and vertical spar to achieve the same mast height and sail area as the Bermuda rig would set. This means the un-stepped mast and all the spars can fit inside the boat when under oar power or traveling on a trailer.

    Figure 1a

    figure 1b
    (click thumbnails to enlarge)
    Many whale boats—a real study in efficiency—used the Sliding Gunter, particularly in the Azores. The whalers found a long mast hanging over the end of the boat was not an asset when attached to several tons of a very angry whale. Also, stepping and un-stepping a shorter mast was easier and faster for the whalers and that, of course, applies to the recreational boater, as well. Yet all this convenience and ease comes in the same size and shape as the Bermuda sail.
    The sail is convenient but is it fast? Yes, according to Jeremy Howard-Williams in Small Boat Sails. He found that wind tunnel tests showed the Gunter was as fast on the wind as the Bermuda and actually faster off the wind. Also, C.A. Marchaj in Sail Power gives the Gunter very high marks for aerodynamic shape and lower induced drag. According to Marchaj, the Gunter achieves the same effect as the Bermuda with a bending mast. But the Gunter does it without all the high-tech gear that comes with a bending mast Bermuda. This allows the Gunter sailor to get high-tech results with low-tech gear...



    Figure 2
    Detractors of the Gunter rig are quick to point out that the yard falls off from the mast on a beat to the wind, creating turbulent air flow and is therefore slower than the Bermudian sail. The debate on this can be complicated with both sides quoting data to make each case. Perhaps the main question the builder must ask is “Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?” And an understanding that choosing any sailing rig is always giving up an advantage to gain another.
    One of the main advantages of the Gunter rig doesn’t become obvious until the sail is reefed. Then the spar comes down as well and brings its weight with it. The photos in figures 1a and 1b illustrates how this not only maintains a low center of effort for the sail, but also eliminates the extra weight of the mast aloft. This has a very positive effect on a boat in strong winds.


    Way more info can be seen here--

    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/04/...nter/index.htm

    I wouldn't mind rigging the boat that way at all, a tall Gunter with a sprit boom, but no jib. Just put the extra area into the main sail, and reef as needed. But then, I'm a fan of sprit booms and simple rigs in general. I just don't see the need for a complicated stayed rig on a small, simple boat.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Etdbob View Post
    I think you're saying that a long slender foil produces more lift than a wider foil of equal area and would thus be a more efficient sail for a given size?

    Actually, my understanding is that at the really low Reynolds numbers that sail boats actually work at the optimal airfoil is a single surface of wider shape.
    If that is true, why this:

    Short and wide is fine for running and OK for reaching but no better at running than tall and narrow of the same area.
    Short fat wings on aircraft are for manoeuvrability (low moment of inertia) and for convenience during take off and on the ground. I doubt that a long narrow glider wing would be at all manageable as a hang glider, para glider wings are more slender within structural constraints than conventional hang gliders, so I suggest that you are thinking about the wrong attributes.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I've tried just about every kind of small boat rig imaginable, and, defining "performance" as "suitability for the intended use", I find that there are very clear choices to be made. For a racer with rules around sail area, but that allows extras such as a spinnaker on the reaching and downwind legs, then a jib and triangular main, both of high aspect ratios, will win. But for all around knockabout use in a small boat, I've come to love the balanced lugsail, and have, with tuning and refinement been able to seriously raise the eyebrows of a lot of people who have not seen one that is properly set up.

    Racing? A good trick would be to have the two boats on the beach with the rigs down, and have a race from that state, rig, launch, sail a short course of say half an hour, then back to the beach and unrig. Thats a race that would be consistent with many peoples short sail after work.
    The balanced lug on an unstayed mast would in most cases win hands down.

    A comment though, a while back a lovely little 18 ft gaff sloop came into my possession, and I've just returned from a week away in company with three other small boats, and my "Spook" has the legs on all of them, upwind and down. The catch is that she is a mission to rig and un.
    Win some, lose some.

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I've come to regard slowness as a nice attribute in a sailboat. You don't have to tack and jibe nearly so often. And when it comes time to turn, being able to leave the sheets to themselves is a dream. This after years with high-aspect rigs under many hundreds of pounds tension in them and jibs that require powerful winches and sometimes a bit of sweat to trim out properly. OK, so the boat can hit 15 knots, but where are we going in such a hurry, after all?

    If the sailing is in lakes and harbors and there's no race on, as John says -- what's appropriate to the intended use? Or I would add, appropriate to the mind state of the skipper. The balanced lug is the choice for a relaxed and agreeable afternoon. Main and jib are for those who are looking for that sports car feel, how much speed can we squeeze out of this little boat? I already have one boat with a balanced lug, and a second one is in the works.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I've never warmed to the gunter rig - ever since as a kid sailing mirrors.
    It strikes me as a bermudan rig pointlessly complicated. (unless you have bridges to negotiate maybe).

    Lug is nice and simple. Unstayed; easy to rig quickly.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    If the sailing is in lakes and harbors and there's no race on, as John says -- what's appropriate to the intended use? Or I would add, appropriate to the mind state of the skipper. The balanced lug is the choice for a relaxed and agreeable afternoon. Main and jib are for those who are looking for that sports car feel, how much speed can we squeeze out of this little boat? I already have one boat with a balanced lug, and a second one is in the works.
    I agree (almost) completely--but let's not forget about the standing lug, just as simple as the balance lug. And if boomless (not an option with balance lugsails), you can make it just a little bit simpler in some ways and still move ok.

    Tom
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I have both a gunter and several lugs of different sizes. I like the lugs, but hands down the apples to apples win is the lug with mizzen. When you want to ghost with a lot of sail area, or when you need to claw to windward--the mizzen really adds a great dimension to a lug.
    Re-naming straits as necessary.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I agree (almost) completely--but let's not forget about the standing lug, just as simple as the balance lug. And if boomless (not an option with balance lugsails), you can make it just a little bit simpler in some ways and still move ok.

    Tom
    Just so.
    Working fishermen used it to make their living.
    Victorian yachties (look in Dixon Kemp for complex gadgets) developed the balance lug alongside bat wing and sort of junk rigs for their canoes.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    I've always thought of the difference between high and low aspect sails as being related to the difference between horsepower and torque. A low aspect sail generates a lot of torque for moving heavy boats, maximizing ability to do work. A high aspect sail maximizes speed. I expect to be arrested by the engineers for this, but I think of it as being comparable to using a big diesel in a truck and an over-square high revving motor in an MC. Different powerplants for different jobs.

    IOW.... the most efficient sail isn't always the most efficient sail for every particular job. A high aspect sail is most efficient, but probably not for moving a work boat.
    Last edited by lagspiller; 02-18-2019 at 06:08 AM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Gunter vs balance lug performance

    The considerations are endless. Bolger often pointed out that if you spread the canvas out low, you can carry more.

    I think the square sail/ diesel analogy is apt. I've had modest spritsails that could produce surprising power.
    -Dave

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