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Thread: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

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    Default Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    I've been working from home for 3 months, so I have taken the opportunity to build Gary Dierking's 24' Wa'Apa sailing canoe. I'm almost done with both hulls as I plan to mostly use it as a catamaran and I'm starting to gather material for the sail rig. I have never even been on a sailboat (while it was sailing), but do have a great deal of experience on the water. I've done a lot of reading, but there's only so much that can be understood without first hand experience. I do like the sound of a lug or sprit sail. I think I need about 100 sq ft of mainsail area and 50 sq ft of job.

    Since this is a catamaran and the mast will be between the hulls, I have to use a stayed mast. What I'm worried about is the mast stays interfering with my sail rig. What should I consider to avoid any problems here? Any input whatsoever will be appreciated. Yes, I could email Gary, and may still, but as someone who spends most of his day answering clueless people's emails, I hate adding to email load.



    This is a rare photo of me actually wearing a shirt working on the boat.
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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    I'll chime in here first.

    I would strongly suggest that email to Gary. Heck, you may not be the first one to have asked him this and he may already have a well thought out reply waiting in the wings.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    I do like lug rigs but putting an unstayed mast on a catamaran is probably more trouble than it's worth and stays would interfere with it for sure. Best to go with a more conventional sail plan. I know in my area there are often complete rigs with sails for sale with or without an unusable hull and just about every type of rig has been used on the Wa'apas. Do write me if you want to talk more.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Take a look at what Rob Denny is encouraging the Marshal Islanders to do with their lateen rigs on flat bottom double hulls...hat I am talking about can be found in about +- the second to last page of the thread.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    If you come up with a plan I would definitely contact the designer. Every designer Iíve ever contacted has been more than helpful. Itís considerate to do all the research you can on your own. No one wants to receive a question that could have been answered by a five minute google search.

    Sails and rigging are really expensive. I would look at adapting an existing rig. The Hobie 14 has a rig of 148 ft2. The Hobie 16 is much more common and around 200 ft2. You could probably buy a complete Hobie 16 with decent sails and mast and beat up hulls for less than the cost of good custom sail.

    Ive heard good things about these guys for inexpensive sails.
    https://www.intensitysails.com/saforho16.html

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Jfitzger,

    You know that the designer answered twice before your post?
    Dierking

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Stupid mistake on my part. I got distracted looking up all the Dierking boats I could find. I’ve always had a fascination with Polynesian watercraft.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Get his book, its a good read if you're interested in Polynesian boats.
    Reasonable price.

    You could even build one from it.

    I was considering the Ulua - still am.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Get his book, its a good read if you're interested in Polynesian boats.
    Reasonable price.

    You could even build one from it.

    I was considering the Ulua - still am.
    "Polynesian boats" sounds a bit weird, excepting where the wa'Apa is concerned, because the original was more boaty than ethnic canoe, in that it was box section with a transom to take an OB motor.....Gary has produced it as a slab-side double ender, so Polynesian might be apt if a Polynesian rig was chosen, but he seems to be suggesting a Micronesian rig, if his facebook video link posted in #6 is anything to go by.
    Shunting in the Polynesian sense is another option for the OP to consider and would IMO be the sensible option for a craft of the size he has.
    Wharram started out with a pair of slab-side flat bottomed canoes of this size when he made his first Atlantic crossing. This was rigged catamaran style, as Gary is suggesting, but with the split rig (as WHarram used), is sort of getting on the right track toward the ethnic Polynesian shunting double canoe rather than a fully westernized type or catamaran, which is what you get when plonking a second hand beach-cat alloy sparred rig onto a lash-up.
    With a Polynesian split rig there is the possibility of carrying a decent spread of sail.
    Last edited by Lugalong; 05-23-2020 at 06:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Well personally I'd recommend a square rigged 3 masted rig with a code 0 for windward work.
    That way you don't have to split hairs between Polynesian and Micronesian or a thousand different variations over multiple generational developments.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Well personally I'd recommend a square rigged 3 masted rig with a code 0 for windward work.
    That way you don't have to split hairs between Polynesian and Micronesian or a thousand different variations over multiple generational developments.
    Be interesting to hear what Gary has to say about something as complicated as that.
    If the OP has any interest in a simple solution that was last seen working in Polynesia as far back as Cook's first voyage there, he might do what I am doing on my Pahi... being a modified version of that 18th century rig, which gives the option of 3 sails on 2 masts and includes a code 0 if desired.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    I'm taken by the simplicity and practicality of the rig Wharram has long used on this type. This is the Tiki 21, no spreaders, big sleeve in the luff of the main so it encloses the mast, short gaff.

    -Dave

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I'm taken by the simplicity and practicality of the rig Wharram has long used on this type. This is the Tiki 21, no spreaders, big sleeve in the luff of the main so it encloses the mast, short gaff.

    Well yes, it does appear simple and practical, but the mainsheet system is way less simple than it seems, because of the missing boom; which I discovered as the owner of a23ft Hinemoa without a boom.Adding a boom gets complicated because of the luff sleeve rather than a track, so you 'win here and lose there' as it turns out.
    Wharram developed the rockered V bottom that helps the cat pivot through the wind when coming about and I don't see a 24' wa'Apa being as well behaved as this Tiki 21 with skegs and efficient rudders.Then you have the structural requirement in terms of rig tension and mast compression spread out symmetrically and switching sides when tacking. People generally lack appreciation of the advantage a shunter offer's in regard of this facility. Also, hull shape of Gary's wa'Apa design might suit shunting more than tacking, for tracking/pivoting characteristics mentioned above.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Lugalong,

    Sorry, I should have made the sarcasm more heavy.
    The last thing I would suggest is a square rig.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Lugalong,

    Sorry, I should have made the sarcasm more heavy.
    The last thing I would suggest is a square rig.
    Sure... without giving enough time to consider the absurdity of the suggestion, I admit to seeing it as something with a bit of 'woody' character. rather than the usual humdrum single metal extruded spar.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Personally I'd rather have efficiency rather than character.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Personally I'd rather have efficiency rather than character.
    OK, but at what cost and level of complication? Maxing efficiency is endlessly costly. (Been there!) And there's always one more upgrade to make.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    If you want to be the fastest guy on the water that's true.
    But there is a reasonable level/cost of efficiency for most of us.
    Let's not exaggerate things just to make a point.

    I'm not suggesting an AC45 rig on this boat.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    If you want to be the fastest guy on the water that's true.
    But there is a reasonable level/cost of efficiency for most of us.
    Let's not exaggerate things just to make a point.

    I'm not suggesting an AC45 rig on this boat.
    Closest thing to what you are suggesting would be the 23ft plywood cat that I had for a while (the Wharram Hinemoa mentioned above), which had a sturdy section extrusion with a full-roach fully battened main. That double canoe/cat came about without having to back the jib, but was really in need of a more efficient hull form to get to the performance level you're on about, which probably would not mean an extra chine.
    Since we are talking about barge-like utilitarian hulls here, sporty performance is surely not the main objective?

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    I'd want it to go well to windward, with reasonable speed on all points.
    I expect an old Hobie 16 rig would work well.
    Most cats like this have much less sail area than something performance / racing oriented.
    I bought one complete for $300 a couple of years ago. Had to trash the hulls, but it came with a trailer.

    Compared to the Tornado rig I have, the Hobie mast is much lighter, should be easy to raise by hand. The Hobie is 5' shorter with almost the same sail area.

    I don't understand. I hear lots of claims that a dory section is virtually as fast as a round bilged hull. Designers and "experts" both make this claim. Are you saying this dory hull will have poor performance?
    Perhaps if you are relating the weight to performance I could understand.
    Wharram's are typically heavy, as far as I know.
    Last edited by upchurchmr; 05-24-2020 at 02:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    I'd want it to go well to windward, with reasonable speed on all points.
    I expect an old Hobie 16 rig would work well.
    Most cats like this have much less sail area than something performance / racing oriented.
    I bought one complete for $300 a couple of years ago. Had to trash the hulls, but it came with a trailer.

    Compared to the Tornado rig I have, the Hobie mast is much lighter, should be easy to raise by hand. The Hobie is 5' shorter with almost the same sail area.

    I don't understand. I hear lots of claims that a dory section is virtually as fast as a round bilged hull. Designers and "experts" both make this claim. Are you saying this dory hull will have poor performance?
    Perhaps if you are relating the weight to performance I could understand.
    Wharram's are typically heavy, as far as I know.
    I'm saying that performance is based on a combination of sail power and hull form effecting the wetted area and drag, with weight and displacement coming into the scheme as well.Sure, the Wharram was not the lightest of cats and a lot of that weight was in the connecting structure that went into carrying the rig loads needed for the powerful rig. This provided stability to carry the power and of course the way out of this spiral is to reduce mass and contain the rig power. Starting out with hulls that are primarily designed as a load carrier's, is not the best option when all-round speed as the objective. As things go here, the twin hull configuration is going to need a sturdy connecting structure, whether the mast is light/small section spar or not, so there is the option to go for something more forgiving in terms of rig tension.
    Last edited by Lugalong; 05-24-2020 at 03:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    The OP never specified great performance - correct?

    No comment on the dory section - OK.

    Your "powerful" Hinaome rig was 172 sq ft on a short mast.
    The Hobie rig is 215 if I remember right.
    The Hobie sits on 5# cross beam with a dolpin striker.
    That heavy connection on the Hinaome was clearly over weight.

    But getting back to the subject, we don't know what the connectives weight on this boat or the overall weight. The design book doesn't actually have a configuration for a catamaran Wa'apa.
    Perhaps the OP could come back with what his estimated weight and beam is.

    Then we could stop this theoretical discussion and get back to something for this boat.
    Btw, the single hulled 24' Wa'apa carries 84 sq ft on a 17' mast (no weight given). The boat also has a daggerboard in the plans.

    I still suggest a Hobie rig.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    The OP never specified great performance - correct?

    No comment on the dory section - OK.

    Your "powerful" Hinaome rig was 172 sq ft on a short mast.
    The Hobie rig is 215 if I remember right.
    The Hobie sits on 5# cross beam with a dolpin striker.
    That heavy connection on the Hinaome was clearly over weight.

    But getting back to the subject, we don't know what the connectives weight on this boat or the overall weight. The design book doesn't actually have a configuration for a catamaran Wa'apa.
    Perhaps the OP could come back with what his estimated weight and beam is.

    Then we could stop this theoretical discussion and get back to something for this boat.
    Btw, the single hulled 24' Wa'apa carries 84 sq ft on a 17' mast (no weight given). The boat also has a daggerboard in the plans.

    I still suggest a Hobie rig.
    Not anything like a standard Hinemoa -craft had an alloy mast that must have come from about a 30ft boat(probably a monohull donor; I bought the boat already rigged, so don't have exact figures)... it was like a giant Hobie main and carried various headsails too. Sail area substantially more than you wrote above.
    Dory section hulls with centreboard case could be quick and light if built in alloy to suit a similarly light connecting structure and mast as you are proposing.
    Seems the OP's idea is to depart from the plans anyway, so the 17' mast with 84 sq ft SA has no relevance.Sounds as though the wooden boat aspect is going by the board with this focus on the apparent advantage of production components in alternative materials.... hence the suggestion of a lighter(quicker) all alloy craft to suit the developed sheet material design. Otherwise it makes sense to me to keep on building with wood in the connecting structure and include same in the rig, but that is mainly because I think(evidently mistakenly) that our thrust is toward wooden craft).
    Last edited by Lugalong; 05-24-2020 at 05:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Why are you talking about building in aluminum?
    The hulls are built and are clearly wood.
    There has been no suggestion of what the crossarms will be, except my comparison of a Hobie to a Hinaoma design.

    Nelson,

    Any stayed mast will limit how you can position the mainsail while sailing. This is for a rig which does not have a backstay. The Hobie rig I suggest does not have a backstay. The side stays are angled back from the crossbeam about 10 degrees or less. In practice this limits you very little.

    It really would help if you could get a ride on a sailboat. Some things are easy to understand in practice. Not so easy with a word dump, especially from multiple people.
    Masts do concentrate load in the structure they are attached to.

    Seriously, ask Dierking for some guidance.
    Last edited by upchurchmr; 05-24-2020 at 06:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Get his book, its a good read if you're interested in Polynesian boats.
    Reasonable price.

    You could even build one from it.

    I was considering the Ulua - still am.

    Have it and built two from it.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I'm taken by the simplicity and practicality of the rig Wharram has long used on this type. This is the Tiki 21, no spreaders, big sleeve in the luff of the main so it encloses the mast, short gaff.
    I am strongly leaning towards this rig. If anyone would care to share a few sheets of those sail and rigging plans with me that would be great. (or is sharing a few sheets something that's looked down upon?)

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    I'd want it to go well to windward, with reasonable speed on all points.
    I expect an old Hobie 16 rig would work well.
    Most cats like this have much less sail area than something performance / racing oriented.
    I bought one complete for $300 a couple of years ago. Had to trash the hulls, but it came with a trailer.

    Compared to the Tornado rig I have, the Hobie mast is much lighter, should be easy to raise by hand. The Hobie is 5' shorter with almost the same sail area.
    I drug my feet on a $300 Hobie for sale in town recently and missed out on it. I drove a Buick LeSabre for 10 years, so style is obviously not that important to me, but in some ways I don't want to look like the other dozen hobies on the water when I put all this time and money into this awesome wood boat.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Sharing is looked down upon. The best thing for your project is to get advice from the designer, Gary, who is reading this thread anyway. He'll be able to advise you on the correct placement of the rig for best performance, how strong the crossbeam needs to be to support the mast, and what height rig and sail area is a good choice for you. Whatever he charges for his services, the good advice will be worth a mulitple of that in both long-term cost and frustration saved.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by Fl Nelson View Post
    I drug my feet on a $300 Hobie for sale in town recently and missed out on it. I drove a Buick LeSabre for 10 years, so style is obviously not that important to me, but in some ways I don't want to look like the other dozen hobies on the water when I put all this time and money into this awesome wood boat.

    $300 for a rig would be a bargain compared to buying what you would need for any homemade rig. Just the cost wood to make quality spars would be more than $300. The main and jib for my sloop are 210 ft2 and cost $1500 for stock sails. Custom sails will cost more.

    It might be helpful to look at the dozen Hobies as a resource. That’s a lot of potential help in learning to rig and sail your boat. I would jump at the chance to help a newbie sailor who had built his boat.

    That said, if your more about the process and are comfortable with the expense and figuring it on your own, go for it. Just make sure you post pictures.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Back in #3, Gary stated that it was "best to go with a more conventional sailplan" then went on to say"just about every type of rig has been used on the Wa'apas. 'conventional' leaves a little wiggle room in that a gaf rig like the Wharram example should fall in with Gary's recommendation. Now back in #25 upchurchmr asked me a question or two and my answer needs to include the fact that the Hinemoa mentioned before, was sold to my son, who then went on to acquire a TIki 26, which is a little closer in proportions to this 24' Wa'apa (taking hull volume and potential displacement into account). The rig of that Tiki 26 was stolen and he was tasked with finding another.This led to him considering other conventional donor rigs. His experience with the re-rigged Hinemoa mentioned above, had him favouring a rig with a boom, but then his racing activities on bigger monohulls influenced his ideas on headsails, so a powerful rig was the object.
    Seems to me that a Wa'apa would be a good candidate for a modified Polynesian rig, something like the oceanic lateen found on the old Tongan Tongiaki.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Nelson,

    Thanks for telling us you have already made two of Dierking's boats.
    Sometimes info like that will cull a lot of mansplaining that just diverts from your objective.

    Do you have pictures and a little description. And your conclusions about sailing them. Wait --- you said you had never been on a sailboat.
    Did you build them for others?

    About the Hobie sail rig. You could always remove the insignia, turn the main into a square top, and shorten the mast.
    Maybe that would disguise it enough.
    Or you could invent your own insignia.
    Maybe based on the woodenboat insignia.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Nelson,

    Thanks for telling us you have already made two of Dierking's boats.
    Sometimes info like that will cull a lot of mansplaining that just diverts from your objective.

    .
    Should have clarified. I've build two Wa'Apa hulls. Currently working on all the other stuff, rigging, crossbeams, rudders, etc.

    For the record, I would estimate total weight around 550 lbs including the decking between and beam around 11'.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by Lugalong View Post
    Back in #3, Gary stated that it was "best to go with a more conventional sailplan" then went on to say"just about every type of rig has been used on the Wa'apas. 'conventional' leaves a little wiggle room in that a gaf rig like the Wharram example should fall in with Gary's recommendation. Now back in #25 upchurchmr asked me a question or two and my answer needs to include the fact that the Hinemoa mentioned before, was sold to my son, who then went on to acquire a TIki 26, which is a little closer in proportions to this 24' Wa'apa (taking hull volume and potential displacement into account). The rig of that Tiki 26 was stolen and he was tasked with finding another.This led to him considering other conventional donor rigs. His experience with the re-rigged Hinemoa mentioned above, had him favouring a rig with a boom, but then his racing activities on bigger monohulls influenced his ideas on headsails, so a powerful rig was the object.
    Seems to me that a Wa'apa would be a good candidate for a modified Polynesian rig, something like the oceanic lateen found on the old Tongan Tongiaki.
    The Hinemoa rig looks enticing as well. Would that be considered a Sprit sail with a jib?

    Experience has taught me to save the more obscure methods (polynesian sail) for the 2nd iteration.

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    Default Re: Choosing a sail rig for a 24' catamaran Wa'Apa

    Quote Originally Posted by Fl Nelson View Post
    The Hinemoa rig looks enticing as well. Would that be considered a Sprit sail with a jib?

    Experience has taught me to save the more obscure methods (polynesian sail) for the 2nd iteration.
    Originally the Hinemoa had a Western type sprit main with a jib, but I doubt you will find any guidance on exactly how to build and rig your Wa'apa in this way and so it means you will be pretty much on your own on that choice.
    I think I have an idea on where you are at and have met and talked a bit to James Wharram about his ideas on rigs, while also having had contact with Gary.Now based on this background and also some experience with a variety of alternative rigs, I am merely trying to encourage a little diversity. Sure I understand that for some people who have learned to sail with the Bermudan rig, this will remain their focus, so that option is always open to you as well.Then if you take an open minded and pragmatic approach, you can still reach a compromise that does not cost an arm and a leg - meaning you do what some of the Polynesian voyaging society guys are doing... they are using a wooden mast with
    a luff track (so this is not really a Polynesian rig), and as well they use a long wooden boom that lifts the clew part way above the usual Bermudan point ( which they like to call an Oceanic sprit).This two spar configuration has a jibstay and shrouds angled back to chainplates a little way aft of the mast step.Sails used are a jib and a main that is essentially a jib turned upside down.
    This rig works pretty much like a Bermudan rig, but will obviously not be tuned to the same level as a production beachcat... making a google search, you might find something on the Hawaian sailing canoe Makalii, which will show what I am suggesting.

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