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Thread: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

  1. #1
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    Default Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Hello all,


    This is my first posting on the forum and hopefully Iím using the correct area for this thread.


    Iíve been learning to sail with a Sunfish for the last 3 years and am considering moving up to the BB14. Iím partial to gaff-rigged boats and, while not common, Iíve seen through web searches that the boat is occasionally rigged as such. BTW, Iím strictly a recreational sailor.


    Q1 - Is sailing the boat with gaff rigging is any more difficult or complicated for single-person handling, especially for someone with limited sailing experience?


    During the off season, my intention would be to keep the boat in my driveway or side yard (grassy area).


    Q2 - Would the (wooden) boat have the potential to incur much damage being exposed to the winter elements (Iím in central New Jersey, zone 7A)? I guess the same question would apply to the trailer as well.


    Thanks


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Sailing a gaff rigged sloop (with jib) is slightly more complicated than the Sunfish, one more sail for one thing and, unless self-tacking, the jib sheets need tending on every tack. BUT, after the sails are set, there is little difference for the sailor other than tending to the jib.
    For winter storage the boat needs to be covered in a way that allows ventilation. A trailer for a BB 14 should support the boat from it's keel. You should brush snow off any cover that rests on the boat and have a drain in the bilge if water will collect there.
    Trailers keep best standing still if the weight is off the wheels so it it best to block the frame up enough to take weight off the bearings inside the wheels.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    She sails better with the gaff rig. If you go that route ask and I'll share my "LazyLifts" that will keep things orderly when setting or striking sail. Very easy boat to single hand. And it's safe fun in a zephyr and a real blow.

    And gaff rigs. So much fun to learn how to get the luff and peak tensions harmonizing with the foot and head. Though it's about catboat racing, get the "Competitive Cat, Racing Small Gaff-Rigged Catboats" by Bill Thomas. It has one of the more lucid explanations of what to look for to make the quadrilateral really work.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    And gaff rigged boats just look cooler....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Thanks for the replies.

    And I agree that gaff-rigged boats are cool head-turners, especially with a nice bowsprit.

    You guys in New England seem to have the lion's share of great boats. From a sailing point of view, it must be fantastic for someone who grew up in that environment, messin' about with boats from an early age.

  6. #6
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    Default Buzzards Bay 14’s single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    I am happy to say that I have a Buzzards Bay 14 (built in 1988 as hull #1 for D&M Marine). A truly wonderful boat.
    Mine is a Marconi rig and sails beautifully.
    You didn’t ask, but I’m compelled to mention, that as a full keel boat she’s not easy to trailer sail. We need a steep ramp to get her on and off the trailer (luckily we have wide tidal ranges in Maine!).
    Something to think about.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by RickBetterley; 11-30-2020 at 09:15 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Sailing a gaff rig is no more difficult than sailing a Marconi of comparable size. You just have one extra halyard to tension properly. I've found that the extra line sometimes causes extra hassle when stepping the mast because it increases the potential of masthead tangles, but you soon learn to sort things out carefully before raising the mast.

    I'm sure others will mention it, but a gaffer generally will not point as high as a Marconi. I can manage about 50 degrees off the true wind if I'm really paying attention. It's happier and faster at 55 degrees. Since I enjoy tacking and only rarely sail to an actual destination, this is no disadvantage for me.

    And as Willin Woodworks said, they just look cooler. By far.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Among small non-planing boats, a well set-up gaff rig is every bit as weatherly as a similar sized marconi.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Q2 - Would the (wooden) boat have the potential to incur much damage being exposed to the winter elements (I’m in central New Jersey, zone 7A)? I guess the same question would apply to the trailer as well.
    Exactly what type of wood construction is this particular boat? It makes a big difference on how the wood behaves when the boat dries out over the winter. The trailer, no problem.
    -Dave

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Thanks for the additional comments that I had missed. While I wait and hope to find my gaff-rigged BB14, I traded in the Sunfish for a Beetle Cat. I figured going from the BC to BB14 would be easier than SF to BB.

    So I can't wait for the new season!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    I've seen many (most of them) gaff rigged 12 1/2's and Haven's but I've never seen a BB14 that was gaff rigged. I'm sure it would sail fine with a gaff and look better to my eye but I think you'll be looking for a long time to find a gaff rigged BB14 when you decide to move up from the Beetle cat.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    if you do not want to leave your boat out in the elements, I rent a storage unit for my GP14. The 10X20 unit fits my boat and trailer with room to spare and only costs me $200 a month. Cheap insurance against rot.



    The BB14 is a pretty boat, but not much larger, it should slot right in.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    I'm sure it would sail fine with a gaff and look better to my eye but I think you'll be looking for a long time to find a gaff rigged BB14 when you decide to move up from the Beetle cat.
    I'm sure you're right, but hope springs eternal.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Are there runners?
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Are there runners?
    I'm new to sailing and don't understand the question. BTW, my post was about a boat I don't currently own...but dream about.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Exactly what type of wood construction is this particular boat? It makes a big difference on how the wood behaves when the boat dries out over the winter.
    I'm not looking at a particular BB14, just asking a general question about a potential future boat.

    Another question for future reference: is a garage that's 19.5' too small for a BB14? I know the boat's about 17.5' but I see the trailer's tongue as presenting a problem.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    No running backstays (runners). The mast is well raked so they are not needed to keep the mast up when running downwind. Nor are they needed for keeping the jib stay tight going to weather because the tension from the mainsheet up the leach of the sail does that job just fine.

    LFH designed the BB14 as a low aspect triangluar main with a fractional rig. I'd only change to a gaff if I learned that LFH did a gaff rig or if I figured I was smarter than LFH.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Thanks for the education, Ian.

    I'd seen that a forum member had build a BB14 with gaff rigging, which gave me the hope that at some point, I'd be able to find one; at best, it's probably a fairly slim chance, as another member has pointed out. Perhaps I'm best off just looking for one that's Marconi rigged, when I'm ready to look.

    BTW, per your suggestion, I picked up "The Competitive Cat" which should help me with the Beetle, not that I plan to race. Thanks again!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    "The Competitive Cat" has the most lucid discussion of basic gaff sail trim I've ever read. Even people who are not racing ought to be trying to sail well.

    If you probe a bit, you can find Emily's (Elf) many Beetle Cat pix.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    If you are wedded to a gaff rig and plan to single hand, what about a 12 1/2? Basically the same hull form, a bit smaller, and plentiful in gaff rigged form.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    One advantage of a gaff rig for a novice sailor would be the ability to "scandalize" the rig: to reduce sail area quickly in an emergency, you can let go the gaff halyard and drop the gaff.
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    Unless you rig for it, scandalizing is a difficult option. Without lazyjacks or better yet lazylifts the gaff flog about posing dangers to the crew and liklihood of breakage.

    As designed the BB14 is elegantly simple. You can easily rig single line reefing. Slab reef underway easily and only tie in the cringles if y ou'll be long. Some owners of glass or cold molded boats have a hinged step and latching partners allowing for easy set up and take down allowing them to drysail.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Buzzards Bay 14ís single-person handling - Marconi vs gaff rigging

    If you are wedded to a gaff rig and plan to single hand, what about a 12 1/2? Basically the same hull form, a bit smaller, and plentiful in gaff rigged form.
    Oh, I definitely have not ruled out any of the 12 1/2's (Herreshoff, Haven, Somes Sound). The Somes may turn out to be my best option. But I realize that they are not as prevalent. I simply like the 14 for its slightly longer waterline and the thought that it would be more weatherly in Raritan Bay NJ, where I plan to sail my eventual choice.

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