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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
    Join Date
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    Seattle
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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

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