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Thread: Sun fish lateen rig

  1. #1
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    Default Sun fish lateen rig

    Anyone ever try to sail a sun fish rig loose footed?
    Will it work?
    Thx

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    I assume you mean "boomless" and not "loose-footed" (which means, the sail is attached to the boom only at tack and clew)?

    You can certainly rig a lateen sail without a boom; my first small boat used a boomless lateen (seen here in not much wind):

    chippewa flowage 017 crop.jpg

    I know that with other sails, the cut may be different depending on whether it'll be boomed or boomless. I'm not sure how much that would matter to a Sunfish sail. With luck, some real experts will weigh in here.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    Boom might bend some, and the tack and clew will get stressed a bit more than the sailmaker intended. If you want to drop the boom altogether you may have a problem sheeting the sail, boat may not be long enough.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    There is no way you could sail a Sunfish using a sail with the typical dimensions and go without a boom. It would need to sheet to a spot about five feet aft of the transom. Any heading off the would would also have terrible curl to the foot if you even could sheet it. Bisect the luff and run an imaginary line from mid luff through the clew and out and that's about the angle your mainsheet would need to be sheeted to.

    sunfish-radial.jpg

    Loose-footed, with a boom and attached only at the tack and clew is possible, but it's probably not going to sail as well as having the sail attached along the boom by lacing, robands, those plastic rings that they use, or sleeves. The end result of their usual (and quite effective) mainsheet system is essentially mid-boom sheeting with a built in and variable downhaul for sail shaping. The little bugger is better thought out than a lot of folks give it credit for. If you went loose-footed, mainsheet tension would bend that light boom, and in higher wind, by a lot. This in turn moves the tack and clew corners closer together - which adds significant draft to the lower half or better of the sail. That's exactly what you don't want to happen in higher winds or any high sheet tension situation, like trying to point as high as possible. In contrast, the normal laced-on foot pulls the sail flatter under high sheet tension and a bending boom which is much better.

    There are other things you can do if you want to play around with modifications of the Sunfish-style lateen rig. This one was modified for one of my customers by shifting the gooseneck when desired to make room for a self-vanging, and if desired, self-tacking jib. He also can use the sail in the conventional manner without the jib. This one also has a reef line, as he sometimes sails in a lot of wind.

    Michael-1.jpg

    I've also built a few of what we call "Lat-Bats", adding a big battened Batwing-style roach to a normal lateen sail and vertically paneling it. Functionally, all it really does is add a bit more sail area, useful mostly off the wind, but it tends to make a very classy looking package with a traditional or antique feel, despite the fact that I didn't design it until about 2005.

    Lizee-Lat-Bat-2.jpg

    If you were dead set on going boomless, you would need something with a shorter foot, so that you would still be able to sheet it to the aft end of the boat. Lateens don't always have to have the luff and foot edges the same length. There are also other sail types which are similar, like the settee sail. Off the wind though, and without the boom holding the clew corner out and keeping the foot from collapsing, you can pretty well bet that performance is going to suffer a lot.

    settee.jpg

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    Settee was popular for smaller 19th cent ships boats. We have an original hand sewn one at PMM.

    Absolutely echo Todds thoughts about the Sunfish rig without a boom. Seems to me all we did racing them was change halyard position to get the rig up some.

    What was really interesting is how well the sail did as an iceboat sail on the Cheapskate. Able to handle much more wind than we'd anticpated.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    You can sail with all sorts of things being wrong. If the question is “does it matter if.......” then the answer is that you want to “lace” the foot of the sail to the boom. Loose footed sails generally require stiffer booms in order to pull the outhaul hard enough to flatten the bottom of the sail.
    The Sunfish racing crowd have all sorts of clever ways to de-power the sail for windy conditions. These mostly involve moving the gooseneck forward or backward on the boom. Tying the gooseneck down to Vang the rig, and moving the clove hitch on the gaff up or down to change how much the gaff bends, and in so doing flatten the sail. There are some pretty nifty tricks , like the Jens Rig, which essentially lowers the hoist point on the mast to make the rig still bender.

    All told good stuff that anyone with a lateen rig should investigate.
    SH C

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    Cool stuff! Thanks to all for the plethora of information.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    Thx Tom this is great stuff!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    I think it comes down to sailing a Sunfish without the boom or sailing a Sunfish *rig* without the boom. The former is going to be hard but the latter is perfectly possible with a long hull to get the sheeting angle right. In that case you’d add a boom guy (I think that’s the right term) to allow the boom to tilt up more than normal but still under control to point the sheet where it needs to go. Here Phil Bolger’s Pirate Racer by way of example:

    B6D2FCA5-4187-4E25-8EF6-92E06869163B.png
    *******
    Matthew Long
    Bolger fan (Brick, Yellow Leaf, June Bug, Tortoise and half a Teal)
    Dreaming of a small cruiser from Atkin, Bolger, Buehler or Parker
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sun fish lateen rig

    Quote Originally Posted by cluttonfred View Post
    I think it comes down to sailing a Sunfish without the boom or sailing a Sunfish *rig* without the boom. The former is going to be hard but the latter is perfectly possible with a long hull to get the sheeting angle right. In that case you’d add a boom guy (I think that’s the right term) to allow the boom to tilt up more than normal but still under control to point the sheet where it needs to go. Here Phil Bolger’s Pirate Racer by way of example:

    B6D2FCA5-4187-4E25-8EF6-92E06869163B.png
    Yep. There's a photo of my Pirate Racer in post #2 on this thread.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

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