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Thread: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Sharpie?
    Ya know, I haven’t recently given much thought to sharpies. Not exactly a sharpie, but at one point I had thought to build a flat-iron from ASSC to workboat finish as a way to just build a boat. Simple lines and joinery. Spritsail with a boom and go. Maybe I’ll take another look…

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Sharpie?
    real sharpie? 27'+???
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    I just went back and looked at my notes from a few years ago. I was looking at a sharpie skiff or ‘flat-iron’ of about 18’. I see in ASS that it had a leg-o-mutton main and that I had planned a spritsail instead. Cross-planked bottom, flat sides, battened keel and an added cutwater so no rabbets to cut. Like I said, this was a few years ago and I had looked at it to build quickly and with ‘workboat’ finish just to get building something. I’m not sure it’s ideal for two adults and two kids.

    I don’t have experience with gaff rigs. Are the small gaffers as complicated in their standing and running rigging as the larger gaffers seem to be?

    Anyone have experience sailing traditional small boat ketch rigs or a spritsail cat-rigged boat like the Wood’s Hole boats? Again, looking at practical application for family daysailing…

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    A few thoughts in this discussion. Working boats like to keep the cockpit clear, so balanced lugs not as useful as loose footed sails. The European lug sail appears in the late 1700's ( see for example Boats of the Men of War). heavily developed in the 1800s. By that time the sprit and gaff were pretty entrenched in the New England states. Americans didn't like or didn't develop boomkins which are kind of needed to sheet a yawl, especially on a double ender. Even whaleboats seldom used a lug, mostly sprit or gaff. Booms are handy on double enders, make sheeting easier, so you'll see booms on mizzens but not on mains. An interesting question is the development of the jib headed sprit rig as seen in sharpies and in the Chesapeake. Shell fishing with tongs is a different fishery, where you stow the sail when you are working gear.
    Ben Fuller
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  5. #40
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    I don’t have experience with gaff rigs. Are the small gaffers as complicated in their standing and running rigging as the larger gaffers seem to be?
    Based on my 19'-9" gaff yawl, more or less yes. My main and mizzen are both gaff rigged, both need throat and peak halyards and a sheet to control the boom. I've seen pictures of small gaffs being raised with one halyard, I tried, it never seemed to set right so I quickly went back to two. Bigger sails start needing purchases to accommodate the extra weight.

    For ultimate ease of use my little flat-bottom skiff with it's spritsail wins out. Brailed up the whole mess lifted out of the partners and lay down in the boat, nothing to rig or un-rig. Didn't go up wind very well but the other 270' were pretty good.
    Steve

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  6. #41
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft


  7. #42
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    For ultimate ease of use my little flat-bottom skiff with it's spritsail wins out. Brailed up the whole mess lifted out of the partners and lay down in the boat, nothing to rig or un-rig. Didn't go up wind very well but the other 270' were pretty good.
    Agreed. There's nothing simpler than a spritsail. I think they are widely underrated in favor of performance-oriented rigs. I used to manage this 18' shallop for the Kalmar Nyckel program. This 75 sq. ft. sail would drive the boat with 7 or 8 crew on board no problem. It was extremely handy and, as Steve notes, could be bundled up and dropped into the boat in a minute. Not even a halyard to think about. Just a snotter and a sheet.

    -Dave

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Agreed. There's nothing simpler than a spritsail. I think they are widely underrated in favor of performance-oriented rigs. I used to manage this 18' shallop for the Kalmar Nyckel program. This 75 sq. ft. sail would drive the boat with 7 or 8 crew on board no problem. It was extremely handy and, as Steve notes, could be bundled up and dropped into the boat in a minute. Not even a halyard to think about. Just a snotter and a sheet.
    I've sailed some with spritsails, both boomless and with a sprit boom. I get what you mean about "simplicity" for the rig.

    But for ease of handling, and (especially) ease of tying in multiple reefs, I definitely prefer a lugsail, balance or standing lug. The trade-off is, no need for a halyard with a sprit rig, BUT no way of dousing sail without removing the entire mast and rig. It's far faster and more controlled, I've found, to drop a lugsail. I've also found that long sprit a bit unwieldy, and likely to drop out of the peak grommet at inopportune moments. I think it's a handsome rig, though. But having used both, I doubt I'd ever again choose a spritsail over a lugsail.

    Curious that there have been some comments about poor windward performance. Assuming the sheeting angles are correct (crucial with any boomless rig), I always found my spritsails matched, or nearly matched, similar sized lugsails to windward. It's the downwind sailing, where there's no boom to control the big belly of the sail, where boomless rigs tend to struggle, in my experience.

    Tom
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  9. #44
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Yes it does, but it's a pain in the butt, with the result in my case that I frequently didn't reduce sail as quickly or as often as I should have. My first sail and oar boat was an Alaska that I built to the original ketch rig design. I eventually ditched the ketch mizzen for a smaller yawl-type mizzen stepped further aft, which reduced overall sail area but was much easier to handle.
    Then I designed and built a somewhat larger sail and oar boat with a balanced lug yawl - my current boat, Fire-Drake.
    I have to admit, your feedback on the switching masts was probably a factor in why I left the ketch mizzen out entirely! That said, with a single mast/single sail rig the way I use my Alaska, I've not found dropping the mast on the water to be much of a problem. That's probably because I'm lazy enough to leave the mast up most times, unless I'm facing a prolonged row to windward in a good breeze.

    I also don't use a mast gate, but a simple "hole in the thwart" style partner. I can sit on the forward thwart to unstep/step the mast if it's wavy, and I do.

    Tom
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  10. #45
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Tom… ah! You’re that Tom.
    Yep, guilty!

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    You’re build decisions are really interesting to me - forgoing the ketch immediately and keeping the standing lug. What’s your experience been with the standing lug? Quite a few rigs I’ve been looking at are boomless, either standing lug or sprit. Reading, I note lots of concerns about reefing and running and sail shape and sheeting… how’s it been in actual practice?
    Going from ketch to single-mast rig has worked very well for me. Having sailed mostly balance lugs before that, I fully expected to like the boomless standing lug less. In practice, it's been quite the opposite for me. I love my boomless standing lugsail. I call it the perfect rig for someone who wants a boat to disallow type A behavior, and I think that's a fair assessment.

    You do need to have the correct sheeting angle for good performance with a boomless rig--generally that means sheeting as far aft, and as far outboard, as possible. A rope traveler over the tiller doesn't always allow that, especially if your tiller is high. I use the French misainier technique of manually switching the sheet to the leeward gunwale at each tack. That works very well. But, in high winds, I usually rig a rope traveler in case I'm too busy sailing the boat to manage a manual switch to the new leeward rail.

    Why is this a boat that disallows type A behavior? First, there's very little sail shaping you can do. That might drive performance-oriented sailors crazy, but it suits me just fine.

    Second, there's LOTS of sail twist at the top of the sail. What that means is:

    A. That twist helps depower the sail in gusts--an automatic safety feature.

    B. You cannot let the sheet out very far at all for downwind sailing. Honestly, the total amount of travel in my sheet system is probably no more than 3' or so, from close-hauled to downwind. If you let the sheet out more than that, the sail gets a big belly (dangerous in high winds), and the top of the sail twists so far that the tip of the yard moves well forward of the mast, inviting the dreaded "death roll" and possible capsize.

    C. So what? I haven't noticed any frustrations related to not being able to let the sail out very far. It's faster, I think, to "tack" downwind anyway, where a more closely sheeted sail doesn't really diminish performance. This is a long narrow boat, with a 17'+ waterline, and it MOVES downwind. It moves just fine. When I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I can boom the sail out with an oar braced against the centerboard case, and then I can get much closer to what I'd have with a boom for downwind work. Which might give me half a knot of speed, or maybe less. Or maybe more. I just find that I can't be bothered to care much.

    Now, the guys who say that a mizzen is the bomb diggity, because they can just point into the wind, sheet the mizzen in, and lie head to wind to drop the sail? Yeah, that'd be real nice. I think, for reefing/hoisting, that's probably a big advantage, especially in any kind of sea state.

    But the yard on the Alaska mainsail is tiny--only 8' long or so, and small diameter. It's pretty easy to manage, not a big club like many lug yards. So that helps. But the ugly truth is, when I drop the sail, the Alaska sans mizzen tends to lie nearly broadside to the wind. In big winds, and big waves, that makes things a bit more interesting (i.e. scary) to manage. I find that I have adjusted my tactics accordingly--raising sail in the lee of land where possible when winds are strong, reefing more conservatively for longer crossings, etc. I'm OK with that for now, but I'm sure it slows me down compared to a yawl, which can drop the sail and lie head to wind anywhere at all. It also helps that, lacking a boom, it's much easier to hoist the Alaska's mainsail no matter what heading the boat is on relative to the wind. A good tiller tamer also really helps--I can step away from the tiller at any moment, and still count on the boat to keep steering up into the wind to some degree (moving forward to the mast helps maintain that heading, too).

    Try hoisting a boomed balance lug on the port tack (with yard to port) and it'll do its best to throw you overboard. I'll go so far as to say that, in strong winds, raising the sail on port tack with a balance lug can't (hardly) be done. A boomless sail? It's much more forgiving about hoisting it up any old which how, no matter what tack you're on. It also allows for very easy brailing up of the sail to clear the cockpit for rowing or beaching for a short while--a minor convenience, but I do use it pretty often.

    The bigger thing to watch for is:

    A boomless sail flogs like crazy if you slack the sheet. Within seconds, the sheet will wrap around the tiller and/or oarlocks and power up at the worst moment. And, if you have a stainless snaplink at the clew like I do, it'll do its best to pummel you senseless. This is probably the worst feature of a boomless rig I've found. A boomed balance lug lies absolutely quietly, with no flogging, when you ease the sheet. Here again, I've adjusted my tactics. I can't luff up and wait for someone--I find I have to sheet in to keep tension on the sheet, and ease the sheet to just barely fore-reach along at half a knot or so. That's the closest you can get to heaving to that I've found so far.

    OK, but a boomless standing lug will depower completely when you let the sheet fly on a downwind heading--very handy for a gentle downwind "coast up onto the beach" kind of landing. A balance lug has a disconcerting habit of keeping on sailing, at more speed than you might want, in that situation.

    OK, more than you might have wanted to know. What it all adds up to for me is that I much prefer the boomless rig. I can completely understand why many others would say the opposite, though.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 09-11-2021 at 10:22 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  11. #46
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    I think the leg-o-mutton reg is the simplest by far.
    As far as "Traditional" goes it has been in use for a long time
    This image is from 1602

    FB299E82-CB50-48D9-B7AE-4AE91DA05FCB.jpg

    Also known as a "Bermudian rig"

    61FA6D4F-BA5F-490D-A5BC-D724115D992D.jpg
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 09-11-2021 at 10:47 PM.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    ^^^

    Isn't that a double lateen rig, and not a leg of mutton? Looks that way to me, at least. Short masts, long yards. Or more likely, a transitional sail moving from lateen to leg-of-mutton and/or Bermuda rig. From Wikipedia:

    The lateen rig was also the ancestor of the Bermuda rig, by way of the Dutch bezaan rig. In the 16th century, when Spain ruled the Netherlands, the lateen rigs were introduced to Dutch boat builders, who soon modified the design by omitting the mast and fastening the lower end of the yard directly to the deck, the yard becoming a raked mast with a full-length, triangular (leg-of-mutton) mainsail aft. Introduced to Bermuda early in the 17th century, this developed into the Bermuda rig,
    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  13. #48
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft


  14. #49
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Simple lift out rig for a little boat:

    Standing lug on a Malcolm Goodwin “Nutshell” 9ft tender. Note in the first picture the convenience of just running ashore on the beach and letting the sheet go!

    Both of these were/are mine. I built the first one “Minn”, #142, but I sold her with “Mirelle”, so I bought “Bluebottle” #95, from Chris Briggs…

    The best tender I know. YMMV.



    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 09-12-2021 at 03:02 AM.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Off topic, but how’s that for a forty year old glued ply lapstrake tender?

    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Wanted to post an image in response to Tom’s concern about sail twist in lugs:
    47B52D87-8D15-495A-AECB-057B0C71CBFB.jpg
    Full battens minimize sail twist to a great extent, and also minimize the flogging that a luffing sail will do when hove to. My fully battened standing lug also deploys a sprit boom, which I quite like; I think a batten along the foot would also work very well, and be less to fuss with than the sprit boom. I think Ben Fuller’s Harrier uses a stiff foot batten.
    There are whole threads devoted to getting lugs up and down with efficiency and elegance, and they are worth reading, but I have also been finding that the rig on my new Jewell is pretty easy to live with—dyneema forestay and one shroud per side, peak and throat halyards, and light accessory halyard on the mizzen which sees double duty as the topping lift. More strings than the unstayed lug on Waxwing, but I am not finding it an impediment to getting the rig up or down at the ramp, and I’m enjoying being able to scandalize the main in a moment, and dropping the rig entirely with fine control using the paired halyards. In the Jewell, I’ve run all control lines to the cockpit; I might not feel so sanguine if I was handling halyards from the foredeck.

    photo by Christophe Matson

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by John hartmann View Post
    Wanted to post an image in response to Tom’s concern about sail twist in lugs:

    Full battens minimize sail twist to a great extent, and also minimize the flogging that a luffing sail will do when hove to. My fully battened standing lug also deploys a sprit boom, which I quite like; I think a batten along the foot would also work very well, and be less to fuss with than the sprit boom. I think Ben Fuller’s Harrier uses a stiff foot batten.
    There are whole threads devoted to getting lugs up and down with efficiency and elegance, and they are worth reading, but I have also been finding that the rig on my new Jewell is pretty easy to live with—dyneema forestay and one shroud per side, peak and throat halyards, and light accessory halyard on the mizzen which sees double duty as the topping lift. More strings than the unstayed lug on Waxwing, but I am not finding it an impediment to getting the rig up or down at the ramp, and I’m enjoying being able to scandalize the main in a moment, and dropping the rig entirely with fine control using the paired halyards. In the Jewell, I’ve run all control lines to the cockpit; I might not feel so sanguine if I was handling halyards from the foredeck.

    photo by Christophe Matson
    John, I did have to do some experimentation with the bottom batten in RANTAN. Finally ended up just doubling the usual sail battens for a nice balance between bend and stiffness. The other sneaky thing on RANTAN is that the sail is cut so that there is a nice triangle between the bottom batten where the sheet hooks and the tack like some cats. This provides some self vanging. And the leech on RANTAN is almost vertical, so twist is very much under control. The full battens let the sail retain its shape for years longer than a soft sail. Racing full batten boats, we used to get new jobs every year but the main would be competitive for 3 anyway.

    I used to get my catboat underway from anchor or mooring with throat up and hard but peak horizontal. Ease away on a nice reach then peak up when you were clear.
    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."

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    But the ugly truth is, when I drop the sail, the Alaska sans mizzen tends to lie nearly broadside to the wind. In big winds, and big waves, that makes things a bit more interesting (i.e. scary) to manage.
    Tom
    That broadside-on tendency of Alaska when reefing the main also happened to me with the ketch mizzen - it was too far forward to have enough leverage to act as an efficient vane. It was also largely what convinced me to make that small yawl-type mizzen, stepped in the aft-most mast step (the one intended as a holding position for a cockpit tent).

    One thing that hasn't been talked about much in this whole discussion about appropriate rigs for these types of boats is the characteristics of the winds in the area you normally sail in. All my comments and experience are based on the kinds of weather we typically get in the Salish Sea and along the British Columbia coast in the summer. The winds are frequently absent, very light and sometimes too much, and always highly variable, with any of the above happening several times on any given outing. Having a rig that can can be easily doused altogether for rowing and easily reefed when needed, is a must.

    If the winds where you sail are more consistent and/or are consistently lighter or consistently stronger, then a different rig might be optimal.
    Alex

    "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
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  19. #54
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    traditional gaff rigged catboat, 16' with an 8' beam
    small cuddy two sleep in the cuddy
    two sleep in the cockpit
    Chebacco, Bolger’s gaff-rigged cat yawl, seems like a good choice for both rig and use if 19’8” LOA isn’t a problem.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Wow. Lots to digest and I’ll write more soon. But a few questions I’ve been pondering…

    1. On the traditional cat-ketch rigs - boomless main, boomed mizzen, gaff or sprit - was the main typically sheeted with two leads, as in a jib? Did this change depending on if the main overlapped the mizzen or not? Is it reasonable to singlehand?

    2. Has anyone bothered with a whisker pole on a boomless sprit or lug for running? Seems it would tend to just hold the clew out, but not down, still allowing a big belly to form since it has no way to vang.

    3. Can a boomless sprit or lug have a sprit boom added without changing the sheeting? Can you still sheet from the clew of the sail to the quarters if you add a sprit boom? Seems as if a sprit boom could be stowed with oars for the times it isn’t needed and then deployed without too much hassle when conditions change.

    4. To brail with a sprit boom, snotter must be slacked to remove vanging, then the whole rig can go up, yeah?

    5. Are spritsails ever run with a halliard? Robands rather than lacing?

    Thanks for all the great discussion.

    R

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    I have a boomless standing lug, and sometimes I use an oar to pole out the clew when on a long reach or down wind.

    I have not tried sheeting to the corner of the tansom because I have a rope traveler. I think it would be a small improvement, but more trouble if tacking frequently. I need to try it and see if it really makes a difference.

    I have a small mizzen that is very helpful to balance the rig and to hold the bow to windward when I need to park to do something else.

    I had a boat with a large sprit sail (about 100 feet square) with a halyard and reef points. The sail was laced to the mast "back and forth" instead of "round and round" so it would go up and down with the halyard. Putting in and taking out a reef can be done.

    Brailing with the sprit boom, I would just take the boom out.

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Thanks, Brian. Where in PA are ya? I’m up near Lewisburg.

    R

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    I am near near Hershey.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet
    5. Are spritsails ever run with a halliard? Robands rather than lacing?
    I've got a 15' Ross Lillistone First Mate with an 80 square foot sprit sail and I definitely wouldn't have it permanently attached to the mast. With a halyard I can lower it to reef, or drop everything in 10 seconds if I really need to. I've experimented with a brail and the bundle of sail is more windage than I care for.

    That's not to say I think having a sail permanently attached to the mast is always a bad idea. The First Mate is pretty tender when I'm up forward and I mostly don't want to try taking the mast and sprit down on the water. Plus, once it's down I haven't found a good place to stow it without getting in the way of rowing. Perhaps this technique would make sense on a bigger and steadier boat.

    My first year or so I used 1/8" VB cord sail ties that I tied around the mast with a square knot. It's a little slow to rig so this year I switched to robands that have an eye on one side and a stopper knot on the other. They are long enough so they attach diagonally to the robands above and below, basically making spiral lacing. As the sail is lowered, they open up and make pulling the sail down easy. But they do have a tendency to get overlapped and bind up when I try to hoist it again, so I'm considering shortening them to normal robands and see if that helps.

    I've spent a lot of time trying to work out the bugs of the sprit rig and here's a few observations:

    Don't put thumb cleats on the mast to hold the snotter unless you plan to have the sail permanently attached. Lacing or robands will get fouled up on the cleat and it's a pain. I hang the snotter from a toggling mast hoop which is attached to the main halyard by a length of line. Once the geometry is correct, you can raise/lower/reef without worrying about moving the snotter since everything moves together.

    I don't like catching the peak of the sail in a notch on the end of the sprit. Too much excitement if it comes out while you're tinkering with the sail. Instead I run a pendant from the peak through a beehole in the sprit down to a cleat near the heel. This way I always have control of the sprit via the peak pendant and the snotter.


    Toggling spiral robands and you can just make out the snotter hanging from a line up to the main halyard. The bundle of line by the heel of the sprit is the excess from the peak pendant coming down the sprit.


    Since the sail, sprit, and snotter move together as a unit, it's the easiest way I've found to reef so far.


    If you rig a brail line (I've since gotten rid of mine) remember to put it on the outside of the sprit!

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    For ultimate ease of use my little flat-bottom skiff with it's spritsail wins out. Brailed up the whole mess lifted out of the partners and lay down in the boat, nothing to rig or un-rig. Didn't go up wind very well but the other 270' were pretty good.[/QUOTE]

    8FC957BE-5F45-4B0C-B716-752EB4A1B704.jpg

    A good friend build a couple Westport Sharpies with Sprit Rigs, see image. His booms are up high. He has three mast steps so he can use two sails or one. He can rig and launch very quickly, he is a great sailor and his boat is excellent. She is fast and nimble. But can not point anywhere near as high and our balanced lugs, he is quick to admit.
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Man. Thanks everyone. Really well thought out and presented commentary. Especially the experiences with the various spritsail rigs. While I see some definite advantages to both the balanced and standing lug rigs, I do find myself drawn to the spritsail rigs for any number of reasons. I’d still like to learn more about small gaffers, but I’m not sure that a gaff rig is right for what this boat will be.

    I’m so impressed with the quality of responses. Truly.

    So… ketches. Can a traditional ketch rig be a satisfying and practical rig for a modern daysailer? A lot of the historic boats I’m drawn to in the sizes I’m considering are two-masted. And they’re ketches. Hampton, Noman’s Land, Kingston Lobster boats… Some rigs I look at and think “Yup. That’ll do.” Others… others I can’t quite see how they worked as working rigs, let alone how they would work on a family boat.

    Cuspidor, a Hampton boat in Mystic Seaport Watercraft, seems like a reasonable recreational rig. As does the rig on Orca, a Noman’s Land boat. But I keep looking at the rig on the Bay of Fundy boat Ocean Queen and cannot make sense of how it worked. Ditto the Wood’s Hole boat set up as a ketch. How the…?

    I have scans saved of these boats, but not sure about copyright… the book is online from Mystic’s Collections & Research if anyone cares to take a peak.

    Matt, that sharpie of your friend’s looks great. Seems well thought out for having a few crew along. Other than pointing, any complaints?

    Maybe two masts rigged as a ketch is one too many to be practical here. But I’m hopeful.
    Last edited by RyanGillnet; 09-12-2021 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Removed Image

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Paul, Ben, Steve, Tom, Dave, John, Alex, Brian, The Jeff (ha!), Matt - thanks for the excellent and insightful thoughts on these rigs. Clear text and great photos.

    Jeff - I learned a lot just looking at your photos. (I’m not ready to even ask about the topsail…)

    Dave and Tom - your thoughts on the ‘personality’ of the rigs, or ‘what they’re about’ is really spot on and resonates with what I want this boat to be. Thank you.

    Dave - that photo of the shallop and Kalmar Nyckel is great. It’s obvious the spritsail is boomless in the photo, but it also looks like there may be the shadow of a sprit boom on the sail. I’d love to know more about the boat, it’s rig, and your experiences.

    Ben - as always, thanks for the historical viewpoint as well as the practical points to ponder.

    Alex - always important to consider the local waters and end use of a boat. Thanks for putting that back to the fore.

    Brian - thanks for your experience with both the standing lug and spritsail. I’m curious to know more about your experiences with the rigs.

    Matt - more practical info. Thanks!

  28. #63
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Austin, TX
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    517

    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    [/QUOTE] So… ketches. Can a traditional ketch rig be a satisfying and practical rig for a modern daysailer? A lot of the historic boats I’m drawn to in the sizes I’m considering are two-masted. And they’re ketches. Hampton, Noman’s Land, Kingston Lobster boats… Some rigs I look at and think “Yup. That’ll do.” Others… others I can’t quite see how they worked as working rigs, let alone how they would work on a family boat.

    https://bandbyachtdesigns.com/core-sound-17/

    I think Graham and B&B Yatchs have one of the best modern examples of a traditional cat Ketch rig. No worriers about performance here his boats fly. I bet if you bought a rig from him and followed his tips, you would not be sad.

    FE594696-78C7-46D6-B910-8A181C03FE2C.jpg




    Matt, that sharpie of your friend’s looks great. Seems well thought out for having a few crew along. Other than pointing, any complaints? [/QUOTE]

    https://www.woodenboat.com/register-...ts/lyova-marie

    See more details of Chris's Sharpie in this link. I think he did a wonderful job building this boat, his ply bottom/pine plank sides method is strong, light, and has lasted a long time now. And the boat gets used! It takes two people or one and a big dog easily. It is a straight take-off from a working boat that is in his family. The only drawback he has talked about it some type of cavitation off the stern during high speeds. We have theorized that as this was a working boat maybe it does not have enough weight in in it now and the the run in not operating properly?? If I was going to go for a modern boat is this style I would look at Jim Michalak's work, I think he has done a great job drawing modern flat bottom boats.


    Not sure why the Pathfinder is in here can't edit it out, but a good gaff yawl!
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    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Dave - that photo of the shallop and Kalmar Nyckel is great. It’s obvious the spritsail is boomless in the photo, but it also looks like there may be the shadow of a sprit boom on the sail. I’d love to know more about the boat, it’s rig, and your experiences.
    Ryan, There is no boom, that shadow is a seam in the sail, which I believe was made up from canvas from a bigger, retired sail. The sail was in poor shape when I took over, but with repairs we got several years use from it.

    So that shallop has a dead straight keel and loaded with crew draws enough water that it doesn't need leeboards to track, although traditionally leeboards would have been fitted, and indeed with just a couple of crew it would probably benefit from them. This boat was drawn by Thomas Gillmer to be, as best as can be figured, a typical Dutch-built shallop of the early 17th Century. These boats were the pickup trucks of their day -- all-purpose craft focused more on moving some weight and volume, goods or people, rather than having a great turn of speed or bowing to the odd modern preoccupation with ability to point. (Don't get me started.) They had oars for moving dead into the wind. We always had six on board and, manned by six oarsmen, the boat would plow into any breeze, no issues.

    She nevertheless sailed upwind quite nicely with that worn out old sail. The sheet was shifted with each tack to a cleat on the rail. Downwind the foot would curl in. So what? We were moving along just fine. In that photo, we were actually gaining on the mother ship with her massive fore course set, not to mention all the following breeze pressing on that mass of spars and lines aloft.

    It's not a question about which boat or rig is better. The question is which one suits your goals. You might notice that the crew looks pretty relaxed in our shallop -- and I can tell you that we always were because when you have a short rig of just 75 square feet driving a full, deep boat that displaces, with crew, something like 2300 pounds, there's not much risk of capsize.

    The shallop is 18' by 6' beam, with very full bow sections and a run that tapers in the old "cod's head and mackerel tail" manner. These old heavily built workboats are something to experience if you haven't sailed one. The weight and stability underfoot give a satisfying feel and are reassuring to novice crew. We had a swivel gun mounted on the stem -- no problem standing just before the mast to work that piece.

    So if a person is not in a stupid hurry to get somewhere, but rather wants a solid, reliable boat that's of extreme ease to handle and will continue steadily on her way as the wind rises, something like a shallop with a spritsail might be the smart choice.

    (Admission: I have two sailboats, both rigged as balance-lug yawls. Far more fussy than the humble sprit rig. I did once have a 16' skiff that carried a spritsail, and my experience with that was similar to what I describe here with the shallop.)
    -Dave

  30. #65
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    Aug 2015
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    Austin, TX
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Thats a great description of sailing the shallop Dave! Would love to try that out.

    Ryan, last night I pulled a random older Woodenboat issue #95 off the shelf, I bought a lot off craigslist a while back. And came across this Saint Laurence River Beach Boat, well and thought of this thread.

    98A5E65A-9851-4ECC-86B7-A0BD7FE4B783_1_201_a.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Dave - that’s really a great description of sailing the shallop and of the merits of the spritsail in general. I worked a very heavily built wooden v-bottom skiff in Bristol Bay with similar burdensome characteristics that kept the crew feeling secure. Even with 5000 pounds of sockeye aboard and in heavy seas. Maybe that’s what started my interest in historic working sail… Also… sent you a PM.

    Matt - GREAT story about Chris’s sharpie. Really neat. Thanks for pointing me to it.

    The B&B Core Sound boats look great. More modern than what I intend to build, but a great 21st century take on the type and especially on the cat-ketch rig. He’s got a great write up titles ‘Why a Cat-Ketch’ here: https://bandbyachtdesigns.com/blog/why-a-cat-ketch/

    Now… that Saint Lawrence River Beach Boat… Holy Cow! What a serendipitous random pull off the bookshelf! A North American working boat with jib-headed spritsail yawl rig! They did exist! I wonder where the influence for the rig came from since it seems to be an anomaly for the time. Maybe a french connection? I’m going to need to see what I can find out.

    Also. ‘Maritime Ethnologist’ sounds like a damn neat job.

    R

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Ben - I just read your ‘Living with Sprit Sails’ in Small Boats. Wonderful stuff! Thank you!

  33. #68
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    Auckland New Zealand
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    1

    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Good morning folks. My first post as I have just joined your forum. I love the cutter rig for its flexibility and ability to be used in a variety of conditions. In Auckland I sailed on a 60 foot wooden racer named Ranger.. In winds above 20knots on the wind we carried a small staysail on the inner stay. In same wind range on a reach we put up a large yankee. Under 15 we carried a large genoa and when tacking were able to bring the inner stay to the mast to allow the genoa to tack easily. Sail combinations across a range of wind speed. In very light conditions we sometimes used a jib topsail on the outer stay.

  34. #69
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    I’ve been pondering on that St. Lawrence boat. A lot. It’s a yawl. Also trying to figure out why it seems somewhat familiar.

    Saint Lawrence River Boat
    994F9CDB-B8CC-4A2B-B2A2-AC6FCF3F1E35.jpg

    Don Kurylko’s Myst
    85CEB3BC-0E78-4E4C-8865-B346708C6EF9.jpeg

    Standing lug rather than spritsail, but…

  35. #70
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    Sep 2003
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    If you can make it to the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in the first weekend in October, you can see a lot of small boats in person and probably even get to sail on a few.

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