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Thread: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    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.
    I meant to respond to this earlier. I sometimes use an oar to boom out my standing lug for downwind sailing. I have three settings--high tension is oar handle bungeed to clew, oar blade propped against the leeward side of the centerboard case. Middle tension is blade at the leeward side of the windward side bench. Low tension is oar blade at windward gunwale.

    Depending on wind strength and oar/boom setting as described above, I can keep the sail stretched pretty taut this way. I think the sheet on a boomless rig is still providing a fair amount of downward force on the clew--the oar provides the "outhaul" tension. (I think--I'd be willing to bet I can be proven wrong about that, though). I haven't done it in very high winds, because then I'm well reefed down and probably sheeting in on purpose to reduce exposing too much sail to the wind.

    Tom
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    (Admission: I have two sailboats, both rigged as balance-lug yawls. Far more fussy than the humble sprit rig.
    Dave,

    I'd be keenly interested to here more about your impression about the lugsail being "far more fussy" than the spritsail. The exact opposite has been my impression (lug rig being far less fussy than spritsail), but I've never had a lug yawl. Is it the yawl configuration that makes it more fussy?

    Having used spritsails (boomed, sprit boomed, and boomless) and lugsails (balance lug, standing lug + sprit boom, and boomless standing lug), my impression is that the lug rig (sans mizzen) wins, hands down, for ease of handling and (especially) ease of reefing. What are you seeing that I'm not? Very curious.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 09-13-2021 at 09:47 PM.
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  3. #73
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    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?
    This makes me think of Don Kurylko's designs, Alaska and Myst. Alaska's boomless standing lug mainsail (almost) overlaps the ketch mizzen (a sprit boomed standing lug), and the plans call for a double sheet. The standing lug mainsail of Myst does not overlap the mizzen, and uses a single sheet. So I suspect that where the sails don't overlap, you'd have to be crazy to complicate things with a double sheet. Just a guess, though.

    I think the reason Alaska w/mizzen uses a double sheet is, there's no way to easily handle a single sheet for the main from the helm, because the mizzen gets in the way, even with no actual overlap of sails.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 09-13-2021 at 09:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Ok so I'm late to this thread.
    Did I see from 1-4 people, over nighting for 4 on board puts you into a trailer-sailer and probably over 20' long and motor not oars for auxiliary power.
    2 sleeping on board either. Cuddy, cabin or boom tent+ 2 on shore with a tent opens up all the camp cruisers in that 14-18' range.

    I'm a fan of John Welsford's work, pathfinder, navigator etc,
    Z

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    This makes me think of Don Kurylko's designs, Alaska and Myst. Alaska's boomless standing lug mainsail (almost) overlaps the ketch mizzen (a sprit boomed standing lug), and the plans call for a double sheet. The standing lug mainsail of Myst does not overlap the mizzen, and uses a single sheet. So I suspect that where the sails don't overlap, you'd have to be crazy to complicate things with a double sheet. Just a guess, though.

    I think the reason Alaska w/mizzen uses a double sheet is, there's no way to easily handle a single sheet for the main from the helm, because the mizzen gets in the way, even with no actual overlap of sails.

    Tom
    Just so.

    Easy to control the sheet from the helm with that transom stepped mizzen. With that boom, I would sheet the foresail to cleats on the gunwale just forward of the end of the tiller.

    But not possible with the mizzen stepped in the boat.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #76
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Dave,

    I'd be keenly interested to here more about your impression about the lugsail being "far more fussy" than the spritsail. The exact opposite has been my impression (lug rig being far less fussy than spritsail), but I've never had a lug yawl. Is it the yawl configuration that makes it more fussy?

    Having used spritsails (boomed, sprit boomed, and boomless) and lugsails (balance lug, standing lug + sprit boom, and boomless standing lug), my impression is that the lug rig (sans mizzen) wins, hands down, for ease of handling and (especially) ease of reefing. What are you seeing that I'm not? Very curious.

    Tom
    This does not surprise me. History supports that in the working small craft around the UK coast. I think that there were only half a dozen types with a sprit rig. They were the small Stroma Yawls, two spritsails in a 15 foot boat.
    Hull or Humber gold dusters carried a two masted sprit schooner rig on an 18 foot boat. The sprit was favoured as they were pilot and foy boats that needed to be able to muzzle the rig quickly when coming alongside.
    Then was the Medway doble. an 18 foot double ended river craft with a single spritsail.
    Then there was a big foy boat working out of Portsmouth harbour called a Spiyhead wherry, with sprit for and mizzen and a sprit rigged fishing craft working out of Poole Harbour. These were the only craft over 18 foot.
    The Hallsands crabber was a light two-man boat of 12 to 15 foot, rigged with a single spritsail.
    There was one sprit rigged craft fishing off the end of the Llyn Peninsular, and the Gig boats of the River Mersey, again a river foy boat carried two or three spritsails.
    Every other small working boat was either dipping or standing lug rigged, most if not all set without a boom.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    There are several factors in the 19th century divergence between American and Continental practice as I understand it. A big one was that the sprit was pretty well established in colonial days. And the lug seems to have been developed in the late 18th / 19th centuries. Generally speaking newly arrived fishermen used the local boats but may have changed gear, thinking about the Dutch in Great South Bay. In places where there was no indigenous small boat fleet they brought boats from their home land: e.g. the New Orleans luggers, and the San Franciso feluccas. Second is that it was rare to have a fishery in the US working off the beach. Looking at "Working Boats of Britain" beach work was common. Many of the US harbors required twists and turn where something like a dipping lug would have been impractical where as a cat rig would be just the thing. And third is that the American boats generally used much smaller crews in similar sized boats. Rowing was rare. Again looking at Working Boats of Britain.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Im just getting into this thread. Lots of great info.


    First off, you really ought to look into the Traditional Small Craft Association, which is all about exactly what you're after. http://www.tsca.net

    It just so happens that the TSCA is sponsoring the MASCF that Brian mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Palmer View Post
    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.
    https://cbmm.org/events/annual-festi...raft-festival/



    Second, there was some talk about Tim Yeadon's Mattinicus earlier in the thread. Big Food is a John Garden design, about 15'. There is also my Mattinicus, Matty, which is a Walter Simmons design, and is 16' long and a good bit beamier. Big Food has a fairly hard turn of the bilge, and is traditional lapstrake, while Matty is quite round and glued lap.

    Have a look at Jim Luton's Simmons Mattinicus Double Ender, partially decked and sporting a very nice balanced Lug yawl rig.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...truction/page8
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Tom - thanks for your continued interest and great commentary.

    Nick - great insight regarding the UK And notes on Alaska and Myst rigs. I do like both of those designs, especially Myst, but I think they’re both strip - built.

    Ben - as always, great historical perspective. The waters and methods drive the design. When lives and livelihoods depend on hull and rig, different criteria must be met than that for a pleasure boat. Have you ever come across any information on the St Lawrence yawl posted above?

    Brian and Ben S. - TSCA is a great idea and I had quite forgotten to look them up. Thanks. Not sure I’ll be able to make the Chesapeake gathering, but a festival of some kind is in order methinks.

    The Matinicus boats really are appealing, but I wonder if they’re large enough and stable enough for my needs. Ben s., what’s your experience with the Simmons design?

    My wife, who’s not a boat person but has been eying up my scattered research, asked me last night “why two masts?” Then pointed to a Woods Hole boat and said “this looks simple to sail.”

    Hmmm.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    As for why two masts in these small boats : maybe one reason is because it's highly advantages to keep the sail area and spar weight low in open centerboard boats even though one big sail might be physically manageable . You can simply carry more sail safely . If you think about changeing the rig in a proven design probably these are two factors you should keep the same .
    Last edited by Bill Perkins; 09-14-2021 at 01:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Perkins View Post
    As for why two masts in these small boats : maybe one reason is because it's highly advantages to keep the sail area and spar weight low in open centerboard boats even though one big sail might be physically manageable . You can simply carry more sail safely . If you think about changeing the rig in a proven design probably these are two factors you should keep the same .
    Oh, I totally understand why the original boats split up the rig. Samantha is a practical woman and was commenting that for a family daysailer that a single sail looks more manageable to her. ‘Simple’. Tiller and a single sheet. She certainly isn’t wrong on that account. And while I’ve really been interested in historic two-mast rigs, it might be worth considering something like a Woods Hole boat since no everyone aboard will be up to sailing a split rigged boat.

    I’m still one for a ketch or yawl though. But Samantha has me considering… as she’s been known to do.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post

    Brian and Ben S. - TSCA is a great idea and I had quite forgotten to look them up. Thanks. Not sure I’ll be able to make the Chesapeake gathering, but a festival of some kind is in order methinks.

    The Matinicus boats really are appealing, but I wonder if they’re large enough and stable enough for my needs. Ben s., what’s your experience with the Simmons design?



    The Simmons Mattinicus is graceful with a dramatic sheer line. Its initially tender, but has good secondary stability. There's a good amount of space for 2 adults and two kids. I want to fit buoyancy tanks or bags to give it some floatation in case of a capsize, because I think, if swamped, the gunwale would below the water.


    All that said, I'm currently building a Welsford Navigator, which I think would fit your mission brief very well. A modern hull shape with a classic look. Can be rigged as a gaff yawl if you like to pull strings, a sliding gunter sloop, a marconi sloop, or the balanced lug yawl that I'm going for.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Tom - thanks for your continued interest and great commentary.

    Nick - great insight regarding the UK And notes on Alaska and Myst rigs. I do like both of those designs, especially Myst, but I think they’re both strip - built.
    Fun thread! FYI, fellow WBF members have built both Alaska and Myst in glued lapstrake, with (I think) threads here on the forum. The plans don't include info for that, but the hulls appear suitable for a motivated builder. Alex on this thread built his Alaska in glued lap.

    Tom
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    This is a fun thread! I love this stuff. Wait until I start one about an actual boat design rather than just the rig. Im feeling comfortable with either sprit or lug because of all the great feedback here. I’m soon going to start one specifically on ketch-rigged traditional boats and see what knowledge and experience I can gather from the good people of the forum.

    I don’t think I’m up for altering a design’s construction just yet. And I’m pretty sensitive to epoxy. I glued up a bamboo fly rod with epoxy once - I felt sick for hours afterwards. I’d probably be ok with gluing laps, but whole boat glue up and coating an entire hull isn’t in the cards. I’ll use plywood where it makes sense without complaint (edges sealed), but I really do prefer working with lumber rather than sheet material. I know that’s going to be tough with my requirements.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Actually… if I were to build a flat bottom boat, the construction method that Matt’s friend Chris used on his sharpies is a good balance - ply bottoms with traditional topsides and interior. Also, I think there’s a Tad Roberts design that’s a similar mix of methods. Glued and glassed ply lapstrake for the below waterline strakes, traditional lapstrake above. Full traditional sawn frames, etc.

    Back to rigs. Anyone with experience with cat-rigged boats? Gaff, lug or sprit? Small catboats, Woods Hole boats, Delaware Duckers? Samantha’s comment has me thinking.
    Last edited by RyanGillnet; 09-14-2021 at 06:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Thanks fellas. Good start for discussion.

    Tom and Matt - I like lug sails well enough and I really like yawls. But as you say, lugs weren’t prevalent on working boats along the eastern seaboard of North America.

    Neither were yawls, at least that I can find evidence for. Which is a bit baffling for me. As a former gillnetter, I appreciate a clear deck for working gear. A cat-yawl can give you all the space in the world to work without unstepping a mast. More so than the endemic ketch that seems to have been the two-mast rig for small craft. For modern recreational daysailing or costal cruising in an open boat, yawls seem to have a lot going for them. The oar-and-sail guys make intelligent and impassioned arguments for the rig. And I’m sort of obsessed with the French jib-headed lug yawls that were traditional fishing rigs and are now popular recreational rigs on boats like the Vivier Ebihen 16.

    But, you know… European rather than North American. Unless there was a jibbed spritsail yawl rig on an undiscovered Noman’s Land boat out there…

    Why no yawls?!

    Let’s ignore overnights for now. It would be two adults and two littles among the islands, but still a big ask unless going ashore in a tent. Two aboard under a boom tent maybe…

    Anyway… Paul, a couple of open cat-rigged boats are being thought about. A small cuddy would certainly be nice, but not necessary. Catboats have a lot of advantages for sure. Especially for having a couple kiddos aboard. I don’t have any experience with gaffers so I’m not sure about rigging when trailer sailing. Maybe the smaller ones are handier than they look. I’ve looked long at the Woods Hole boats, dismissed them for any number of reasons, and then come back to them. Boomless sprit? Add a boom, sprit boom or whisker pole?

    hmmm…
    As one of those who design "Oar and sail" boats with balanced lugsail mains and triangular, usually sprit boomed mizzens, I'd mention that one of the major advantages of this rig in a boat that will be rowed at least part time, is that it frees up the midships area of the boat for rowing station (s) .
    Having tried just about every possible way of hanging a rag up there, sprits, lugs, gaffs, bermudian, even square rig, I find the balanced lugsail particularly effective on ALL points of sail, something that is not the case for boomless sails.
    Having a sail at each end of the boat as with a yawl makes it very easy to trim the boat to suit the point of sail, and if the boat is well proportioned in hull and rig its often possible to have the boat self steering, and in my own designs the rig is proportioned to allow the boat to lie head to wind when the mizzen is sheeted in and the main let fly.
    All of which are very helpful when sailing shorthanded or with unskilled crew.

    John Welsford
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    As one of those who design "Oar and sail" boats with balanced lugsail mains and triangular, usually sprit boomed mizzens, I'd mention that one of the major advantages of this rig in a boat that will be rowed at least part time, is that it frees up the midships area of the boat for rowing station (s) .
    Having tried just about every possible way of hanging a rag up there, sprits, lugs, gaffs, bermudian, even square rig, I find the balanced lugsail particularly effective on ALL points of sail, something that is not the case for boomless sails.
    Having a sail at each end of the boat as with a yawl makes it very easy to trim the boat to suit the point of sail, and if the boat is well proportioned in hull and rig its often possible to have the boat self steering, and in my own designs the rig is proportioned to allow the boat to lie head to wind when the mizzen is sheeted in and the main let fly.
    All of which are very helpful when sailing shorthanded or with unskilled crew.

    John Welsford
    This why I am now building a yawl, I have recently realised I am no longer 23 and leaping around the inside of a dinghy results in 2 days of pain afterwards - especially when trying to bring a fast dinghy (gunter rig) into a concrete ramp with no pontoons and very sharp open oyster shells attached to the underwater stones....... I am looking forward to a lugsail and a mizzen :-)

    Regards Neil

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Dave,

    I'd be keenly interested to here more about your impression about the lugsail being "far more fussy" than the spritsail. The exact opposite has been my impression (lug rig being far less fussy than spritsail), but I've never had a lug yawl. Is it the yawl configuration that makes it more fussy?

    Having used spritsails (boomed, sprit boomed, and boomless) and lugsails (balance lug, standing lug + sprit boom, and boomless standing lug), my impression is that the lug rig (sans mizzen) wins, hands down, for ease of handling and (especially) ease of reefing. What are you seeing that I'm not? Very curious.

    Tom
    Tom - When I made that comment I was thinking more about the business of setting up and striking these rigs, and how many control lines are involved. Once under way, both are very easy to work. I really like the way a spritsail can be quickly rolled up around the sprit and tied off to the mast. It leaves the rest of the boat totally clear. And as has been mentioned, once bundled up, the entire rig can be lifted from the partner, all in a piece.

    My larger balanced lug main, at 150 square feet, has as many control lines as a gaffer. It all works very satisfactorily, but it is nowhere near the simplicity of the sprit rig.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Tom - When I made that comment I was thinking more about the business of setting up and striking these rigs, and how many control lines are involved. Once under way, both are very easy to work. I really like the way a spritsail can be quickly rolled up around the sprit and tied off to the mast. It leaves the rest of the boat totally clear. And as has been mentioned, once bundled up, the entire rig can be lifted from the partner, all in a piece.

    My larger balanced lug main, at 150 square feet, has as many control lines as a gaffer. It all works very satisfactorily, but it is nowhere near the simplicity of the sprit rig.
    Hmm... That sounds more like a function of size than lug vs. spritsail, and to some degree, how many complications a builder decides to include. My 85 sq ft boomless standing lugsail has halyard + downhaul, and can also be brailed to clear the boat. But then, it's so simple to drop the sail, I usually do that instead to reduce windage and weight aloft. The similarly-sized balance lugs I've used also had halyard + downhaul. Funny that we have such opposite impressions based on use--I see lugsails as much simpler than spritsails pretty much all around, but particularly in setting up and striking, which you see as strengths of the spritsail.

    I see a lot of people mentioning the spritsail move of lifting the entire mast + sail out of the partner as an advantage, but that's not always the easiest thing to manage while out on the water in a small boat! Seems simpler to drop the sail and leave a bare pole up.

    Reefing, I think, is pretty inarguably simpler with lugsails than spritsails.

    Clearly, they both work, though!

    Tom
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    There are several factors in the 19th century divergence between American and Continental practice as I understand it. A big one was that the sprit was pretty well established in colonial days. And the lug seems to have been developed in the late 18th / 19th centuries.
    Lug may well have been around a lot earlier than that. It will have developed from the old Norse square sails of the 10th and 11th C
    Generally speaking newly arrived fishermen used the local boats but may have changed gear, thinking about the Dutch in Great South Bay. In places where there was no indigenous small boat fleet they brought boats from their home land: e.g. the New Orleans luggers, and the San Franciso feluccas. Second is that it was rare to have a fishery in the US working off the beach. Looking at "Working Boats of Britain" beach work was common. Many of the US harbors required twists and turn where something like a dipping lug would have been impractical where as a cat rig would be just the thing. And third is that the American boats generally used much smaller crews in similar sized boats. Rowing was rare. Again looking at Working Boats of Britain.
    Your point about tacking into and out of harbours or rivers is valid. However, a standing lug is a handy rig and may well be simpler than the sprit, which is the point made by Tom that I was addressing.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Lug may well have been around a lot earlier than that. It will have developed from the old Norse square sails of the 10th and 11th C Your point about tacking into and out of harbours or rivers is valid. However, a standing lug is a handy rig and may well be simpler than the sprit, which is the point made by Tom that I was addressing.
    The Osler monograph on Shetland boats details the evolution of the square sail to the lug and gives us some dates. I've not seen evidence that it happened earlier than the 18th century, and it is interesting that it didn't happen in Norway. Instead in the 18th century the Norse in the southern area ( Bergen etc, the fat part) switched to spritsail sloop in the small boats that sailed the deep fjords, while in the north the square was developed further into a high aspect rig.

    Fact remains that on this side of the pond the lug as a working rig was seen only in the New Orleans area with the French influence. And it was rare in whaleboats where the users had plenty of chances to see the rigs in foreign whalers in the 19th century.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    John, thanks for taking the time to share your experience from a research and professional design standpoint. I’ve always admired your well thought-out boats.

    Tom and Dave - I’m really enjoying your comparisons of practical experiences with lug and sprit rigs. I’m learning by just listening!

    Ben and Nick - fascinating historical commentary. Interesting that the lug came to North America via the French in New Orleans but the sprit and gaff seem to have been thoroughly entrenched in the Canadian Maritimes. Was there any evidence of the yawl being present in NO?

    R

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by neil.henderson View Post
    This why I am now building a yawl, I have recently realised I am no longer 23 and leaping around the inside of a dinghy results in 2 days of pain afterwards - especially when trying to bring a fast dinghy (gunter rig) into a concrete ramp with no pontoons and very sharp open oyster shells attached to the underwater stones....... I am looking forward to a lugsail and a mizzen :-)

    Regards Neil
    I inherited a classic 18 ft gaffer, somewhat similar to the small working craft from the south coast of England. She's long keeled, heavy, has a large gaff sloop rig, and when setting up the rig after towing her to the boatramp it takes a long time to get it all sorted and in order.
    Four halyards, three sets of reefing lines, topping lift, lazyjacks, five part mainsheet, two jibs, jib sheets, plus various other bits of tack. She's a real treat to sail, but not the sort of ship you'd launch for a sail in the evening after you get home from work.
    I've also got my little 15ft double ender, she's got a balanced lugsail. One halyard to pull the sail up, one to pull the boom down, and a mainsheet to pull it in. The reef lines are left rigged, thats it, perhaps 10 or 12 minutes to set up or break down.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp6wjKHymCg
    The link shows Blair in the proof of concept Saturday Night Special, (red boat) and myself in my SEI, the boat I mentioned above) coming home from a weekend cruise to Kawau Island about 7 miles out. You can clearly see the benefits of the boomed balanced lugsails off the wind, the projected area, and the control over twist and shape is much better than with a boomless sail.
    That was a great day by the way, we're hoping to be back there again in December.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  24. #94
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    The Osler monograph on Shetland boats details the evolution of the square sail to the lug and gives us some dates. I've not seen evidence that it happened earlier than the 18th century, and it is interesting that it didn't happen in Norway. Instead in the 18th century the Norse in the southern area ( Bergen etc, the fat part) switched to spritsail sloop in the small boats that sailed the deep fjords, while in the north the square was developed further into a high aspect rig.

    Fact remains that on this side of the pond the lug as a working rig was seen only in the New Orleans area with the French influence. And it was rare in whaleboats where the users had plenty of chances to see the rigs in foreign whalers in the 19th century.
    There are Norwegian boats with (weird shaped) lugs, the ones from Nordfjord were a bit flat headed, whilst the ones from Sunnmore were really odd looking.

    Shetland is an outlier. It was closer to Bergen in Norway than to Scotland, so that is where all their trade and boats came from until steamers bought Aberdeen closer. Although the Shetland sail is dipping lug shaped with a tack and clew which requires dipping every tack, the masts have standing rigging, which is extremely rare on dipping luggers, and the Shetlanders still refer to the rig as "square sail".
    Meanwhile, the Norse influence on the Scottish and Western Isles seaway continued to evolve with the Norse model developing into luggers like the Fifie, Scaffy , Ness Sgoth and the collections of lug riggeed boats on the Clyde. In the Isle of Man the Norse square sail boats evolved into dipping luggers named scowtes used in the herring fishery.
    You can see how the square sail morphed into a lug on this old model of a Deal Lugger.
    Nimble sail plan.jpg
    The leech of the sails are square to the head, only the luffs and foot having any shape cut in.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Great video and comments, John. The video certainly shows the advantage of the boomed balanced lug off the wind.

    Nick - fascinating stuff! The Deal Lugger really does illustrate the transition well. When does it date to?

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanGillnet View Post
    Nick - fascinating stuff! The Deal Lugger really does illustrate the transition well. When does it date to?
    The model found its way to a barn in New England. When Erik A Ronnberg was commissioned to restore it in 1982 all provenance had been lost.
    All we know is that, in common with many luggers on the British coasts, the main mast was given up before 1850, which is why luggers now are foresail and mizzen rigs.
    Unfortunately no one really bothered to document small working craft much before this, unless it was in a byelaw, as happened with the Manx scowtes. The change in the Shetland Isles can be dated to the time that the lairds allowed young men to leave the islands, allowing them to join the merchant marine and learn how to tack a boat into the wind. Before then the old men only sailed off the wind. If the wind headed them, they struck the rig and rowed.
    So we do not really know when boatmen morphed the square rig into the lug, by slinging the yard further forward than at its middle. Edgar March claimed in his Sailing Drifters that the French had perfected the three masted lugger by 1770.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    I inherited a classic 18 ft gaffer, somewhat similar to the small working craft from the south coast of England. She's long keeled, heavy, has a large gaff sloop rig, and when setting up the rig after towing her to the boatramp it takes a long time to get it all sorted and in order.
    Four halyards, three sets of reefing lines, topping lift, lazyjacks, five part mainsheet, two jibs, jib sheets, plus various other bits of tack. She's a real treat to sail, but not the sort of ship you'd launch for a sail in the evening after you get home from work.
    I've also got my little 15ft double ender, she's got a balanced lugsail. One halyard to pull the sail up, one to pull the boom down, and a mainsheet to pull it in. The reef lines are left rigged, thats it, perhaps 10 or 12 minutes to set up or break down.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp6wjKHymCg
    The link shows Blair in the proof of concept Saturday Night Special, (red boat) and myself in my SEI, the boat I mentioned above) coming home from a weekend cruise to Kawau Island about 7 miles out. You can clearly see the benefits of the boomed balanced lugsails off the wind, the projected area, and the control over twist and shape is much better than with a boomless sail.
    That was a great day by the way, we're hoping to be back there again in December.

    John Welsford

    Thanks John, yes I am building for a balanced lug sail with boom.

  28. #98
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Thanks for everyone’s gracious input. I’ve learned a lot!

    Ryan

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    So… another thread has me motivated to build a sharpie skiff over the winter with the goal to have a mostly traditionally-built boat completed before a family vacation to the Connecticut coast. Still working out which particular design to build, but it will be in the 18’-ish class in the Connecticut or Chesapeake model. Something around 5’ in beam. And, of course, a flat bottom. Workboat finish. I’m gathering materials. This will be great fun, get a boat built, and build experience for when I go for that next, ‘serious’ build.

    That isn’t to say that I’m just banging something together, here. But I understand the construction of this type and have the skill set to do it. So… Ima gonna do it.

    Now, relevant to this thread… this boat will give me an opportunity to build a rig. Historically, a lot of these boats had simple rigs with sprit booms. Some had a vertical club at the clew. Lots reefed vertically at the luff. I’m willing to do something else. Single- or double-mast. Cat, ketch or yawl. Jib or not. I’m open to suggestions. Traditional, but not necessarily authentic to the type. New England and Chesapeake coastal waters. My first thought was a spritsail yawl with a small leg-o-mutton mizzen. What say you all?
    Last edited by RyanGillnet; 09-19-2021 at 09:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Plenty to consider in that last post. I would be inclined to go with something close to the original cat ketch if you build the sharpie, so that you won’t have a several season experiment to get a novel rig well balanced to the hull. Sprit booms are nice to live with, keeping rigid swinging bits well overhead of crew with various levels of experience and situational awareness, and they work well to control sail shape. You may want to consider experimenting with the rig in terms of modern materials and systems aimed toward single handing or easier sailing with short crew, and easy reefing systems for kids and teens, so they’ll have a boat that’s easy to manage once you go Coot Club and have the kids tagging along in the sharpie while you and your wife are in the no man’s land boat (or similar). If they are in your budget, carbon spars are very stiff, and delightfully light when stepping or striking the rig. If they can be sorted with sufficient bury to set free standing without shrouds, your time from trailer to sailing will be very quick. Carbon can be painted to look like wood so that from a few feet away, no one will know it isn’t a traditional wooden spar.

  31. #101
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    I’m more than likely to stick with the original rig as it’s a known successful setup. But it’s an interesting thought experiment to consider alternatives. This isn’t something I’d do without considerable contemplation and professional support.

  32. #102
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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    cat ketch rigged with boomed foresail

    Attachment 94758
    I am torn where to reply to these two related threads, but I guess I'll go with this one and hope it spills over. I built the Chapelle "Western Lakes Mackinaw" partially to have a boat, but also as a history experiment in why the old farts on the great lakes liked the design. Part of my quest has been hull shape and part the rig. I only have two summers in the boat so far, but this is what I might venture about ketch rig on a working boat:

    1) as is often mentioned, low center of effort for a lot of sail. My sail area to wetted surface ratio is 2.38, 394 sft of sail on a centerboard hull that is 26'7" between perpendiculars, just shy of 6000# with water ballast full.
    2) sail spread fore and aft, and long straight keel make the boat very forgiving and adjustable for helm balance through sail trim and reefing options. I can often simply let go of the tiller, and I can always lash it and go straight. Conversely, this boat doesn't turn quickly, and it's handy to be able to grab the mizzen boom and back it from the cockpit position when coming about.
    3) Lots of lines that need to be pulled: 5 halyards and 5 sheets, or if I put the jib on a self-tending spar, 4 sheets, which is pretty necessary when single handing. However a club jib can't be backed when coming about unless you have a crew member up there.
    4) I have tried to sail it cat-ketch and it doesn't work, even though the jib is only 70 sft its ability to keep the bow down is formidable. Perhaps this is something like the "slot" effect.
    5) Gaff ketch is often cited as a good way to rig a vang on the main gaff. I rigged one, but it is way more trouble than it's worth and I stopped using it. I think modern sailcloth makes it possible to haul the gaff into line, but this might not have been the case with older cloth.
    6) Most Mackinaw boats are cited as being unstayed, and I understand the appeal when hauling the two part mainsheet around my mizzen shrouds. However the mizzen shrouds are an awful comforting thing to lean on, especially when tying a reef in the clew of the main.
    7) The Western Lakes Mackinaw is a big open boat, the mizzen doesn't crowd the helmsman and I have had 9 adults on board comfortably, one was a guy who weighed over #300. It's actually great to have that much moveable ballast. Though it might make sense that brailing the main would be a good way to get working room for commercial fishing, historic accounts cite often fishing from the skinny stern, go figure. You would think that the "cod's head / mackerel tail" hull form would encourage pulling nets over the bow.
    8) Lately I start reefing the mizzen first and often get it all the way down before I touch the main. I haven't yet had success with the Jib and jigger (dowse main) approach. The jib has no power without the main to slot around. Though this could also be due to the crappy jib I have, $35 mail order used. Historic photos show Native Americans using Mackinaw shaped boats into the mid 1940's which were sloop rigged.
    9) The photo above shows some kind of halyard rigging that I can't quite analyze, and accounts say that Mackinaws were often rigged with a single halyard per sail. I couldn't imagine dealing with lines from 3 or 4 part tackles and I have single lines each to peak and throat with down hauls and handi-billies to tension.

    That's all I got at this hour of the evening, I'll stick a photo on this and talk to youse in the morning.

    DSC_0026-001.jpg

    Ken
    Last edited by kbowen; 10-06-2021 at 10:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Ken, that’s an incredible analysis! Thank you for taking the time to write. Lovely boat, and you sure look like you’re enjoying it!

    Interesting notes on reefing and balance. When the mizzen is all down and you’re under full main and jib, how does she balance? Ever have occasion to sail under main alone? Will she weathercock with stem to wind with just the mizzen up?

    I need to refresh my memory about the lakes fishery the Mackinaw was used in, but if drift gillnet, I can understand working over the stern.

    It’s such a beautiful rig, and really seems to be practical for the use it was developed for. For my own eventual use - sailing off a trailer - a gaff ketch with standing rigging probably isn’t practical. But if I was in a situation where the boat was moored for the season, I can see it being a great rig for a large, open boat yacht on a workboat pattern.

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    quote: I use the French misainier technique of manually switching the sheet to the leeward gunwale at each tack.

    what is this?

    Ken

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    Default Re: Traditional Working Sail Rigs - Modern Recreational Craft

    Quote Originally Posted by kbowen View Post
    quote: I use the French misainier technique of manually switching the sheet to the leeward gunwale at each tack.

    what is this?

    Ken
    The sheet block for the mainsail (only sail) is hooked on a cleat on the leeward gunwale at each tack. Like this:



    First tack is about 1:05 into the video, I think.

    Tom
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