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Thread: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

  1. #1
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    Default lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    For fun, and to see if it's more handy, I made a ring thing with a loop and a hook to hang the yard from as it's hauled up and down the mast on my standing lug rigged dinghy. Sadly I don't know the actual name for it. 'Mast ring'?
    I currently attach my halyard to my spar with a topsail yard bend. It works fine.
    I use a parrel to hold it against the mast and because it looks $%@#^%$ great, which I feel is reason enough.

    For the mast ring thingy
    I can think of a few ways to have a loop attached to the spar but I was wondering if there was some usual tried and true methods?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    I call it a mast traveler.

    The halyard is attached to the top loop of the traveler and the yard has a grommet seized around it that goes in the hook on the bottom of the traveler.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    I rigged one of these for a while (I also call it a mast traveler) but abandoned it pretty quickly for a couple of reasons.** But to attach it to the yard, I simply used a lashing of 3mm (I think) cord on the yard, doubled a few times to make a loop at the hoist point.

    I tied this lashing on the yard as tightly as I could, using (I think) a couple of double fisherman knots. I also tied it a bit farther down the yard than I wanted it to end up, so that it REALLY tightened up when I pushed it (quite tediously) up the yard to where the diameter was thicker at the hoist point.

    ** 1. My mast is not designed to be tall enough for a mast traveler to work well. To get the height needed for my sail, I have to hoist the yard all the way up to the beehole at the top of the mast. That works fine if I tie the halyard directly to the yard with a constrictor hitch. With a mast traveler, though, it creates an awkward sharp bend in the halyard's run because it needs to run over the ring, and then through the beehole. It never worked well. There needs to be a fair bit of mast ABOVE the beehole.

    **2. The main advantage I see to a mast traveler is that you can instantly detach the yard from the halyard. This would be a great advantage in a boat with a layout where the foredeck makes it impossible to simply lay the yard down, still tied to the halyard--the Phoenix III is like that. You kind of have to detach the halyard to be able to stow the yard for rowing, because the foredeck interferes.

    But with my boat, the "foredeck" is actually a flat at thwart height (also mast partner height). So I can drop the yard, still tied to the halyard, right onto this flat and there is room for it to lie neatly, flat, and not in the way of rowing. Then when it's time to hoist the sail again, the yard is still tied to the halyard, and all you have to do is hoist away--it's even faster than hooking it onto a mast traveler.

    So, for my particular boat--and probably for most/all boats without a fair bit of mast height above the halyard beehole/sheave, I doubt that a mast traveler is worth rigging. For many other boats, I bet it's the bee's pajamas.

    Tom
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I rigged one of these for a while (I also call it a mast traveler) but abandoned it pretty quickly for a couple of reasons.** But to attach it to the yard, I simply used a lashing of 3mm (I think) cord on the yard, doubled a few times to make a loop at the hoist point.

    I tied this lashing on the yard as tightly as I could, using (I think) a couple of double fisherman knots. I also tied it a bit farther down the yard than I wanted it to end up, so that it REALLY tightened up when I pushed it (quite tediously) up the yard to where the diameter was thicker at the hoist point.

    ** 1. My mast is not designed to be tall enough for a mast traveler to work well. To get the height needed for my sail, I have to hoist the yard all the way up to the beehole at the top of the mast. That works fine if I tie the halyard directly to the yard with a constrictor hitch. With a mast traveler, though, it creates an awkward sharp bend in the halyard's run because it needs to run over the ring, and then through the beehole. It never worked well. There needs to be a fair bit of mast ABOVE the beehole.

    **2. The main advantage I see to a mast traveler is that you can instantly detach the yard from the halyard. This would be a great advantage in a boat with a layout where the foredeck makes it impossible to simply lay the yard down, still tied to the halyard--the Phoenix III is like that. You kind of have to detach the halyard to be able to stow the yard for rowing, because the foredeck interferes.

    But with my boat, the "foredeck" is actually a flat at thwart height (also mast partner height). So I can drop the yard, still tied to the halyard, right onto this flat and there is room for it to lie neatly, flat, and not in the way of rowing. Then when it's time to hoist the sail again, the yard is still tied to the halyard, and all you have to do is hoist away--it's even faster than hooking it onto a mast traveler.

    So, for my particular boat--and probably for most/all boats without a fair bit of mast height above the halyard beehole/sheave, I doubt that a mast traveler is worth rigging. For many other boats, I bet it's the bee's pajamas.

    Tom
    Hey thanks for these responses. One thing I don't understand is why one would need a lot of mast ABOVE the beehole/sheave. Doesn't it work basically the same way except this allows instant removal and works as a parrel too?
    With mine I could see it dropping the maximum hoist down a couple inches. I thought that was better than having it hoisted up tight anyway. I am a relative newcomer to the whole lug rig world.

    I have a similarly laid out boat with no foredeck, and I can lay my spars out flat enough to row as is . I think I could get them a bit more out of the way without having the parrels on the mast etc. I've never had my parrels get hung up though.
    I just wanted to try it and see if I liked it.

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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    One thing I forgot , and forgot to mention, is that I have a removable bowsprit that attaches to my mast with a leather half jaw. So though the parrels are loose-ish and allow the spars to lie mostly flat, and I can row they do have a definite place they have to be and can't be repositioned for comfort etc. and they could lie flatter if the spar could be unhooked.
    It's not a big problem though and I'm mostly enjoying myself trying something new to see if I like it better

  6. #6
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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    One thing I forgot , and forgot to mention, is that I have a removable bowsprit that attaches to my mast with a leather half jaw. So though the parrels are loose-ish and allow the spars to lie mostly flat, and I can row they do have a definite place they have to be and can't be repositioned for comfort etc. and they could lie flatter if the spar could be unhooked.
    It's not a big problem though and I'm mostly enjoying myself trying something new to see if I like it better
    The Shetland boats tied the parrel to the yard. One end permanently, the other so that it is easy to cast off.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    Hey thanks for these responses. One thing I don't understand is why one would need a lot of mast ABOVE the beehole/sheave. Doesn't it work basically the same way except this allows instant removal and works as a parrel too?
    This may be an issue that's particular to my boat. It's rigged as a lugsail ketch in the plans, and you can see from the drawing that there's a fair bit of mast above the yard (NOT above the beehole--that always goes at the top--my mistake!), so a ring would work well in this configuration:

    Alaska Plans.jpg

    But I sail it with mainsail only, in the alternate center mast step (also shown in the plans) because I like a simpler rig:

    DSCN3310 cropped.jpg

    Edit to add: you can see in this photo I hadn't worked out how to maximize the hoist height--no visibility at all to leeward here, with the yard well below the beehole. Since then, I've shortened up my downhaul and can get the sail higher, with the yard tie-on point right at the beehole, which you can see here:

    yard height.jpg

    The thing is, the center mast step is on the keelson, about 12" lower than the forward mast step, which sits up on the bow "foredeck" flat, at thwart height. So by using the center mast step, I've lost 12" of hoist from the get-go. That being the case, I need every inch of hoist I can get.

    So, when using a traveler ring, if I run the halyard on the outside of the ring (where I think it actually belongs), the halyard has to make a sharp bend over the ring. With about 200 lbs of force on my downhaul (I've measured it), the mast ring gets more of a side load than I like, and it's just awkward. Add in the fact that I lose another 1" or so of hoist because of the way the hook hangs from the ring, and it just doesn't work for my boat.

    If I run the halyard on the inside of the ring, all those issues go away (even most of the lost 1" of hoist, because the halyard doesn't have to make that sharp bend). The trade-off is that it's bloody awkward to handle the halyard when it runs inside the ring, until the ring is hoisted to about shoulder height. From there it works fine.

    When it dawned on my that a quickly removable halyard is absolutely unnecessary in my boat, where I can stow the yard/sail bundle neatly on the flat without detaching the halyard, I went back to tying the yard directly onto the halyard. I'm much happier!

    So, none of that may matter in your boat. In which case, a mast traveler is probably just the ticket.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    I have a similarly laid out boat with no foredeck, and I can lay my spars out flat enough to row as is . I think I could get them a bit more out of the way without having the parrels on the mast etc. I've never had my parrels get hung up though.
    I just wanted to try it and see if I liked it.
    As for parrels, they're definitely needed when the sail is reefed, to keep the yard from sagging away from the mast. But when sailing unreefed, I often don't bother rigging one. When I need it, I use the tail of the halyard to tie a loop around the mast to act as a parrel.

    Sorry--long post that is probably only minimally relevant to your boat!

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-02-2022 at 08:19 AM.
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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    In case it's more useful, here's a look at how I attached a loop for the ring onto the yard:

    yard rigged 2.jpg

    The red line is, I think, 3mm. There's one loop tied as tightly as humanly possible to the yard, a couple of inches "downstream" from the actual hoist point. I took several turns around the yard and tied the ends together using a double fisherman knot; I might have done better by using the same method you'd use to wrap oars with line, which finishes neatly with tails tucked under. Then I ran a separate loop (doubled up) of the same 3mm cord under this (probably pre-rigged this loop because it would have been too tight after tying the wrap) for the loop.

    Once that was all rigged, I took a screwdriver (I think) and slowly pushed the entire wrap/loop combo up the yard to the real hoist point. Because it was tied tightly around a part of the yard with a smaller diameter, this really tightened it up. It took a while to do, but locked the loop in place just where I wanted it.

    There are probably many better, faster, ways to do this... But I do like avoiding additional hardware whenever possible.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 05-02-2022 at 07:00 AM.
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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    As for parrels, they're definitely needed when the sail is reefed, to keep the yard from sagging away from the mast. But when sailing unreefed, I often don't bother rigging one. When I need it, I use the tail of the halyard to tie a loop around the mast to act as a parrel.

    Sorry--long post that is probably only minimally relevant to your boat!
    Glad you explained -- using the tail of the halyard as a parrel when reefed is very clever. I guess the other advantage to the parrel is to help the sail come down in a controlled way, but I guess the parrel could always be attached (and maybe done with beads, to make it smoother), even if the halyard is _hoisting_ directly from the yard.
    Daniel

    Building a Campion Apple 16.

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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Quote Originally Posted by dbp1 View Post
    Glad you explained -- using the tail of the halyard as a parrel when reefed is very clever. I guess the other advantage to the parrel is to help the sail come down in a controlled way, but I guess the parrel could always be attached (and maybe done with beads, to make it smoother), even if the halyard is _hoisting_ directly from the yard.
    That might be true, but I've never felt a need for it so don't really know. But it IS crucial to keep the downhaul tight when dropping the sail--otherwise it can easily catch wind and kite away on you.

    To keep control as you lower the sail with a small rig (say no bigger than 100 sq ft lugsail), I find it's best to grip the luff of the sail with one hand (left hand for boats where the yard is to port of the mast) and keep tension on the luff as you lower away with your other (right) hand on the halyard. You essentially pull the sail down with the left hand while letting the halyard slip just enough with the right hand to let it drop. When the yard is low enough, grab it and you've got the entire sail under control.

    Done this way, there is very little tendency for the yard or sail to thrash around. It's become second nature to me to drop my sail this way.

    That said, I know others with lots of experience with lugsails who take a more "let everything drop suddenly, and kind of guide it down and hope it doesn't fall overboard, or on your head" approach--I guess on the theory that anything that has the potential to get messy if mishandled is better off done as quickly as possible. I've never really given their way a fair trial; my way works very well for me.

    Tom
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Well the unit I made worked well but the advantage in the size of boat I have is probably minimal. As far as tucking the spars away it didn't make a large difference. It does however hold the spar a little closer to the mast than my parrel arrangement and would likely do so reefed as well. Is there any significant performance advantage to that?

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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Quote Originally Posted by Toxophilite View Post
    Well the unit I made worked well but the advantage in the size of boat I have is probably minimal. As far as tucking the spars away it didn't make a large difference. It does however hold the spar a little closer to the mast than my parrel arrangement and would likely do so reefed as well. Is there any significant performance advantage to that?
    With a lug rig you may not notice any change in performance, but it should reduce the load on the mast, and will make keeping the sail under control when dropping it easier.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    I have found this a very useful thread, thanks.

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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Why not seize a ring to the yard at the hoist point, bring the halyard down to the ring, lead the halyard forward on the side of the mast opposite to the yard and secure to the forward end of the yard? Then when hoisted and tensioned, it keeps the yard next to the mast, even when reefed.

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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    If your boat's geometry and/or foredeck allows you to stow the yard and sail bundle after dropping--while the halyard is attached to the yard like you describe--that can work well. I've used that method a bit on other boats, but never rigged my own that way.

    But I don't prefer it. I'd rather use a parrel or metal ring to keep the yard close to the mast.

    Tom
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    Default Re: lug rig mast ring thingy set up

    Quote Originally Posted by boatsbabies View Post
    Why not seize a ring to the yard at the hoist point, bring the halyard down to the ring, lead the halyard forward on the side of the mast opposite to the yard and secure to the forward end of the yard? Then when hoisted and tensioned, it keeps the yard next to the mast, even when reefed.
    This is one of the classic systems. It lets you pull the bundled yard and sail aft while keeping it all hitched up. With the traveler you have to have the yard in position before hoisting.
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