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Thread: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    A simple rigged boom lift that works like a lazy jack does the trick.
    One rope from the mast head down to the after third of the boom is all you need.
    I had the same trouble, tried this and would never want to miss it again.
    It makes things also very handy hoist the sail on a beam reach when the boom is allready free from the hull.
    Max

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Thank you all for your thoughts. I have been lowering my sail in the way that Tom describes with one hand on the luff. It does control the yard but can be challenging at times because each hand is committed to a different task. The adage of "one hand for yourself and one for the boat" doesn't work in that scenario. I am reluctant to drop the yard too fast for fear of knocking my spouse into the drink. The yard of a CY is 13 ft long and 2 inches in diameter which is a pretty big stick to drop witihout careful control. The lazy jack system that Scott linked to is interesting and describes the yard control problem well, however I am reluctant to add more lines to what should be a simple rig. I notice that the Storer halyard setup is used in addition to the lazy jacks. I assume this must mean that the Storer rig alone didn't address the yard control issue.
    My intent is to experiment with the rig while in my yard in hopes of finding a cure tha suits me. I will report back if I find a good solution. In the meantime, I welcome any additional input.
    Thanks,
    Bill

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Max, just saw your reply. Are you running a single line from mast head to the boom on the mast side of the yard? My yard hangs on the port side of the mast and swings around to starboard as it is lowered. I assume that you are placing a single line on the side the yard swings towards?

    Bill

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post

    Instead of trying to control the sail by hanging on to the leech, move forward to the mast and keep tension on the luff of the sail by pulling down with left hand (assuming yard rigged to port). Then uncleat the halyard with your right hand, but keep the halyard running UNDER the horn cleat (assuming halyard cleats to a cleat on starboard side of mast). You can slack off the halyard one-handed and in control this way, while keeping good tension on the luff. That will keep the yard peaked up and in control as you lower the sail. When the yard is low enough, grab it with your left hand and pull the sail the rest of the way down. Simple and controlled.

    For hoisting, again move forward. Lift the yard with your left hand at the proper 45-ish degree angle while taking up slack in the halyard. Then, when you've lifted the yard as high as you can, let go and hoist away rapidly. That will, again, keep the yard close to the correct angle because you'll achieve luff tension pretty rapidly once you've already lifted the sail over your head by the yard.
    Tom
    This is my method also. No extra lines, sail up or down in a few seconds with control.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    My yard would fall across the boat and drop the sail in the water before I added the spar catcher thingy here:
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...e-gunning-dory
    it does require a second halyard, but worth it I think.
    I just need to switch to some easier/faster cleats this coming season.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I have a Vivier Aber with a lug rig. The rig can be unruly at times particularly when lowering it. My solution is to reach well up the luff and to keep it I tension as I let the halyard go. If I reach far enough up, the spar is in the boat before I need to let go of the sail. I know Paul Gartside has a second line on some of his mid-sized luggers that acts a bit like a peak halyard on a gaffer.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Yard and boom are on the starboard side at my boat and the line runs down at the left (port) side of them.
    That way the yard is stopped swinging athwart by the rope of the boomlift.
    I tried the Storer way too, and it works very neatly. But to my taste there is to much chafe.
    Too, when reefed, the position of the yard relative to the mast changes. Maybe ok with a smaller sail. I didn´t liked it that much.
    Unfortunately I don´t have pictures of that set up. But I plan to do a little video next season about it.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I was thinking that it was a benefit that the yard position changes as the sail is reefed. The downhaul fixes the location of the boom relative to the mast. With a fixed point of attachment for the halyard, the yard actually moves forward as it is lowered, raising the aft end of the boom.

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Great thread -- thanks to everyone who has contributed! I've also learned to fear the yard on my Caledonia Yawl, and will try one of these solutions this upcoming season -- probably the "sparcatcher thingie" - http://www.drascombe-association.org...rcatcher1.html
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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  10. #45
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by realkaykaker View Post
    I was thinking that it was a benefit that the yard position changes as the sail is reefed. The downhaul fixes the location of the boom relative to the mast. With a fixed point of attachment for the halyard, the yard actually moves forward as it is lowered, raising the aft end of the boom.
    If I remember correctly, that is a jam up and potentially dangerous.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Could you explain a little more?

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Sorry, I should be more specific with my question. Canoeyawl, could you explain what you mean by "jam up" and the related dangers?

    I will check out the "spar catcher" that Thorne linked. If spring ever gets here, I will try out some of these rigging variations.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I'm thinking... this has happened to me, and it has been more than 30 years ago now, that when the yard is "fixed" to the mast with say a ring or lashing, when you lower the rig and the yard or the sail, itself can't move forward because of the fixed boom jaw and clew outhaul, that it will either tear the sail or not lower. I recall having to unship the boom but maybe I'm thinking of something else?
    In small craft when your rig won't lower "right now", that can be dangerous.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I do like the simplicity of the 'spar catcher' and may well give it a shot on that really big main on my Romilly this season. Phil Bolger did something similar with his big lugs. Nice thing about the jackstay is that it is auto adjusting. Irens did set up a 'snotter' which helps by controlling the very forward end of the yard but it is use more for tuning the angle of the yard on against the mast. Good news is that I have an extra ear on the mast head fitting for a block.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I'm not sure if this has been covered, but the Sail & Oar (TM) crowd really liked the traveler ring for this. McMullen made a ring with a hook on it that travels up and down the mast. The hook accepts a loop lashed on the yard as well as the end of the halyard. This enabled quick dousing and resetting of the sail for sail to rowing to sail transitions. It also controls the motion of the yard, making it less of a hard hat enforcer. It requires fabrication of said ring, but it was an effective solution.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

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  16. #51
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    I'm not sure if this has been covered, but the Sail & Oar (TM) crowd really liked the traveler ring for this. McMullen made a ring with a hook on it that travels up and down the mast. The hook accepts a loop lashed on the yard as well as the end of the halyard. This enabled quick dousing and resetting of the sail for sail to rowing to sail transitions. It also controls the motion of the yard, making it less of a hard hat enforcer. It requires fabrication of said ring, but it was an effective solution.
    In this case it isn't the mast/yard connection via traveler ring but it is the angle yard which droops down aft if the hoist is straight up. Small boats can grab the luff/ leech or you duck and hoist fast. What the OP is really trying to do is control the peak of the yard. Another line would be attached to the yard in the spar catcher scenario but a snap hook would make it quick.

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Yeah, you just need to drop the yard quickly and get your hand up to grab it as it comes down fast. If you lower the halyard a bit and pause for even a moment then the thing is going to swing around on you. Awkward, but awkward is the norm around my boat. The belly of my lug mainsail drops into the water half the time, too. Just part of the joy of sailing.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I'm looking more carefully at the Spar Catcher pages, and am not sure about a couple of basic elements -- and how they'll work on my CY:

    First, the instructions are for a standing lugsail, not a balanced lug. Probably doesn't make much difference, hard to say...but the CY's boom is attached to the downhaul at the fore end, not the chocks (boom attachment point on the mast?) as in these pages. I do usually lash it loosely to the mast with either a nylon dog collar or soft piece of line.

    Second, Unless I'm missing something, the instructions seem to imply that the spar is raised from (and stored in?) a vertical position parallel to the mast. So that would mean that the first step for me, starting with yard, sail and boom lying in the boat, would be to attach both main and "reefing" (catcher) halyards to the spar, then (I think) hoist the reefing halyard up to somehow raise the aft end of the yard to a near-vertical position against the mast. Then I'd raise the main halyard to pull the yard up the mast, with the reefing halyard end sliding down the jackline to put the yard in the standard aft-end-high angle. Or do I have it all wrong?

    http://www.drascombe-association.org...rcatcher1.html

    As for the mast ring a la McMullen, I'm using a nylon dog collar (recommended locally) to attach the yard to the mast. It seems to do nearly the same thing but of course doesn't have the rigidity of metal, and the halyard is tied to the yard, not the hook / collar.
    Last edited by Thorne; 01-25-2019 at 06:55 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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  19. #54
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Glad to see this thread revived. I expect to launch my Autumn Leaves this year with its 150 sq. ft. balanced lug main. I've already made the spars, and I would not want to get wacked upside the head with either of them. They are about 14' long each, and despite the lightness of Sitka, they still weigh enough to hurt.

    I plan on lazyjacks to keep the spars off the deck and cabintop. Studying this thread and the links, I think I really need to add a spar catcher, too. My concern is the tangle of lines I'll have at the masthead. I was thinking of a two-part halyard, then the pair of lazyjacks, and now add a spar catcher too? I suspect the spar catcher would work best if set above the halyard block, like a topping lift, but that would require a longer mast. Suppose the spar catcher went through one side of a double block that also carried the halyard. Would I be asking for trouble?

    The masthead lines will run to a mast band with four eyes. Three are accounted for, but the fourth faces forward.
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  20. #55
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Adding a topping lift or lazyjack or peak halyard is an interesting idea, but I think that depends on what emphasis, if any, you place on transitions where the entire rig comes down ie sail to oar and vice versa. If you don't care about dropping the mast than any of those extra lines sound great. If you do care about dropping the mast, multiple times over the course of a day, it's all about simplicity. The traveler ring shines because in the blink of an eye the sail bundle is completely detached from the mast, and the mast can then be yanked out and layed down. I don't believe I want any other control line whatsoever to contend with in that situation, even with a snap hook. But hey, no harm in experimenting. My experience is with 100ish square footers, which is plenty to heft around as described above. Maybe even too much, I'm looking into carbon. I can imagine increased concern with bigger rigs and spars.

    Hand over hand, hand under hand, grabbing the luff and so forth can be a little awkward. I do sometimes make that reach when dousing. And I may be still be gathering the sail in before I have completely dropped the yard (reef ties come in handy for that), which means the yard will probably be swinging about some. Raising is of no concern - clear the decks and haul the damn thing up, fast. I go back to Yeadon's comment - when dousing, get a hand up, let the halyard fly. When it works its great, simple. Sometimes its messy. Hesitation only makes it worse.

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    I'm looking more carefully at the Spar Catcher pages, and am not sure about a couple of basic elements -- and how they'll work on my CY:

    First, the instructions are for a standing lugsail, not a balanced lug. Probably doesn't make much difference, hard to say...but the CY's boom is attached to the downhaul at the fore end, not the chocks (boom attachment point on the mast?) as in these pages. I do usually lash it loosely to the mast with either a nylon dog collar or soft piece of line.

    Second, Unless I'm missing something, the instructions seem to imply that the spar is raised from (and stored in?) a vertical position parallel to the mast. So that would mean that the first step for me, starting with yard, sail and boom lying in the boat, would be to attach both main and "reefing" (catcher) halyards to the spar, then (I think) hoist the reefing halyard up to somehow raise the aft end of the yard to a near-vertical position against the mast. Then I'd raise the main halyard to pull the yard up the mast, with the reefing halyard end sliding down the jackline to put the yard in the standard aft-end-high angle. Or do I have it all wrong?

    http://www.drascombe-association.org...rcatcher1.html

    As for the mast ring a la McMullen, I'm using a nylon dog collar (recommended locally) to attach the yard to the mast. It seems to do nearly the same thing but of course doesn't have the rigidity of metal, and the halyard is tied to the yard, not the hook / collar.
    See if this video helps...

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I think that sail and yard size is a big consideration here. My small boat has a 62 sqft balanced lug and I am perfectly happy to hang onto the luff when lowering that sail. My CY has more than twice that sail area and a much bigger piece of lumber swinging over my head. That said, the simplicity of a balanced lug is part of the appeal and I am reluctant to start adding additional lines. I will first try the Storer halyard rig and see where that takes me. Has anyone tried the Storer rig on a large balanced lug such as the CY has?

    Bill

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    A major selling point of the lug is that it's quick to raise and lower. Easy to reef. Adding additional lines starts to negate that. I'm skeptical. I'll live, though.
    Last edited by Yeadon; 01-26-2019 at 08:53 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  24. #59
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    Default

    Here is an image of a Deblois St. dory, one reef in, using the Storer arrangement:



    And here, a Ness yawl using a rigid mast traveller:



    It seems to me that the rigid traveller positions the yard with little opportunity for slop, without the need to mind how things are tensioned. Also, if your cruising grounds require you to be able to quickly strike the rig and mast, to go under a bridge for instance, that the rigid traveller would be the more convenient arrangement—simply lift the yard off the hanger and the sail can be bundled separately, and the mast can be raised or lowered without tending to any lines.
    The fewer lines to mind with this rig the better.....Yeadon is right.....


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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by timo4352 View Post
    See if this video helps...
    I'm sold after watching that. It makes the whole process very controlled. My mast will be in a tabernacle, all lines will remain in place always, so the complication isn't what it would be if everything had to be broken down to trailer or even to row.
    -Dave

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Can you comment on the performance of the Storer rig on the Deblois Street Dory? Does it hold the yard close enough to the mast? Also, when reefed I would expect that the sail would hang further aft moving the center of effort aft as well, correct? Hopefully mizzen trim would counteract that.

    As Ben stated above, I am not having any problems with my yard/mast attachment but rather controling the peak of the yard when lowering the sail.

    Bill

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Here is a brief, unedited video I shot while sailing in company with the owner/builder. The Storer set up does an excellent job of controlling the yard, and controls the peaking up of the yard when lowering the sail. It is a little slower to rig or derig at the ramp, or when shooting a bridge compared to the rigid mast traveller.


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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Thanks, this is helpful. I haven't yet needed to drop my rig for a low bridge, but I see your point.

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by timo4352 View Post
    See if this video helps...
    Hmmm....not sure that I like that method very much. Under controlled conditions with the nose into the wind it would be OK as long as the crew isn't untrained, but I could see the whole boat going over sideways if it caught a gust with the yard parallel to the mast before fully lowered onto the boom.

    I guess what I want is something more like lazyjacks -- just want the yard to come down in the same orientation as the boom, not crosswise / athwartships as it sometimes does now. But I sure don't want to complicate the rigging much either...hmmmm....
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by realkaykaker View Post
    Can you comment on the performance of the Storer rig on the Deblois Street Dory? Does it hold the yard close enough to the mast? Also, when reefed I would expect that the sail would hang further aft moving the center of effort aft as well, correct? Hopefully mizzen trim would counteract that.

    As Ben stated above, I am not having any problems with my yard/mast attachment but rather controling the peak of the yard when lowering the sail.

    Bill
    For RANTAN, my rowing and sail boat I use the storer rig, actually I learned about it in the O'Brien book so it has been around for a long time. I have a carbiner on the strop on the yard and the block there lives on the halyard. There is also a biner on the end of the yard and a bowline on the end of the halyard. So rigging I clip the block onto the yard, lead the halyard around the mast and clip into the biner on the end of the yard. Its pretty quick but not quite as quick as the rung hook. The good news however is that I don't have to shove the sail bundle forward before rigging, all that I need is having the tip of the yard ahead of the mast. Then I control the sail with my hand on the leech as needed as I have rigged my boat so I can hoist from amidships.

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Hmmm....not sure that I like that method very much. Under controlled conditions with the nose into the wind it would be OK as long as the crew isn't untrained, but I could see the whole boat going over sideways if it caught a gust with the yard parallel to the mast before fully lowered onto the boom.

    I guess what I want is something more like lazyjacks -- just want the yard to come down in the same orientation as the boom, not crosswise / athwartships as it sometimes does now. But I sure don't want to complicate the rigging much either...hmmmm....
    It's funny, but I've been grabbing that yard and guiding it back into place for so long that I didn't even realize it was a bug. But yeah, it's a bug and less a feature. Last time I saw your boat I thought the halyard and rig would be happier if they swapped sides. You had the halyard running up the port side and the bundle coming down on the starboard side. (Yeah?) I've always had halyard run up the starboard side, allowing the sail bundle to come down on the port side. I control the halyard with my right hand and as the bundle drops I get my left hand up in the air. It's basically a defense-mechanism at this point in the process. I either catch the yard as it drops or I at least manage to get my arm far enough starboard to use the left side of my body to guide the entire bundle into place. The bundle basically scrapes down the outside of my left arm, past my shoulder, and so on until it lands on the port side. It's a very quick dance and occasionally an actual wrestling match. But gravity does most of the work.

    I have no idea if that visualization makes any sense. But that's my experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    It's interesting to hear the contrast between the PNW guys' "let it drop and hope it doesn't hit you" style, with the "hold the luff as you lower away in control" approaches. I may have to play around with the "let it drop" method this summer and see what I think. Dropping it uncontrolled is something I'm instinctively unwilling to do, but maybe it's not as big a deal as I imagine.

    I have been very happy with keeping the sail and yard controlled with continued luff tension as I lower, but it is certainly slower by a few seconds than just letting everything fly. I'm not yet convinced those few seconds matter. I'm not much of a planner, but if I'm in a situation where I need my sail down in 2 seconds, I've probably done something wrong-ish.

    As for adding lines and complicating a lug rig--well, for sail & oar purposes, simplicity rules because of the need for frequent transitions. But for larger lug rigs on boats unlikely (or unable) to drop the rig, adding lazyjacks is probably a step toward simplification. Harder to rig, but simpler to operate. And you're only rigging it once, so probably worth the trouble for some people.

    Tom
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    My goal this year for my gunning dory is to simplify / speed up the whole process from raising the mast, raising the sail, to reefing,... everything.
    I have too much tying and looping lines, belaying pins,etc.
    I want to try some of the quick clamcleats from Duckworks to streamline a lot of that crap.
    I still like the Storer halyard idea - maybe adopt Ben's carabiner idea there... Or if I do the traveler ring/hook deal I will need to make a little larger diameter one.
    And I'll be keeping the spar catcher for now too....just using a clamcleat to make it instant set or release.
    More tinkering once the weather warms up.

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    It's interesting to hear the contrast between the PNW guys' "let it drop and hope it doesn't hit you" style, with the "hold the luff as you lower away in control" approaches. I may have to play around with the "let it drop" method this summer and see what I think. Dropping it uncontrolled is something I'm instinctively unwilling to do, but maybe it's not as big a deal as I imagine.

    I have been very happy with keeping the sail and yard controlled with continued luff tension as I lower, but it is certainly slower by a few seconds than just letting everything fly. I'm not yet convinced those few seconds matter. I'm not much of a planner, but if I'm in a situation where I need my sail down in 2 seconds, I've probably done something wrong-ish.

    As for adding lines and complicating a lug rig--well, for sail & oar purposes, simplicity rules because of the need for frequent transitions. But for larger lug rigs on boats unlikely (or unable) to drop the rig, adding lazyjacks is probably a step toward simplification. Harder to rig, but simpler to operate. And you're only rigging it once, so probably worth the trouble for some people.

    Tom
    "Uncontrolled" is not the word that I'd use to describe what I do. I do let the yard down with more than a bit of urgency, but I don't hesitate and let it swing all over the place. Uncontrolled would be a good way to get knocked on the head with the yard.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    "Uncontrolled" is not the word that I'd use to describe what I do. I do let the yard down with more than a bit of urgency, but I don't hesitate and let it swing all over the place. Uncontrolled would be a good way to get knocked on the head with the yard.
    Got any video, Tim? I'm envisioning a sudden drop with the yard falling into the boat, with you guiding it somewhat if all goes well. But basically, the yard falling into the boat. Am I imagining it wrong?

    Thanks,

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

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