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Thread: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Uncontrolled to me would be just letting loose of the halyard and letting the main crash into the boat. Ouch. Controlled would be to keep your right hand on the halyard as it comes down really quick (letting it either skid through your hand or you could also sweat the halyard under the cleat as it start to run), meanwhile getting your left hand and arm up to guide the yard and bundle down onto the port side of the boat. It's a strange little hurried dance that we all probably have some variation.

    It all happens really quick ... it's when I pause for a moment during the process that the yard starts to swing around on me, forcing me to wrestle it back into submission. (And yeah, sometimes I pause because my footing isn't quite right, or I just realized I forgot to put the lid on my morning coffee which has fallen over and is now soaking my jacket.)

    I don't think I have any video. It would be fun to see my ungraceful maneuvers on screen.

    Looking forward to getting back out soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  2. #72
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    On the river, Auckland, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I use a variation on Mik Storers method of rigging the halyard at the yard and masthead. I have a clip, actually a small spinnaker sheet clip that came with a pile of second hand fittings bought on line, on the upper very end. It clips to a fitting on the yard that will be about 150mm forward of the mast when the sail is set. The halyard runs back around the mast to a small block secured on the top side of the yard just aft of the mast, and has a stopper knot in it, before it goes through the block, to control the amount of slack in that loop around the mast when the sail is set or on its way up. The halyard then goes up through the halyard block and back to the deck cleat. This system controls the yard position relative to the mast in any position, reefed or not, when the halyard is under tension, but when the halyard is eased the loop around the mast comes loose and the yard can be slid forward which I find makes controlling it much easier.
    I also use lazyjacks on any sail bigger than about 100 sq ft.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    sanguinet Landes France
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    6

    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Thank you for very clear drawing. I am going to try this system on my Passagemaker. The only problem I have is that M.Storer's instructions on rigging balanced lugs (where I first came across it) specifies attachment no 2 to be in the mid point of the yard. The basic instructions in the passagemaker book requires a hole drilled in the yard at 103 cm from the front of the yard. The halyard passes through this, is knotted below the yard and then passes through a hole in the masthead. Drawing on the halyard brings the yard into the correct position. Mr Storer's attachment point would surely draw the whole thing too far forward - or maybe I have misunderstood something. Perhaps one is not meant to pull the halyard so far that the yard rests against the mast head. I note that your drawing does not put attachment two at the mid point. Did you experiment to find the right point? I would be very grateful for any advice you can give

  4. #74
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    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
    Catching up on old threads.

    Tom, there is in fact a video, shot by Tim some years ago, of what this looks like, albeit in low/no-wind conditions:

    Alex

    "“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” " Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 - Shakespeare

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  5. #75
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    62,796

    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I had a balanced lug rig on my Outred Macgeggor sailing canoe. Swapped over to a Dipping Lateen rig recently. More manageable.

  6. #76
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    Mar 2002
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    Atlanta
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    2,364

    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Looking back : here's a whaleboat rig from 1910 (From Willits Ansel's The Whaleboat ) . " a short lanyard with an eye and toggle which was used as a parrel ". 318 sf Main . img20200219_16424815.jpg

  7. #77
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I'm coming back to this thread after having followed advice given for a boat I mentioned a year or so ago. Here's how I've set up Terrapin to control the yard. The mainsail is 150 square feet and the yard about 14' long, so it does need to be controlled. I followed the suggestion of running a separate line that works much like a topping lift, called here a spar catcher, but unlike a topping lift it is left slack once the sail is set. You can see it here running from the masthead over to the yard. It terminates on a span that allows the yard to slide down about three feet as the halyard is eased.

    The routine is simple. To raise the mainsail, cast off the down haul then haul on the topping lift/spar catcher until the boom is vertical up against the mast. Then haul on the halyard until the sail is fully raised. Harden up on the downhaul and finally take up some of the slack in the topping lift. You are now under way.

    To douse the sail, ease the halyard until the yard is nearly vertical, then cast off the topping lift and ease both lines until the yard has come to rest on the boom, all supported by the lazyjacks.

    Having lazy jacks is critical to the system, by the way. Without them the sail and the end of the yard could find their over the side and into the water. On this rig, I found that I need parrel beads to get the yard to drop fully. On this boat, a Chesapeake Light Craft "Autumn Leaves" kit, the mast is in a tabernacle which allows me to keep the sails hanked on and all lines in place when the boat goes back on the trailer. Mast and spars are cradled by a boom gallows aft and a second cradle set up forward up against the tabernacle.

    So yes, the spar catcher works like a charm.

    20200220_161457.jpg
    -Dave

  8. #78
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I'm still curious about the yard going vertical with the spar-catcher setup. How scary is that in high winds? My concern is that with the spar dropped into a vertical position aligned with the mast, just before you can lower the yard onto the boom, there's a lot of sail up pretty high!

    I take it that the lazy jacks are on one halyard, the spar catcher on another, and the mailsail on a third?

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I'm coming back to this thread after having followed advice given for a boat I mentioned a year or so ago. Here's how I've set up Terrapin to control the yard. The mainsail is 150 square feet and the yard about 14' long, so it does need to be controlled. I followed the suggestion of running a separate line that works much like a topping lift, called here a spar catcher, but unlike a topping lift it is left slack once the sail is set. You can see it here running from the masthead over to the yard. It terminates on a span that allows the yard to slide down about three feet as the halyard is eased.

    The routine is simple. To raise the mainsail, cast off the down haul then haul on the topping lift/spar catcher until the boom is vertical up against the mast. Then haul on the halyard until the sail is fully raised. Harden up on the downhaul and finally take up some of the slack in the topping lift. You are now under way.

    To douse the sail, ease the halyard until the yard is nearly vertical, then cast off the topping lift and ease both lines until the yard has come to rest on the boom, all supported by the lazyjacks.
    ...
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  9. #79
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    The yard drops behind the mast and the sail loses the wind once the halyard is eased. Keep in mind that because the spar catcher goes to a span, that as soon as the sail starts to come down, the yard drops partway as well. But because the upper end is caught by the spar catcher, the heel of the yard comes down, not the peak as would be the case otherwise. So once the halyard is eased, there's just a very loose triangle of sail aloft streaming behind the yard and mast, which stand about the same height on my boat. Cast off and ease the spar catcher, and everything drops into the lazyjacks. It takes seconds. I've done it in 25 knots, no issues.

    All lines run back across the cabintop to horn cleats. Four lines -- portside of the companionway: downhaul and halyard, to starboard: spar catcher and lazyjacks.
    -Dave

  10. #80
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Sounds interesting! But remember that for those of us without a tabernacle, decks, etc -- the boom comes down into the boat with the yard on top of it. I guess the lazyjacks would act as a sort of topping lift...in a way.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  11. #81
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    Jan 2008
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    Montana, USA
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    199

    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    FWIW, I struggled with dropping the yard forever, so last year I tried two new things 1) In installed lazyjacks and 2) I took someone's advice on here and started grabbing the luff of the sail with my left hand and tensioning the luff to keep the yard peaked up as I let the halyard out in a controlled manner with my right hand (loop around a belay pin). Results: the lazy jacks worked pretty well but require more lines in the boat AND the boom, yard and sail are held up high rather than being down in the boat, good if you want to use a boom tent, but more weight aloft in a blow. But, tensioning the luff while dropping the yard worked fantastically, and I ultimately removed the lazy jacks as I like the simplicity without them. YMMV.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott de M View Post
    FWIW, I struggled with dropping the yard forever, so last year I tried two new things 1) In installed lazyjacks and 2) I took someone's advice on here and started grabbing the luff of the sail with my left hand and tensioning the luff to keep the yard peaked up as I let the halyard out in a controlled manner with my right hand (loop around a belay pin). Results: the lazy jacks worked pretty well but require more lines in the boat AND the boom, yard and sail are held up high rather than being down in the boat, good if you want to use a boom tent, but more weight aloft in a blow. But, tensioning the luff while dropping the yard worked fantastically, and I ultimately removed the lazy jacks as I like the simplicity without them. YMMV.
    That's how I always do it with my small (85 sq ft) lug rigs--holding tension on the luff with left hand as you lower away--and it works really well to keep things in control, with no extra lines or hardware. Probably not good for sails 100 sq ft or larger, but fine for smaller sails.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  13. #83
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    Feb 2015
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Agreed - One hand on the luff when lowering to keep the yard peaked up somewhat. I can confirm from experience that this works easily and simply up to 170sq/ft, and I see no reason why it wouldn't work well above that size too.

    Raising sail just haul up quickly, at a rate that keeps the yard roughly horizontal.

    I can't stand lazy jacks and haven't found them necessary.

    NOTE: Pretty much all my experience is with boomless standing lugsails.


    Regarding the fast dump option: I've done that plenty too - However... my preference is to tension the luff with a multi part halyard (having just a simple tie down for the tack) As such there is a certain amount of friction inherent in an out running halyard which slows the 'fall' to something that is not inconsistent with hands on the luff controlling from there.
    The flip side to this is that when the yard is unhooked (I use a traveller) the weight of the multipart halyard and block aloft will send the traveller to the top of the mast the instant it's let go. It then needs a little loop of light line to hold it down for when the sail is detached.
    Did that make any sense at all?
    Last edited by Mikey Floyd; 02-23-2020 at 12:34 AM.

  14. #84
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    Jun 2003
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Generally as long as you are somewhere near head to wind you can just let it go. It doesn't come down all that fast if it's blowing, and it will land in the boat. I have done it a hundred times, stopping it by the luff or checking it with the halyard works.
    I tried the lazy jacks and other assorted stuff and ended up leaving it all on the beach. It was a small sail, only 100 feet or so.
    The worst was when I was overwhelmed outside Monterey Bay and out in the Pacific (which is about like crossing the street going from calm to pandemonium) I let the mainsheet run free (no stopper knots in small craft) and dropped everything down over the bow! That trick of letting the sheets fly saved me. 30 knots and 15 foot waves from one minute to the next is nothing to trifle with in an open boat. Really I was young and fearless (read, "stupid") and today I like decks and combings!

  15. #85
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Floyd View Post
    Agreed - One hand on the luff when lowering to keep the yard peaked up somewhat. I can confirm from experience that this works easily and simply up to 170sq/ft, and I see no reason why it wouldn't work well above that size too.

    Raising sail just haul up quickly, at a rate that keeps the yard roughly horizontal.
    Another thought: when raising the sail, I usually use my left hand to first lift the yard (pretty much peaked up at the normal sailing angle, NOT horizontal) until it's above my shoulder. Then I use my right hand to take the slack out of the halyard and hoist away from there. By the time the yard is that high and you keep hoisting, the yard stays much more peaked up and thrashes around less. It just seems a bit less messy and hectic than hoisting away with the yard horizontal. Less mess is always good in a small boat!

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  16. #86
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
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    Hamden CT USA
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    5,728

    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I'm reading this thread with great interest as the problems/ solutions will be mine this coming season. For now my plan is to have all the lines leading to a center console/thwart. This includes the down haul, halyard, and a paired topping lift with lazyjacks.
    I like the idea of staying in reach of all control lines and the tiller within easy reach and not dancing fwd or aft to control things. Maybe a pie in the sky attitude. So I have a lot of lines to toy with but it worked fine on my former boat but she was sprit rigged.

    The C.board will be a 3 part tackle ( double and single blocks)to raise and lower instead of the lever the boat came with also belayed at the center thwart /console. .
    JD
    Senior Ole Salt # 650

  17. #87
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    Default Re: Taming the Balanced Lug Yard

    I've been reading "Sailing Drifters" by Edgar March, and among the many photos is the one below. The caption:

    "FRENCH LUGGER AT RAMSGATE
    Note: Standing lug on mainmast sheeting to iron horse on tafrail, and the curious peak halyard on foreyard."
    This curious peak halyard is pretty exactly what I've been using on my little lugger, and what has been discussed here on and off. I can't imagine dropping a yard that size with no real control over the peak. But to March's British eye, it was an unknown and odd item.


    French lugger.jpg
    -Dave

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