Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 58

Thread: Lateen sail. ?'s

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Abbotsford, B.C.
    Posts
    5,460

    Question Lateen sail. ?'s

    Couple of nights ago the 1956 movie, "Around the world in 80 days." was showing. Lots of shots of wooden boats including dhows with lateen (lanteen) rigs.
    Philip C. Bolger wrote that the lateen was "the most gracefull of sails."
    Back in the 1800's a couple of guys took a 19', lateen rigged boat across the Atlantic with no complaints.

    ? Anyone out there sailed one? What are the pros and cons of it?
    basil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    23,715

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    It's been awhile, but I sailed the rig quite a bit as a kid. Sailfish mostly. It's fine for a board boat that's expected to capsize, but I wonder how people reef them? The two spars, because they meet the way they do, would make reefing the rig difficult, it seems to me. We never reefed the sails on Sailfish and Sunfish, just planned on getting wet occasionally, but I'd like to hear from someone with experience with the rig on a larger boat.

    You must dip the gaff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rockport, Maine
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    I sailed a lot off lateen fishing sail boat, since I built these boats in my yard in Spain, quite a while ago. We even had race with these rigs.
    Lateen sail is a very difficult sail for all weather. The reefing is quite acrobatic, since the reef is on the antenna, (traditional) so you lower the antenna which is two huge pieces of solid stock weighting a lot, and far longuer than the boat, and you just do the job. Not easy. By pleasant day they are quite effective since you can put the antenna on diferent angles, when runing with the wind the antenna is almost horizontal to balance the vessel.
    Quite practical if you fish, since you don't lower the antenna but brail the sail up.
    It is a flexible rigging with a lot of different version, depending where you are. Elegant too.
    But I will not bother with it on a cruiser, I prefer the gaff rig. (personal opinion)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Hello goodbasil , what do you want to know about lateen rigs ? thats all we use here in the south pacific. Mainly on proas and catamarans.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Nation of NJ
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    I find the ACA 44 sq ft lateen rig very handy on a canoe of about 15 to 17 'loa.
    Never have tried to fashion a way to reef it although Dan Miller could probably chime in and talk about some of the methods used historically to reef a small lateen. That said, I don't know anyone currently who has been able fashion a means of reefing, much less on the fly in a tender vessel such as a canoe.

    What I can say is that a good adjustable vang, or kicking strap, is handy to have and will give some modest sail shape control, especially to windward.
    I like bamboo for the yard and boom joined by a stout leather strop at the tack.

    All in all a fun sail on a canoe and looks right.
    Can't imagine that it would look right on a dinghy or knockabout.

    Dave
    Live and let live

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada - From Sea to Sea
    Posts
    2,015

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Interesting link below on the development of the lateen sail and quite a good bibliography at the end. I'm not an expert in history of sail rigs, but the article implies that square came first, then offset square (lug), then early trapezoid lateen, then triangular lateen. I wonder where the first lateen appeared...middle east?

    http://nabataea.net/sailing.html
    G. Rowe (Bayman)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Waterbury, Connecticut
    Posts
    2,105

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Slightly off the exact topic but this might interest some of you -- I sailed with an "oceanic lateen" or "crabclaw" sail on my first outrigger canoe. It is a little different from the mediterrean lateen in that it has a boom lashed to the lower part of the sail, and it was suspended from a canting mast. These rigs shunted rather than tacked (the mast acted like a crane to swing the tack to the stern, which then became the "new bow"). Ignoring for the moment the difference between tacking and shunting, I found this version of the lateen an interesting sail. It was flat cut (native sail cuts tended to be flat) and sail shape was put in by the brailing spilling lines - pulling and cleating the windward brail would put some curve into the sail, though I did not master this technique myself. You can see my old one at wtarzia.com, click on "proa."

    The brailing spilling lines were fascinating. Given that you could not reef these sails, you could go quickly into survival mode when a gust threatened. The native method is to have two lines like topping lifts on either side of the sail down to the boom about midway (make sure they run cleanly and are well set up). You couild spill wind by pulling on the leeward line, which 'cut' the upper side of the sail and spilled wind. Pulling on the windward line put a big U shape into the sail and was also effective in depowering. Pulling both lines in brailed the boom up to the yard arm. This was a good heave-to action and also convenient for temporasrily stowing the sail at launch and landing.

    The sail dymanic was also interesting but gets more into the technical side of sailing an outrigger canoe (proa) than relates to the general question of the lateen. Suffice to say that the low-aspect triangular sail was less sensitive to sheeting angle unlike a high aspect sail. Thus sheeting could be used for course trimming to some extent (good, since I sailed without a rudder -- who needs that extra weight and drag?). The brailing-spilling lines are a much-missed aspect of this lateen now that I have shifted to a cat-ketch with standing lugs. The brailing action would be somewhat familiar to those of you who have used a sprit rig.

    The oceanic lateen is also expressed in ways closer to the Western mode of sailing with tacking rigs. The Hawaiian rig sometimes raises a triangular sail (apex = tack) from a stub-mast, which makes raising and lowering easier (sometimes reefing is accomplished by then raising a smaller sail). This rig is usually loose-footed to the boom, and is used on modern OC paddling-sailing canoes. In other modes, the oceanic latten is laced to mast and boom; these rigs strongly resemble the sail on an Alpha Dory. (See modern expressions at Gary Dierking's outrigger canoe plans site or buy his book)-- Wade
    Last edited by wtarzia; 07-24-2009 at 11:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    9,996

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    David, I have a customer who has me build him reefable lateen sails (of the Sunfish/canoe type) for his canoes. He sails in some really hairy conditions at times and wanted to be able to reduce sail area. It's not really an instant, reef-on-the-fly sort of system, but it works. Notice the partial spray deck for Lake Michigan.



    He also wanted to be able to increase sail area in light air (which for him usually seems to be anything under about 15 knots). So we designed a means of adjusting the gooseneck to kick the yard up to nearly vertical in light conditions and added a jib. To get enough hull length to do this without having to add a bowsprit, we employed a small jib club/boom and located the tack fitting partway aft of it's forward end, on the boom. This is similar to how jibs are rigged on Great South Bay Ice Scooters and a lot of scale model sailboats. It makes the jib self-tending and also self-vanging, which is pretty neat.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada - From Sea to Sea
    Posts
    2,015

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Absolutely stunning photo! To my eyes, one of the most beautifully rigged sailing canoes I've seen!
    G. Rowe (Bayman)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Gajeta:





    A short video of 'gajeta' under sail:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6ONK...eature=related

    Falkuša:





    Cheers from Croatia!

    Mato

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    St. Augustine, FL
    Posts
    3,504

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    What a graceful looking rig! Just beautiful!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,141

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Very nice. In the video, what line is the guy standing in the cockpit tending?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    St. Simon\'s Island, GA, USA
    Posts
    5,919

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    What is needed about now is a step by step illustration of how one tacks a lateen sail.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Nation of NJ
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Todd, I have done something similar with my lateen.
    Have a collar which rotates about the mast with a pin brazed to it.
    Then a hole bored into the fore end of the boom to accept the pin.
    Puts the yard nearly vertical and of course takes the boom from essentially level with hull to canted with aft end higher as depicted.


    This I figured out from an old time ACA sailor, Bob Halsey, still sailing a bit in his early 90's. WOW!

    Have not yet gotten to the jib part of the equation.

    Is the reef as simple as a line of nettles.....looks pretty handy and would take only a jiffy assuming ability to land somewhere for a moment. That's usually the case with the kind of gunkholing I do.

    Best,
    Dave
    Live and let live

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    9,996

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    David, installing the reef is fairly simple. The tack patch is already there. You need to temporarily lift up the leech hem and install three or four graduated patches to support the area around the reef clew grommet. I like to use a reef band all the way across the sail for the middle grommets on these, rather than small patches at each nettle. Tack-to-mid-leech on a long bias is not a particularly good angle to be putting a lot of stress on 4 oz. Dacron because you risk overstressing or stretching it, so the band helps reinforce and preserve the sail when the reef line becomes the working foot.

    Spots where the small nettle grommets will go then get an additional layer or two locally (grommets require a certain amount of fabric thickness to set and hold well). The band and grommets should be in a slight arc (lowest near the middle) instead of a straight line. Since boom bend is always a factor on this type of lateen, it helps keep the in-use bend from overly distorting the sail's shape when reefed. How much of this bend allowance to add is just an estimate and in-use, it will be more accurate some days than others. That's the nature of the beast when dealing with bendy spars. On a sail that size, I will usually add maybe 1.5"- 2" or so of droop to the reef line in its middle, in a big curve. Avoiding mid-boom sheeting also helps a lot as it can be the major source of excessive boom bend.

    Then it's just a matter of trying it out to see what, if any changes to the halyard tie-off point on the yard and the gooseneck position on the boom may be needed to get the reefed configuration that works best.

    I don't know whether he's tried it yet or not, but my original concept drawing was to be able to shift the yard all the way aft of the mast - into a sort of lateen-ish/gunter-ish/leg-o-mutton-ish configuration. The one thing it might require though would probably be a more substantial gooseneck (or maybe a tack downhaul like a lug has) because the sheet loads would be pushing the tack corner forward. I've even wondered about a small dedicated set of jaws mounted to the heel of the yard with a parrel for use only when reefed. They would bear against the back side of the mast in use and when sailing in normal lateen mode, the regular gooseneck on the boom would be used instead. Leaving a slight mast overlap (as shown in the photo) is probably easier though, because it still uses the normal lateen-style gooseneck system and simply shifts it's position for high-peak sailing. Here is the original drawing. I'm still working on him to get him to build a sturgeon-nosed hull with a daggerboard, but the rig came out pretty much as planned and works nicely.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Nation of NJ
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Todd, great explanation! Its great that you take the time to illuminate fully.
    This may solve for how to safely head out for longer cruises with just that one lateen on board. Thanks again!

    And yes, I am with you on the recurve of the sturgeon nose canoe rigged for sail.
    Very handsome!!!

    Dave
    Live and let live

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6,565

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    [/quote]

    I was told I would have to have backstays if I wanted a jib. Not true?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada - From Sea to Sea
    Posts
    2,015

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Thanks Mato for the lovely pictures from Crotia! Nice to see lateen sails on ocean boat vis-a-vis small canoe. The sailors look like young sprats..are they in a racing crew or just buddies out for a leisurely sail?
    G. Rowe (Bayman)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    9,996

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    The penalty you pay for hanging a jib on an unstayed mast is an often massive increase in jib luff sag. As a result, the jib's draft becomes deeper than designed or ideal, pointing ability often diminishes and the slot between the main and jib closes down, even to the point where the jib may be backwinding the main and making a big dent in it as it screws up the airflow over the main.

    This problem well may be relieved to a great extent when sailing close-hauled with a lot of tension on the mainsheet (sheet pulls on mainsail, mainsail pulls on mast, mast pulls on jib luff and the luff tightens up, reducing sag, flattening the jib and opening the slot back up). As soon as you ease the mainsheet though, the whole works begins to reverse and eventually you're back to a saggy jib. The addition of stays to the mast greatly helps to eliminate these problems by maintaining minimal sag and eliminating the constant changes in jib shape and draft.

    Whether or not these sag problems are severe enough on an unstayed mast to make the jib not worth having depends on the boat. Sometimes the increase in sail area, and/or the increase on the fore and aft length of the sail plan, are worth the trade-off of living with less than ideal jib shape. Having some sail area up forward may make tacking easier or improve the boat's helm balance and performance. In other cases, the excess heeling power of a too-drafty jib and bad flow that it causes over the main may make the jib undesirable. Most good single sails (cat-rigs) work pretty well all by themselves. Sometimes the addition of a jib just doesn't seem to do much other than complicate things and diminish the way the mainsail performs.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada - From Sea to Sea
    Posts
    2,015

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Yes, you may think you have the last word, filled with all that technical stuff, but you didn't thank the others from Crotia and elsewhere...why is that?
    G. Rowe (Bayman)

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Thames, N.Z.
    Posts
    2,080

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    This is Chiquita, my Des Townson "Electron" class radiocontrolled racing yacht. She is about 3ft long. Her rig is unstayed, & we race them at cut-throat level. I'm not sure how this would work at full scale, just thought I'd throw her into the mix.....

    Keep It Simple: KISS it better.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    St. Augustine, FL
    Posts
    3,504

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Here is Calidris, a Caledonia Yawl with a furling lanteen yawl rig (I guess that's what you'd call it) and a cabin.


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rockport, Maine
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s



    Clever

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Rockport, Maine
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s



    Beautiful

  25. #25

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Comments on I.C. Campbell’s “The Lateen Sail in World History”

    “A square sail catches a following wind and is dragged along by it; the lateen sail . . . present[s] a curved surface to the wind and derives its motive force from the pressure differential between the convex and concave sides of the sail.” (p 1)

    A square sail also derives its motive power from the pressure differential between its after and forward surfaces, and on a beam reach or higher point of sailing functions as an airfoil, just as do lateen and Marconi sails.

    “Indeed, the lateen-sailed warships of the Italian Renaissance city-states were direct descendents of the Roman war galleys of more than a thousand years earlier, structurally, functionally, and in their sails; they remained substantially unchanged after the ninth century.” (p 9)

    Structurally, they did not remain unchanged. The time period under discussion embraces the change from skin-first to plank-on-frame construction in the Mediterranean, surely the most significant structural change in the history of wooden shipbuilding.

    “This is a sailing technique usually known as tacking, which cannot be done with a lateen except at great risk and difficulty because the long yard extending both fore and aft of the mast prevents the sail being moved to the other side of the mast.” (p 19)

    While Indian Ocean traders certainly wore ship while moving yard and sail around the fore part of the mast, Mediterranean lateeners were tacked in the normal way. The yard and sail remained on the side of the mast to which they were originally rigged; the sail was pressed against the mast on one tack, filled away from the mast on the other. There was probably some small loss of efficiency in the former case.

    From H. Warrington Smyth’s Mast & Sail in Europe & Asia:

    “The western [Mediterranean] lateen always remains on one side of the mast, and is never shifted for a fresh tack. Its shape enables it to stand inside the rigging of the mast, and not outside at the extreme masthead as is necessary in the case of the Arab gaiassa, as a result of the cut of the sail and its high peak. The western lateen is thus far more snug to the mast, and more easily lowered on deck, and is certainly a more seamanlike and weatherly sail, while it is always made of stout material cut and roped after the European style.”

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    St. Simon\'s Island, GA, USA
    Posts
    5,919

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Although I have never sail a lateen rig, except for a Sunfish, which really isn't a lateen, I take issue with these quoted experts. Lateen sails are tacked and the yard is passed around the mast when tacking, not always, but most times. Notice the photos in this thread. The yard is on the lee side of the mast every time. It takes a crew that knows what they are doing.

    I also question that the Romans ever used a lateen sail.

    The norther Europeans did not use lateen sails as their primary driving sails. The reason is simple. The wind blows hard up north and that yard is a long unsupported spar. Northern Europeans did use the lateen as mizzens in the time of the Mayflower. Larger ships of that era had a second lateen aft of the mizzen called the bonaventure. Henry the VIII's warship, Henry Grace a Dieu (sp?) had lateen mizzen topsails! What mess they must have been to set.

    The lateen is also the great grandfather of the gaff sail.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    337

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    good video here of tacking an extreme lateen rig

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TtcZjAuF4A

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    I've just finished sorting out photos from the start of a lateen sail regatta that was held this August round the island of Zlarin here in Croatia. For your amusement:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/mail.ma...eat=directlink




    Under the helicopter on the big motor yacht that was anchored in front of the village, you can see a 'garage door' out of where they've pulled a jet ski, some RIBs, but also a beautiful H 12 1/2. That was the first one I was able to see in real life:

    Last edited by matoi; 09-01-2011 at 06:15 PM. Reason: correct link

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,141

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Probably the most expensive shipping crate ever slapped together for a 12-1/2. They could have least used wood.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    This is a nice technical development of the lateen, with electric roller reefing and a bipod (tripod) mast

    http://flyinglateen.com/

    I recently found a more traditional design http://yachtcreative.com/categories/papillon-boat.html that's available from a French sailmaker : http://www.voilerie-tarot.fr/



  31. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Gozo, Malta
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    I have converted Maltese fishing luzzu to a twin masted lateen rig with sprit and topsail. It is hard work but we can tack by actually pushing the lateens forward of the masts. When running with the wind we put the lateens in what is called goose neck fashion. One lateen pushing to port the other to starboard. View on www.talhandaqnostalgia.org Click on Gallery then Transport. Anybody else out there with a similar rig ?

  32. #32
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,398

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Todd,

    The link shows a lot of interesting files, which one was the canoe with reefable l lateen? I did not follow your description in your later post, I'm hoping the picture will help out my lack of imagination.

    Thanks, Marc

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    David, I have a customer who has me build him reefable lateen sails (of the Sunfish/canoe type) for his canoes. He sails in some really hairy conditions at times and wanted to be able to reduce sail area. It's not really an instant, reef-on-the-fly sort of system, but it works. Notice the partial spray deck for Lake Michigan.



    He also wanted to be able to increase sail area in light air (which for him usually seems to be anything under about 15 knots). So we designed a means of adjusting the gooseneck to kick the yard up to nearly vertical in light conditions and added a jib. To get enough hull length to do this without having to add a bowsprit, we employed a small jib club/boom and located the tack fitting partway aft of it's forward end, on the boom. This is similar to how jibs are rigged on Great South Bay Ice Scooters and a lot of scale model sailboats. It makes the jib self-tending and also self-vanging, which is pretty neat.


  33. #33
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,398

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Todd,

    I found the pictures of the reefing lateen, Thanks.

    How would you strike the jib, or reef?

    Does the Lateen act as a "balanced sail"? If that was the desire it seems like the sail would be farther forward on the mast (requiring a longer mast also). Is this actually a part of the value of the typical design - sunfish.

    A separate question:
    I once had seen a canoe sailing setup that I think was called a Clark Y. I think it was a lateen but the interesting point was a wide crossarm (10-12") with angled foils or centerboards arranged as a Bruce Foil. I know I kept a picture but cannot find it. Do you know anything about this setup?

    Marc

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    9,996

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    We did'nt make the jib reefable. It's basically there to add sail area in light air, and reefing that sort of self-tending, self-vanging, boomed jib is a real pain. In more windy conditions, the main is used alone in a more typical, Sunfish-style configuration as shown here.


    In the "kicked-up" sloop configuration, the main acts more like one of those Hawaiian style sails that you see on outriggers and I actually originally designed it with no mast overlap at all in mind. Tie the yard/boom joint down low on the back side of the mast and it would look sort of "gunter-ish" like this.



    Michael was using it with the gooseneck shifted far forward on the boom, but still in a semi-lateen way back when this shot was taken. I haven't talked to him in a while, so I'm not sure what he eventually settled on as his standard procedure.



    One thing that needed to be considered (and which made the kicked-up sloop idea workable) was that adding a jib for more sail area to most lateen rigs will really screw up the CE/CLR balance of the boat. In addition to helping to get the front corner of the mainsail back and out of the jib's way, kicking it up moved the mainsail CE aft. Then it was a matter of sizing the jib properly to get the combined CE to fall where we wanted it and maintain decent balance. If you have the time and energy and a reasonably inexpensive boat and rig like this, these things can be fun to experiment with and you may even be able to delve into things like rudderless sailing using the jib as the rudder (as done on Great South Bay Ice Scooters).

    Sunfish-style lateens don't usually have enough sail area forward of the mast to truly be considered "balanced", but off the wind there is a little bit of that effect present. What they do have, if you rig the mainsheet system correctly, is a really excellent, automatic and built-in sail flattening/un-flattening system. Due to the consistently high downhaul tensions needed on a balanced lug, they don't tend to do this as well. Rigging the Sunfish lateen's mainsheet to come up from the stern to the aft end of the boom, then along the boom to a point closer to the mast and down to the cockpit is brilliant. As mainsheet tension is increased (in high winds or when upwind sailing) the boom bends more, is pulled downward and flattens the sail nicely. Off the wind, or in lighter air when you want more draft in the sail, less mainsheet tension is present and the sail is allowed to fill more, and it does these things automatically, with virtually no input from the sailor. Dead downwind, it will even act a little bit like a vang. The typical Sunfish sailor probably just thinks that the drooping mainsheet, hanging under the boom and catching on his life jacket when he tacks is little more than a pain in the ass - when in reality, it's a critical part of the system and most likely makes him a much better sailor.

    I'm not familiar with the Clark Y system, but it's amazing how many interesting modifications folks come up with for sailing canoes. A lot of them even work and that's part of the fun of the whole thing.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,924

    Default Re: Lateen sail. ?'s

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    Although I have never sail a lateen rig, except for a Sunfish, which really isn't a lateen, I take issue with these quoted experts. Lateen sails are tacked and the yard is passed around the mast when tacking, not always, but most times. Notice the photos in this thread. The yard is on the lee side of the mast every time. It takes a crew that knows what they are doing.

    I also question that the Romans ever used a lateen sail.

    The norther Europeans did not use lateen sails as their primary driving sails. The reason is simple. The wind blows hard up north and that yard is a long unsupported spar. Northern Europeans did use the lateen as mizzens in the time of the Mayflower. Larger ships of that era had a second lateen aft of the mizzen called the bonaventure. Henry the VIII's warship, Henry Grace a Dieu (sp?) had lateen mizzen topsails! What mess they must have been to set.

    The lateen is also the great grandfather of the gaff sail.
    Well, as you've never sailed a "vella latina" (which translates from the Italian, "Latin sail," strongly suggesting it may well have originated in Roman times), your opinion must be considered suspect. In short tacking, the antennae of lateen sails aren't passed from one side of the mast to the other in local practice. The Ligourian and Adriatic lateen rigged fishing boats, which are now widely raced, do not do so. The boat is simply brought across the eye of the wind and the main clew follows suit. On one tack, the main lays against the mast. On the other, it doesn't. Obviously, the "favored side" for the antenna is to leeward, so it is often set on the side which will be to leeward the most for the expected course.



    These are the same identical "Dago fishing boats" Chappelle documents as being widely used out of San Francisco's "Fisherman's Wharf" (in its original configuration) around the turn of the Twentieth Century.



    The sails on the smaller lateen rigs are not reefed at the foot, but rather at the antenna and the reef points run in a line at an angle to the antenna, not parallel, as in the sail plan below. This keeps the antenna cocked at the right angle. While the antenna must be dropped to reef, the result is a much better setting sail and no need to move the sheet from the clew.



    (Note in this sail plan drawing that the antenna is NOT on the leeward side of the mast.)


    The plans for such boats are readily available. Many have been built in the Med in recent yeas where they are actively raced, but only a couple of replicas have been built in San Francisco since the type went extinct on the US West Coast in the first half of the 1900's, being supplanted by powered fishing vessels. It is a very interesting type, weatherly and seaworthy, but it requires attention to sail, as the mainsheet must be eased in the gusts or the boat can bury its rail and swamp.



    At one time, lateen sails were indeed widely used in Southern European vessels as primary driving sails, not only in smaller craft, but also in large ocean going vessels, notably by the French even into the era of the Napoleonic Wars, due to their speed and pointing abilities. These warships were known as xebecs.(Read your Patric O'Brian!)





    Note in the above historically correct model, the ship is portrayed on the "on tack" with the sails against the masts. Obviously, nobody is going to be passing antennae around the mast on a vessel of this size!
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 12-31-2011 at 03:11 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •