No announcement yet.

Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

    Bough a 12ft dinghy with absolutely no sailing experience.

    The guy I bought it off was also completely clueless so all I knew is that I had a boat.

    It came with a sail, pretty short mast, yard and gaff (I think ��) currently using it as a boom but have left it untouched incase I decide to use it for its intended purpose.

    After a fair bit of online research I decided it should be a balanced lug rig with the materials at hand.

    Does it look correct ish?

    I've currently got no outhall or downhall.

    The outhall I think I can sort easily enough but the boom is very low and right now there's not enough space to fit a downhall without the boom hitting the upper mast step (probably not its actual name)

    I'm trying to come up with solutions and am hoping that a bit of adjustment such as tying the sail slightly higher up the yard or changing the attachment point between yard/mast/halyard might get me slightly more boom height.

    Just looking for possible suggestions to sort out a working sail rig of any description without having to buy another sail. I'm willing to make a new mast if required but ideally I'm looking for something quicker if not optimal to get me started.

    Thanks in advance

    Last edited by Silvershadow; 05-05-2023, 04:03 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

    Nice little boat Congratulations! I'm sure someone else more knowledgeable will chime in, but it looks to me like you have a standing lug, not a balanced. Is that a "fork" on the aft end of the boom? I'm guessing that should be forward, around the mast as a boom jaw. It also looks to me like the halyard is attached too far aft on the gaff (the spar on the top of the sail). Moving that forward a foot or 18" (oops...I see you're in England...make that 30-45 CM) will raise the sail and give you clearance under the boo...maybe. It's still going to be exciting on a gybe! I suspect that the rig and the sail weren't really matched and may not be original to that hull. But it looks like you're going to have fun!


    • #3
      Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

      Welcome to the Forum.

      The mast is not tall enough. the yard is a tad too long, it is a standing lug not a balance lug and the boom is arse about face.
      The foot of the sail sail should be about a foot or more higher.
      Rig it as a standing lug and the boom jars will bear gainst the mast.
      How does the length of the yard and mast compare?
      It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

      The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
      The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.


      • #4
        Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

        It is presently rigged as a standing lug, but the sail may be in fact a balanced lug...


        • #5
          Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

          Yep, the boom is backwards, I bet the fork is supposed to sit on the mast!

          Here is the standing lug rig on my skiff -

          sailing 088.jpg

          sailing 073.jpg

          My downhaul is just a rope that goes from the lower front corner of the sail (called the Tack) down around the mast below the partner and is tied off. It's tied to the Tack with a big bowline and I simply take the rope down then back up through the loop of the bowline, haul it down tight, and secure it there. A close look at the photo above should show that clear enough.

          My boom is a sprit boom, quite different from yours so I can't help much with that.

          I also think maybe the mast is too short. Even if you move the attachment on the yard (it's called a yard, not a gaff) forward you ain't gonna have much room under it. You could shorten the sail. Does it have reef points? maybe you could tie up the reef lines to get you going.

          Here again is my rig -

          The halyard used to raise the sail is red. The downhaul is yellow and goes from the Tack, around the mast below the partner and back up to be tied off. The snotter used to tension the sprit boom is yellow, but you'll not have that because you have a different boom.

          sailing 094.jpg

          I guess if I was you I'd try moving the halyard lashing on the yard rather far forward on the yard and see how that works out. When raising the sail I haul up on the halyard but often keep hold of the downhaul in my teeth, so it doesn't fly forward over the bow of the boat. Otherwise I have to grab the flailing sail and haul it aft one way or the other till I have a hold of that downhaul.

          So anyway, the downhaul is lashed next, then the boom is set last.

          This is for a different boat but maybe it will help some -

          This is a balanced lug sail. The boom runs forward of the mast and the downhaul is tied to the boom. I'm quite sure you have a standing lug because of that fork on the end of the boom which sockets the mast.

          If that is a new replacement sail you can cut a foot off the bottom of it and set new grommets. That might get ya going.

          Last edited by Etdbob; 05-05-2023, 05:09 PM.


          • #6
            Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

            I dunno, taking a real close look at your boat I can't really tell if the mast is too short. Set the boom the other way around with the fork on the mast, and take a better picture of the whole boat for us. It might be possible that it was designed with the sail sitting that low, especially if the boat is long enough for you to sit behind the end of the boom. It just seems like it might be kinda hard to get under the boom when you tack!

            I'd say the halyard is right where it belongs on the yard though.

            The yard might be too long but so what, that doesn't matter much if at all.


            • #7
              Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor


              Yeah the mast definitely is not original as it wouldn't fit in th'ole... I cut it out with a jigsaw so it would fit.

              Hoping I can get away with it for now but I think a taller mast would be better.

              It is a fork on the aft end of the boom will need a new one making though as its too narrow to fit around the mast.

              Am I right in thinking that the only real difference between the standing and balanced lug are the position of the boom and sail being further aft on the standing?


              • #8
                Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

                IMHO ...

                the boom should be almost level w/ the aft end enuff higher to clear the skipper's head


                the yoke on the boom goes fwd around the mast


                BON CHANCE

                "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)



                • #9
                  Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

                  Arguably easier to make a new mast than alter the sail. Especially as you'll have to cut the right shape into the foot make and sew on all the corner patches before you install your grommets. You could make a mast out of some laminated lumberyard SPF if you find a few decently clear pieces.
                  Hard to sew the foot back on a sail.If it's the sail for the boat and dacron probably best not to alter it. Sails are EXPENSIVE!


                  • #10
                    Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

                    The luff (front edge) on a balanced lugsail is parallel to the mast and the tack corner (lower front corner of the sail) is out ahead of the mast. In this case, that would drop the aft end of the boom well into the cockpit, so it is a standing lug, where the luff is at an angle to the mast and the tack corner is at or just behind the mast. The halyard attachment to the yard is too far aft. When you raise the sail (any lugsail standing or balanced) the thing should be extremely tail heavy, even a small one. In use, this is one of the major factors creating sufficient luff (front edge of the sail) tension, pulling against the downhaul. If the luff of a lugsail (either type) isn't nice and tight it will flap back and forth and if the yard attachment of the halyard is too far aft on the yard, then the forward end of the yard and sail will also droop every time tension on the sheet is eased. And yes, the boom is backward. The jaws should surround the mast and most folks would attach the sail's tack corner to the jaws and then have a downhaul attached to the underside of the jaws.

                    a standing lugsail, boomed. Standing lugs are sometimes sailed with no boom, though not generally on boats so short. Balanced lugs always have a boom.

                    standing lug 1 copy.jpg

                    Various lugsails. Standing lugs top left corner, bottom left corner, third from left side on the bottom row, right side second one up from corner, the rest are all balanced lugs.


                    As to the boom height, it is a matter of choice. The lower it is, the more stable the boat will be, but you will need to duck when tacking. Generally during any tack or jibe there is a brief instant where the sail goes slack and on a small boat you can learn to just grab the boom and pass it over your headbefore the sail fills with wind on the new side. It's not really that hard to do and the increase in stability by having the rig lower may be worth it.


                    • #11
                      Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

                      I took the advice of moving the halyard further forward on the yard and ground out the boom fork to fit the mast.

                      I'm sure there's plenty of adjustments to get it rigged perfectly but it looks pretty reasonable to my untrained eye.

                      Is it looking about right?



                      • #12
                        Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

                        Yep, that's looking better.


                        • #13
                          Re: Balanced lug rig help for a clueless soon to be sailor

                          Hard to tell from this angle, but it looks better to me, too. I'm assuming you'll be sitting on the bottom and not on thwarts? That might even be enough head clearance unless you're really tall.