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Thread: Boomless Sail Question

  1. #1
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    Default Boomless Sail Question

    I came across a photo of a boomless Bermuda sloop rig on a Whitehall-style boat the other day--an unusual combination, as I've only seen traditional sails (spritsail, lugsail) on those kinds of boats. The mast was aluminum, unstayed, with a luff groove for the mainsail and a small jib.

    As I said, very unusual. I think some small Hobies, etc., use a boomless Bermuda sloop rig, but the combination of aluminim unstayed mast, high-aspect sail and jib, on a traditional narrow pulling boat struck me as very odd. Maybe the rig was kind of an afterthought to the boat, or perhaps the builder knows a bit about modern rigs and nothing about traditional rigs.

    So, my question:

    I know with a boomless spritsail or lugsail, it's crucial to get the sheeting angle right--typically as far aft, and as far outboard, as possible for that. It's important to avoid sheeting to the centerline of the boat.

    Does the same hold true for a boomless Bermuda/Marconi rig? Or can you sheet these kinds of sails to the centerline and still get good performance? This sail was sheeted to a ring-rope traveler over the tiller, but the traveler was so slack that the ring was essentially trapped on the centerline of the boat, and wasn't able to slide outboard.

    Sorry, no photos. I'll be interested to hear what people think. My default is "No, that can't be right" but I don't know a lot of Bermuda rigs. I also question whether the jib will get adequate luff tension with an unstayed aluminum mast.

    Thanks,

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    I use a boomless bendy bermudian rig on my 11'er Resinante.
    Crucial is the ability to get yer foot out to the clew to push it out and/or down.
    I call it the "toevangboom".


    The angle changes with each reef ,(a quarter turn of the mast in my case).
    The big advantage for me is making it easy to de rig when coming alongside the bigger boat. Step aboard with the bow painter and pop a loop on the pinrail, grab and pull the mast/sail, twist the sail on the mast, slip the mast into its "saddle", the sheet becomes the stern line .

    of course, one needs to be able bodied and the shape of the boat helps.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    Sloop rigged Whitehall? That is a lot of strings to pull on a skinny little boat!
    I can’t think of a reason the sheeting angle issues would be any different than any other boomless sail.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    It can be done, though there is no doubt that at times you won't have a terribly efficient sailplan going on. Any time you have a lot of excessive lower draft or excessive upper sail twist in the mainsail you won't be getting particularly good performance from it. The same goes for the jib on an unstayed mast. You can increase the allowance for jib luff sag when you cut the sail, but on any point of sail where mainsheet tension is fairly light and not pulling aft on the masthead you can be pretty sure that there will be an undesirable amount of jib luff sag. This then translates to a baggy, poor performing jib with too much draft.

    A lot of the Hobie-like boats which have no boom have a big batten at the bottom of the sail which essentially functions as a somewhat flexible boom. Usually they're boats that sail a lot better from a VMG standpoint broad reaching and sailing farther but faster than they do when running downwind where the boom is more critical for getting good lower sail shape.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    Thanks, everyone. It seems my instincts were correct--a boomless Bermuda mainsail sheeted to the centerline is not going to be effective.

    Yes, it's a curious choice of rig for the boat. I don't see any benefits--the mainsail luff groove makes it slow to drop the sail, the unstayed mast makes for a saggy jib luff, and the centerline sheeting for the mainsail isn't good. It has the feel of a rig that was thrown into the boat (quite a nice-looking Whitehall) as an afterthought, without much understanding of what actually works.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    Tom, let's back up a minit to #3, Steve is right. A Whitehall is a skinnynotsailboat.
    The simplest rig is all she can take...no stinkin jib.
    uhh wait..are you building this boat/rig , or are we jus tawkin bout it ?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    I saw a photo of a boat rigged this way and was frittering away some time being curious. It seemed like an odd, and probably ineffective, combination to me. That seems to be the consensus here as well.

    I'm perfectly happy with my boomless standing lugsail--really would never consider a sloop rig for my purposes, or an aluminum mast with a luff groove, or a Bermuda rig.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    merci

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    The original "Bermudan" rig was boomless with a raked mast.

    Any rig needs to be designed all the way through. You can't expect to maintain ideal performance if you change one aspect in isolation, such as removing the boom without adjusting the sheeting arrangements and the position/rake of the mast.

    Many traditional working boats had boomless rigs, including lateen, dipping lug, and standing lug. You may lose some "efficiency" on certain points of sail, but the advantages of not having a boom swinging about on a working deck area can be more important.

    A boomless Bermudan hoisted on a raked mast is remarkably similar to a genoa, but with a thicker and less aerodynamic luff.

    Another solution is the mast aft rig, which has a long forestay with a large staysail which is effectively the main sail of the boat.

    The arrangement described in the original post in this thread sounds like a poorly thought out hybrid.





    1280px-Royal_Navy_-_Bermuda_Sloop2.jpg A boomless Bermudan rig with raked masts.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Boomless Sail Question

    ^ Spirit of Bermuda !

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