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