Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Best rig for singlehandling?
A couple quick points here and I mean you or your fellow club member no disrespect:
-Just for the record, a Junk rig is a type of a standing lug rig (vs a dipping lug) and is not a gaff rig. Having sailed both lug and gaffs, gaff rigs are actually easier to single-hand but not by much.
-It sounds like your acquaintance is a good sailor who knows his boat. That said, anecdotal evidence that an aquaintance has single-handed a junk to the Carribean and back does not make a junk the easiest rig to single-hand. Alain Gerbalt single-handed a 20 year old, wooden, racing, gaff riiged cutter across the Atlantic with blown out cotton sails and leaking planking and not enough food or water, but that does not make that an ideal singlehanding set up either. By the same token, observing that my boat was single-handed into the States from South Africa, and that I routinely beat up our narrow channel, and single-hand her into and out of her slip without using the engine, in and of itself does not prove that a fractionally rigged sloop is the best single-handing rig either.
IMHO of all of the rigs that I have sailed on (lanteen, Bermuda, gaff, lug, and gunter, catboat, cutters, sloops, ketches, yawls and schooners) a fractionally rigged, Bermuda sloop with non-overlapping headsails and proper hardware is the easiest rig to singlehand especially in the size boat that the original poster was asking about.