junk vs gaff rigged??? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-19-2009
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junk vs gaff rigged???

Honestly I did search through the forums but the knowledge of junk rigged boats seems sparse here. I am drawn to the junk rig due to its ease of single handed sailing, reefing ease, durability etc. Yes I know they have a rep for not sailing to point but still.....any thoughts or folks with experience out there????
If there is a thread where this has been discussed could someone point me there??? Thanks
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Old 12-19-2009
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Michelle Potter wrote up an account of her junk-rigged ketch (or schooner?):

Finding Beauty in a Junk

Also, we've discussed junk rigs in a few other threads: Search Results Here
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Old 12-20-2009
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I too am drawn to the junk rig. I purchaced the "practical junk rig" by H.G. Hasler & K.K McLeod. I found it to be an easy read (had a lot of pictures) and very informative. I hope to build my 28 foot spray one day soon and rig it accordingly.
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Old 12-20-2009
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YouTube - Bolger Micro with Polytarp junk sail

enjoy,
chuck.
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Old 12-21-2009
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Yahoo has a very active Junk RIg Group ...

junkrig : A forum to discuss the design, building
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Old 12-21-2009
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My experience with the junk rig (or gaff rigs for that matter) suggests that there is nothing particulaly easy about sailing them, and they add nothing to the ease of single handed sailing, reefing and they are a high wear rig in terms of chafe. I know that there is a Junk rig, near cult-like following out there, but those that I have known, have spent very little time sailing modern rigs and so really do not have a clear point of comparason between the two.

There was a time when I was a big fan of Gaff, Junk and Lug rigs. I did everything that I could to get experience sailing on boats with these rigs. As much as I wanted these rigs to be some kind of panacea, I never found any distinguishing merit to them and I certainly encountered a lot of liabilities that are rearely discussed.

The junk rigs that I have sailed did not point very well, were slow in irons, tended to excitation roll miserably, and could death roll in a strong breeze. There was a time in history when junk rigs may have made sense, since bak then the yacht designs of that era produced inefficient hull forms, hardware was pretty crude and sail cloths were quite stretchy. Given that the hulls and keel were the limiting factor to the sailing ability of the boat, and all sails were stretchy, a junk rig gave very little away to other rigs of that era, but today, so much has improved, that the complexity of the rigging, initial purchase cost, chafe issues, and lack of performance really make junk rigs an anacrhonism.

The only thing that I will say in defence of the junk rig is that if you were building a boat with an inefficient hull form (i.e. lots of drag, and minimal stability and pointing ability) and you planned to predominantly sail long distances along the trade wind routes, then the low aspect ratio and good reaching ability of these sails begin to make some kind of sense.

But for the kind of sailing that most cruisers, even long distance cruisers, tend to experience, greater flexibility and sail shape control is warranted than can be achieved with a Junk rig.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 12-21-2009
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Thanks for all the input......I really do not have the experience or knowledge of either. There is quite a testy thread that was linked to earlier by Pollard. Sounds like alcohol should never be involved in this discussion. I do not know...I guess I just like boats....damn the too many choices!!!!!
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Old 12-21-2009
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Not all traditional rigs perform badly. Sunfish use lateens, Opimists use sprits, Herreschoff 12&1/2 sails the same with gaff or marconi. I sailed a gaff yawl for years and loved it. My sprit rigged dory is no slug either.
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Old 12-21-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKscooter View Post
....damn the too many choices!!!!!
Just to toss one more option in the mix, a sort of modern variation on the junk-rig:

Hoyt Balanced Off-Set Rig

I'd love to hear Jeff's thoughts on this one.
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