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post #1 of 3 Old 03-19-2012 Thread Starter
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Balanced Lug Sail

I have been thinking about changing my aging rig from a standard Bermuda to a balanced lug rig with fixed keel stepped mast forward of the current position, on my 20ft full keel boat.

Its not going to happen this year, so just exploring ideas.

My current Bermuda rig with 135% roller reefing head sail can point to better than 30% to apparent wind, so I would probably lose that with the balanced lug.

I am a lazy sailor, and the idea of a single sail with simple reefing and tacking with just the tiller is tempting.

Comments of all types welcome.

1970 Havsfidra 20 by Fisksatra
On the Delaware River at Fox Grove Marina Essington PA
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-19-2012
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Re: Balanced Lug Sail

I built a few small boats that used a balanced lug. If u think they are less work, I'll have to disagree. The yard is heavy and has to be hoisted up. Then you have to fiddle with the down haul quite a bit before you get a decent shape to the sail, it won't be consistently in the same place every time. The upwind performance will not be great, although there is more than just the sail to the upwind performance equation. Adding a jib could help that quite a bit, but then that would go against the idea of a cat rig.

The spreaders have to be configured in a way that they don't interfere with the yard, which can be tricky itself. If you go free standing, you will have even more weight aloft added to the already heavy yard.

In light winds it may be difficult to keep the sail full.

The main advantage of such a sail will be downwind. Unlike a Bermuda boat, you won't have to "tack" downwind to get best performance. You can go almost ddw with little speed penalty. This may be more of an advantage than upwind abilities, depending on the type of sailing you do...
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-19-2012
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Re: Balanced Lug Sail

I've used sprit rigs and gaff rigs, and jury rigged lug rigs. I also think they are best in smaller boats, or possibly motorsailing. You can get over the heavy spar problem by using carbon fiber tube.
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