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post #1 of 32 Old 03-15-2016 Thread Starter
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About square rigs

So it is that square rigged ships Are the most effective in runs. That's why all the old ships were made that way I Assume; rather than go Agaimst the wind it made more sense to wait until the seasons shifted and run with it. (Insert flamboyant challenge here)

Anyway my question is for people who know square rigged ships. I don't really. How capable are square rigs of sailing off the wind? They maybe the best for having the wind behind your sails, but if they couldn't do anything but run I doubt they would have been made at all. Triangular sail technology hAd existed millennia before the schooner. I assume that big old ships if they had to close haul would put down their square sails , I've seen they could rotate them but did that really work?

Take for example the boat that is my namesake
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post #2 of 32 Old 03-15-2016
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Re: About square rigs

here is a modern square rig

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ma...on_%28yacht%29

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Re: About square rigs

Think the figure I've seen is 75 degrees off the relative wind for as close to the wind as you can sail with a square rig. They were at their best on a broad reach to DDW. DDW they had the advantage of adding studding sails to increase the projected sail area in light winds but took a lot of manpower to rig and control. studding sails - Bing images This is a modern private yacht with a high tech square rig. Maltese Falcon: Third Largest Sailing Yacht in the World «TwistedSifter The sails are controlled by push button from the cockpit with pivoting free standing masts for orienting the sails to the wind and the sails are roller furled so could be sailed solo in a pinch though doubt that that has ever happened.

The Tradewinds are called that because the Square Rigged Ships used them to ship goods around the globe. The existence of these strong steady winds was known early on and ships designed to use them for inter ocean commerce. They resulted in sailing routes that were not the shortest but the fastest in actual time sailed. The North American Sail route involved sailing south to pick up the Easterly trades above the equator gradually bending North to whatever port on the Americas Coast they were going to. The return trip to Europe was sailed in the northern trades which were more or less a rhumbline course to Europe. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...fo0&ajaxhist=0

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post #4 of 32 Old 03-15-2016
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Re: About square rigs

Boats operate as a system. By and large, Square riggers had inefficient keels and hull forms optimized for cargo capacity over upwind capability. So even if the square rigger had more efficient sails their hulls shapes would make it difficult to go upwind.

But as keels became more efficient, rigs progressed with them allowing boats to sail progressively closer to the wind. Modern Bermuda (triangular) sails largely derive from the shape of low speed-low power air foils such as birds who are long range fliers, or man-made gliders. Sail shape is highly controllable on modern rigs whereas the major influences on sail effectiveness upwind is controlling twist, foil shape, and the camber of the sail, all of which are very hard to control on a square sail.

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post #5 of 32 Old 03-15-2016
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Re: About square rigs

So I can't imagine any square rigger with more than one square rigged mast would be at its best DDW, as the foremast would be in the shadow of the ones behind it. Also note that most square riggers carries a lot of jibs on their bowsprit, and most had at least one fore-and-aft sail.

Anyway, enough of my ignorant ramblings. Page 16 of http://www.ayrs.org/catalyst/Catalyst_N28_Jul_2007.pdf has a polar diagram for a brigantine (the STS Young Endeavor) with one fore-and-aft aftmast, one square rigged foremastmast, and an enormous sprit.
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Re: About square rigs

A lot of the reasons for old rigs had to do with the available technology - solid wooden spars, hemp or manila lines, deadeyes instead of blocks, cotton canvas sails and so forth.

None of which were conducive to tall Bermuda rigs. Just imagine how tall the masts of Victory would have had to be to rig it even as a gaff schooner. Then picture the size of the individual sails.

Giant Sequoias might be tall enough - maybe. Even then they wouldn't have had the stability to carry them.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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Re: About square rigs

[quote=roverhi;3394097]Think the figure I've seen is 75 degrees off the relative wind for as close to the wind as you can sail with a square rig. They were at their best on a broad reach to DDW. DDW they had the advantage of adding studding sails to increase the projected sail area in light winds but took a lot of manpower to rig and control. Maltese Falcon: Third Largest Sailing Yacht in the World «TwistedSifte /QUOTE]
thanks for that information

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Boats operate as a system. By and large, Square riggers had inefficient keels and hull forms optimized for cargo capacity over upwind capability. So even if the square rigger had more efficient sails their hulls shapes would make it difficult to go upwind.

But as keels became more efficient, rigs progressed with them allowing boats to sail progressively closer to the wind. Modern Bermuda (triangular) sails largely derive from the shape of low speed-low power air foils such as birds who are long range fliers, or man-made gliders. Sail shape is highly controllable on modern rigs whereas the major influences on sail effectiveness upwind is controlling twist, foil shape, and the camber of the sail, all of which are very hard to control on a square sail.

Jeff
so I guess the major drawbackc even over having limited direction is that they cant really be singlehanded. I wonder if the "HMS Interceptor" featured in pirates of the carribean really could have been sailed by two people from jamesport or wherever it was to tortugas(jack sparrow and will turner)

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here is a modern square rig

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Maltese_Falcon_%28yacht%29[/url]
I asked a friend before you posted if this was really a square rig and they felt it was in its class by itself. I kind of feel like it is a square rig, but the spreaders are curved which i have never seen on a traditional square rigger. I assume that boat has no problem sailing with most any wind?

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Originally Posted by jeremiahblatz View Post
So I can't imagine any square rigger with more than one square rigged mast would be at its best DDW, as the foremast would be in the shadow of the ones behind it. Also note that most square riggers carries a lot of jibs on their bowsprit, and most had at least one fore-and-aft sail.

Anyway, enough of my ignorant ramblings. Page 16 of ayrs.org/catalyst/Catalyst_N28_Jul_2007.pdf[/url] has a polar diagram for a brigantine (the STS Young Endeavor) with one fore-and-aft aftmast, one square rigged foremastmast, and an enormous sprit.
do you think a square rigger could sail with their jibs alone if they realy had to go against the wind?
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post #8 of 32 Old 03-16-2016
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Re: About square rigs

Although I haven't skippered square riggers, I have crewed in a couple of them (SV Elissa and USS Niagara) as well as several vessels that had at least one square sail. To add to what has already been said, don't forget that square-riggers always had a number of fore-aft sails. In particular, there is usually a very large spanker (usually gaff-rigged) on the mizzen mast, as well as several stays'ls in-between each mast and several heads'ls. It's an amazing amount of fore-aft canvas when you add it up. The square sails can also be braced around to fairly sharp angles to aid in maneuvers as well as add to the effective canvas when close-hauled.

I found a cool series of videos that describes a variety of maneuvers for a full-rigged ship. https://youtu.be/v6DZIvMZWzQ

There are a number of square-riggers that sail quite regularly. If you're interested in checking it out, it's usually relatively easy to secure a place for a day-sail or even multiple days sail. You won't regret sailing in a square-rigger. No other experience like it!!
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Re: About square rigs

Jeff please correct me if I'm wrong but thought the triangular Bermudian rig was the second most inefficient rig after a old time square rigger. The turbulence produced by the mast screws up the first third of the main sail were all the power is generated on anything but a run for that sail.
The triangular shape maximizes drag producing vortexes off the top and trailing edges of the sail. Thought that's why you see most wings being elongated rhomboids or rectangles with little winglets at right angles to the foil. Also why with a cleaner leading edge staysail schooners are more weatherly than traditional foresail schooners.
Hence you get a better foil with things like a square head, clean leading edges of the falcon, rotating masts that are foil sections, battens to get closer to a rhomboid than a triangle etc. even a modern gaff is a more efficient shape.

Think that on the power stroke, the downstroke, bird wings come close to reproducing that elongated rhomboid shape with perpendicular winglets at the end.

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Last edited by outbound; 03-16-2016 at 08:18 AM.
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post #10 of 32 Old 03-16-2016
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Re: About square rigs

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Originally Posted by HMSVictory View Post
so I guess the major drawbackc even over having limited direction is that they cant really be singlehanded. I wonder if the "HMS Interceptor" featured in pirates of the carribean really could have been sailed by two people from jamesport or wherever it was to tortugas(jack sparrow and will turner)
Nearly anything can be singlehanded with enough planning and "the proper application of leverage." You just have to be smart about it.

I don't usually cite Hollywood for technical references but remember Jack Sparrow said words to the effect that "We would have had a terrible time getting underway" not that it was impossible. They did get that part right. Certainly some things (like huge manual windlasses) could be more than one or two people could manage but you could always cut free if you treat anchors as disposable. *grin*

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The turbulence produced by the mast screws up the first third of the main sail were all the power is generated on anything but a run for that sail.
The analogy of aircraft wings and boat sails breaks down. Yes - turbulence from the mast has an adverse effect until the point of flow reattachment. Tip vortices create a lot of drag, thus the turned up ends on aircraft wings. The contex of boat sails is actually more complex. You have an interface between compressible (air) and incompressible (water) fluids and a wind profile driven by the friction between wind and water. Square headed sails should actually increase tip vortex drag but the added lift from more effective foil sections in better air overwhelms that loss. As Jeff stated, the lift and drag from the sails are only part of the system. The lift and drag of the hull, including appendages like keel and rudder, count also. When you look at historic sail plans you should look at hull forms also.

Battens do indeed generate a rhombus shape. More importantly they preserve the desired foil shape over a significantly broad range of wind speeds.

There is no free lunch. There are discounts. *grin*
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