Junk/Sampan rigging vs. Cat rigging - SailNet Community

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Old 09-21-2010
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Junk/Sampan rigging vs. Cat rigging

I love the aesthetics of a Sampan rig as well as it's ability to sail against the wind. However, it doesn't seem like they're used much on modern boats.
Why is that? Is there a reason cat rigs are more prevalent besides tradition or are they really that much more superior?

I'm curious as to the pros and cons you've read about or experience with using the two kinds of rigs.


((I didn't use the forum search function very thoroughly, I apologize if this has already been discussed in a previous thread.))
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Old 09-21-2010
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You probably know more about it than me- but both the Cat and Junk rig supposedly have very poor windward performance compared to the typical modern Bermuda sloop.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Hey Claire, welcome to the board and all that folderol.

I am curious though as to why you think that the junk rig is even half way decent to windward ?
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Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
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Hey Claire, welcome to the board and all that folderol
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
I am curious though as to why you think that the junk rig is even half way decent to windward ?
Well, what I've read on the junk rig noted that it was unique for having the ability to sail into the wind. But what I read was kind of historical, so perhaps it was comparing it to western sails of the 17th and 18th century?
I'm afraid I know very little about sails, so my frame of reference is limited. Please educate me if you feel so inclined
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Old 09-21-2010
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Yea, the Junk rig was one of the first rigs to have any windward abilities at all, but they're as good to windward compared to "modern" sail plans.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Thanks!



Well, what I've read on the junk rig noted that it was unique for having the ability to sail into the wind. But what I read was kind of historical, so perhaps it was comparing it to western sails of the 17th and 18th century?
I'm afraid I know very little about sails, so my frame of reference is limited. Please educate me if you feel so inclined
Ok, I get it.

Yes, compared to typical European square riggers of the time the Junk rig was, as was the Portuguese Lateen rig, pretty efficient . I'm not at all sure how the junk compares with a Cat though I suspect the Cat would come out on top. The junks biggest plus when used on a cruising sailboat has alwasy been its ease of handling.

Blondie Hasler who famously sailed a junk rigged sloop "Jester" in the first transatlantic yacht race in 1960, was a great exponent of the junk because of its ease of handling. I read once that he claimed he did the transatlantic in a pair of bedroom slippers, not having to go on deck for the entire trip.

Jester
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Old 09-21-2010
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The comparison you saw was to square-rigged ships (think Mutiny on the Bounty) which did not go to windward at all well. There were some junk-rigged sailboats in the 1960s - the most famous was called Jester which did a number of trans-Atlantic solo races. The junk rig was quite easy to handle but had a lot of chafe too. Modern sail handling innovations eg furling jibs and mainsails and large winches have made 'regular' rigs much easier to handle and very efficient too.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Brilliant!

Thanks, you two!
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Old 09-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaireFAISE View Post
...Well, what I've read on the junk rig noted that it was unique for having the ability to sail into the wind....
I'm afraid I know very little about sails, so my frame of reference is limited. Please educate me if you feel so inclined
Claire,

Welcome to Sailnet.

Just to clarify a bit more, none of these sails/rigs can sail "into the wind". In sailor-speak, "into the wind" generally refers to the direction that the wind is coming from. Any of these rigs will stall out and lose power when turned "into the wind", and the boat will come to a stop.

Modern sails/rigs do allow us to sail "upwind", but usually not closer than within about 40-45 degrees of the wind's true direction. We don't see junk rigs used much nowadays, primarily because modern bermuda/marconi rigs offer better "windward" performance, i.e. they let us sail closer to the direction the wind is coming from.
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Old 09-21-2010
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Claire,

Welcome to Sailnet.

Just to clarify a bit more, none of these sails/rigs can sail "into the wind". In sailor-speak, "into the wind" generally refers to the direction that the wind is coming from. Any of these rigs will stall out and lose power when turned "into the wind", and the boat will come to a stop.

Modern sails/rigs do allow us to sail "upwind", but usually not closer than within about 40-45 degrees of the wind's true direction. We don't see junk rigs used much nowadays, primarily because modern bermuda/marconi rigs offer better "windward" performance, i.e. they let us sail closer to the direction the wind is coming from.
Ohh, I see! A miscommunication on my part, sorry

Which type of rigging do you find easiest to operate?
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