I fly the ensign from the truck when underway. Things are going really well when I can "shift colors" and pour a cup of joe and still be within 100 yards of my mooring. Cotton line works well for a halyard. Synthetic is too durable. If you do foul the halyard, you can easily cut it or wear it out by chafing it. Cotton doesn't break down in UV like synthetic either.
The best size ensign to fly is one you can reach the bottom of when hoisted.(!) The No.2 Navy ensign has a luff of about twenty feet and if it doesn't work out you could cover your boat with it. You could cover your garage with a No.1. Seriously though, you may have to do a little engineering at the truck, and run the halyard all the way aft. It's where it's supposed to be flown, and it sure looks handsome going by.
11-05-2006 01:10 PM
I fly my burgee from a pigstick at the masthead and it does not interfere with the antenna or wind speed indicator. I have a small block near the truck with a flag halyard rove through it to hoist the pigstick. Never had a problem getting it down. The trick is to keep the burgee small enough so it doesn't do a wrap on all of the other stuff at the masthead.
11-05-2006 12:51 PM
The "nautically proper" place for a Yacht Club burgee is actually on a staff at the masthead...but there are issues with interference with those things you mention so you most often see them flown from the starboard spreaders.
Rigging masthead flags/burgees also raises the issue of getting them down or replaced as they will always be in the weather. At best it's another halyard, at worst it's a trip up the mast.
11-05-2006 12:17 PM
This could be a completely wacky question but here it is... I have a beautiful Georgian 24 sailboat and for this winter I drop the mast in order to do some work on it. What I was thinking was to put some sort of flag pole and halyard up so I can run a flag up to the top of the mast while sailing. Just like the old pirate boats, have the Joly Rodger high up on top of the mast, the kids and I would love it. I have not seen a sailboat postion a flag on top of her mast and it got me to thinking perhaps there is a real rational reason why not. Maybe interfearing with antenas or lights or wind indicator....but placed high enough it should be no problem. What do you think?