Gaff rigged cat vs typical sloop rig - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 02-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Gaff rigged cat vs typical sloop rig

Thinking about getting a trailerable sailboat in the 20 foot range and wondered about whether a gaff rigged cat might be better than a typical sloop rig? Advantages/Disadvantages ??
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-21-2012
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A marconi rigged catboat would be simpler, less strings to pull and only one sail. A gaffer would have a few additional strings.
Neither boat would go to windward as well as a marconi rigged sloop.

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-21-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
A marconi rigged catboat would be simpler, less strings to pull and only one sail. A gaffer would have a few additional strings.
Neither boat would go to windward as well as a marconi rigged sloop.
True. However, a gaff-rigged (or a gunter-, or a lug-, or a lanteen-rigged) boat would have the advantage that the spars would all be shorter than the hull of the boat. That can make trailering quite a bit easier. A shorter mast is also easier to raise and take back down. Yes, one gives up a bit of performance by using one of these rigs with shorter masts. But, if speed is the only criteria, then a little ski-boat would be a better option anyway.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-24-2012
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We enjoy a Marshal Cat Boat, the Sandpiper. I like the gaff rig on this little boat. One sail to reef and it is huge! Down wind with the board up it flies. Scandalizing the gaff de-powers it quickly. It can't get much closer than 45degrees but so what. It is fun and we just plan around our up wind performance. I like the way it looks,too. Handling the spars is easy because they are relatively short. This is our (trailer sailor) and having a mast that isn't much longer than the boat is very convenient. I can still lift the mast into the step by myself. I wouldn't be able to do it alone for a larger boat but it would be simpler than a 25 foot stick.

Marshall builds a nice boat. It is very capable and probably the "largest" small boat available. Six adults can sit in the cockpit of our 15' boat!

We have an Islander-28, too. Both rigs are worthy.

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Last edited by downeast450; 02-24-2012 at 11:16 AM. Reason: content
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-24-2012
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"scandalize" ? this is an unfamiliar term.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-24-2012
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To scandalize a gaff sail you slack the peak halyard, (gaffs have two halyards) lowering the end of the gaff. This allows the upper aft portion of the sail to spill wind, effecting an emergency reef. I've done this in a squall, it's beautiful.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-24-2012
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It is one of my favorite commands! Ha! Provided that someone near the cleat knows what it means. It is very effective and sometimes necessary with such a big sail. We got overtaken by a squall line that was rolling down Somes Sound. Whew! The IODs were making a buoy turn in practice for the Worlds starting the next day. We were out there watching and all of us had an exciting time. The cat boat with a scandalized gaff may as well have been flying a spinnaker! With the board nearly up it flew away from the others. It was not particularly relaxing for a few minutes but the boat took it in stride.

Avast!

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-24-2012
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Marconi vs gaff rig on a catboat?

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post #9 of 13 Old 02-24-2012
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You are associating gaffs with rum and ginger ale with dilution of purity , right? Scandalous to think otherwise but tide lifts all vessels: even if Marconi rigged.
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-24-2012
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Last edited by Capt Len; 02-24-2012 at 01:31 PM.
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