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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Newbie here, so I'm not sure I'm in the right Thread/Community at all, but "Sailnet" seems to be a good place to start... :)
I have a question about Junk rigs. Mainly, the sail. I have Van Loan's book "The Chinese Sailing Rig - Design and Build Your Own Junk Rig", and I have also looked at some designs out there. They seem to have the sail as one single piece of cloth. But I also seem to recall (maybe from Annie Hill's book? I don't remember) that an advantage of the Junk is that it's easily fixed if the sail rips, one could just exchange the damaged part/section in question, and a rip would not continue into neighboring sail sections. Which to me means that every "section" is its own piece of cloth, separately lashed to its respective battens. So... which one is it? Has anyone sailed and/or built a junk?
Please note that this is not a question to the "validity", or usability, or usefulness, or sense of a junk, merely a technical request for input.
Thank you. Please let me know if this was not the right forum to post a question like this.
 

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I had a Benford 34 years ago with a junk rig - similar to the one in the book - mine was one piece cloth not sections stitched together - but still think it would be an easy fix if there was a problem - biggest issue - getting sails up was a bear - the sails are attached via line with rollers - but still lots of binding going up - not an easy rig to go out for a short daysail - the boat was slow but seaworthy - sold it to a young guy who took it to the Caribbean - always wondered what happen to it - Moondancer was the name and had a red hull - good boat for a passage - just wasn't a good daysailor or weekend boat
 

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The junks rigs that I have sailed had a sail that was made as a single cross cut sail from the yard to the boom, with the panels stitched together horizontally like any other cross-cut sail. Most have had full length batten pockets that were stitched onto the face of the sail, and which held the battens. Because these were cross cut sails and because the batten pocket limited the amount that a tear could spread vertically, Anne Hill is correct that a repair would be constrained to a single panel of fabric between the batten pockets. But because the big loads are largely perpendicular to the battens, a small tear could easily spread fore and aft.

I also sailed on a boat that had loops of webbing stitched to the sail instead of actual batten pockets. But that sail was also a cross cut sail with horizontal panels. That sail had decent shape when the battens were on the leeward side of the sail but looked awful when they were on the windward side with pouches and hard-spots between the loops and battens. A torn sail on that boat would probably behave like any other sail.

I will also note since your question is about maintenance. There is a huge amount of maintenance on a junk rig. There is a lot of chafe and a lot of small lines that wear out pretty frequently. While sail shaping is a little less critical on a junk rig (since windward ability is not their string suit) Its hard to find good references for broad seaming the sail so that a reasonable flying shape results. The one boat owner mentioned a prolonged trial and error process before ending up with a sail that set well. In that regard, sail repairs may actually be harder to do on a junk rig.

As cdy noted, junk rigs are a pain in the butt to sail, and do not sail very well except in a narrow range of reaching.

Jeff
 

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I'm really curious about why you think ripping a sail is something common enough to be a factor in your rig choice.
I doubt there are many of us who have torn a sail in good condition and in normal sailing situations. It's most often the stitching that goes first, long before the cloth.
I had to let a headsail flog itself to death (I wasn't going out or sending anybody else out the bowsprit in a hurricane, so we just cut the sheets), and the sail took better than 20 minutes to destroy itself in over 100 knots of wind!
I'd suggest a more conventional rig with double or triple stitched seams if you are worried about the sail holding up.
 

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Only advantage of separate panels is that the sail can be made of rice bags gleaned at the local village market Around here most junk sails are made from large blue tarps from Tool Town.
 

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Most Junk Rig sail panels are sewn together to make a single sail, either flat or broad seamed for camber. The advantage is not so much easy repair but that, if one or more panel is damaged, the remaining panels continue to work. Because the stress on the sail is more evenly distributed, they tend to be made of lighter material and can be more easily damaged.

But well known solo sailor Roger Taylor made the sails for Mingming II from separate panels. See The Making of Mingming II on youtube - I think it is episode 6.

The Junkrig Association is the best place to find out about junk sails. Traditional and new thinking. They are a nice bunch of people as well.

If you think junk sails can't work, read the tech articles by Arne Kvernland and Slieve Mc Galliard.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for your inputs. Interesting insights. I wasn't expecting an endorsement of Junks here. It seems that this forum/website is more for cruisers with "big" boats, and I see how such folks would stick to tried-and-true solutions, and for all the right reasons. My thought is more of a small coastal/weekend cruiser, single-handed, and I have heard of the virtues of Junks for such an application, namely, the very quick and easy reefing which can be done from the cockpit without getting up. And, as mentioned, the (alleged) easier fixing of the sail, should rips occur. The chafing seems to be an issue, as is setup and dis/assembly. And I'm not saying it is the best solution, I merely wanted to find out about the specific question, since I had disagreeing infos on this. Again, thanks all for your inputs, glad I came here!
@Geoff54, I'm calling you out on your quote, I believe it was Plato who said that... :)
 

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I have heard of the virtues of Junks for such an application, namely, the very quick and easy reefing which can be done from the cockpit without getting up.
One quick point here, having reefed both a junk rig and a conventional Bermuda rig, there is no difference between reefing a Junk rig and a Bermuda rig if the Bermuda rig uses a conventional slab reefing with two-line reefing system, except that there are fewer moving parts, less chafe, less friction, and less line to haul on the Bermuda rig. Both can be run to the cockpit if you so choose and be trimmed while sitting in the cockpit.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I kinda heard that too, what the "junk salesmen" keep telling is that a) it's easier to reef a junk because all you do is loose the halyard and it drops into the lazy jacks (may have to add downhauls at the parrels), and b) that it allows for "continuous" reefing, as you can drop as much sail as you deem suitable for the situation at hand.
 

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a) it's easier to reef a junk because all you do is loose the halyard and it drops into the lazy jacks (may have to add downhauls at the parrels),
Bermuda rigs can have lazy jacks as well, and the reef tack line on a Bermuda rig acts as the downhaul bringing down the mainsail to the reef point. That does not work as well on a Junk since the lead from the reef tack line is forward of the mast and so the parrel beads can and do hang up.

b) that it allows for "continuous" reefing, as you can drop as much sail as you deem suitable for the situation at hand.
Reefing on a junk works the same as a conventional slab reef on Bermuda Rig with multiple reef points. Each reef point has its own tack and clew line on both rigs. In the case of a junk you typically will have a reef point at or just below the batten. It gets pulled all the way down to the boom to reef. It won't set properly when partially reefed. Just like a modern rig, you can have as many reef points as you want but most have more modern junk rigs three sets of reef points and that is the same as on a modern offshore sail.

Jeff
 

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"Reefing on a junk works the same as a conventional slab reef on Bermuda Rig with multiple reef points. Each reef point has its own tack and clew line on both rigs. In the case of a junk you typically will have a reef point at or just below the batten. It gets pulled all the way down to the boom to reef."

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so. ~ Mark Twain.
 

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One bit of reality-trivia.... many of us sail in local more protected waters for years at a time. We usually do not need to reef. A byproduct of this reality is that a butt-load of sloops have reefing lines that are stiff, sheaves that are hard to rotate on old shafts, unfair leads, and an overall lack of learned technique.

Some sailors in windy venues think nothing of reefing and un-reefing once or twice just for a day sail. Others may only use this part of our running rigging once a year.
Point is, that on the internet all advice looks equal... ! :)

So do look back thru the posts of those giving the advice and see if they show actual experience with the system(s) in question,
That said, there are some VERY experienced sailors here and I note that some meet the standard of "having wrung more seawater out their socks than I have sailed over"... :)

Yup, I have a large sail plan, and sail in a light wind area, and last put in a single slab reef on a rare 20 kt afternoon, over two years ago.
The missing summer of covid should really not count for boat usage, IMHO. :(

ps: that Mark Twain quote covers a lot of life's situations!
 

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Hello,
Newbie here, so I'm not sure I'm in the right Thread/Community at all, but "Sailnet" seems to be a good place to start... :)
I have a question about Junk rigs. Mainly, the sail. I have Van Loan's book "The Chinese Sailing Rig - Design and Build Your Own Junk Rig", and I have also looked at some designs out there. They seem to have the sail as one single piece of cloth. But I also seem to recall (maybe from Annie Hill's book? I don't remember) that an advantage of the Junk is that it's easily fixed if the sail rips, one could just exchange the damaged part/section in question, and a rip would not continue into neighboring sail sections. Which to me means that every "section" is its own piece of cloth, separately lashed to its respective battens. So... which one is it? Has anyone sailed and/or built a junk?
Please note that this is not a question to the "validity", or usability, or usefulness, or sense of a junk, merely a technical request for input.
Thank you. Please let me know if this was not the right forum to post a question like this.
If I had to restart and an buy a boat now I would defintely go with a junk rig - more lines yes, but a lot simpler, self-suffifient and no stays, chainplates, pins, etc. Great rig for an old timer...:)
I hope you do follow Roger Taylor's voyages on Mingming, yes?
 

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If I had to restart and an buy a boat now I would defintely go with a junk rig - more lines yes, but a lot simpler, self-suffifient and no stays, chainplates, pins, etc. Great rig for an old timer...:)
I hope you do follow Roger Taylor's voyages on Mingming, yes?
I am sure that, unlike Jeff, you are aware that a junk sail has as many reefs as there are panels and that no "pulling down" is required and that there are no "reef points" with their own "tack and clew lines".
Also that the junk sail properly made and rigged sets just fine with any chosen amount of panels reefed.
 

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I am sure that, unlike Jeff, you are aware that a junk sail has as many reefs as there are panels and that no "pulling down" is required and that there are no "reef points" with their own "tack and clew lines".
Also that the junk sail properly made and rigged sets just fine with any chosen amount of panels reefed.
I only know the dozen or so Junk rigged boat that I have sailed including one that was an actual junk brought in from Asia with its original rig and sails. The authentic junk had 4 rows of reef lines each at the lower panels of the sail and they all had a clew and tack line. The clew lines were rigged from the leech near the batten at each panel and was run aft to the deck line an individual sheet. The Luff had brails at each panel that acted like snotters. On the imported junk there were tack lines that were tied in at each of the reefs .

Blondie Hasler used a similar arrangement on Jester. You can see the clew lines for the four reefs, I only see two of the tack lines in this picture so I not clear how he was handling the other two reefs.


137950


Here is Jester reefed from the other side and you can see the parrels and you can see the tack line at the lower panel
137952



You can see the brails at the tacks of the sail in this picture of Mingming Ii with her sail reefed. On the traditional junk there were parrels with wooden beads and a separate brail at each panel.

137951


Obviously your mileage may vary.

Jeff
 

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Respectfully Jeff your description of those lines in the pictures is not correct.

The lines at the leech on Jester are sheets each of which has two sheetlets that attach to the ends of battens.
They are NOT reefing lines in any way.

As to your reference to a tack line on Jester it is in fact the (standing)tack parrel.
It plays no role in reefing the sail.

The lines at the luff and mast of Mingming II are the parrels (horizontal) at each batten and what is called the luff hauling parrel(diagonal) that winds around the mast as it goes up its length.

On a well rigged modern junk only 4 of the lines are running: Sheet, Halyard, Luff Hauling Parrel and Yard Hauling Parrel.

There is no equivalent to a reefing line on a junk rig.

The sail is simply dropped into a bundle caught by the lazy jacks. This is done by the halyard.

I think a read of Junk Rig For Beginners authored by Arne Kverneland would be helpful.
 

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