Welcome to the Junk Rig Association (JRA) 

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Search engines seem to track our entire lives. Some also trawl the web for images. Here are some that Google found on 11th March 2013. Click the mosaic for today's update - there are lots to explore.

      google images update

Formed in 1979 at the Southampton Boat Show by a group of junk rig enthusiasts, the JRA
(Junk Rig Association) is for its members and about their boats and their rigs. We aim to: promote the use of the junk rig by encouraging members to organise 'rallies' and 'junkets' (see About Us) and via our tri-annual Magazine and this site; encourage the development of junk and related rigs, the building or conversion of boats to the junk rig, and the use of vessels with the rig or its derivatives; create an international community of people who've already 'junked' their boat, are thinking of doing so, or are just interested in learning what it's all about.  

Summing that up, our main job is to get the rig talked about. Former Chairman David Tyler certainly helped there: the Ocean Cruising Club recently awarded him their Rose Medal "for the most meritorious short-handed ...and exceptional voyage on board Tystie [from the UK to New Zealand]. You will  have inspired many others, some of whom may well adopt a junk rig." David's follow-up voyage to and around Alaska was tracked here. Tystie and David are now in Canada.

Where are we based?

pie chart 2 12 2013We were formed in the UK, and although our 'office' address and banking remains in the UK we are run by an increasingly international Committee via the internet. A number of posts become vacant in 2014 so if you choose to join you could also put your name forward to help run the 'club'. It doesn't run itself. Our membership is now more than   50% outside the UK. Click the chart for detail.

Boat of the Month
In the JRA our members come in all shapes, sizes and character... as do their boats. This month it is the Leprechaun's (also known as Roger Scott) turn, Roger is always smiling and never at loss for something to say... and invariably has a different perspective. The BOTM this month is Shoestring... yet another example of the endless variety that the junk rig supports... not to mention their owners!.

Shoestring shows off her rig

Roger writes: Having officially been inaugurated into the JRA in 2013 and sailed 2000 miles along and among the islands of  New Zealand's east coast,  it is time to share some stories about Shoestring.

Most would go along with the idea that boats have personality, almost like horses. They buck and yaw and often seem to have a mind of their own, but once you become good friends, respect and care for them, they are the best and often  the only loyal companions on those lonely trips between dawn and dusk. I say that because not yet have I sailed throughout the night on Shoestring, or any boat for that matter. I always plan several anchorages ahead and look forward to that sheltered bay at the end of the day.

The Leprechaun and the Grasshopper enjoying two of the thinks they love best... 2013 NZ Winter RallyPoor old Shoestring, I am sure she thinks her owner is wholly unworthy. She started out as a Junk rig sporting one proud 500sq foot flat Hasler McLeod style sail with three 'fan' panels at the top. After sailing her for about three years, mainly around Auckland, I discovered a rotten part three meters down from the mast head and more than ½ way around. I was lucky not to have lost it but never had sailed in more than 25 knots.

In an earlier life, I was used to sailing Scorpion class dinghies in the UK, and perhaps was frustrated at Shoestring's windward performance and tacking ability. So instead of repairing the mast, I decided to experiment with  aspect and COE. I simply cut off the rotten part, sealed it up, added a mizzen  and had an 8sqShoestring at anchor meter Dacron Hasler McLeod sail professionally made for a tear jerking $NZ1000.00.  So much for the 'shoestring' budget. To accommodate for the shorter mast, I had planned to cut the bottom two panels off the original mainsail and have eyelets sewn in along where it was cut. In case I ever wanted to extend the mast to the its original height again, I could lash the panels back together through the eyelets.  That was the plan!

To balance the rig, I was originally aiming to have a bowsprit and self tacking Jib, but having met Annie Hill shortly before installing the bowsprit, I opted for the more traditional look and made a small foremast to carry a little junk sail. It was a good decision until I got greedy for more sail area and extended the Shoestring... the view from the deck.. may it ever be of LC's stern!foremast using two pairs of old skis as splints. They lasted surprisingly well, but eventually gave out in about 35 knots going across to Great Barrier Island. So much for my 'shoestring' budget! Fortunately I salvaged the foremast and tackle from lumpy seas and reinstated the original stumpy  stick when safely anchored at Barrier. Annie reckons the foremast looks more like a toothpick when naked, but when fully adorned with her smart $NZ200.00 weedmat rig, Shoestring proved worthy of the most prestigious prize at the 2014  Tall Ships Race at Russell in the Bay of Islands. She won a bottle opener for having the best looking sails. Thanks Annie! Our Boat of the Month Archive is here.

Get Started

Via this page you can, even as a non-member, access many of our resources and explore our services.

To get full access you'll need to become a member - click JOIN US in the menu on the left.

Some of the things you can do even before you join include:
  • Download Ash Woods'  easy-to read Beginners' Tour [pdf, 108 Kb]. Ash wrote this for us while he was still a 'newbie'. Thanks, Ash.
  • Watch a YouTube presentation created as a junk intro for yacht clubs, odownload as a pdf [7 Mb].
  • Download Arne Kverneland's pdf [987 Kb] 'Junk Rig for Beginners' in English or French. Arne has put much thought and energy into developing cambered panel rigs. This article - one of many which you can find here - goes back to basics. It's a great read before you tackle something just as essential - Hasler/McLeods' bible Practical Junk Rig.
  • Explore membership benefits in About Us - scroll up until you see the menu on the left.
  • Find out about junks in Junk Information.
  • Browse some of the latest forum posts (right).
  • Check out photographs of members' boats in our own ever-expanding Photo Gallery.

  • Watch these Google videos or see some stills by clicking on the mosaic at the top of this page.
  • Use the search box below to explore the public pages of the site.

So lower your sails (easy in a junk) and Join Us. For how to see the menu on the left). We're great value.

Converting your boat to junk rig is the best thing you can do to improve her safety and efficiency!


The adjacent posts are from selected public fora. To see all the public posts, use the menu at the left.

Only members can post on this site. On members' pages they are attributed by name, but in 'open' fora such as those used here, they may be shown as 'Anonymous' for reasons of privacy and security.

You can search the 'public' areas of the site using this Google box:

       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

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