The "LaShunk", A shunting junk, by Balkan ShipYards.

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  • 29 Jun 2018 04:08
    Reply # 6348935 on 6315328

    I wouldn't waste that nice cloth on that sailplan either :) just thought you might like to try a quick and dirty sail before you made an awesome one. I'm already thinking about a smaller, higher aspect split junk rig.

    Thanks for posting the vids, some great Ideas I may borrow there :) 


  • 28 Jun 2018 09:04
    Reply # 6346792 on 6315328

    Bill, thanks for the link, that is the Balkan spirit of sail making.....

    I like the dart style of doing things. Still I will probably go with the way Arne builds sails, just because, the cloth I got (for a present :-) high class 100% polyester, lite and very strong is cut to 120 cm. That's how long the role is, it's perfect for my panel width, forcing me to stitch up panel to panel, so will take Arne's advice this time. 

    As for your proa dreams.... they can come true easier then u think! and they are so much fun!!!!! Crab Claws are so cool, they just don't fit cruising, in my opinion.

    I built my second proa "Why Not?" in 5 days and went sailing, from a pile of ply to a sailing boat, rig and all in 5 days! Then I started modifying him, painting him and so on. Below is a video of how we slap together a day sailor for dime...... Why Not?

    As for rigging.... It dont get much simpler then this! Green house plastic, a couple battens, a bunch o'screws and some string........ Crab Claws are brilliant, very low stress so anything works. Out in the pacific, for a fishing boat, leave the atoll at sunrise come back sundown..... That's what u want, simple cheap and very robust...................

    Rigging "Why Not?"

    Just start small, keeping complication and expenses to a minimum, if u like, then go big.

    All d best.

    Keep Shunting, Balkan ShipYards. 

  • 26 Jun 2018 17:45
    Reply # 6343377 on 6315328


    Thank for taking the time to describe your experience with the crabclaw, maybe I'll give it a try someday but for now I'll take it off my todo list and move it to my wish list :) Maybe someday I'll build that 30' deep v vaka with a 6" beam I've always wanted and put a massive crabclaw on it :)

    never occured to me that reefing would be extra difficult on a Proa, that's good to know.

    the junk rig is surprisingly light, my 70 sq ft sail bundle is 13 pounds and the mast weighs 8 pounds, my battens are maybe a bit light, would certainly be way to light on a heavier boat, my dingy comes in at just under 300 pounds with crew.

    the junk sail I made cost about $50 Canadian or roughly $38usd and took about 10 hours of planning and 8 hours of work, it'll be a bit more once I get all the bits of rope figured out I'll replace them with new rope so probably about $75 if I decide to use spectra for the halyard.

    here's a tutorial for a quick and dirty cambered polytarp junk sail, I used the smaller one and made the panels 4 inches narrower, added a foot of rise, a bit more camber, and left the gurney flap off. I also cut the darts instead of sewing them and used two sided carpet tape and staples on both batten halves to hold them together along with a lot of screws.

    I doubt it works nearly as well as a properly made junk sail, but I'm having a ton of fun with it, and in both light wind and high wind conditions I wouldn't have gone out in with any of the other sails I've tried.

    I keep wondering how hard it would be to make a "Junked" crabclaw, it'd basically be a fanned junk rig with a very short luff, maybe a club to run the batten parrels around and control the spread of the yard/boom, lol, probably more of a brain fart then an epiphany, but one has to think about something while waiting for the wind to blow :)


  • 25 Jun 2018 18:44
    Reply # 6341173 on 6315328


     My days with Crab Claws are over. On a cat I may consider a Crab Claw, but not on a proa. They are amazing! cheap and easy to make, they work very well, they look superb!!! They will go to windward, yet off the wind they are turbo charged.....

     But, they cant be reefed! They can be depowered though, so out in the pacific one could get by, though I sail land locked waters, the Med, The Black sea... Here things change all the time, it can get rough very fast, and who knows what's going to be down wind.....

    A depowered Crab Claw at best may reach, so with leeway you are still going down wind.... In the vast Pacific no problem, here, you may get crushed if you cant sail to windward!

    Some of the best Crab Claw cruisers on bigger Wharram catamarans, drop one sail on the big deck and raise a smaller one, they have 3 or 4 sails lashed to the boat. That's the best way, since a smaller sails works much better then a reefed one. 

    Reefing them is just not easy and far from effective, hence the boom becomes a mess (with all the extra sail lashed onto it, once reefed), it disturbs the air flow by creating heavy turbulence as the wind exits the sail. The Boom that was low down, the more you reef the higher it goes, putting weight and CE higher and higher......

    Depowering would be pulling on the brailing lines and raising the boom, by doing so the shape of the sail is destroyed and it really helps. But you can forget about going to windward!

    Bottom line, Crab Claws are good sails for constant conditions, and open space. 

    The Gibbons, again cant be reefed, so no Thanks. Never tried it, but shunting seems very weird too, as you will be moving a huge wing over your head..... just too weird.

    As for the Bermudan, you're probably bang on! it's a racing rig, made for upwind work, and since most sailors think that what wins races must be good, that's what the manufacturers supply.

    Having two rigs at each end of the vessel is too much. Narrow canoes must be kept lite, also the extra windage will hurt performance.....

    You are lucky that you have a junk, I never sailed one, but I feel that it may solve the biggest problem proas have, REEFING!!! A proa with it's rig to one side and the sail hovering above the sea, is a bit too risky for my liking.... falling off is too easy. Cats and tris are better with their rigs in the middle and tons of deck to the sides.

    I want to just ease the halyard, and say "job done!" only junks can do that!!!

    Time will tell......


  • 24 Jun 2018 18:35
    Reply # 6338132 on 6315328

    so will you stick with the crabclaw? or are you still looking at the junk rig?

    I haven't tried the crabclaw yet, it's a beautiful, versatile rig, but it looks like a lot of work and a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong when singlehanding, add that to it being really unhandy to reef and heavy and it's a no go for me.

    I think this paragraph was what decided my against the crabclaw:

    "It started out life with the oceanic lateen shunting rig. A beautiful, fun rig to sail. I decided to try another rig in a powerful afternoon wind on a mountain lake. While shunting in high winds, the sail with both 20 foot spars would kite high into the air, occasionally swooping in to snap off an unsuspecting cleat or body part. At that moment a pair of smaller, reefable sails sounded more manageable. "

    Have you tried the gibbons or dierking shunting riggs yet?

    I like the bermudan rig about half as much as you do :) I think the reason it's considered the "Best" by so many is that it makes more money for those who sponsor races than any other type of rig, and those who lay out racecourses know it. 

    I wonder if having a junk rig at each end of as proa and just reef the aft rig by how ever much is necessary to get the ballance one wants would work.

    After trying the junk rig I can't see using anything else, having a bit of extra weight and larger appendages is a very small price to pay for the added safety and ease of handling


  • 23 Jun 2018 22:23
    Reply # 6336607 on 6315328

    Hi Bill,I too have a daggerboard in my ama, it really helps me go to windward.

    I constantly adjust it's depth and it it's trim is very important for the boat to hold course. The minute you push it down the boat will go only to windward, full stop. half way reaching easy and up is for running. Still my CE was a bit to far aft, due to the fixed mast and a big crab claw. Canting masts are better for proas, I just thought they were a hassle and I could get by with out them.... I was wrong, so a steering oar was usually needed....

    Russel is a racer, so Bermuda rigs are for him. I had a Bermuda on a mono, but I wouldn't have one on a proa, dropping and raising jibs after every shunt seems too crazy to me.... 

    I also don't like the high tech and high price that come with the Bermuda rig.........

    The high stress, the extra complication, the need to have more sails, like Spinnakers and storm sails....... I just don't like it.......

    Cruising is Cruising, Racing is racing. Thank god they don't mix!

    All d best, man.

    Keep shunting, Balkan ShipYards.


  • 23 Jun 2018 15:11
    Reply # 6335059 on 6315328
    always good to see another proa enthusiast looking at the junk rig :) I hear you on the trolls thing, not sure what it is about proas that offends some folks but it seems to be a thing...

    One thing I thought was interesting about a junk rig on a proa is that it could be fully stayed without interfering with the rig unless one wants to be able to tack as well as shunt.

    Russell Brown uses daggerboards with trim tabs on his center mast proas, a nice design that lets him change both his CLR to balance his boat on either shunt and rudders as well

    one could use a sliding leeboard on the ama, the one I'm working on will move about 8 feet on a 16' boat, I should be able to do most of my steering with it if I set it up right. Traditionally the crew would jam their paddles into the water like leeboards to steer.

     Here's a proa that's a double dipper :) with a sliding leeboard. double dipping lug wa'apa

     it would also reduce loads on the rudders which is huge on a proa as it's pretty tough to put rudders out on the ends of the proa where they do the most good because they'd take a beating when on the "Bow" in rough weather.

    I'll certainly be following with interest, I'm planning on designing/building a 9m proa in the near future.


  • 21 Jun 2018 04:30
    Reply # 6328336 on 6315328


    I agree that a single sail at mid ship with big enough rudders will work.

    But I honestly believe that it's just "solving a problem with a new one"....

    Since proas are fine and narrow, most of them will dig their bows in, resulting in CLR being far forward. It may go even to 25% of waterline from the bow. That's very far ahead. Now imagine how big, or how deep a rudder must be to bring CLR half your waterline back.... A mainsail on a mast at mid ship will have a CE about 75% aft of the bow.

    So? ether a huge rudder, or a deep one....... If not, using a boat that is so unbalanced is going to be very hard work, as the sailor will be fighting heavy weather helm. Adding deep rudders onto a cruising multihull also isn't the best idea in my opinion. One of the biggest advantages with multihulls is, that they can arrive last, but still choose the best achorage!!!! Shallow draft is a huge advantage for ANY cruising vessel.

    It works, I know! But big appendages must be installed to move the CLR so far.

    You end up by adding weight, complication, wetted area, and the vessel draws more. 

    I think just put the rig where it should be and solve the real problem without creating new ones..........

    That's my two cents on that matter.  

    By the way I never expected finding a proa brother here!!!!

    All d best.


  • 20 Jun 2018 06:52
    Reply # 6324414 on 6315328

    Hi Arne, well it's like this......

    Proas are as brilliant as Junk Rigs are! I just came up with that and I like it....

    The longest vessel that can be built out of any pile of materials is a Pacific Proa. Meaning with an "x" amount of material the most boat, with the longest water line anyone could build, would be nothing but a proa. 

    This is a huge advantage, for an Islander if there's no machines and trucks..... Or an advantage for us, just because prices of materials seem to go only one way, and that's up...........

    Proas are the fastest! 

    A Proa built for speed is a flying proa, he lifts the ama (The small hull) till the ama is just skimming the surface, and he flies away. Nothing can match him, for wetted area is reduced to nothing. Many think that proas sail flying their amas, this was true only for the smallest ones, those were built for fishing in the atoll, but the bigger ones, once in trim were skimming their amas just above the water.   

    The small ama also reduces the loads on the vessel. A catamaran with 2 big hulls will put much more loads onto it's akas (the beams that connect the hulls), but a small sharp hull can go through waves without rising or falling much, the motion is calmer and loads are reduced.

    Proas are strong!

    All multihulls when heeling put very serious compression loads on their akas. These beams must be very strong. So you can choose, cheap and heavy, or, very expensive and not so heavy..... On a Proa the akas are very lightly loaded, The mast is on the Vaka (big hull) there is a single shroud that goes from mast head to ama. so the akas only keep the hulls apart, and are a base for a big deck. But they have zero compression loads compared  to cats and tris. Meaning that aka construction for a proa can be cheap, simple and lightweight.

    Proas are easier to transport.

    This video proves it well.....

    Proas are easier to beach.

    Proas go better to windward. 

    Proas in heavy weather, will safely drift back laying to a para anchor without breaking their rudders. The wide platform will not capsize if all sail is down and bow is held to weather with a para anchor.

    Proas are brilliant! so why don't we see more??

    Well, we are working on that........

    Thanx for pushing me.....

    Good job.


    Balkan ShipYards. 

  • 19 Jun 2018 13:50
    Reply # 6320726 on 6315328


    Another proa-junk enthusiast- great.

    I had a wee 16' proa, rigged with a windsurfer sail, it was a deep V hull.  Lots of very wet fun!!  Yes, the sail had to be over the bow, this is due to the hull shape and lack of any resistance from boards.  If you fit a good sized rudder-board, as 'Cheers' balance on a centre mast is no problem.  Jzerro will sail on main only.  The only reason for going deep V is if sailing in very shallow waters - then you will have to suffer the complications of moving the rig forward on each shunt.

    Junk sails on proas have been done, Ping-Pong looks the best.

    I agree that traditional proas are superb craft, though they had to work within the limits of the technology they had, sailed with a large crew and in warm waters - we can now have more practical solutions for our needs.

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