Welcome to the Junk Rig Association (JRA)


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Public and Members' Areas.

This is the public Home page. Members should log in top right. This should take you to the Members Area - also accessible using this link, or from the menu, left.

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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.  

Members' photo gallery - hover mouse over image to pause slideshow

Junk Rig Glossary

The final version of the Junk Rig Glossary is now available and can be found under the Junk Information menu, or directly here.  This Glossary lists all the terms related to the junk rig, its implementation and use.

Where are we based?

We 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 every year, at the AGM, 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.

Featured Boat

January 2020 - Poppy

To start a new “Featured Boat” series for 2020, here is Poppy, a Westerly “Longbow” (31’ LOA x 24’ LWL x 9’6” beam x 4’6” draught, 9,261 lb displacement x 4,000lb ballast); a stock, fin-keel cruising boat, designed by Laurent Giles.  

In need of a new rig, Poppy was purchased a decade ago by Slieve McGalliard, as a test bed for his  new development of the junk sail, which he called “Split Junk Rig” (SJR).  This has been explained in more detail both in magazines and in Slieve’s notes that can be found at here.  The concept has proven to be successful and a number of SJR rigs have since been made.  In 2016 Poppy was sold and is currently being refitted by her new owner, Tim Metcalf.  Below is Slieve’s recollection of Poppy and his development of her interesting rig: 

“Years of sailing bermudan-rigged sloops, suggested that where the rig was fine for dinghy racing in class fleets, it was not ideal for offshore sailing, with a typical husband and wife crew.  Sure it would go to windward in the right conditions, but the performance fell off as the bows pointed away from the wind, and a spinnaker was needed to provide an adequate performance with the wind abaft the beam – a totally unseamanlike device for a weak family crew to use.  John Campbell's book Easier Rigs for Safer Cruising: Sail Handling from the Cockpit, analysed the problem and suggested that the junk rig ticked all the boxes.  Further reading indicated that some junk-rigged boats struggled to tack, which indicated that a closer analysis was required to overcome this problem with performance.  Jotting points down in a word processor, resulted in the article, Some Thoughts [See link above], which suggested that a junk rig structure with large sail balance and a split in the sail at the mast should overcome the issue.

“Convinced that it would work, it was still a big step to convert the 31 foot Poppy to prove the point.  However, from the first sail the rig supported the theory, and performed as well as or better than all other equivalent cruising boats we met on the water.  The low stresses in the rig and on the crew have been a joy to experience, and in the words of the first person to have a trial sail, with a silly grin on his face he was chanting, ‘I must have one.  I must have one.’ He did replace his rig and didn’t look back.

“The camber at the luff is undoubtedly the key feature, and the resultant high lift-to-drag ratio of the rig can be quite a surprise to the unwary.  When the sail fills, the full drive is suddenly delivered and the boat responds very quickly.  The efficiency of the rig means that there is no need for extra sail area.  It’s nice to sit relaxed in the cockpit and sail alongside boats flying spinnakers, when their crews are struggling to keep control.  Simply following all the features designed into the rig seems consistently to produce a good rig.

“The design has developed since Poppy, and I hope a new write-up with simplified design and sail making ideas will appear in 2020.”


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.


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       " ...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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