Welcome to the Junk Rig Association (JRA)


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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. 

For help , first try HELP, then email the Webmaster 

New to this site, or to Junk Rig?? - scroll down to the "Get Started" section below for lots of resources

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

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.  

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
November 2021 - Chang

by Alex Niffeler

In 1995 I decided to build a sailing yacht.

Until then I had owned several dinghies: a 12 feet Greek fishing boat I made a lateen sail for, and a proa (hulls and rudders made of plywood, the rest made of bamboo).

All on the lake of Zurich. One of the dinghies, a Debaros, 20 ft, half decked with centerboard of steel I had changed to junk rig. This I found great, so I decided the new yacht should have a junk sail.

I was fascinated also by the French pilot boats and I decided to build one, on a smaller scale, with some small changes.

Chang was bult in ferrocement, a strong material, easy to use and very nice for heavy boats.

In Phuket I found an American who once had a shipyard near Bangkok where he made ferrocement boats.

He didn't have a shipyard any more but he introduced me to Mr. Him who had worked for him several years.

“Mr. Him could do it all”, he told me. And he was right.

Working conditions in Thailand are different from the Western world, but the work gets done.

I did not work on the ferrocement hull, but on the second stage, when working with wood (making the deck, the interior and the rigging) I worked with Mr. Him and some other workers.

Chang was a heavy boat and more a motor-sailer than a sailing yacht.

But I always felt safe in her no matter what weather there was.

I sailed in the Phang Nga Bay, down to Langkawi and to Indonesia.

In 2008 my wife and I took a sabbatical of one year and sailed around Malaysia to the gulf of Thailand and back.

She was a great liveaboard, very safe, easy to handle although she was heavy.

I could carry 600 liters of water and 200 liters of fuel.  When there was not too much wind, I could raise and handle the 45m2 main sail on my own, without winches.

In the beginning I had only the mainsail as a junk sail, and carried also a triangular foresail and a genoa.

But I did not like handling these foresails so I ordered a foremast and new junk sails.

The mast step for the foremast was built in from the beginning.

Later I added a small mast and sail of 6 m2 at the end of the overhanging cockpit extension to help steering and keep her straight at anchor.

She would hold a steady course for a long period of time.

Eventually I sold Chang.

The purchaser was quite new to sailing, but on two occasions I spent two weeks with him, to introduce him to the region of the Phang Nga Bay, and to become familiar with the boat.

He enjoyed the sailing, but after a year he became very ill and I lost contact with him.

The boat was left on a hardstand for a number of years and the bills were unpaid. Then the termites ate the woodwork.

Alex also writes: “In 2012 I decided to build a proa and went again to Phuket and built Nixe with the help of Mr. Him and some workers. She is a fast cruiser but not a racer. In 2019 I decided to sell her for financial reasons. It is very expensive to work in Switzerland and have to pay the maintenance and a place for a boat in Phuket. A hardstand there is meanwhile more expensive than a place in a harbour in Germany. I was lucky to be able to sell before corona. Next year I will be retired and plan to build another proa, this time with junk sails maybe here in Switzerland. It is possible to sail the canals to the Mediterranean from here”.

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.
  • 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.

  • Click on these images to see visual models of junk rigs and their rigging

  • 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 forum posts listed above are from selected public fora. To see all the public posts, select "Forums" from 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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