Presentation and a new sail for a Kingfisher 20+

  • 07 Aug 2022 06:32
    Reply # 12875705 on 10066191

    Gavin and I are so happy to see Shui Jen looking so beautiful; the photo of her on a real mooring brought a tear to my eye! Thank you for your investment into her longevity! You and family will no doubt have many years of fun cruising. Hope we bump into you ( not literally ) in Italian waters soon! 

    Mel and Gavin

  • 02 Aug 2022 09:55
    Reply # 12870290 on 10066191

    Thank you Graeme!

    It's a good idea. To a more accurate description of the cruise, I could also add a couple of pictures of the refitting too.


  • 01 Aug 2022 22:51
    Reply # 12869908 on 10066191
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Excellent presentation and an inspiring story the restoration on Shui Jen.

    Sails look good.

    Together with a little more detail of the cruise, it would make a great article for the magazine so everyone can read it. Well done.

  • 01 Aug 2022 13:50
    Reply # 12869264 on 10066191

    Dear friends of the JRA!

    After 9 months of intensive refitting, Shui Jen has been launched and sailed again. 

    Shui Jen is a Kingfisher 20+ that belong to Vincent Reddish, she spent her last 15 years in the french alps. The last two she was not sailed and since 2021 belongs to me and my family.

    Shui Jen has been loved by all her former owners but has not been updated in the last years. Her refitting was the perfect occasion for us to know each others better and to get started in the world of yachting.

    The refitting included:

    -a new sail made of Odissey III cloth;

    -a new sail cover;

    -new alloy battens and yard; 

    -new blocks and dyneema lines and parrels;

    -a three part Euphore made of a Dyneema line and Burton rings;

    -new wedges made of pine wood;

    -new mast coat made of neoprene and PVC sewn together;

    -new windows of Plexiglass with neoprene gaskets;

    -new 12 volt electrical system including a 50w solar panel;

    -painting the inside;

    All these works were made on ourselves. 

    The works on hull and seacocks were made professionally because of lack of experience and time. These works were made by Viacheslav, a former cadet of the soviet navy that worked firstly as captain on cargo vessels around the world and now works as a skipper and boat builder in the harbor of Koper (Slovenia). The works included:

    -removing the old layers of antifouling to the gel coat;

    -removing the rust on the keels;

    -sealing the two seacocks on the starboard side;

    -replacing the aft seacock with a new one of bronze;

    -epoxying all the little and big defects of hull, deck and keels;

    -smoothing hull and keel with primer;

    -painting deck and hull in a fresh snow white colour;

    -new black antifoulig;

    -installing a bilge pump;

    Viacheslav found little signs of osmosis and a lot of cracks on the gel coat. The keels were rusty but solidly attached. As the seacocks were replaced, he was impressed by the thickness of the fiberglass. He found that the hull of our boat is thicker than that of a Nauticat 33, he had worked on. Accordingly, his comment on our boat was: „she is build like a tank and her hull is strong like a stone!“.

    Shui Jen was lunched on July 2022. On her maiden voyage she was sailed from Portoroz (Slovenia) to Monfalcone (Italy) from a crew of two: Viacheslav and me. I think he accepted to come with me in this first sea trial, also because of curiosity on the Junk rig and on this little strange boat. In the time he worked on Shui Jen, I explained him all the advantages and peculiarities of the JR I’ve read about, but I’ve never sailed one. Hoisting the sail in the gentle wind from the NW was the moment of the truth: either the confirmation that what I told him about the JR was right, or the demonstration that all the theory I’ve talked about was false.

    As all the 7 panels inflated and the sail start to pull the boat closed hauled on the starboard tack, I screamed „it works!“ and yelled out a woohoo of relief and happiness. A gentle pull on the throat hauling parrel eliminated almost all the diagonal creases off the panels and Shui Jen started to point a bit higher than the old bermudian sloop near us. After a while, we tacked and set our curse to N to reach Monfalcone. Because of sailing on the „bad tack“ we planned a couple of tacks more, but as the boat could point quite good, these were not necessary and we made the entire leg on this tack. We covered the 17 miles in 5 hours making and average speed of 3.5 knots in 8 to 9 knots of wind.

    The boat is due to her weight and the two keels very stable. She is also quite sensible and the tiller is light. I think she has a little weather helm but more sailing is needed to confirm this first impression…

    I’d like to thank Linda & Pete Hill for supporting me and encouraging us in doing this; Arne for sharing his knowledge in a way that enables beginners to realize such a miracle; my wife for supporting me and sharing with me a good amount of the work…

    Buon vento a tutti 


    5 files
  • 09 Feb 2021 18:59
    Reply # 10072668 on 10066191

    Hi Arne,

    thank you very much for measures and tips!

    I will surely need a good amount of good luck (and probably some help too) while sewing and rigging!!!



  • 09 Feb 2021 12:19
    Reply # 10071666 on 10066191
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi Mauro
    Batten, boom and yard lengths:
    I generally cut the battens a bit, longer, 5-10cm that the B-dimension. The yard could well be 10cm longer. The batten 2 is cut so that its aft end is at least flush with the vertical leech. In this case, 29cm extra is needed. You may well add another 5-10cm. This ensures that the uppermost sheetlet will clear the sail when gybing.

    Tying sail to the battens, etc.
    When tying the batten to the sail (with pockets), I start with tying at the aft end, and then try to tie the batten flush with the leech (again to avoid sheetlet-batten conflicts). Then I tie the sail to the batten in the forward end. Now I stretch the sail lightly to minimise wrinkles along the battens.
    The boom should also be tied flush with the leech.

    Choice of batten dimensions:
    I am no expert in calculating batten dimensions. Anyway, one must use what is available. I guess I would try 25 x 2mm for the lower battens. The boom, and two upper battens could well be 35 x 2mm or 35 x 1.5mm.

    Odyssey for sail:
    The Odyssey III has worked well for me. However, I have seen those on lower latitudes who have had problems with UV-damage. The Odyssey only has UV-coating on one side. I still think it will work, as long as you make a sail cover and use it when the boat is out of use.

    Good luck!

  • 09 Feb 2021 08:46
    Reply # 10071201 on 10066191

    Hallo Arne,

    yesterday I received the canvas (Odyssey III), the safety belt for the webbing boltrope and the 2,5 cm band for the loops. This week I’m going to print the paper templates and order the 6060 alloy tubes for battens, boom and yard. On this item I would need some help from you. Should battens and yard have the same length of B (365 cm)? The foot of panel n.7 should be 4% shorter than B, would this mean that also the boom should be 350,4 cm long? How long should be batten n. 2? You write that the 22mm x 2mm battens of FS bends and are on the „light side“; do think that for Shui Jen (twice heavier than FS) stronger battens would be better? If it is, how bright should they be and how thick should be their wall?

    Thank you for the support


  • 07 Feb 2021 15:00
    Reply # 10067337 on 10066191

    Hallo Arne,

    Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions!

    The mast is 8,3 m long, 6 m above the deck and sits on the deckhouse immediately behind the front portholes. I cannot take the exact measure because the boat is already in France…the former owner is waiting to register the street trailer and then I will be able to transport her to Austria (where I live).

    I would like to do day sailing and costal cruising mainly in the south of Sardinia, where I was born and where is enough wind. The crew will consists of me (little experience) and my family (no experience)…so you are definitively right, it’s better to start with a smaller sail area and than eventually increase it as the experience has also increased.

    I think I will just copy the sail plan of FS. After all this is my first sailmaker project and I feel that knowing all the measures will help me avoiding technical errors or miscalculations.

    Thank you again


  • 07 Feb 2021 10:42
    Reply # 10067057 on 10066191
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello, Mauro

    Before making any firm suggestions, it would be nice to know what sort of winds and water you are to sail in, and with what sort of crew.
    It would also be useful to know where the mast sits (distance from bow) and its height above deck level. Is Kingfisher 20+ much different from Kingfisher 20 ( ..found in

    On small boats, I have found it best to use a big sail area to let me sail well downwind, and then use a moderate camber of just 8% in the horizontal panels. This means that I can carry almost as much sail upwind as downwind. On small boats, hoisting and controlling the sail is no big effort. As boats grow bigger and heavier, it may be difficult to find space (or muscle power) to set as big sail as one wants. That is when I suggest increasing the camber to, say 10 or 12%.
    When fitting my first blue cambered panel sail for my Malena, in 1994 (see NL 30), I knew the solid wooden mast was too short. I still made a ‘full-size’, 7-panel sail for her, but then I rolled up the lowest panel, and sailed around with six panels that summer. Next year a new hollow mast was ready, and the seventh panel came into use.

    Maybe that tactics could be used on your boat as well? Now I checked. If we start with one of my master sails, the one at AR=2.20 and remove the lowest panel, and then scale it down until B=3.65m, the AR will drop to 1.94 and the sail area to 20.1sqm. It will look like a close cousin of Frøken Sørensen’s sail, only with six panels. Then, later you may find that you can fit a taller mast and set a seventh panel. This will bring the sail area up in 23.4sqm and the SA/disp. to 19.4, which is not bad. Moreover, the sail’s fairly high AR will give a tall leading edge for better upwind performance.

    Just a thought.

    994                                                  1999

    Last modified: 07 Feb 2021 10:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 06 Feb 2021 20:10
    Message # 10066191

    Hello everyone!

    This is almost my first post on the site.

    I am an Italian 40+ Laser sailor. Although I still consider myself a novice of this class, over the past 5 years I have learned a lot about sailing with an unstayed rig. And I love it! In this time I had also some sailing courses on big bermudian sloops in order to learn how to sail bigger boats and dreaming for costal cruising with my family. Through these experiences I realized how can be hard to sail a big bermudian sloop shorthand when the wind increase. So I started searching in internet for alternatives. The first ones that I found were cat boats (for example the Nonsuch yachts) and cat ketches (freedom yachts, norwalk island sharpies, etc.). I consider these boats too big or too expensive for a first cruising attempt.

    In my search I finally discovered Roger Taylor and his books and with them the junk rig.

    Finally I became member of the JRA and thank to Pete Hill and Linda I became also the proud owner of a junk rigged Kingfisher 20+.

    The boat is called Shui Jen and it belonged to Vincent Reddish. Shui Jen has an old flat sail that I would like to replace with a self made cambered one in the style of Arne Kverneland. The original sail is about 20 sqm and I thought that probably a bigger sail area would allow better performance in light wind. According to PJR, Pilmer's sail area was 21 square meters, plus a 7.5 square meter ghosting foresail. Adding the two sails the sail area would increase to 28.5 square meters and this would be equivalent to a SA /disp of 24.15. So I speculated to grab the sail plan of Frøken Sørensen and increase the AR to 2.10 in order to get 25.23 sqm and a SA/disp of 21.2. This seemed to me a good compromise. Anyway, a taller and more powerful sail would probably mean to change the original alloy mast with a taller and stronger one. Too much for an absolut beginner, working on his first DIY rig, with a young family and a demanding job (I am a surgeon).

    So I turn back to the original sail area and decided just to grab the sail plan of Frøken Sørensen….anyway Mrs Sorensen weighs the half of Mrs Shui Jen (650 kg vs 1315 kg). Would it be a good idea to add a bit of „muscles“ by increasing the camber of the lower panels? If it is, would 10% be a reasonable camber? How many panels should be tuned in this way?

    Kind regards

    Mauro Pau

       " ...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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