This is why we need junk rigs

  • 17 Dec 2019 18:19
    Reply # 8307603 on 8292610
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I agree with David regarding headfoils.
    After sailing for a while with my new junkrigs, and then crewing on Bermuda-rigged boats, it soon struck me that there are many ways to make the BM-rig easier to control in a sudden blow,  but it would maybe mean a slight de-tuning of it.

    Even I have sailed enough with spinnaker to know how to drop it in the lee of the mainsail and then down the main hatch. That can be done in less than 20seconds (sorting out to spinnaker-boom etc, can be done at leisure.

    If it is not on a roll, fit it with hanks, not a foil. This lets one drop the sail under much more control. This even lets one fit reef points to it. If a downhaul is fitted to the top of the sail, one can stand by the mast and pin the foresail to the deck before going forward to tidy up.
    I would even use double stays, side-by side. This lets one have two sails to choose from, and with both of them set downwind, steering and speed is good.

    On bigger mainsails, I would use (mast track) cars at the luff, for the same reason as for the staysail hooks. My Malena had only 10sqm mainsail, with luff rope only, but I could manage that one.

    One thing I surely hate on modern Bermuda rigs is the use of internal halyards, with all the friction points connected to them. I have had four boats with external halyards, and they were raised and dowsed in seconds. Just don’t lose the halyard ‘s end...

    Since I claim that Bermuda-rigged boats can be managed quite safely, at least for inshore sailing, I stick to my No. 1 reason for going junk:
    The JR lets one sail quite fast downwind, and it still lets one turn back upwind, in case a cap or a cushion is lost over board.


    Last modified: 18 Dec 2019 22:52 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 17 Dec 2019 16:41
    Reply # 8306905 on 8292610

    It's not clear, but I guess they were racing, otherwise they'd have been sailing more conservatively (the boat ahead gets the spinnaker off at 0:20). What is clear is that they weren't a crack racing crew, making a slow job of getting the spinnaker off, and a slow job of getting the headsail out of the headfoil.

    So, this topic could have been titled "this is why we don't sail with spinnakers and headfoils". Full battens in the mainsail would have stopped it flogging so much (but we knew that anyway). The mast shouldn't have been at risk, but certainly it would have had a good shaking. It's a squall, but not that strong - there are loose cushions on the sidedeck that don't blow away.

  • 17 Dec 2019 16:19
    Reply # 8306778 on 8292610

         And people do that for "fun"!!    Four people on board, lots of warning....... poor captaining I'd say.  What's the old saying about reefing??    Was it "don't reef until it's too late"?

        The Bermuda crowd are in love with all their high tech gear.   Along with the high cost of sails and standing rigging, all the expensive hardware, they live with numerous failure prone systems that are inextricably linked to Murphy's law.    I believe it is hardware addiction. If it does't have the smell  of money, it doesn't make the grade.... it isn't really "sailing" is it, if it doesn't feel like standing under a cold salt water shower shredding hundred dollar bills...........


  • 17 Dec 2019 15:43
    Reply # 8306421 on 8292843
    Anonymous wrote:

    Fast reefing surely is a good argument for JR!


    Yeah, easy and fast reefing are probably the #1 JR selling points for me. Low rig stress being a close 2nd, which complements #1 as well - even if you for some reason don't happen to reef in time you probably won't lose your mast (at least as easily as with a bermudian rig) and if you tear a sail (panel) it's no big deal.

  • 17 Dec 2019 15:37
    Reply # 8306362 on 8292610


    At 8:42: "Everyone still onboard?"

  • 16 Dec 2019 09:17
    Reply # 8292986 on 8292610

    To be fair for the rig, the crew can blame a lot on themselves for not reacting in time. For those un-familiar with finnish:


    "Shoud we take down the genny?"

    "Genny down!"

    "Is the genny coming down?"
    "Yes!" (actually it gets stuck)

    Soon after:

    Genny still stuck, the boat is hard to steer, the sail is ripped in half. I think they were lucky not to lose the mast. 

    Last modified: 16 Dec 2019 09:28 | Anonymous member
  • 16 Dec 2019 08:58
    Reply # 8292843 on 8292610
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I can second that, Jami.

    I have only been run over by a thunderstorm twice. The first time, with a Bermuda rig, I was unprepared and was scared stiff. Luckily the rig held.

    The second time was in Malena, with the blue (cambered) JR. All I had to do as the first gusts hit, was to drop all but two panels, and then we could continue in fine style with no stress. Twenty minutes later, we could raise sail again and let the warm wind dry us.

    Fast reefing surely is a good argument for JR!


  • 16 Dec 2019 08:24
    Message # 8292610

    I accidentally came across this finnish video. It "beautifully" reminds us, why we need junk rigs just for reefing's sake. Also, a good info to anyone un-junk-rig-related, who wonders why.

       " ...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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