A wee sail on the stern...

  • 27 Feb 2012 20:50
    Reply # 837361 on 835408
    Deleted user
    Now I'm getting there: it comes under "yawl mizzen".... cos the mast is behind the rudder hanging over the oggin ?... I've seen quite a few examples on google images etc... the next question is how to work out the size relative to the main... I would imagine its a bit of trial and error... a shame old Blondie H did'nt write up a spec (they are amazing?!) so if you have any ideas ...
  • 26 Feb 2012 19:32
    Reply # 836211 on 835408
    I'm all for a bit of fun and frivolity myself and think it would be really cool to have a wee mizzen sail on your boat.  You could put a bumkin on for sheeting (I trust you don't pay marina fees.)  I think you might find it useful for motor sailing and help you tack; it might keep you from sheering around at anchor and stop you from rolling.  All good things of course, but more than anything else, it would look so cute!  I'm sure The Great One is right - he always is - about More Drive, an Improved Sail and so on, but you are allowed to do things that are impractical and even slightly foolish if it makes you happy.  It comes under the heading of 'messing about in junk-rigged boats'!. 
  • 26 Feb 2012 11:43
    Reply # 836051 on 835408
    Deleted user
    Many of the fishing boats in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland carry a small mizzen sail on the stern even though they are now all motorized. The purpose of the sail in this case is to keep the boat head to wind and steady the rolling motion of the boat when sheeted to the centre. Secondarily it is a auxiliary to get home when the engine fails.

    I think a small stern sail on a single masted junk rig would add some stability and slow down the rolling when heading directly down wind. We use the head sail on the two masted Easy Go in a similar fashion.

    It would be a simple experiment and may add comfort to your sailing experience.
  • 26 Feb 2012 10:00
    Reply # 836026 on 835408
    Deleted user

    Many thanks! I will follow up the suggestions...but I must say I am getting warmer to the idea...   The mast would unstayed, through deck fitting... with a 'bury' of about 2' it should be enough, there is a nice area behind the cockpit to fit it  hmmmmm ...                         The fact that I have plenty of spare aluminium strut and sailcloth has nothing to do with it (I think you've caught me out there Kurt !?)    But, seriously, I think will try out the rig as it is for now (I have only just made it!!) and take it from there after I have fully tested it... but I still suspect the tacking will be laboured, so we shall see!


  • 25 Feb 2012 21:06
    Reply # 835701 on 835626
    David Tyler wrote:
    .....  a heavy, long-keeled boat, that with a flat HM sail was very slow to tack, and frequently missed stays. 

    Sorry to hi-jack the thread - - I have found Ying Zhou difficult to tack from port tack to starboard tack.  At times, when I have had to gybe round onto St/bd tack, a moment's inattention will see her self-tack back onto port tack.  Any suggestions why this might be, and what I might do about it?  The sails are flat HM form, but with hinged battens, and the keel is shoal draft - basically the lifting keel profile with a stubby lead keel bolted on giving a draft of 4' 6".
  • 25 Feb 2012 18:56
    Reply # 835626 on 835408
    I think we can use the western terminology of mizzen sail, though I expect the Chinese had a word or a character for it.
    My understanding of the handling of a big three-masted junk is that the big mainsail is the driving force, the foresail and mizzen add some driving force, but are principally useful in manoeuvring a big engineless boat in confined spaces.
    I would say that Bobtail is really too small to consider adding a mizzen (though Applecross is smaller, and has one). 
    Have a look back through the newsletters for references to the Vertue Jilly,  a heavy, long-keeled boat, that with a flat HM sail was very slow to tack, and frequently missed stays. Bunny Smith designed one of his extremely fanned sails for her, and with the extra drive that it gave, the performance was transformed, and she would tack readily. What you need is a main sail with more drive, not more sails. I'm not suggesting a Fenix type of sail, which is too extreme for a cruising boat, but one of Arne's or one of my recent sails. 
  • 25 Feb 2012 18:45
    Reply # 835615 on 835408
    Why not?

    A little mizzen would look great! The sail would be easy to handle from the cockpit, except for sheeting. A sail hoisted way aft might make up for the windage of the mast and bundle forward and lie steadier at anchor, motor straighter into a breeze. There should be structure to support a small mast right at the stern. And you seem to have been bitten by the idea - best reason of all, maybe.

    (I've even thought of one for mehitabel, but it would suit Bobtail much better.)

    Best of luck,
    Last modified: 25 Feb 2012 18:48 | Anonymous member
  • 25 Feb 2012 09:13
    Message # 835408
    Deleted user

    Hi all,  Im currently finishing the many little jobbies left over from last years major work and getting Bobtail ready for launch (you may have seen my blog last year: Bobtail's Conversion to Junkrig ?) Anyway, this will be my first full season and with no experience using a junk rig, its all very exciting stuff!

    However, it's that time of year when I sit and ponder on many things ....  Im not very good on the technical terms, so please forgive me.....  but I have noticed on many traditional chinese junks there is a wee mast with a wee sail hanging over the stern (a bit like a drascombe lugger?)... my thoughts are: what does it do? does it help pointing up to the wind or improve tacking? is it used to balance the rig? stability? or simply for holding the boat steady on a course? or is it just another excuse for me to have even more lines to play with!

    Although I like the term "wee stern sail" does it have a proper name ?!!

    Bobtail is a colvic watson 24  motor/cruiser... she's pretty bulky and slow, she has always tended to wallow around a bit and, having bilge plates, she's a bit slow on the tacking front and added to all that, not having much of keel either, she has a fair bit of leeway too....  

    So, basically, although she's a bit doddery  (just like her owner) I loves the 'ol gal for all her sins but, methinks, would this 'wee sail' approach be any help, is it worth a trial? Has anyone got one, or used one or know where I can get some further guidance on this type of rig? or your thoughts/views would be welcome... 

    Many thanks!

    Chris Vossel-Newman



       " ...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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