Galion 22 conversion

  • 01 Oct 2021 08:50
    Reply # 11132300 on 5070195

    Ok, time for an autumnal update. I will not lift the boat up for the winter until the freezing sea forces me to, though.

    I haven't been able to sail us much during this season as I was hoping to. But more than nautical miles, I was able to gather different sea states and wind conditions.

    I'm not a very organized person, so these are just some thoughts without any measurements or skillful engineer analytics.


    The new rudder and skeg -combination has been a success. The worst of the weather helm has been eliminated, and the boat steers much more stable. Of course one has to remember that the rudder can not change the characteristics of the hull itself.

    Using dyneema lashings and giving generous balance area made steering very light even in strong following winds. The self steering system is happy.

    However, the quite big angle (given by the angle of the transom) has given some trouble with self steering, but nothing that can't be fixed. 

    I also might have lost some speed in the process, but this was to be expected.


    The new, lighter topmast is also a great success. The difference in the momentum can be felt really well, when e.g. hitting waves. Despite the lightness and tapering to as low as 60mm diameter, I haven't noticed anything that would worry me. Not even when I have sailed with full sail in way too strong winds (which of course one shouldn't do - naughty me).

    The SJR sail on the other hand has left me with somewhat mixed feelings. This is more obvious after the second season, because now I have a topmast with less windage.

    Although my sail hasn't got as much balance as adviced by Slieve (33%), together with the new rudder the aggresive weather helm is solved.

    For next season I will fiddle with the sticking downhauls (my fault). After several different sheeting versions I now have a twin-sheeting system, which seems to control the sail well (despite the annoying amount of ropes).

    On the downside, the performance of the sail itself has been some kind of disappointment. One has to remember that I have an Arne/Johanna style sail to compare to on the same hull.

    A disclaimer is needed, anyway: I have changed the rudder and the mast, and all of my impressions on the performance are impressions only with no hard data.

    The point of disappointment is the tacking angle and boat speed when close hauled. If I compare these to the impressions in my memory with the Arne-style sail, the SJR doesn't seem to be an improvement - on the issue of tacking angle, it might even be a step backwards.

    A typical tacking route with the old sail:


    And with the SJR:

    Disclaimer #2: If I indeed have stepped back in the upwind performance, it is almost certainly because of my own doings as a sailmaker or sailor.


    I think the problem (if there is one) lies in the jibs. See this video, and this too. On these, we sail with three and four panels pointing as high as we can.

    As you can see especially in the backlit sail, the telltales are flying nicely. However, the main panels are starting to collapse. On the lowest panel one might put the blame on the too loose downhaul, but on the upper ones this is not the case.

    The same phenomena can be seen when sailing with the full sail up, but I haven't got a proper video of that.

    I have understood that the jibs should collapse before the mains. On these videos (and in life) there is no sign of it when the mains start flapping.

    So, a few options come to mind:

    a) The sheeting angle of the jibs is too small
    b) The jibs are too small/flat
    c) There's something wrong on the top panels
    e) The aggressive weather helm was needed to point well
    d) There's something wrong with the mains
    e) I'm a lousy sailor

    The sheeting angles are made as Slieve suggests (was it 12 deg?). There should also be enough camber (also made as suggestion on the instructions).

    My own theory is this: the chord length of the jibs is only 80cm, and the lower mast is 120mm. The 12 deg sheeting angle doesn't create a big enough slot - especially to work well with the mast, maybe not even to work well enough on the "good" tack.

    Could the short chord length also mean that the jib doesn't form a physically big enough form for the camber?

    I could fix the a) by adding gradually longer "hinges" on the jibs. The b) would need making new jibs and possibly extending the battens 10-20 cm on the forward end.

    On the point c) one must notice, that I haven't followed Slieve's sail shape. I have two top panels instead of only one, and they are both split, whereas Slieve suggests a continuous top panel. Have I made something stupid?

    The only thing on d) that I can think of, is maybe too loose luffs. However, to my eye this doesn't seem to be a problem at least most of the times.

    On the e) I have nothing to say, except that the weather helm was impossible to live with (especially for self steering). Anyone?

    And then we have the f)-factor. This is something that would need lots of meditation and possibly accepting things as they are...


    I have also had to question the light, small boat issue vs. the sailing conditions I have. The force of the waves (not the long ocean ones but the smaller, denser, misbehaving shallow-sea ones) seem to be the thing that makes sailing against the wind more miserable than any sail issue. I might have too light a boat for my conditions - but then again I don't want a bigger one. More daoist meditation needed, I guess.

    Last modified: 01 Oct 2021 12:25 | Anonymous member
  • 29 Jun 2021 10:03
    Reply # 10710243 on 5070195
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Me too.
    However if one loose end is long enough, I tend to tie it onto something with a rolling hitch, as on my sheetlets.
    Talking about those, my MkII Johanna-sheet on Ingeborg now have two one-piece sheetlets, which make it simpler to adjust their length (as short as possible). If you look up the fresh appendix to last year’s write-up, you will see how I did it. That new ‘soft euphroe’ works very well.


  • 29 Jun 2021 02:55
    Reply # 10709308 on 5070195

    I do exactly the same.  I am also reluctant to cut my batten parrels to length, should they be too long, in case I make some alteration in the future,.  I always seem to have loose ends flapping about, even when I think I've tucked them securely away.

  • 28 Jun 2021 20:30
    Reply # 10708387 on 5070195


    indeed there are ropes dancing around with the wind on my rig!

    One explanation is the fact that I never seem to get the length of the sheetlets and lazyjacks peefect enough, and I need to keep quite a lot of ”spare” rope to be able to shorten and lengthen them…

  • 27 Jun 2021 02:35
    Reply # 10703548 on 5070195

    She looks lovely, Jami.  It's great that all your hard work has paid off.  You must be really looking forward to summer, now.

    I was also pleased to see that I'm not the only one sailing around with bits of string dangling down from the sail and rig!!

  • 16 Jun 2021 20:23
    Reply # 10650361 on 5070195

    Another short tryout, and oh my, does the boat feel different!

    The effects of the new, lighter and narrower topmast can really be felt for example in a chop.

    The rudder works beautifully and has taken away the aggressive weather helm in gusts and when heeling.

    A short video can be seen here.

    There are things yet to be sorted with the self steering, but still: just look at the tiller when sailing with the wind on the bow - the tiller almost looks like it’s just casually and freely floating. The self steering seems to have a very light job to do.

    And let’s not forget that I also painted the mast black. To my eye it looks very nice with the yellow sail and the black unalome-insignia :)

    Last modified: 17 Jun 2021 10:38 | Anonymous member
  • 15 Jun 2021 11:35
    Reply # 10640648 on 5070195

    And by the way, if someone is interested: the new rudder works beautifully!

    It's very, very light - and silent! And most importantly: so far (after one or two very short tryouts) it seems that it has tackled the weather helm issue. At the same time - or because of this - the boat doesn't feel as much like a dinghy as it did before :)

    With the forthcoming summer vacation I hope to gather more experience on the matter.

  • 15 Jun 2021 11:31
    Reply # 10640597 on 5070195


    don't worry - the reason was not the construction itself. It worked very well as such. I was never worried for the strength, as it had a 10mm bolt going through the whole construction.

    But I remade my mast for this season. I cut the 100/4mm topmast off and used a tapered 120->60/3 tube instead. This made the mast considerably lighter and reduced windage even more than I thought.

    With this process I needed a mast plug/cap/whateveryoucallit with a same kind of change. I chose to make one from a 60mm nylon rod, as used by David Tyler on Weaverbird.

  • 14 Jun 2021 20:49
    Reply # 10636759 on 5070195

    Hi Jami,

    I was wondering, would you tell us why you decided to build a new mast head? I made mine by copying (to the best of my ability) your circular plywood masthead. Did the first one fail suddenly and dramatically?

    Edit: Now I am wondering if I imagined the old mast head entirely! I can't find it back in your older messages.

    Last modified: 14 Jun 2021 21:12 | Anonymous member
  • 24 May 2021 14:34
    Reply # 10544374 on 5070195

    Just a quick news update: success! And without destroying the plug!

       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

                                                              Site contents © the Junk Rig Association and/or individual authors

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software