Storfidra 25 conversion

  • 31 Aug 2020 21:26
    Reply # 9202738 on 9187878

    Marcus the 1st and only time I was in Sweden was in the mid '90s (the 1990s not the other '90s) and I saw plenty of lamp posts.
    Are some of them aluminium?
    Have a read of Paul's thread on the conversion of his Sadler 25. (full of gold nuggets from all involved there)

  • 31 Aug 2020 19:08
    Reply # 9202447 on 9187878

    Thank you guys for your sincere interest in my challenge. I can tell that you see my points and appreciate them. I will most certainly go for the sloop option and will be using the same sail plan as Arne K has for his “Ingeborg”. This alternative (as you have shared with me) will be the simplest and most efficient setup. 

    Next challenge is finding a suitable mast, or maybe just a tree...

    Has anyone used an old flag pole as a mast?


  • 31 Aug 2020 02:40
    Reply # 9200876 on 9187878

    Another interesting conversation on JRA........shocker.

    I cannot speak from hands on practical experience Marcus but everything I have read (and that is almost everything by now) has me agreeing that a sloop setup is the way to go on your 25ft vessel.

    It was interesting to me that Pete Hill bought a Pearson 36 footer Raggedy Edge in Florida that was rigged as a sloop, then sailed her across the Atlantic to the UK and decided to keep her as a sloop but extend the mast to fit an aero rig sail and then rename her Blossom. (see picture below)

    Graham mentioned that the schooner Batwing, a 34ft Skookum, with a sexy round bum but a traditional full keel like your Storfidra was obliged to use double sheeting.
    This was because of a space constraint due to her pilothouse not allowing the mainmast to be mounted sufficiently aft. Her 1st owner Tim Dunn thus placed an 8 degree forward rake on her foremast and the double sheeting to both sails.
    Her second owner, Lloyd Halverson, eventually found a way around that. (See JRA newsletter extract below) His description of the gybes and tacks before the modification is priceless.

    I will soon be junking Moonbeam my 25ft Rebell Seaskip MKll with a drop keel and she will get a sloop rig. My dilemma is how best to do this whilst making it as easy as possible to get the stick off and thus fully retain the trailerable advantage she was designed for and why I purchased her but that is for a separate thread that I will initiate in the next day or two.

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  • 26 Aug 2020 08:29
    Reply # 9190850 on 9187878

    There have been smaller JR schooners, the Hunter Liberty 22 for example; and I built a schooner rig for the 28ft Ivory Gull. In both cases the fact of having two existing masts was the deciding factor. In fact the Liberty is better as a sloop, taking out the existing masts and replacing them with a single, stronger one.

    Having the foremast of a schooner on a small boat makes anchor work difficult, and I wouldn't do it on a 25ft boat unless a single mast completely ruined the accommodation.

    If a schooner is essential for that reason, it has to be a very high AR type, to get sufficient room for the sheeting - this problem gets worse on smaller boats. The masts of a high AR schooner are of similar height to the mast of a low AR sloop.

    As for the comparison between sailing with schooner/ketch and with a sloop - the latter is much easier. Having two of everything to cope with, in a small cockpit, can result in a rat's nest of rope.

    The strongest reason to go for two masts is that a single sail is just too big and heavy to manage; and that doesn't really apply, under about 30ft LOA. 

  • 26 Aug 2020 07:55
    Reply # 9190839 on 9187878

    I think that mast might be easier to fit if you can find a way to crawl into that forward cabin with the mast at the entrance. Also, you probably won't regret that 5 m2 extra sail area and less clutter. Then again, you can not say you have a schooner :-)

    I have almost never had problems with balance downwind, (except a rolling problem when having the wind too much from the lee side of the sail). 


  • 26 Aug 2020 01:21
    Reply # 9190415 on 9187878

    That sloop (single mast) version looks right to me on a boat of this size, and I think it would give you the best results. One sheet, one halyard, one yard hauling parrel, one luff hauling parrel - just four running lines to manage, and the latter two just need a tweak. 

    The trick to balance when running, even when broad-reaching, is to ease the sheet right out until the uppermost sheeted batten is absolutely athwartships.  Get the boom as far out as possible too.  My method is to ease the sheet out until the top sheeted batten is athwartships, then overhaul the sheet to ease the boom further out.  This pulls the top batten back in a little, so I then ease the sheet further until it is once again athwartships.  I might do that two or three times until I am satisfied the sail is as squared out as possible, with the least amount of twist in it.  My last boat, Arion, was very well-mannered downwind, but with the sail squared out like this, I could drive the boat as hard as I liked under self-steering and never round up or broach.

    If I ever find myself converting a wide-beamed, moderate displacement, traditional 10m boat (my ideal cruiser) to junk rig, then I will try out my schooner idea, which is to have the largest mainsail possible, with the main mast as far forward as I can get it, and a very small, stoutly rigged foresail.  This would allow me to reef the mainsail going to windward and leave the foresail flying, thus moving the balance of the rig forward.  This really powers up traditional-type boats to windward in strong winds.  For broad reaching and running, the main would be squared right out, as described above, and the foresail sheeted in flat. 

    Another advantage of this dream boat's rig is that it would be much more convenient to sail off the anchor with just the mainsail hoisted.  I do it on my sloop rigs, but get annoyed by the luff of the sail triying to swat me off the foredeck.

  • 25 Aug 2020 20:52
    Reply # 9189896 on 9187878

    Thank you Graham and Matti for  your replies and points of view. 
    I did draw a sloop alternative, and I must confess that it does look a lot less...crowded. 
    As Matti hinted, the length of the mast didn’t come out much longer than the schooner version - 9m vs 8.125. 
    I will look into the material needed next, thinking that I will try to make a hybrid mast, alu battens and some sort of cloth...

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  • 25 Aug 2020 14:47
    Reply # 9188983 on 9187878

    Hi Marcus!

    I think you should make a drawing for one mast as well before you make up your mind. 

    - I find it easy to balance the rig with only one sail. I just use the luff hauling parrel. When slack it becomes one big square sail. 

    - About less forces on the sail, this might be true, but each mast must still be able to take the heeling moment of the boat.

    - Are the masts really that much shorter? I would check the real difference before making an assumption. Also, it is more work unstepping two masts than one.

    I just think it might be more complicated with two masts than one, especially as it is quite a small boat. I find my big sail easy to use. (apart from some occations when hoisting in large waves, but as soon as the sail is up it is easy to handle, including hoisting and reefing.) And I think one big sail might be better off the wind. Also two masts are heavier than one. Two masts look good, though!


  • 25 Aug 2020 01:24
    Reply # 9188046 on 9187878

    Most people would choose a single masted (sloop) rig for a boat of this size, as I have, but I have a soft spot for schooners.  There have been some two-masted junk rig vessels of your size, including a Tom Thumb 24 and the famous Erik the Red.  My choice would be to make the foresail as small as possible, with the mainmast correspondingly further forward.  The foresail would still be very strongly built so it could be used as a storm sail.  You views on balance are relevant, though I am sure you will be advised against this choice.

    With the rig as drawn, you will probably need to use double sheets on both sails.  This is not unusual for short, heavy displacement two-masted junk rigs, as you can see on Batwing, illustrated in the back pages of PJR.  There is not enough space between the luff of the main and the leach of your foresail for single sheeting, and you would need a big gantry hanging off the stern to attach a single mainsail sheet to. 

    Good luck!

  • 24 Aug 2020 22:34
    Message # 9187878

    Hi all, and thanks for a great forum with so much expert knowledge and points of view. 
    This is my first post since I joined the forum two years ago, and I am now getting close to starting mthe project of converting my Storfidra 25. I understand it has been done before by another member here, however I have not seen or heard about the outcome of it.
    my approach may be a bit different,  I’m keen on the idea of rigging a schooner. I’ve made a little sketch up and am interested in what you guys think of it. 
    The reasons for going for the schooner approach are

    - greater possibilities of balancing the boat and sails

    - lesser forces on the sails

    - shorter masts (easier to mount and dismount single handed)

    - I reckon it’s easier to make small sails than bigger ones

    My idea is to use the plans provided by good member Arne K, of his smaller boats Broreman and Frøken Sørensen. 
    The sail area is a bit less than the original bermudeese, but here on the west coast of Sweden we seldom have winds below 5-6 m/s and I reef the main most often anyhow. I prefer safety, comfort and ease to racing. 

    All thoughts and ideas are welcome

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    Last modified: 24 Aug 2020 22:35 | Anonymous member
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