Balanced lug drags on side stays

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by cschelin, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. cschelin
    Joined: Jun 2012
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    Location: Onalaska, WI

    cschelin New Member

    I have built a few wooden boats and installed sails on each of them. Being self-taught I am learning most things the hard way.

    I installed a balanced lug sail on one boat. The mast has side-stays (and a fore-stay). When sailing on a run, the sail lays against the side-stay and thus doesn't fill out the way I would like. The designer of this boat suggests that the side stays attach to sides about a foot aft of the mast. I have moved them to 6" aft of the mast and the problem still exists. Must the stays be directly in line (port and starboard) with the mast?

    I have several books on sailing and rigging, and there is no mention of lug sails banging into side stays. In fact, none of the pictures/diagrams show side stays, even on the smallest of boats.

    Help.

    Thanks
     
  2. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    It would be great to post a picture if possible. Smaller boats place the side stays aft of the mast to help keep the mast from bending forward - the slight rearward pull keep the mast up right and gives the forestay something to pull against.

    Most smaller boats use spreaders on the side stays, which moves the stays outward a bit and mitigates the interference with the sail. A mast with side stays without spreaders will certainly exhibit the problems you mention.

    A strong enough mast, in a solid step, retention at the mast partners and a good downhaul can support a balanced lug without stays - my son's boat was rigged this way. Stay-less (freestanding) rigs are certainly a lot easier.

    Some more details on you boat, rigging and all would really help make suggestions easier.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    A free standing mast is the most sensible way to fly a lug rig. Without shrouds you can let the sail weather vane any place it likes. In nasty weather or when making a mooring that is a blessing.
     
  4. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    All boats with side stays exhibit this behavior. If you keep the stays, the only practical options is never to sail directly down wind but to jibe down wind so you keep the sail pulled off the stays. Many racers do this since it is actually faster even through they travel further. You get more efficient use of the wind on the sails.
     
  5. cschelin
    Joined: Jun 2012
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    Location: Onalaska, WI

    cschelin New Member

    Thanks to all for speedy and useful replies. I am going to change the step so that I can go "shroud-free".
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Down haul tension (lots of it) is an option, particularly with the lug, though chaff on the shrouds (stays run fore and aft) is often an issue.

    I agree with the reaching comment by Petros. This is a much better way to go down wind and faster too.

    A free standing mast needs different physical dimensions than a stayed stick, so be careful what you wish for. If you attempt to make a mast, sized for standing rigging, stand free, it'll likely break pretty easily.

    Some photos and dimensions would be helpful in this determination.
     
  7. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Why not just sail with the sail against the stays? Going downwind the shape of the sail is much less significant to speed of the boat than going upwind,

    How much of an advantage tacking down wind provides depends on the boat speed vs wind speed and direction characteristics of the particular boat, ie the performance polar. A boat with a standing lug sail may not benefit as much as a higher performance boat.
     

  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Lugs reach very well and certainly with much better speed then dead before. Sailing dead before or close to it is foolish, in terms of boat speed plus avoiding accidental jibes.
     
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