Do you know this rig (Navicello)?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by daniGG, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. daniGG
    Joined: Nov 2019
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    daniGG Junior Member

    Hello! Few days ago I come across a particular rig of a traditional sailing italian workboat, the Navicello.

    Some info are available on these boats: they were mainly used to transport large marble pieces from tuscany. Hull lines were full and a bit "shallow" and they were both used in internal waters and on the see (despite with different hulls and rigs - two different boats).

    I'm interested in the sea going one (pics included). Very little is available on their rig.

    Do you guys have any idea of how such a rig could fit (performances mainly) vs the "classic" rigs we normally contemplate today (bermudian, gaff etc) ?


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  2. daniGG
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    daniGG Junior Member

    And some more pics below
     

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  3. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Those pictures are enlightening about how the old sailors did what the did. The first picture suggests that that cloud of sail might be effective in the downwind course but not at all appropriate for off wind performance. Makes me wonder about the stability of those old boats when under such a colossal spread of sail.
     
  4. daniGG
    Joined: Nov 2019
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    daniGG Junior Member

    Agreed!

    Those boats were built in several dimensions but for sure they were pretty heavy once loaded (displacement in teh ranges of 30-100tons - some were quite big).

    I'm also interested to a view on stability and pointing ability. Since they were sailing along the coast of Tirrenian med were normally either you don't have enough wind or you have too much I'm expecting they should have been either seaworthy and with a fair pointing capacity to be capable of not being pushed on the shore by a strong westerly. But this is just my speculation :)

    The fact that the rig didn't develop further or probably merged into the northen Europe cutter maybe is a indication that it wasn't the perfect rig? :)

    Interesting is the fact that all the sails to me seems of the "flying type" but the mainsail. This latter is without boom on the foot. Seems a "quick" system to reef and for sure looks powerful downwind. But how would it be behaving closing the wind? Difficult also to flatten the sails like that I guess
     

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  5. tlouth7
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    tlouth7 Senior Member

    The mainsail and topsail are the same as conventional gaff rigged boats, nothing too drastic there.

    The bizarre bits are the sails between the upright bowsprit (is there a name for this?) and the mast. The upper of these has the distinct disadvantage that what would normally be the foot if it were a conventional jib is acting as part of the luff. Lack of tension in this edge would be detrimental to upwind sailing.

    The lower one has the disadvantage that the "peak" must be due aft of the "throat" which means that the top part of the sail will have a very small angle of attack. You can see how baggy the sail needs to be cut in order to get any shape in it; creating a sort of inverted twist. Imagine a gaff sail where the gaff is forced to be on the centreline; this is not ideal. If anything it ought to be more useful on a reach than a run.
     

  6. daniGG
    Joined: Nov 2019
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    daniGG Junior Member

    thanks Tlouth7 for your reply!

    In the small documentation I've found the upright bowsprit is called staysail mast. Indeed it looks like a "schooner" set up with the forward mast inclined toward the bow, a triangular fisherman and as you said, the foresail top blocked on the centerline.

    I add the last picture I've found where the Navicello is sailing (the boat further behind) in what it seems to be a reach. The "foresail" looks indeed really "shaped" .
     

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