Gaff Rig - Safety - Ease of Use - For a Cruiser

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Standpipe, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Gaff rigged boats are plauged by chafe, poor standing rigging geometry and weight aloft. In a seaway all the junk up there comes alive and will make you wish you had built a motorboat.

    Forget the gaff nonsense and direct your designer to produce an efficient masthead cutter with Aft swept spreaders and a 7/8ths masthead to handle modern roller furl downwind sails.
     
  2. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    Anyone would think you don't like gaffers Michael. :)
     
  3. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The only reason to have a gaff rig is if you come across a old timer, designed and built by the best ,that you wish to preserve for classic boat shows.
     
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  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The are lots of reasons to have and enjoy a gaffer, though apparently Michael doesn't see them. For the same reasons there's lots of different types of boats, cars and aircraft. Other wise we'd all be sailing, driving or flying the exact same, efficient, fine performance, easy to afford, etc., whatever. We'd all also have the same cloned copy of the perfect wife too. Thank God the world doesn't work this way.
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I'll take the perfect wife clone. With boat and car designs, I am more particular.
    Gaff rigs have good and bad points. With new technology it is possible to design a gaffer that is easier to handle and has less windage than the old ones.
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I don't want any clone wife. I like the weird ones with a little extra this and a little bigger that. Ditto cars and boats.

    Had the gaff rig received the same level of development, the Bermudian rig has in the last century, it would be very refined and efficient, by now. Internal halyards and lifts, hollow alloy or composite spars, better sail cuts, with better materials, better controls, etc. Who's to say the square top mains aren't really just a high aspect, short gaff rig.
     
  7. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Modern UK Burnett gaff rig boat design using contemporary materials and traditional ideas but modified for modern use.
     

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  8. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    Beautiful looking boat and rig.
     
  9. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Thats the point, they need to look right on the hull style. For modern hull shapes and styles, the low effort/efficient Schaefer boom roller/mast slide system + roller furler basically takes the work out of rig handling and stress making it way more user friendly than gaff.
     
  10. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    There have been boom roller systems for gaff rigs since the days of Colin Archer, but of course those designs were made one century ago so maybe a bit outdated.
     
  11. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    I think we can predict how it would have developed.

    The separate topsail and topmast with all its complications would be removed, and topsail and mainsail integrated into a single surface.

    Similarly topmast and mainmast would be replaced by a single spar as soon as technology permitted.

    The single gaff with separate halyards would be reduced in thickness, halyards eliminated and it would always be hoisted with the sail. The gaff would then become flexible sideways and operate as part of the sail.

    Finally multiple flexible gaffs would be introduced in order to permit a smoother planform and gain better control of the leech planform and the gaffs would tend more to the horizontal, especially lower down the sail.
     
  12. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Yes of course, my own 40 year old yacht has a through mast roller reefing system! However even that is pretty archaic compared to today's slick systems.
     
  13. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Yesterday, I spent quite some time re-reading all the articles by Eric Sponberg at his website. This was as a result of his purchase of the very first boat he was ever commissioned to design--Corroboree.

    #6214 at
    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/al...ndom-picture-thread-11052-415.html#post716404

    Compare Bataan's Chinese rig with Eric Sponberg's free standing masts & sails & compare the similarities. Discover how sheeting out more than 90 degrees when sailing downwind (can only be done without shrouds) develops lift rather than drag.

    http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/Masts.htm

    Ilan Gonen said the very same thing.

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/search.php?searchid=3717952

    Read all the articles with an open mind. Jobsworths* need not apply.







    * As in "It's more than my jobs worth to read that. I might have to learn something to my advantage. I ain't adoin' of thaaaat!". NOOOOOOOO!

    It's a UK thing. :p

    Perry
     
  14. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    Trouble is I didn't read very far before I got to the old nonsense about rating rules. Now although this goes down very well with a certain audience as soon as I get to that I think, well, if he's ignorant or being misleading about that, how much credibility should I give the rest of what he has to say?
     

  15. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    OK, so if sheeting out more than 90 degrees is that much better, then why did the 10,000 current active racers in the Laser class; the many thousands of active members of the Optimist class, and the many thousands of active windsufers - who can all do exactly that at any time - not work it out?

    Either just about every one of them, and all the Olympic coaches, are drooling ******, or the effect does not exist.

    Not only that, but the other designers who prefer stays, such as the Moth designers, the skiff designers, the designers of speed record machines like Sailrocket, the AC72 designers, Irens and VPLP and the other great multi designers are all ****** too, since they eschew the supposed advantages of the unstayed rig.

    Oh, you can add more Boeing designers onto that list, since right now on this forum a Boeing designer (yep, a guy designing the same wings used in one of those articles as an example of the benefits of stayless designs) is talking about the advantages of stays - as did people like Lock Crowther, whose wing masted cat I used to sail in the '80s.

    And as Jim notes, much of the stuff about rating rules in those articles is simply wrong, as has been pointed out to the author here before.

    Now, before you assume that (like the author of one of the articles you linked to) I'm saying this because I grew up used to triangular sails and stays, I may as well point out that I grew up in a scene where stayless rigs and big roaches are common (for example, most of my own rigs are stayless and have big roaches and full battens, and most of my stayed rigs are wing masts) I think the claims that there is bias against them is BS.
     
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