gaff-rigged pinky sloop

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by sasemr, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This is a classic example of a name and a design element that has been "bastardized" over the years. Clearly the stern in the above image doesn't have the "Pinked" stern typical of the schooners that bare the name, but yet this sloop is called a pinky. Perhaps the Eastport renditions lost the tailboards, but kept the name, who knows. This isn't unusual, just look at what once was a cutter or a yawl.

    Yep, straight, full keels react slowly and drive along, unoffended by most contrary waves, current and initial helm inputs. They have a will of their own and "get around to it, when their damn ready", so experience with the type is important, before you go tackling a tight anchorage.

    If you want a pinky, then go for it. Well handled, they're just fine for cruising.

    For what it's worth, 5 degrees less pointing ability will mean two boats (one that is 5 degrees better to windward), starting at the same point will quickly separate, with the lesser ability boat losing ground pretty quickly. Across a 150', she'll be a boat length behind, likely slightly more. After a few hundred yards, the better windward boat will have a distinct advantage of a handlefull of boat lengths, plus be closer to the mark. After a quarter mile the leeward boat will be well astern and need to tack a couple of times to get back on the same "plane" as the windward boat.

    This doesn't mean a hill of beans unless you're racing a fixed up and down course. So, you have a few extra tacks to make, you'll get there in good shape and likely and easier ride then someone smashing hard on, the full way.
     
  2. Tom Hunter
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    Tom Hunter Junior Member

    In answer to Butch's request here are a couple of photos on the hard, though they only show the hull under water.[​IMG]


    She has 11' of beam on deck, I think the photo of the bow does not show how quickly she fills out, but I am posting it anyway. [​IMG]

    She makes the same kind of low, foaming wake that a well designed fishing schooner makes. My understanding this that is a sign of good performance for this type of boat though I am not a naval architect and don't have that from expert sources.

    PAR's description of what 5 degrees means fits my personal experience pretty well. He also makes a subtle but important point. You are going to be a lot more comfortable in an Pinky. For thier water line length they are huge. There is 6' of standing room in the head, you can walk past the cook to go forward, and I have taken 16 people out sailing without overcrowding the boat.

    I've researched the type some, and as PAR suggests, they did lose the tailboards but keep the name. The US fisheries dept did a very extensive survey of the fisheries in the 1880s and I have a few pictures of the type from that survey. The rig is very much the same, the hull shape as well. To convert the type to a yacht designers bring the cabin further aft over what used to be the fish hold and put in a huge cockpit.
     
  3. Tom Hunter
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    Tom Hunter Junior Member

    Here is the photo I discussed up above, 1882 not 88:

    [​IMG]

    The 1969 Penbo version coming into Gloucester harbor under power:

    [​IMG]


    And the 1882 version at anchor:


    [​IMG]
     
  4. Butch .H
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    Butch .H Senior Member

    Thanks Tom. She is a beaut:)
     
  5. Tom Hunter
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    Tom Hunter Junior Member

    Just adding that if you look at a Pinky schooner they have the tailboards, but they are also double ended. The pinky sloop does not have the boards, but does have a somewhat similar double ended shape.

    I've never seen a transitional boat with smaller boards, though there could have been some once apon a time. I think they kept the Pinky name because of the double end.
     
  6. diwebb
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    diwebb Senior Member

    Hi,
    Tom nice boat.
    Windward ability of the gaff rig is often under rated. Most gaffers are fairly heavy displacement traditional full keel boats and perform relatively better as the wind strength increases. Often a lightweight boat that will point high is stopped by the waves wheras a heavy gaffer will punch through them, also not pointing as high they may well go comfortably over the wave and therefore go much faster than the high pointing boat. I remember back in the early 1980s seeing a 26 foot Bristol Channel Cutter beat two half tonners from Ilfracomb in Devon to Barry in south Wales by over half an hour, against a force six easterly and with the tide, this created a nasty short wave pattern. The fully crewed half tonneres arrived soaking wet even though clad in full oilies, whereas the single handed skipper of the gaff cutter arrived dry and only wearing oily bottoms. Probably the half tonners would have done a lot better if they had not been pointed so high but sailed faster and freer, and they would definitely have been more comfortable. So if you can go two knots faster while pointing five degrees lower then you may well win out in the long run. Also if short tacking up a channel the heavy gaffer can often pinch up through a slower tack and gain several boatlenths to windward, which can offset the lighter, higher pointing boats windward ability to some extent.

    David
     
  7. sasemr
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    sasemr Santiago

    single-handling the gaff-pinky

    Tom
    Thanks for the pictures. Could I have your thoughts on single handling this boat? The size of the main is pretty impressive and I am not sure how easy is to handle it, i.e. hoist it in a breeze, reef it too late, etc.
     
  8. Tom Hunter
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    Tom Hunter Junior Member

    I've single handed her on nice days, and run her solo under power on blustery days, but never sailed her alone in heavy weather.

    Sailing her down from Maine a freind and I had beaufort 5, which for this boat was really nice sailing weather. The wind was supposed to get stronger over night, so we reefed about 5 pm. Due to inexperience with the boat and a failed engine we had a little trouble holding her into the wind, which made putting the reef in and raising the sail more of a job than it should have been, but it was not impossible, it just took longer.

    As it was the wind went down over night, we shook the reef out off Gloucester. 70 miles in 12 or 13 hours in that wind.

    That was my third time sailing the boat, now I would drop the main farther, scandalize the peak (up high were the gaff can't take us out) and might experiment with backing the jib to heave her too. Then I think we could get the cringles done easily, and the ties done without much trouble.

    Which brings up two points

    1) The boat was designed for strong men. If you are not a strong man you may want to choose a different rig, there are Ketch rig versions of this boat.

    2) Understand the boat and how she works. I didn't know to back the jib, if I had things would have been much easier. Practice on calm days, figure out how things work, you will have a much easier time. You don't want to wrestle with any boat, but the way to get this boat to cooperate is different from what you do on a modern marconi rigged boat.

    For example we once tried sailing off the mooring. We raised the main, had no problems boat pointed right into the wind. Raised the jib and she was off. I'm pretty sure we moved the 5,000 lb concrete mooring block around a bit before we got the mooring penants off the Sampson post.

    Now if we want to sail off we hoist the main, let go, then raise the jib.

    Last story, I got the boat because a surveyor reccomended her to me when I was having a different boat surveyed. He looked at her for a 60 something year old guy, I was 34. He told the older guy that the boat would be too much, he would be exausted by her.

    That was 8 years ago, I still enjoy sailing her and when I finish the refit I'm looking forward getting in more sailing. I do exercise before sailing season to get stronger, but I am not a big guy.

    I hope that helps.

    Tom
     
  9. Tom Hunter
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Tom Hunter Junior Member

    I've single handed her on nice days, and run her solo under power on blustery days, but never sailed her alone in heavy weather.

    Sailing her down from Maine a freind and I had beaufort 5, which for this boat was really nice sailing weather. The wind was supposed to get stronger over night, so we reefed about 5 pm. Due to inexperience with the boat and a failed engine we had a little trouble holding her into the wind, which made putting the reef in and raising the sail more of a job than it should have been, but it was not impossible, it just took longer.

    As it was the wind went down over night, we shook the reef out off Gloucester. 70 miles in 12 or 13 hours in that wind.

    That was my third time sailing the boat, now I would drop the main farther, scandalize the peak (up high were the gaff can't take us out) and might experiment with backing the jib to heave her too. Then I think we could get the cringles done easily, and the ties done without much trouble.

    Which brings up two points

    1) The boat was designed for strong men. If you are not a strong man you may want to choose a different rig, there are Ketch rig versions of this boat.

    2) Understand the boat and how she works. I didn't know to back the jib, if I had things would have been much easier. Practice on calm days, figure out how things work, you will have a much easier time. You don't want to wrestle with any boat, but the way to get this boat to cooperate is different from what you do on a modern marconi rigged boat.

    For example we once tried sailing off the mooring. We raised the main, had no problems boat pointed right into the wind. Raised the jib and she was off. I'm pretty sure we moved the 5,000 lb concrete mooring block around a bit before we got the mooring penants off the Sampson post.

    Now if we want to sail off we hoist the main, let go, then raise the jib.

    Last story, I got the boat because a surveyor reccomended her to me when I was having a different boat surveyed. He looked at her for a 60 something year old guy, I was 34. He told the older guy that the boat would be too much, he would be exausted by her.

    That was 8 years ago, I still enjoy sailing her and when I finish the refit I'm looking forward getting in more sailing. I do exercise before sailing season to get stronger, but I am not a big guy.

    I hope that helps.

    Tom
     
  10. haybayian
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    haybayian Junior Member

    If you are asking for opinions about gaff headed schooners here is mine. I built a 40' Roberts Spray which I rigged first as a gaff headed schooner. She looked great. That's all the good I have to report. Because perhaps I was carrying only 900 sq feet the thing was not moving much. My feeling was that she was not cuting nicely into the wind even with three jibs and was not great downwind either. The following Spring, I got rid of my mizen mast made a large main and sailled her as gaff headed cutter or sloop. Then she became a tremendous down winder. I have taken her out in 25-30 kts winds, she was flying. Broad reach was not bad either. Upwind, I had to sail her at 45 to 50 degrees and often had to tack ship in light winds .

    Now I am moving away from gaff headed rigs altogether. The same boat is again being converted to a modern bermudan sloop for performance and practicality. Looking back at these years (16) I would say build what you love but don't expect the old rigs to perform under any wind. They don't.

    Haybayian
     
  11. John Riddle
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    John Riddle Junior Member

    Sasemr:

    It looks like you're getting quite a bit of good input and I can't add to it from personal experience but I would like to bid to build her. You can email me directly from my profile if you like.
     
  12. Tom Hunter
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    Location: Salem, Massachusetts

    Tom Hunter Junior Member

    no offense intended haybayin, but how do you reconcile these two statements:

    "Then she became a tremendous down winder"

    "don't expect the old rigs to perform under any wind. They don't."
     
  13. haybayian
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    Location: canada

    haybayian Junior Member

    Sorry, English is not my mother tongue, this should read "under all winds".
    What I meant was that with her large main my boat was very fast down wind. My second point was old rigs (in particular gaff headed ones) are not too good at beating.....
    However as one of my fellows sailors (who owned a gaff headed schooner) put it once: Gentlemen only go downwind.

    Haybayian
     
  14. M&M Ovenden
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    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    Hi Haybayian,
    I understand you didn't have the best sailing experience with your gaff rigs but in your case I don't think it should be fully related to the rig. Actually, for any sailboats sailability, the hull and mostly underwater surface is very important to consider. The BR 40ft spray is extremely beamy and shallow drafted . In my opinion it is an unfair hull to judge a rig. Adding sail surface without matching underwater lateral surface hardly helps a boat head in the wind.
    I've had extremely good experiences from gaff rigs but that on boats that had an appropriate under water for there sail surface.

    cheers
    Murielle
     

  15. haybayian
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    haybayian Junior Member

    Hi Murielle,
    My post sounded more negative than I intended. The point I was trying to express was what most people I think agree with : bermudian sail plans can sail closer to the wind and gaff headed rigs better at running. Of course this may be a gross generalization.
    In my case, yes Spray is a big mama. My draft however was increased from 4' to 5 ' so she is not as shallow as Slocum's. I agree with your point that this design is not the best place to judge gaff headed rigs. But can one really name one that would be. Within the gaff headed family IMHO there are so many differences; the main sail aspect ratio and the gaff to mast angle for instance. And the type of vessel: fishing, vs 19 th century racing yacht ...etc.
    Which "adequate" boat did you test a gaff headed rig?
    Haybayian
     
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