Mixing sail types in one boat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by cluttonfred, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. cluttonfred
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    cluttonfred Junior Member

    Just curious...what’s the reason for mixing sail types in something like this little William Garden cat schooner? Why not two jib-headed or or two gaff sails instead of one of each? To me it also cries out for lugsails, maybe boomless standing lug forward and boomed aft, but that’s another thread. Cheers, Matthew

  2. tlouth7
    Joined: Jun 2013
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    Location: Cambridge, UK

    tlouth7 Senior Member

    Having a gaff on the foresail fills the space between the two masts more effectively than a triangular sail.

    I would say that a triangular mainsail leaves room for a backstay, except there isn't one.
  3. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Littleton, nh

    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Perhaps, the designer had reasons to want the masts where they are and, as tlouth says, the gaff fills the space, but a gaff on the main puts the CE too far aft and too high up.

    Since it is a cat rig, the CE is kept pretty far forward already, just ahead of the main. To gaff rig the main would move it up and back behind the main mast. To rig the foresail as a Marconi would also move the CE aft, but lower it, unless you raised the mast hight.

    There is a balance between looks, performance, cost and complexity that a designer needs to deal with. Each does it differently.

  4. cluttonfred
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    cluttonfred Junior Member

    Thanks, I dug out my copy of Bolger's 100 Small Boat Rigs and he had similar things to say about the combination of Marconi main and boomless gaff foresail. This might be a good time to ask...can anyone help me sort out the various Garden cat schooner types? The 17' 8" June Bug above (from a Maynard Bray article here) is not quite the same as the 19' Boat plans offered by Woodenboat. Mystic Seaport has in their collection two more Garden 17' cat schooners, Romp and Lobster, with no images, and also lists some larger cat schooners including a 24' Eel when I thought the Garden Eel was the 18' 6" yawl offered by Woodenboat. So I am now thoroughly confused!
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