New guy, introduction, and some basic square rig questions

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by metal, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Obviously a single square-rigged sail isn't useless, the Vikings wouldn't have kept using them for hundreds of years. They managed to do some pretty impressive voyaging with their square rigs, but they did things like supporting the leading edge of the sail with a pole when they were sailing into the wind. And I wouldn't be surprised to find they also dipped a few oars in the water to help them come about sometimes, when they were tacking. They had the manpower to do that....

    It's certainly no mortal sin to use a square sail just because more efficient types are available. If you want to rig one, knock yourself out; I imagine you'll have a lot of fun.
  2. M&M Ovenden
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    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    Well already going up one step up from a square sail to a lug sail ( it could be more fun to sail. I actually love the looks of luggers. It's a powerful rig that was used quite late in sailing history for coastal transport and fishing boats of all sizes.
    A spritsail would also be an other traditional option It's very easy to rig on a dinghy and is the rig on which most young sailors learn to sail ....did I ever have fun in those boats.
    Then there is the gaff rig. For a small boat like what you are thinking about, to make it simple and closer to what you have in mind a loose footed, boomless rig could be neat (a boom could be added later if you wanted). Gaff rigs are still quite popular our days mostly because out of the "cool traditional" rigs, it's one that works well.


    add on: I agree that it is no mortal sin to play around with a square rig, but make sure to bring a paddle too :)
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  3. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    Why not put up a junk rig? Then you yell "EEEEYAAAA" -- inexpensive, functional, and will draw a lot of attention.

  4. sonosail
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    sonosail SONOSAIL

    advantages of square sails

    I believe that way back in the 15th century, many ships routinely switched
    back and forth between square, and fore and aft rigs depending on conditions expected. Columbus stopped in the Azores and changed to square sails at the beginning of his first voyage to America. A square rigger is alledgedly more stable off the wind in big seas. The ability to shorten sail more effectively was also a factor. Though you certainly needed a more agile crew to do so. And of course this mainly applied to larger vessels with at least 2 masts. But I think that even today, square sails do have certain advantages in very special cases.

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