Really small stayed rig - what kind of sail?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by hospadar, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. hospadar
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    Location: Michigan

    hospadar Junior Member

    Hi all - I have some (wacky?) ideas and I wanted to see what ya'll think and if anyone's done what I'm thinking about.

    I've got a bolger cartopper that I built with none of the sailing bits (no CB, no mast step/partner) that I now (of course) want to sail.

    I'm planning to make a bolt-on leeboard a-la sailing canoe in leiu of the CB trunk specified by the plans, and am thinking about a similar arrangement for the mast. I realize this whole idea might be silly, but right now I'm more curious about how I would go about choosing and building a stayed rig, rather than whether or not I should use a stayed vs. unstayed rig. The main thing would be that a stayed rig would avoid me having to permanently install anything on the floor of the boat which would be nice because I like using the bow like an easy chair while I'm floating in the boat on a nice day ☺

    Options I was thinking about:
    1. A gaff or sprit rig seems ideal - being able to use/make shorter spars would be a plus, and there's not much sticking out in front of the mast that could get tangled up in the stays. There's a variety of pre-made gaff and sprit rigs of approx. the right size that I could use.
    2. the "Leg-o-mutton with bendy spars" from 100 Small Boat Rigs looks an awful lot like the zuma rig that I happen to have tucked away in the garage (it's like a laser radial rig), but seems like it might be hard to adapt to a stayed rig
      leg-o-mutton-with-bendy-spars.jpeg zuma-sail-12.jpeg
      1. the sleeve-style luff would make it hard to attach stays mid-mast as shown - maybe I could cut a piece out of the middle of the sleeve to allow for the tangs to be attached to the mast without mangling the sail too bad? Another option might be to chop off the zipper luff completely and sew on a new luff with grommets and either lace it on or use parrel beads.
      2. the zuma mast is designed to rotate in the socket and the gooseneck only pivots up-and-down (i.e. pitch), so if stay'd the mast I'd need to set up a different gooseneck that would permit pitch and yaw type movements (like maybe this one)
    3. For the stays: I'll make them myself, not sure if I'll go with wire or synthetic?
    Soo I wonder:
    1. Opinions about the best way to set this up?
    2. Any other rigs I should consider that I'm not thinking about?
    3. Any other small boats that use a stayed rig that I might be able to convert for this boat? (i.e. if I can find one on craigslist and frankenstein it onto my cartopper)
    4. Any reasons why doing a stayed rig for a boat like this is a Really Bad Idea that I'm not thinking about besides "needlessly complicated"?
  2. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    - Two lee boards.

    - trying to set stays with a sail on the mast can be challenging.

    - If the shrouds and forestay share a single attachment point on the front of the mast, then the mast can rotate 120 to 180 degrees.

    - Almost any small rig could be successfully used!!
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Best deal is to use the rig that is specified for the Cartopper. It is a 60 square foot sprit boom rig that works very nicely. The rig does not use stays, it is self supported. So you do not want to clutter up the forward end of the little boat with decks or bulkheads. Good. Then use a clamp on bridge that has a hole to position the mast. In any case, stayed or unstayed you will need a secure place in the floor of the boat to serve the heel of the mast.

    A bridge is what its name implies. It is a cross section that clamps onto the inwale and/or outwales. It is readily removable. For a little dink like the Cartopper wires are a real PITA. Who needs 'em for a sail as small as the Cartopper can comfortably accomodate. When Dynamite Payson was holding forth, he sold (brokered actually) the specified sail for a very modest price. That sail is used on several of the Bolger boats including the 16 foot Gypsy. there is a lot to recommend the simple sprit boom sail for a boat of that size. Simple, easily furled, easily adjusted draft, easily doused, reliable, and yes it will haul the boat to windward quite satisfactorily.
    hoytedow likes this.
  4. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: East Anglia,England

    wet feet Senior Member

    I might be out of step with the mood of the thread but I would go for simplicity and the fewest spars.Which means stays and a bolt rope on a bermudan sail.It can be really quick and easy to drop the mast in;you attach the forestay and one shroud and ideally have the boat leaning toward you.The you lift the mast into the step and clip the other shroud in place.No need for rigging screws anywhere with such a simple boat as lashings from a hard eye to a link like this will work.It is best to leave a bit of slack in the forestay and tighten the lashing with the mast stepped.


    I am aware that advocating a bermuda rig means a longer spar,but I would rather have that than a greater number of spars of greater weight aloft.A bolt rope works very well and only fails to appeal to the fellow determined to build a birdmouth round mast.A wooden mast made from two halves with a luff groove routed in isn't so hard to make or you could get a metal pole and some awning track,which is even easier.
    Will Gilmore likes this.
  5. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: UK

    gggGuest ...

    What sort of use do you see the sails being given? That affects the choice of rig a fair bit. With leeboards its never going to be especially efficient, but if your main use for a sail is drifting quietly downwind then that's a completely different proposition to trying to beat upwind against current.
    An unconventional choice that occurs to me would be to have what amounts to an unstayed mast, but with lower shrouds to gooseneck level instead of a solid structure, and no standing rigging further up the mast. This has actually been done for at least one serious production racing craft. In that case it was with a rotating mast which mandated the complication of a bearing the mast could rotate in, but there seems no reason why the same support arrangements couldn't work with say a boomless lug sail, which is a pleasant enough drift downwind rig.
    hoytedow likes this.
  6. Will Gilmore
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Plus one for the simplicity of the Burmuda rig.
    If you didn't want to go the routed groove route, there is also the bolt-on track option.

    Then, there is the mast-aft option.
    Clear fore-deck, roller furling simplicity, minimal spars, you could even go stay-less and not have the issues you are concerned with on the fore-deck, but a couple of aft stays would allow for a lighter rig.

    -Will (Dragonfly)
    hoytedow likes this.

  7. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I see two decent choices that don't run away with expensive complexity.

    1.) a sprit peak sail with a tri-stay arrangement. The stays can lead to the top of the mast, so the sail can have a halyard. It can be held to the mast with lacing.

    The mast step could be a relatively thin board with a hole in it for a dowel, on the base of the mast, to pin into. It takes very little side loads, so it doesn't have to be all that strong.

    2.) a balanced lug with four stays instead of three. The two forward ones would resemble shrouds, just as the aft ones on a three stay rig would. Now, you can roll the sail up in a neat bundle when you are through with it.

    The balanced lug sail can have conventional reef points.

    The sprit-peak sail can be reefed by removing the sprit and pulling the peak corner down with a line intended for that purpose.

    Which sail you choose can be determined by where you want the mast to be. With the sprit-peak sail, it can be further forward.

    A third possibility would be to use the tri-stay arrangement but fly a dipping lug instead. Getting the yard over to the Lee side of the mast need not be as difficult as it seems. The trick is to lead the halyard down the aft side of the mast, and have no parallel on the yard. The tack (lower front corner of the sail) can have two lines leading to the bow. Both of these lines lead from the tack, around the back of the mast, then up to the bow. When changing tacks, simply let loose on the windward one, and haul on the leeward one.

    A line, that leads to the forward end of the yard down to the base of the mast, can be used to haul the forward end of the yard down and behind the mast. This rig will only require a yard but no boom.
    hoytedow likes this.
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