Rigging a sailing canoe

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by MastMonkey, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. MastMonkey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    MastMonkey Junior Member

    Hi all,

    Last week I posted a question about rigging a sailing canoe I am building in the boat design forum, but unfortunately didn't get any replies so am trying you all. My question is about rigging options for a sailing canoe built as a 24' trimaran. The design is Gary Dierking's Wa'apa.

    My primary consideration is that I must be able to reef it easily. Due to mobility problems moving about the boat in a hurry is out.

    My options I have found are: Bermuda with sail that furls around mast; Chinese Junk; or balanced and battened lug.

    Are there other options I could consider. I have only had opportunities to sail on a few boats so the finer points of each are unknown to me. And I am not totally sure yet where to purchase the rigging hardware for each and what it'll cost.

    I have sailed dinghies where the main furls around a rotating mast and like the idea, but I have only seen it on dinghies.

    I am currently leaning toward the Junk rig, despite the negative things I have heard said about it. My interest in it are that I can reef it quickly while at any point of sail and it appears cheap to construct. Also, since this boat will be taken apart and stored I like that I could use an unstayed mast. Has anyone built one that could give me an estimate of the costs and a comparison to buying or building another kind of rig.

    The balanced and battened lug appeals to me for the same reasons. What are the differences between the two that should help me choose one over the other?

    One final question: In many photos of boats with either the junk or lug rigs, even on smaller boats like other sailing canoes, most appear to have either a yawl or ketch setup, sometimes with a head sail. Is there a practical reason for this on smaller boats other than looks? I was thinking of going with the ketch version, despite the added effort of sailing it because I want an even lower CE. My thinking with the Junk or lug rig was to overpower the main for use in light air and for heavier air reef or douse it completely and sail with a head sail and mizzen.

  2. bill broome
    Joined: Jul 2008
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    bill broome Senior Member

    a junk sail is a balanced and battened lug rig. they add multiple sheet ends and downhauls for easy control. but the windage and weight might handicap a canoe sized boat, and is unnecessary.

    sailing canoes used ketch and cat schooner rigs to get enough sail area without having to use shrouds, which are ineffectual on a very narrow boat. if you are building a trimaran, stays are effectual, and a sloop rig with big furling jib is likely to be both fast and manageable. an unstayed cat schooner with mast furling is a good second choice for perfomance [keep the sails well apart] and easiest to reef. an unstayed mast on a multihull can be an engineering problem, as they develop large loads due to great initial stability.

    but go for it, great fun, and educational!
  3. MastMonkey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    MastMonkey Junior Member

    I guess what I meant by the balanced and battened lug sail was some of the other variations of a lugger or simplified lug sail. I want to avoid shrouds and stays because this is a boat that is designed to be taken apart and stored. The hull comes apart into three pieces and the amas and iakos are lashed on.

    I really do like the look of the Cat Schooner. Is a sprit sail easy to reef? The sprit rig was used on many Polynesian style sailing canoes and several of the examples rigged as a Cat Schooner I looked at had it.

    What is the name of the rig on dinghies that has the sail furl around the mast by rotating the mast itself? Is there a boat that this could be salvaged from?

    Thanks for your replies.
  4. dstgean
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    dstgean Senior Member

    I got a Raptor 16 sail for a good deal and will be using that on my Tamanu.

  5. garydierking
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    garydierking Senior Member

    1 person likes this.
  6. rayaldridge
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    I think Gary has been experimenting with the sprit rig, and I use a sprit-sloop rig on my little 16 foot cat. The usual knock against the sprit rig has been the difficulty of reefing, but on Slider, that isn't an issue. The snotter hang point moves downward automatically as the halyard is eased, so there's no fiddling with the sprit. But before I had reef points on the main, I reduced sail in a stout breeze by scandalizing the main, and to my surprise, the boat still went to weather pretty well, even with that sloppy-looking sail.
  7. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    For a low center of effort rig, consider a two mast schooner, or :

    Attached Files:

  8. edvb
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    edvb Junior Member

    After a few years I ended up with this . It works very well as you can see by the video. I do plan to have removable stays that furl with the sail when reefed. I will be able to attach or remove them in about 30 seconds. This might help with having better upwind performance and being able to carry full sail longer as I should be able to shape the sail better with the stays attached. It also will control the mast bend better. I am installing it now, so we will see in Spring if it will all work the way I hope it will.



  9. science abuse
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    science abuse Junior Member

    Back in the late 60's, a yank by the name of Bill King sailed a single-handed ketch with a junk rig around the world... or at least, that ws the idea, until the southern ocean de-maseted him.

    His theory was the same, easy to handle, easy reefing. These days you're not limited to wood, either; flat carbon fiber battons are relatively easy to make, or you could go with fiberglass rod/tube stock for pennies per foot.
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