The Top 50 Advantages of Junk Rig

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by David Tyler, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. gdavis
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    gdavis Junior Member

    Well there's some cool news. What is Annie Hill sailing these days? Still Badger? I thought I heard a while ago she and peter(?) were building a catamaran in s. Africa or something like that. I don't think it is fair or right to compare a junk rig to a Bermudan rig when the Bermuda was basically developed for racing class sail boats. Lets compare them to gaffers and other work rigs and we will see that they hold their own! China Cloud is all the proof I need, I work with a guy who sailed on it several times and had nothing but positive things to say about it.And truth be told I just love them and don't really care what critics and doomsayers have to say about junk rigs..................peace out.....g
     
  2. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    She and Pete built the catamaran China Moon in SA, but then split up. She married again, and sailed aboard the gaff-rigged Ironbark (and hated the rig, but gained a CCA Blue Water Medal from the experience). She now lives contentedly alone on her own small boat, Fantail, a Raven 26 that she converted to junk rig herself.

    To keep more up to date, you might consider joining the JRA, where Annie is just completing a year on the committee as Sailing Secretary.
     

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  3. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Umm, maybe it's wrong to say that the rig "struggles to gain acceptance", when boats rigged that way have just been given several prestigious awards? :)
     
  4. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    Among open-minded, serious cruising seamen, acceptance is easier to gain. The difficulty is with those sailors for whom open-mindedness is a habit that they find it hard to acquire - "I know what I like; now don't try to confuse me with facts". But there's no doubt that awards like these from the RCC will help to raise the profile of the junk rig outside of its own constituency. Also, in the recent past, the award of the Ocean Cruising Club's Rose Medal to myself, if I may be so immodest as to mention it.
     
  5. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Junk Bond king Michael Milken never owned a Junk Rigged Boat of his own: Don't be like Michael Milkin and Deal Only in Other People's Junk.

    Edit : personally I'm pretty much sold on junk sails, so please don't anyone think that was for anything but attempted humor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
  6. rustybarge
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    rustybarge Cheetah 25' Powercat.

     
  7. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    But how exactly does one determine whether a person has;

    1- not taken on an idea because they are "closed minded", or;
    2- not taken on an idea because the idea has not been proven to be a better idea by objective facts; or
    3- they have not taken on an idea because while that idea may work perfectly well for other people, it doesn't suit their own particular circumstances?

    People who are 'into' fairly unusual rigs, like Eric Sponberg, have noted that many of the claims made in this thread for junks are over-blown or incorrect. So maybe it's not that people have closed minds - maybe it's just that the rig does not suit many people (which is not to say it's not great for others).
     
  8. Avoid Rocks
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    Avoid Rocks Junior Member

    It would be interesting to see a statistic on those who go sailing with a junk rig for the first time and their reactions and opinions before and after. I'd venture to guess that people come out of the actual experience with a positive mindset the majority of the time.

    And with all due respect to Mr Sponberg, I don't find a lot of his arguments very convincing. To his defense though, the initial list is a bit zealous, mainly because it's a compilation of advantages submitted by different JRA members, so it's bound to be a) opinionated and b) somewhat repetitive (but this was already stated in the OP).

    For example, I find it interesting that he doesn't acknowledge #1 as an advantage:

    "Junk rig is much easier to handle
    downwind: With its reluctance to
    gybe until you are sailing well by the
    lee, with the fact that the sail is fully
    squared out so that it is working
    efficiently and with the ease with
    which you can change from running
    to reaching to beating, without
    having to handle guys, poles or
    vangs, the junk rig is much easier to
    sail."


    Also things like #2 (rig safety, not having to go on deck) is certainly an advantage, even if not unique. I don't recall this being claimed to be a list of unique features, but advantages compared to most other rigs? If we accept #2 on those premises, we should immediately also accept #3 (see the bottom of the post), #4, #5, #6, #7, etc...... oh.

    The ability to use less expensive low-tech materials? No heavy boom needed to withstand the pressure of the huge tensioned canvas?

    Again, not unique, but certainly an advantage vs. the majority of today's sailboats. Also, systems like roller furling and boom furlers certainly have their disadvantages as well (not familiar with the Dutchman system), the biggest ones being cost and ease of repair. And roller furling isn't very nice in heavy weather either.

    #3: A sail rip in the majority of other sail designs will render the sail useless. A junk rig is held up by either boltropes or duplicate canvas at the luff and the leech, which keeps it from ripping apart. If the rip is big enough you can just tie off the two battens surrounding the ripped panel together and keep on sailing as usual.

    #8: Accepted, but given that practically all junk rigs are built by hand, by the owner, he/she inherently has the ability to repair them without further training. Like building your own boat vs buying one.

    Etc etc. Bottom line: The junk rig was claimed to be the "best rig for cruising", backed with a list of advantages. I'd be curious to see someone compile a similar list defending the bermuda (or any other) rig in the same fashion, with advantages (not necessarily unique) listed, and not end up with a very expensive, complicated and high-tech rig.
     
  9. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    "I've tried it and it doesn't suit my kind of sailing"
    "I've tried it and I don't like the way it handles"
    "I've tried it and I don't like the performance"
    "I've seen it and I don't want a rig looking like that on my boat, thank you!"
    - open-minded.

    "I've never given it a moment's thought, that there might be a more suitable rig for me than the one I use"
    "I've never tried it, but others say it's no good, so I won't"
    "I've never tried it, to find out for myself whether the claims made for it are over-blown or incorrect"
    "It can't be any good, if the major boat builders don't fit it as standard"
    - Not so open-minded.
     
  10. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    Yes- please could a bermudan rig advocate start a thread entitled "The top 50 advantages of the bermudan rig for cruising" (racers are forced to use it by their various rating and handicapping rules, so there's no need to put in anything pertaining strictly to racing). By all means repeat yourself, and add in frivolous and tongue-in-cheek entries, if you need to do that to reach the magic 50.
     
  11. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    "I wish I could have a decent sized sidewheeler yacht whose lines could attractively handle some junk rigged masts." -- the Super Contrarian
     
  12. motorbike
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    motorbike Senior Member

    Junks rigs are oddballs in yachting culture. Shorthanded cruising is easily done without needing a junk rig. Despite protestations they dont sail to windward as well as a marconi rig and never will. End of short sad story:)
     
  13. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    Are you a shorthanded cruising sailor? Have you sailed a modern junk rig alongside a marconi/bermudan rig? Do you have personal experience to back up your claims and observations?
     
  14. motorbike
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    motorbike Senior Member

    Yes, no and yes to your questions. The junk rig is like Morgan threewheelers, sort of cool and within a certain set of needs it has utility. But the world has moved on with sail design and materials development and junk rigs many disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

    You can sail them and love them, but when 50 advantages and no disadvantages pops up in a thread then the alarm bells go off. NOTHING in sailing in my experience has 50 reasons why its better, even a well built 26ft yacht does not have 50 advantages over a Mcgregor 26 without at least one point conceded to the other side! When you have a hammer all solutions look like a nail!
     

  15. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    So:
    "I've tried it and it doesn't suit my kind of sailing"
    "I've tried it and I don't like the way it handles"
    "I've tried it and I don't like the performance"

    all apply to you, motorbike? Fair enough. I have no problem with that.
     
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