The Top 50 Advantages of Junk Rig

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

  1. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Please permit me to be a Captain Obvious, ha-ha!, because the following comments probably won't be new to most anyone around here. :)

    Most folks would seem to be fair weather sailers, though, or at least that's my impression. I'm not one to criticize them for it either, after all: I'm my relative's relative. ;)

    I would also opine that finding actual old salts who work the rig hard in bad weather will have you looking towards China and India.
     
  2. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    Gentlemen,
    The vessel is awash with guesswork, suppositions and misinformation. It's time to pump the bilge out.

    The spectrum of junk-rigged vessels ranges from daintily-rigged daysailers to husky, go-anywhere ocean cruisers, just as it does with other rigs. I tend towards the latter with my vessel, and so far, have sailed her 80,000 miles under junk rig and junk-rig-based wing sails, in the Atlantic between Iceland and Norway in the north, and Capetown in the south; and in the Pacific between Alaska in the north and South Island NZ and Tasmania in the south. There are fairweather junk rig sailors, and there are husky, go-anywhere junk rig sailors, just as there are with other rigs. Joseph, it's your misfortune not to have crossed tacks with the latter, but they're out there, quietly and competently crossing oceans.

    Of course, I've seen some bad weather. I got knocked down in the S Atlantic, and broke some dinner plates and wine glasses. By way of contrast, do you recall how Jeanne Socrates got knocked down approaching Cape Horn, broke her boom (good quality Najad yacht, with a good quality rig from Selden Mast), and had to put into Ushuaia and get a new boom sent from Sweden?

    I spent my working life designing hardware for bermudan rigs, so I am well aware of how poorly made and "down-to-a-price" the lower grades of production bermudan rig can be, and how unfit for serious offshore use. And of course, at the other end of the spectrum, how fit for purpose a bermudan rig can be, if money is no object. Having done a lot of fatigue testing of rigging components, I know full well how short-lived the bermudan mast's rigging can be. In contrast, an unstayed mast, if it's designed right, and built right, is long-lived and invulnerable to mis-handling and lack of maintenance.

    My preference, for a vessel that is to go anywhere, will remain for a rig with unstayed mast(s), carrying strongly-built and easily-handled sails in which the stresses are low, being well distributed over strong spars. What rig would that be? I think you know the answer to that.
     
  3. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    David, many thanks for chiming in. Do post some pics and/or videos of this beast of a Junk rig you describe. I figured there would be some out there and I'm anxious to learn more.

    Also, I'm curious as to the weight penalty on the boat with the unstayed mast. The hull & deck fittings must be very stout and probably added a bit of extra weight, no? In any case, that's more of a racing concern and if cruising is the main mission then who cares about the extra weight.

    Do post info about your boat.

    Cheers,

    Joseph
     
  4. David Tyler
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    David Tyler J. R. A. Committee Member

    I did put a short video that I took in the middle of the Tasman Sea onto YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nO3BTM7NAc
    (I had a ketch soft wing sail rig then)

    I'll attach a photo of the rig I sailed from NZ to Alaska. The sail is of 9oz/sq yd Haywards Sunwing UV protected polyester sailcloth - the best, but no longer in production. The mast is a tapered aluminium alloy tube, 220mm dia at the deck. The yard, battens and boom are of CFRP.

    The unstayed mast is heavier than an equivalent stayed mast, but when you add in the standing rigging, the total turns out much the same. Also, the CG of the unstayed mast is lower. An unstayed rig stresses the hull much less than a stayed rig, with its massive compression and tensions, but the stresses are of course in the horizontal direction, not the vertical. All this means in practice is that some local reinforcement is needed in the heel and partners areas, but in general, any boat that is fit to put to sea needs little alteration for an unstayed rig, apart from solving difficulties with the accommodation layout.

    My boat is a 35ft David Thomas designed custom ocean cruiser to my specification, laid out for a couple to cruise for long periods to faraway places. She has bilge-boards and shoal draught, but still gets into CE category A.
     

    Attached Files:

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

    Why not go to http://www.junkrigassociation.org/
    and read through the public pages?
     
  6. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    David, thanks a bunch for the additional info. Very nice custom boat. Wing sail & carbon components no question increase performance and durability. I have read a bit about wing sails on other threads. No question they are an improvement over a typical junk rig...much improved air foil shape. The construction is very similar to a light aircraft so I'm sure they handle high winds better too.

    No question your boat is in a different class than the typical junk rig, and it cruises along quite well too.

    Thanks again for sharing! :)
     
  7. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    There have been over 700 Colvin Gazelles built, the majority of them junk rigged. Many have done a circumnavigation. Then there are Tom's other junk rig designs. Including the one I'm getting close(r) to finishing. So thinking that junk rigs are primarily for fair weather sailors is about as applicable as saying Marconi rigs are because most of the boats doing the milk run around the globe are marconi rigged and never go outside 35N to 35S. So what?

    All or nearly all of Tom Colvin's boats are stayed rigs. They're not heavily stressed rigs, the stays are more to keep the mast in column and stop whipping in a seaway. I've read all the arguments pro/con stayed & unstayed rigs, I prefer a stayed rig. Having seen up close the masts in a Benford BADGER design and knowing how long it took the builder to make them, I seriously, seriously doubt my masts & standing rigging are going to be heavier and for sure they're faster to make.

    But - whatever.... I plan on being a fair weather sailor. All I have to do is convince Hughie to shine on me & send the winds from the direction I'd like. Threads like this are pretty pointless anyway, it's like arguing about the advantages of a monohull versus a multihull. Nothing is perfect, there never is a 'best' choice, it all depends on what you want to do combined with how much you have to spend, then toss in a strong dash of irrational emotion to season the mix......

    PDW
     

  8. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    Hi pdwiley, agree on most points. Each boat has to be looked at individually. No question there are those that break the typical mold and stand out as good design examples.

    My only disagreement is of the value of this thread. It's probably the best list on pro's & con's of a junk rig, which inevitably opened comments for other rig comparisons. I don't know about the others but I'm fascinated by the unstayed masts with wing sails. Eric Sponberg's boats really stand out and are not too far off aerodynamically than a refined airfoil off an aircraft. We're seeing similar foil shapes on lighter racing yachts.

    OK good info here.

    Fair winds /) /) /)

    Joseph
     
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