what could be the largest gunter rig?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by MarijoV, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. MarijoV
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    MarijoV Junior Member

    Does anyone know why gunter rigs are used mainly on smaller boats? I understand it would not be a very smart thing to use a gunter on a say 40' cutter in 30-40 kts of wind, but one would reef it anyway... What was the biggest boat someone knows gunter was used on? Thnx, Marijo
     
  2. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    The Brixham Trawlers in the UK got pretty big. Scandalizing the rig (removing the sprit) caused the main to be cut in half, so reefing was possible.

    --
    Bill
     
  3. MarijoV
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    MarijoV Junior Member

    Thanks Bill, I'll check them out... Have some more details?
     
  4. keith66
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    keith66 Senior Member

    Brixham trawlers used a conventional gaff ketch rig not a gunter, The largest gunter rigs used were probably on half raters & one raters in victorian times. these could be up to 40ft long with very large sail areas. Also likely to have been used on the Sibbick raters, which were undoubtedly the inspiration for Uffa fox's flying fifteen.
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The problems with larger gunter are basically two fold. The spar is difficult to control, making for poor sail shape, high up in the rig. They have a tendency to fall off to leeward and spill wind. The sliding mechanism is prone to jam or worse tear itself loose from the mast. The overlapping spars just increases the wind shadow and windage behind the mast, further lowering windward ability. Of course then there's the extra weight aloft issue and extra rigging required.

    It's real advantage is the ability to store the spas within the length of the boat. On a small craft this is beneficial, but on larger yachts, this has much less importance.
     
  6. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Went back and checked - you are right. The boats I'm referring to are Thames river sailorman barges - there were some pretty big ones using gunter rigs - I've got pictures here of them. They were shown opposite the page the Brixham Trawlers were - hence my juxtaposition of the name.

    When I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

    --
    Bill
     
  7. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    thames barges use sprit rigs, a gunter is like a more vertical gaff
     
  8. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    the advantages are getting the peak high on one halyard, keeping the masthead height/ weight low, fine on a dinghy, but think how dangerous it could be if you have half a ton of gear on one halyard on a big boat, you can redesign it, with modern materials it would be a good design project,
     

  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    With modern materials and methods you could engineer out some of the weight issues, but the others that plaque the gunter remain.
     
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