Many people, however, want to experiment with alternative rigs so I thought these even briefer notes might help separate fact from romantic appeal.
Most alternative rigs are based on those used on various working boats in use around the world. However one must remember that, unlike recreational craft, which need to be good all-rounders, working boats didn’t just sail, they fished, or traded. The actual voyage was just a means to an end.
The traditionally shaped gaff rig was often used by fishermen as it was easy to “scandalize” when dredging or trawling. It is still used today on the Falmouth working boats for that reason (they have to dredge for oysters under sail, since engines are not allowed).
The Dutch trading boats used a short gaff and that is much more efficient, creating a simple “sawn-off ellipse” shape. The resulting sail is similar to the modern square-top mainsails you seen on race boats and many multihulls.
The problem is that the gaffis much heavier than a batten. And the weight is in completely the wrong place so stability is reduced and pitching increases. The other problem is that to allow the gaff jaws to go up the mast it can only be stayed at the head, so it has to be a stiffer, heavier section with more air resistance.
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Upgrading the Potter 15 Centerboard
When I bought my Potter 15, Blue Knot, in 2014, it already had more than 25 years on its clock.
REMEMBERING MY POTTER 19 TANBARK
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The Sea Trials of Minimus II
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I was glad to see your recent article on the back page regarding one person’s experience with a capsized boat (Artful Sailor #122). I’m so glad he did this testing on his boat and I agree with his conclusions.
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It is almost dark. The sun has finally hit the horizon as I tack down Matagorda Bay towards Pass Cavallo.
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There’s adventure in leaving a place you know for a place you don’t know.
Sweet & Simple
Fred Shell shares some of what he has learned over nearly 40 years of designing, building, and sailing small boats
As the sailing season comes to an end on northern waters, I find myself pondering the modern sailing scene.
Boat Review: Salish Voyager
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FIRE POKER MURDER!
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When voyagers purchase and register an EPIRB, they have a reasonable expectation that should they activate the beacon, the Sarsat system will swing into gear and rescue them. And in many places around the world, that expectation is well-founded. Two recent cases of EPIRB activation, however, suggest that even the best, most reliable EPIRB might not help you in an emergency.
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The Nicest Places in America
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THE IMAGE THAT ROCKED OUR BOAT THIS MONTH
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