|Sven Yrvind showin' us how it's done!|
Set a little sail to catch a little wind,
Lift the hull and give it wings,
To roll us 'round the bend.
Riglets: A Quick Look at Promising MicroCruiser Rigs
In my book, a sailing MicroCruiser is much more than a DaySailor.
It's got to be able to stand up to some shit. It should provide shelter from the elements and sleep its crew aboard. It should carry supplies for a cruise. Human auxiliary propulsion.
So its rig must be handy.
Handy to set and strike. Handy to handle. Handy to hand (reef). DIY.
Dropping the mast to the deck reduces windage for rowing... free-standing is a plus. Easy handling, especially 'hands-off' from the cockpit via lines, makes for easy, trouble-free sailing, Easy reefing means we can de-power quickly when ambushed by the wind. DIY 'cuz we're cheap.
'Course, we might be tempted to give a little, one way or the other...
Many traditional western rigs - sprit, lug, gaff, sprit boomed leg o' mutton among others - get lots of coverage. But they present challenges for the microcruiser, as well. To address them, a number of lesser known rigs have been tried. While they, too, need careful implementation and adaptation, each offers a 'new' approach to practical sail.
In what follows, I'll give a very brief description with a pic... the headers and high-lit text are links to further information.
So let's go take a look at some contendahs!
|Perry Phillip's BOBBER|
Fully battened, standing lug rig with lazy jacks, sheeted along leech. Hands off, easy reefing. Ingenuity required for easy set up and take down. Countless variations. I sing its praises here.
A fully battened sail luff-mounted on a short mast and sliding gunter. Similar to Junk rig in shape, it can be adapted for JR's easy reefing.
This rig was used by Frederick Fenger on his YAKABOO, canoe sailing the Caribbean in the early 1900s.
|Shown about half-reef|
Standing lug rig, roller-furled on the boom. Hands off (though gotta be deft with halyard, sheet and furling line). Boom is easily dismounted and lowered to deck. VERY well proven small boat rig!
More info at microcruising.com.
|This is a taller version than likely for our needs|
Twin, flat-cut, triangular sails, fixed along the mast. Open wing and wing with two sheets, or sail into the wind doubled and sheeted as one. Roller reef by rotating the mast.
The BSD Twins are an interesting variant for smaller craft.
|Shown about half reef|
Holopuni Quick Rig
A single sail, boomed variant of Ljungstrom Rig. I think it's well worth a look!
|May be from one of Daniel Spurr's great books|
Mast stepped well aft, flying large single or double staysail (also called Staysail or Delta Rig). Roller furling on stay.
Aft placement is handy to the cockpit. Roller furled staysail provides clear air for the leading edge and upward lift. Lies well to anchor. Must be strongly tensioned for windward efficiency. I'd lean the mast aft with amsteel stays set running.
|Wharram TIKI 21|
A short spar gaff sail with an 'envelope' around mast and halyards, reducing turbulence. Can be used with or without a boom.
T-Modified Crab Claw Rig
Crab Claw Sail set on a short mast with a swiveling yard. Rotates around three axies (vs the normal one)! Very versatile, and possibly a good-to-great rig.
Unfortunately, demands a lot from the crew. Only for the adventurous.
Rig based on a bird's wing! Stretch fabric and bone joints allow 'reefing' by extension and flexion. Folds down as a wing folds in. Really. Check it out! Not as low-tech as some, but...
I wouldn't say this one is ready for our needs. But definitely one to watch!
So there's a quick tour of some rigs a little off the beaten path.
Hotbeds of innovation include DuckworksMagazine.com, PDRacer.com, Yrvind.com, IndigenousBoats.blogspot.com and Hallman.org.
There's a whole world of sailing out there...