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Old 25-01-2008, 16:34   #31
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The modern junk rig isn't slow

Also, I can't agree that the junk rig is slow, if you are talking about compared to other boats that don't use spinnakers. If you are willing to go whole hog and use a bunch of sails, including spinnakers, you can go faster with the marconi rig, but not otherwise. The junk rig is at least as fast as other cruising rigs, if the designer gives it ample sail area, by which I mean, 20% more sail area than an the same boat with a marconi rig, and if you give the sails camber.

There is no reason to reef a junk rig in anticipation of bad weather, because it is easy to reef during bad weather-so the overall speed may well be higher in a junk rigged boat. Of course, if you give the boat 3 sails, as Colvin usually does, it will be slower no matter what type of rig it has. More working sails per amount of total sail area = less speed, period-that is yacht design 101, despite what proponents of the slot theory claim. The slot effect exists, but it is not as efficient as the same sail area in a single sail.
A single sail produces more lift per unit of drag for a given sail area than two does, and two is better than three, etc.

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Old 25-01-2008, 16:50   #32
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Wing sails

It is also very easy to turn a junk rigged boat into a wing sail boat. The same plan will work for both, The problem with many wing sail designs in the past has been that reefing and even furling has been a problem.

However, if give the forward part of a junk rig an airfoil-shaped fairing section that hides the mast inside of it, and hinge the after part to create, in effect, flaps (see Flap (aircraft) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) you can create a sail that has the handling features of the junk rig and the aerodynamic features of the wing sail. This is illustrated on my web page, at the link in my forum signature.

I invented this and posted it on the junk rig group on Yahoo, under the name "Snoshoe rig" and was told it had been done, in the Swing Wing rig. However, the Swing Wing rig didn't use an airfoil shaped fairing section, so it wouldn't have much benefit. The Gallant rig has an airfoil, but it developed very little lift because it lacked flaps.

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Old 25-01-2008, 18:54   #33
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I met a guy years ago who was building a junk; asked him why, he replied it's the safest boat on the ocean; when the s--- gets too thick ya just button everything up and the high stern keeps the bow into the wind. Makes sense, I think. . . .
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Old 25-01-2008, 19:18   #34
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"too thick ya just button everything up and the high stern keeps the bow into the wind. Makes sense, I think. . . ."

That would be a Hong-Kong style hull with a low bow and a high stern-nothing to do with the rig, really. It should be mentioned that Chinese junk sailors invented the fenestrated drogue-they used large baskets with an open weave as sea anchors-similar to the Galerider sold today
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Old 25-01-2008, 23:34   #35
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The only modern commercial sail (excluding the various "cruise ships") I know of are a series of Dutch panamax carriers fitted with computer-controlled junk rigs, designed to improve fuel economy at relatively high cruising speeds.

Sure, it's motor sailing, but they're pointing higher and sailing faster than 99% of the race boats, and they're doing it for money not bragging rights. I don't think much else needs be said to defend the rig.


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Old 08-08-2009, 10:11   #36
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Hey Sail the Stars

The last poster referenced Annie Hill's book. I'VE READ IT and I've read "Design and Build your own Junk Rig" AND NOW I AM VERY CURIOUS ABOUT ALTERNATIVE RIG TYPES. Anni Hill's is a good book. A junk or Polynesian rig vs a Marconi has trade-offs. Don't all things? Anni points out that a Junk rig is very inexpensive since you don't have any standing rigging and the sails are cut flat. She made hers out of Sunbrella material. You could make one out of Tyvek or poly tarp as well. A new main sail on a 30' sloop can run you several thousands $. Junks reef very well. Each baton is essentially a reef point. You point into the wind, drop the sail to the desired baton and tie it off. Done! If you have a scooner like Annie Hill you run wing and wing. No rolling effect. on a run. A junk has a lower center of effort so it does not heal as much on a reach. Junks don't point as well as a Marconi rig but in some respects it out performs on the other points of sail.

I'm presently gathering info and input on rigging a catamaran with a crab-claw Polynesian sail. One site I found claims it points very well. The handling techniques are different.... cool by me.

Good luck,

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Old 08-08-2009, 14:55   #37
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You should join the junk rig group on Yahoo groups. There have been considerable advances since Annie's book was written. Windward performance has been greatly improved with cambered sails.
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Old 08-08-2009, 15:10   #38
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junk rigged schooners are pretty and sail well with two crew---husband and wife--they created their aluminum schooner and built her themselves and were sailing the california coast and mexico to washington for years --i havent seen them since 1999.....they loved theirs....
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Old 02-09-2009, 13:14   #39
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junk rig on a westerly in the British Round Island Race

Originally Posted by Stede View Post
If you're concerned about having a fast boat, why would you even consider a junk rig? I mean, I've never seen any pictures of them in a race rounding the marks? Just my 2 cents worth...well $ .673458 after inflation
Pic and article showing a junk rig on a windy downwind course in a race for cruiser-types. Wind speed too high for most/all Bermuda-rigged boats to fly spinnakers. Points to the conditions that favor junk rig: family-oriented cruiser/racers (not full-out gold plated racers), i.e. most of us, force 5+ conditions, "normal" people as crew (not professional race crews).

Article cites easy reef/unreef, no foredeck sail changes, easy tacking (no winch grinding) and speed (keep max sail area up until last minute).

Junk rig only has to keep up with a Bermudan rig on the same hull to be the preferred rig given all its other good qualitys for cruiser crews.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:05   #40
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I can tell you the slot effect is real on a junk rigged boat,having sailed 10,000 miles on the Pacific in a Tom Colvin aluminum Gazelle (42ft. on deck),see photo on profile.The only problem with this design is windward ability in heavy seas.The boat would get pushed to leeward,probably due to the 4ft.(not 3ft.7in.) full length keel.He designed them shoal draft for gunkholing purposes,one thing I would change.I saw one Gazelle which had an additional piece welded to bottom of existing keel.The fact that the masts are shorter than marconi rig improves stability,also ,there is more sail up higher(where the wind is, when in the wave trough).If you tear sail ,it is limited to the single panel of sail,just keep on sailing!Reefing has never been easier,as well as home repair.I sailed to Mexico and returned via Hawaii,with 20 gallon fuel tank,(18hp. Sabb),rarely used engine,mostly for getting in and out of port.Sailing to Hawaii ,I had it surfing down swells at up to 14 knots.Chafe can be an issue if not taken care of,overall strain is less due to the sheet attachment points at every batten.They are NOT slow.
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Old 30-03-2010, 22:56   #41
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So, seems no one has been interested in this rig for many years now. Well, I am at anchor off Hilo,III now and just riding out some wind, so, found myself here. After building and then sailing a junk rigged boat the last 25'000 miles, I love it. All the points made from most everyone are dead wrong. Wether or not those comments were made from experience or words heard from others, who knows. I can say a junk rigged boat will not wind races around the bouys. However, we have made some of the most difficult windward passages you can do while cruising on our modest rig and done just fine. It is ultra safe and easy to handle, it heaves to in seconds, literally. I am not making this up, I have trusted my life and my wifes to this rig and never been let down.

Hah, well, I am at anchor, alone in a bit of wind tonight, so, thought I would see who was out there interested in this rig. Better stop now. Peace. Greg
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Old 31-03-2010, 09:17   #42
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I would agree with SVWillow. There are a lot of opinions about junk rigs that are based on hearsay and missunderstanding. I am on my second junk rigged schooner; a steel 32ft.flush deck 22,000lbs, 5ft of draft, one off design. I am a cruser not a racer but I can tell you I have suprised more than a few more modern rigs even to windward. Downwind, or even slightly off the wind,with the exeption of boats with big spinakers, there is no contest. The ease of reefing and furling has to be experienced. I single hand alot and apreciate her kindly manners.

Just registered here a few minutes ago but have been reading through the forum the last few weeks and find it quite informative. So hello.

Here's to kindness,
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Old 31-03-2010, 09:29   #43
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Old 31-03-2010, 12:30   #44
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I read the posts on this thread and find most are in agreement the junk rig has many positive attributes,more than negative.What are the points you find dead wrong svwillow?Most like to stay with a rig that is more common,and not be viewed as an counterculture sailor.Trimming the sails is very easy and not a constant struggle,when sailing to Hawaii and back, very little trimming was done for days.More sail area aloft is a plus in larger seas ,so to catch more wind.The problem with the marconi rig,especailly on smaller boats is lack of sail area where the wind is(at the crest of swell).The traditional Chinese junk hull shape is based on that of a duck.They were viewed bobbing around in extreme weather as the most stable shape for the sea.I think pointing ability has more to do with hull design than sail design.It is far easier for singlehanding as well because you never have to leave the cockpit or touch the sails,and there are no large headsails needing strong arms at the sheet winch.
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Old 17-02-2012, 02:41   #45
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pirate Re: Junk Rigs

my five cents,
I did it, I will buy one
a Colvin Gazelle can easily sailed single handed, it counts out for me most arguments against it. I do like cruising not racing. It is easy to repair too. It needs no expensive hardware and tons of winches, for really blue water cruising an argument...........I will have tools and even a sewing machine with a walking foot on board

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