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Old 24-11-2015, 23:21   #46
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Our gaff vang--the wonderfully useful but wiley little monster that it is, rigged from the end of the gaff boom up to a block on the mainmast works wonderfully but when we're running or broad reaching in gentle winds and rolling seas we'll find the loose bight wrapping itself around things--always low down like the fife rail pins or such since there is little for it to hang up on above. We have the end run to the cockpit for adjusting while underway and take it forward when dousing the sail. Not sure how the extra end -- forward? is useful other than if we kept enough line on that end, we'd be able to douse the sail w/o releasing the other end...hum...

What I'd REALLY like to have is the ability to downhaul using the gaff vang since our gaff boom has the amazing ability to keep the sail up when we're dousing it. Often we pull down on the leech of the sail to get it down that last 10 feet or so. If your gaff vang is FIXED at the end, the forward section could do just as I describe. That could be useful...is that what you're talking about?
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Old 25-11-2015, 00:24   #47
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Ok, so you have the old coventional style, and when you drop the main you have to ease the vang. And when you raise it you need to take in all the slack. The two benefits of my system are as you raise and lower the sail it needs minimal tending, paying out from the luff as the sail drops, and vice versa, and any jams aloft can be released from the other end. It can also be adjusted from both ends if needed, athough normally we just use the aft end near the cockpit. But we could run the fwd end aft to remove a lot of the garrotting potential.

The fairleads on the aft shrouds reduce the hanging bight of rope problem somewhat.

If raising, lowering or reefing downwind the vang stops the gaff jamming against the shrouds. Decent vangs are a big plus for any two masted gaffer. Especially on a ketch where they also effectively control the topsail angle, and control the gaff nicely when gybing. We use the vang to depower the rig in puffs, a foot of ease spills the wind nicely, and when the puff passes we can quickly power up. Much like a modern yacht uses a traveller.

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Old 25-11-2015, 00:34   #48
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Ohh, we use our topsail sheet to help pull down the gaff main. I guess you could make a neat downhaul by running a line up the luff to the throat, then along the gaff and down to the clew, but it's just one more bit of rope to tangle or go round the prop. I'd work on ways to make things more slippery. Also I often use the reef lines to pull the leech down if needed.

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Old 25-11-2015, 01:37   #49
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Back when Panope was schooner rigged, we had a very simple fore gaff vang set-up. It was nothing more than a single verticle line. One end of the vang was fixed to the main mast head. The working end passed through a fairlead on the fore gaff peak. The working end was then belayed at the base of main mast.

If the vang was eased a little, the fore sail could be raised and lowered without touching the vang and it was also self tending when tacking.

If no vang was desired, it was a snap to unreeve the fairlead prior to raising sail.

The boat being winchless, it took considerable effort to harden up the vang when close hauled. Pointing up for a moment made that easier.

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Old 25-11-2015, 02:11   #50
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Thanks Steve, That's another solution that we tried first, it worked, but doesn't have the same mechanical advantage when the gaff is sheeted in tight, and the downward part tends to sweep the deck. But it's another good option that's well worth trying.
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Old 25-11-2015, 03:07   #51
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

This looks like a nice gaff rigged steel double ende, and it's for sale:


European Yachting Network - Check this Colin Archer Noorse Jol (Sail boat from 1976) ? 49.000,00


Should push a lot of buttons with some people...
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Old 25-11-2015, 07:26   #52
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

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Thanks Steve, That's another solution that we tried first, it worked, but doesn't have the same mechanical advantage when the gaff is sheeted in tight, and the downward part tends to sweep the deck. But it's another good option that's well worth trying.
Snow, Yep, it was not a very powerful arrangement. I guess it worked for us because the fore sail was quite small at about 200 square feet or so.

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Old 25-11-2015, 18:43   #53
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

If we would just put a couple fairleads on the front of the mainmast, we'd likely not have an loops of sail catching on the fife rail as we do in certain conditions.

Can't really make things more "slippery" it's just the sail catching some wind as it's coming down and the gaff deciding to stay aloft rather than join us down on deck. We rarely drop sail pointing into the wind--that's certainly a little bit of the problem but one I'm happy to deal with because I prefer the "practice" of dealing with sails in less than ideal conditions to lining us up, oh so carefully into the wind, to do our work. A pull on the leech and down it comes. We've usually got the sail part-way down (beyond the help of reefing lines as downhauls) when this happens.

We do have jib sheet winches but the gaff vang finds itself winchless and indeed it is difficult to haul in if there's a blow on. We have 500-ish sf on that gaff fore sail, it is smaller than the mainsail. Either have to luff up, or if running that doesn't help so one of us swigs while the other tails. I manage the vang so carefully -- never completely free to let the sail go to the shrouds -- that the worst that can happen is that the twist is spilling more wind than I'd like. If winds are high, I'm no so concerned about that.

That wicked gaff vang, while my bane in calms, is the workhorse of keeping me from damaging the rig in high winds. I had an accidental gibe with staysail and gaff foresail up (jib and main were doused as winds were in the high 30's blowing gusts into the low 50's) with rough seas and gusty winds of varying direction. Nasty night, couldn't see a thing and essentially the big rolly seas were hitting us from two directions --one of which was beam on, the other behind us. The fore boom was prevented which kept it to leeward until--well, the preventer broker. well, no it wasn't the preventer it was the lowly pin in the rack that it was prevented to (shoulda been prevented to a cleat) that broke. Two accidental gibes actually if you count the one to get back onto the correct tack. The much hated --and then much loved -- gaff vang kept the sail from taking a full load as the gaff would have certainly thwacked all the way over to the winward shroud--I've seen other boats have it happen with gaff boom plastered on one shroud and the twist in the middle as the regular boom comes back over to the other/leeward side--rip. Thankfully, the gaff vang kept us from such a fate and I can just chuckle about the story and all that transpired rather than recount the difficulties of getting the sail down and dealt with in that particularly nasty spring gale. Gotta love your gaff vangs.
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Old 26-11-2015, 15:59   #54
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Ohh, we use our topsail sheet to help pull down the gaff main. I guess you could make a neat downhaul by running a line up the luff to the throat, then along the gaff and down to the clew, but it's just one more bit of rope to tangle or go round the prop. I'd work on ways to make things more slippery. Also I often use the reef lines to pull the leech down if needed
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Lol "sage advice " on any gaffer !
After "wrapping " prop with a down haul that was thread through the luff laceing , we decided that slippery is a good option . We located a piece of 11" dia hdp poly pipe and cut into rings to be used as mast hoops . What a difference !! . Now reefing ( even off wind ) something that used give us fits is totally manageable.
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Old 26-11-2015, 23:55   #55
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

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Originally Posted by Stonefloat View Post
Lol "sage advice " on any gaffer !
After "wrapping " prop with a down haul that was thread through the luff laceing , we decided that slippery is a good option . We located a piece of 11" dia hdp poly pipe and cut into rings to be used as mast hoops . What a difference !! . Now reefing ( even off wind ) something that used give us fits is totally manageable.
Cheers , Stonefloat
That's interesting and since I only have experience with this single gaffer I don't know what the norm is. We had been told NOT to use lacings though. We've never had a problem with the leathered mast hoops (and gaff saddle)at the throat of the gaff coming down--it is the sail itself keeping the gaft boom staying up and flying. As mentioned, we seldom are pointed into the wind when dousing the sail. If we are, then usually the sail drops nicely though. Typically the throat (with a heavy bronze and steel, leathered saddle) wants to fall quickly--too quickly compared to the rest of the boom--so we're actually slowing down it's decent whist waiting for the rest of the boom to catch up. Both are 4:1 purchase and similar blocks providing similar friction on the similar lines as well.
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Old 27-11-2015, 01:02   #56
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Yeah, the leach can flop over and hook up on the lazy jacks at times. Normally running it isn't a big problem to sheet the sail in and pull the last bit down by hand. Or on a ketchup you just run down untill the sail is blanketed behind the mizzen and gybe it over in the windshadow. But by this time most of the power is out of the sail, so it's only a minor nuisance. I've used the same windshadow trick to reef a gaff main downwind and for gybing. I guess this is when th self tending bangs really help, holding the gaff in place while you drop it.

Saggy lazy jacks don't help much either, the weight is better to be on the toppinglift part, not the lazyjack parts.

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Old 27-11-2015, 01:41   #57
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Often thought spectra or even (shock horror) black plastic covered topping lifts would really help the gaff sail come down when it's plastered against the topping lift/lazy jacks. Maybe even separating the lazy jacks from the toppers could help create a nice smooth incline for the sail to slide over? Or the traditional style that all radiate from one place on the topping lift gives the sail only one spot to hang up. BTW that black plastic irrigation tubing makes the best antichafe. It's not traditional, but it works a treat and is cheap, quick, and effective. We put it over our runners, and shrouds.

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Old 27-11-2015, 12:28   #58
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

I'd say the whole "doesn't come down" issue is more a nuisance than much of anything else.

When I think about it, I do have to admit that the hang up comes as much from rolly seas as the sail is dropping as from the winds, too--because as you note, if it catches on a lazy jack, there it stays for a bit -- especially is there's just enough wind to pull a little bubble of sail over the lift or jack. Annoyance rather than something to do anything about though.
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Old 27-11-2015, 17:19   #59
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Indeed, certainly nice with a gaffer not to have the big batten catching on lazy Jack, or under spreader issues, and at least it comes down most of the way on its own downwind without fancy battcars..

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Old 28-11-2015, 12:12   #60
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

[QUOTE=Schooner Chandlery;1972816]I'd say the whole "doesn't come down" issue is more a nuisance than much of anything else.

Yes I'd say your quite right, like anything that you spend time on always looking for a simple effective way. I found some buff colored vectran (I believe) that worked much better for the lazyjacks
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