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Old 03-11-2010, 18:54   #1
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Adding Square Sails ?

I have been looking at ketches lately and found several that have "trade wind sails" one or two square sails on the main mast for running (and from some of the pictures reaching as well) I was wondering is it possible to add these on to a normal ketch or is it a completely different rig?
Also, is there any advantage to them over a spinnaker besides the "shippy" look?
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Old 03-11-2010, 19:02   #2
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Are you talking about having a yard to hoist up the mast? It might look romantic but I don't know how you would stow it for going to weather.
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Old 03-11-2010, 20:06   #3
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Something like this:

Kind of like this one but..

Just like this one.

And one with out the square sail (but with the yard)

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-11-2010, 20:41   #4
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Thanks a lot, now I'll be broke for the rest of my life.
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Old 04-11-2010, 16:15   #5
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Squares require a very different type of rig than most modern sailboats have. You will notice that yards are always near cross trees so that they can freely rotate without hitting shrouds. If you put a yard near the spreaders on a modern boat, it wouldn't be able to rotate because of the cap shrouds.

Square sails are great downwind, you can't accidentally gybe one and they do provide decent area. However, the twistle rig will give you much more sail area much more easily.

Then there is the issue of how you strike and set a square. On a reasonably sized cruising boat, going aloft probably isn't a great option. There are ways to set them from the deck and there are also ways to brail them up from the deck which would probably be best.

I can't see a good justification besides "because I want one" on a normal sized cruising boat.
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Old 04-11-2010, 17:46   #6
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I have often wondered if you could modify a roller furler for the purpose, but it would add a fair amount of windage aloft as well as weight.
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Old 05-11-2010, 19:11   #7
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Yes, you can do roller furling on square sails. Some of the modern square riggers that are set up for passengers have giant hydraulic roller furlers in them. It would certainly take some thought as to how you lay it out.

There are a few passenger vessels around that have a few yards on them. You might get some ideas if you signed up to sail on one for a few days. Unfortunately, very few will let you go aloft. Many of them do not fly their squares if they are daysailing simply due to the complexity of it too.
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Old 05-11-2010, 19:52   #8
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Seems like a hole lot of trouble for not much advantage.
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Old 05-11-2010, 20:58   #9
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Yeah, not real practical, but it sure looks salty, doesn't it?
I still want to look into kite sails. Looked at the twistle rig and that's a lot of stuff.
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Old 05-11-2010, 21:18   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don1500 View Post
Seems like a hole lot of trouble for not much advantage.
Sigh, doesn't that describe most of boating?

I wonder if squares (carefully rigged) would be easier for single/short-handing then a spinnaker or whisker pole?

I really love the salty look and would be willing to put up with a fair amount of trouble for it.(I think, easier said now then when fighting with it in squall)
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Old 05-11-2010, 22:16   #11
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Well, having sailed square riggers (up to 295 feet), they are not TOO complicated. They do require at least one yard, and a few more lines than a spinnaker would. It wouldn't be too hard to have a course (lowest square sail, loose footed) set from the deck with a jib haliard. You'd need braces on each side of the yard to control the angle. Then, you'd need sheets attached to the clews of the sail leading aft, and tacks attached at the same points leading forward. The rest of the lines, bowlines, brailes, clewlines, reeflines, etc. are not completely necessary on a small rig. Just realize that when you douse the sail, you'll have a little mess on deck to clean up. Also, there are 4 lines (2 on each side) leading aft, probably best to where spinny gear would go, and another two as far forward as possible. Not knowing your rig, it's hard to say how efficient this could be done. I had a friend that put two extra sails on the mainmast of CGC Eagle above the royals. The first yard was a broomstick, and the sail was a bed sheet. The second yard was a chopstick and I believe a hankerchief was the sail. OK, mostly for look, but the main point is these sails don't have to be the most complicated. Think more of a viking ship's sail, instead of the more complex rigs of the 18th Century. Of course, whether they'd be efficient or not on your boat is anyone's guess. But if you're just in it for the look...

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Old 05-11-2010, 22:26   #12
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BTW, the two ships you pictured are not cruising boats that have been converted to square sail rigs. They were designed for them in the first place. I'm not as familiar with the second one, but the first picture is of the Royaliste. And, if you have the money, she's for sale. Royaliste - Gaff Rigged Square Tops'l Tall Ship. Additionally, beyond square sails, she has cannons, which add more profoundly to the look, and sound, of a traditional rigged boat.
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Old 05-11-2010, 23:47   #13
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Cannons?? OH YEAH!!
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Old 06-11-2010, 00:04   #14
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Awesome

Nothing goes to windward like a Peterbuilt!! Good line. Those canons look like a lot of rust wating to happen though ...
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Old 06-11-2010, 00:16   #15
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Great line, I have one of those too. 1981 Peterbilt 359, 3406B Cat, 13 spd double over, 3:36 gears.
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