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Old 19-10-2012, 13:04   #1
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New here, new to sailing, and had a question

Hello there! I have recently caught the bug to start sailing. I have a basic understanding of sailing and the way it works, specifically with modern rigging setups. The question I have is this:

The boat style I really want down the road is a square-rigger. How different a style is this to sail? I don't mean this from a maneuverability aspect. Is it the same as "Adjust the sails/boom while turning or when luffing" etc; or are there a lot of differences? Is this done in a similar manner? Is the method of rigging similar?

Sorry for all the questions. The bug hit me very recently and my wife admitted she has always wanted to learn to sail and to get a boat, so I have begun my active pursuit of lessons and acquiring a small practice boat before buying the "ship of the line", as it were.
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Old 19-10-2012, 13:20   #2
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

It's pretty impossible for a short handed crew to manage a square rigged vessel of any size. Additionally, they are terrible at sailing close to the wind so you'll spend a lot of your time on an engine unless you're just beam reaching back and forth. Further, because it's such a pain in the ass, you will be much slower to react for changing sailing conditions and will need to fabricate a lot of things yourself.

Modern hull and sail shapes, broadly, reflect advances in naval architecture that if Magellan had known about would have certainly used.

It's the equivalent of using a steam engine for your car. It's certainly possible, but you can imagine the amount of time you'll spend building and maintaining instead of actually driving.

If you like older vessels (I do too), you can find some modern-ish cutters and ketches, or even some yawls and schooners that will look very "old timey" but you wont be pounding oakum into seams with a mallet.

Even the old school shipwrights out here building the San Salvador are using West Systems epoxy and dropping a huge Yanmar in.
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Old 19-10-2012, 13:33   #3
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

I am not so particular about it being a square-rigger to be truthful. If practical situation for it arose, I would love to acquire one. I'd be satisfied with an old-looking wooden (in appearance, at least) ship along the lines of a 1700's ship. I won't lie: I am a huge huge buff of history, specifically Pirates and Vikings and the seafaring aspects of the cultures. It's also been a dream of mine for a long time to sail throug Cape Horn, but that's years down the road.
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Old 19-10-2012, 14:34   #4
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

Welcome to CF.

What Rebel said.

I would look at modern schooners, there were a LOT of pirates that sailed schooners and top sail sloops.

My wife loves the Vagabonds because they look like an old pirate ships to her.
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:15   #5
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

One thing you will notice from Square Riggers (and vessels from ye olde days) is that they had a lot of crew onboard. and they were mostly used to handle the sails......so, the answer is yes - they are handled in a different manner.

Plus they were ships. and therefore big!

But the good news is that you can still own style! and without needing dozens (or more!) of crew. and a full sized ship..........Google up Schooners and maybe also gaff rigs.
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Old 19-10-2012, 15:50   #6
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

Kind of pirate-ish.

2005 ALDEN SCHOONER Gaff Rigged Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com



Managing something like this, again, is a lot of work. I wouldn't feel comfortable singlehanding this or even with two people in anything other than a harbor cruise, and then then I'd probably just motor about.

Take a look at boats like mine which might interest you. Hans Christian 36's, Union Polaris 36, etc. It has the canoe stern, bowsprit, teak decks, and you can toss some red sails on to complete the look.
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Old 19-10-2012, 17:46   #7
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Kind of pirate-ish.

2005 ALDEN SCHOONER Gaff Rigged Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com



Managing something like this, again, is a lot of work. I wouldn't feel comfortable singlehanding this or even with two people in anything other than a harbor cruise, and then then I'd probably just motor about.

Take a look at boats like mine which might interest you. Hans Christian 36's, Union Polaris 36, etc. It has the canoe stern, bowsprit, teak decks, and you can toss some red sails on to complete the look.
Yup - I was gonna mention gaff rigs.

My brother's is a gaff rigged cutter. They handle it 2-up pretty well.
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Old 19-10-2012, 18:33   #8
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

How different is a gaff rig from a modern rig?
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Old 19-10-2012, 20:45   #9
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

Take a look at mid sized (36') 'Spray' designs. Originally designed by Bruce Roberts with heavy influence from Joshua Slocum's world girdling craft of the same name. Spray's litter the pages of brokers around the world. They are not speedsters, but they are a good cruising design and have a very definite old world charm. Even those with a marconi rig sloop of ketch evoke memories of sailing boats from a different era. Sprays can be found in timber, steel and glass and vary in price from virtually free to hundreds of thousands. Hope this helps.
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Old 20-10-2012, 04:52   #10
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Nydhog502.

Types of Sailboats – Sailboat Rigs
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Old 22-10-2012, 14:07   #11
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

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and you can toss some red sails on to complete the look.
I have read something about a merchant and a russian girl an red sails... Does red sails have another or 'real' meaning or so?
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Old 22-10-2012, 23:04   #12
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

If you want to go voyaging, you would be much better served with the modern rigs with roller furling sails and low maintenance materials like fiberglass. If you want a day sail boat that will require a few folks to help you sail each time you want to go out, then opt for a more traditional vessel.
Gaff rig has two halyards for each sail, usually inadequate winches (if any), but lots of blocks and tackles (and many hundreds of more feet of lines) to ease the work load and are generally slower and don't point as well as the modern rigs.
I sailed a 65' gaff ketch (1909) for 5.5 years in the South Seas and though I loved the vessel and had wonderful adventures aboard her, she was a whole lot of maintenance. We needed at least one other crew whenever we wanted to sail, so my wife and I had little time alone together.
It is not a good idea to let your eyes or emotions get involved in purchasing a boat; it should be a very practical decision based upon what you want to do with the boat, how much you want to work on it versus how much you want to sail and how many folks you need to sail with.
I can (and did for almost a year) single hand my present boat (53'); she certainly isn't the prettiest boat in any anchorage, but she took a hit from a container in a gale on the way to Bermuda without ANY damage what so ever and we are sailing in the Caribbean (and snorkeling, going on adventures ashore, or just hanging out) much more than we are working on her.
I don't want to put you off, but unless you are one of those who prefer to work on a boat (or those who prefer to build one) than sail on one, choose w/ care.
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Old 22-10-2012, 23:09   #13
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
It's pretty impossible for a short handed crew to manage a square rigged vessel of any size. Additionally, they are terrible at sailing close to the wind so you'll spend a lot of your time on an engine unless you're just beam reaching back and forth. Further, because it's such a pain in the ass, you will be much slower to react for changing sailing conditions and will need to fabricate a lot of things yourself.

Modern hull and sail shapes, broadly, reflect advances in naval architecture that if Magellan had known about would have certainly used.

It's the equivalent of using a steam engine for your car. It's certainly possible, but you can imagine the amount of time you'll spend building and maintaining instead of actually driving.
This is why God invented the trade winds.
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Old 22-10-2012, 23:39   #14
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pirate Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

Welcome to CF Nydhog502... your in the right place for tracking down your dreams... a lot of knowledge here.
Check out some Cheoy Lee's Clipper ketches as well... slightly different set-up but just as sweet to look at and sail....
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Old 23-10-2012, 10:22   #15
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Re: New here, new to sailing, and had a question

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Originally Posted by Nydhog502 View Post
I am not so particular about it being a square-rigger to be truthful. If practical situation for it arose, I would love to acquire one. I'd be satisfied with an old-looking wooden (in appearance, at least) ship along the lines of a 1700's ship. I won't lie: I am a huge huge buff of history, specifically Pirates and Vikings and the seafaring aspects of the cultures. It's also been a dream of mine for a long time to sail throug Cape Horn, but that's years down the road.
I for one would not want to sail Cape Horn with a gaff rig. My choice would be a sloop. Then again that appears not to be your cup of tea. If your heart rules your head with a boat purchase there is the potential you would want to eventually throw yourself overboard lol.
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