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Old 26-05-2020, 12:28   #1
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Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Iíve been looking at older models and their different rig system (sloop, solent, cutter, fractional, etc). Iíve also been reading different sources about their differences, pros and cons (things I know, things I didnít know and many questions).

Yes, I can get the basic info on line, but I wanted to hear (well, read) the opinion of experienced sailors about fractional-rigged sloop whether you had one of this type or not.

Thanks!
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Old 26-05-2020, 15:33   #2
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Fractional is superior , large main with small non overlapping headsails

Faster, easier to use and the fractional rig compliments modern sails and sail handling system

Fractional is So superior that you rarely see a modern masthead rig
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Old 26-05-2020, 19:19   #3
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

How I think about this is different from slug.

We have a fractional rigged sloop. She is western red cedar, modern composite construction. And, she has a Solent Stay.

We run a 120 on the forestay, on a furler, and now, we have the staysail on a furler as well.

What I think is most important is how you plan to use your boat. If you're coastal cruising, the fractional rig will probably never offer you any difficulties. However, if you want to cross large stretches of open salt water, then, I think having swept back spreaders is not optimal, if you prefer to sail your rhumb line courses. This is because so many of us prefer to sail off the wind, and so often, for us, over the years, this has meant the dreaded "dead downwind". The swept back spreaders keep you from winging the main out all the way, whereas the in line ones don't. The swept back spreaders also offer plenty of opportunity for chafe, on your mainsail, when you do have the main out nearly as far as it can go. With in line spreaders, you can wing out the main further, without chafe, and the further out it is, the less likely to accidentally gybe. (Note, our boom is rigged with double preventers, which we always rig below 140 deg apparent.) Coastally, one would probably just sail higher (and faster) and gybe downwind on some schedule, or according to which is the favored gybe for heading for port. Different strategies for different places, of course. [My avatar pic shows us romping along well off the wind, doing reasonable boat speed, for us.]

For the people who use wind vanes, and where the winds are pretty consistent, you might go all night long without having to adjust the wind vane, off the wind. When there are only two of you on passages, whatever you can do to reduce fatigue is a bonus, and so a simpler rig can be a godsend.

Ann
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Old 27-05-2020, 02:23   #4
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Everything is a compromise

Aft swept spreaders complicate mainsail trim.... but benefit. a small crew and make for a simpler deck layout

It’s very challenging to single Hand jibe an in line spreader , running backstay , rig

With aft swept spreaders you accept that you will sail downwind with the main reefed and over trimmed in order to minimize sail chafe

Designers know this so they optimize fore sail combinations to compensate for the over trimmed mainsail
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Old 27-05-2020, 03:18   #5
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

The pic in slugs post may as well be masthead, it's about 15/16ths.
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Old 27-05-2020, 04:51   #6
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by slug View Post
Fractional is superior , large main with small non overlapping headsails



Faster, easier to use and the fractional rig compliments modern sails and sail handling system



Fractional is So superior that you rarely see a modern masthead rig


I had the same initial ideas.
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Old 27-05-2020, 05:01   #7
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
How I think about this is different from slug.

We have a fractional rigged sloop. She is western red cedar, modern composite construction. And, she has a Solent Stay.

We run a 120 on the forestay, on a furler, and now, we have the staysail on a furler as well.

What I think is most important is how you plan to use your boat. If you're coastal cruising, the fractional rig will probably never offer you any difficulties. However, if you want to cross large stretches of open salt water, then, I think having swept back spreaders is not optimal, if you prefer to sail your rhumb line courses. This is because so many of us prefer to sail off the wind, and so often, for us, over the years, this has meant the dreaded "dead downwind". The swept back spreaders keep you from winging the main out all the way, whereas the in line ones don't. The swept back spreaders also offer plenty of opportunity for chafe, on your mainsail, when you do have the main out nearly as far as it can go. With in line spreaders, you can wing out the main further, without chafe, and the further out it is, the less likely to accidentally gybe. (Note, our boom is rigged with double preventers, which we always rig below 140 deg apparent.) Coastally, one would probably just sail higher (and faster) and gybe downwind on some schedule, or according to which is the favored gybe for heading for port. Different strategies for different places, of course. [My avatar pic shows us romping along well off the wind, doing reasonable boat speed, for us.]

For the people who use wind vanes, and where the winds are pretty consistent, you might go all night long without having to adjust the wind vane, off the wind. When there are only two of you on passages, whatever you can do to reduce fatigue is a bonus, and so a simpler rig can be a godsend.

Ann


True and good points. I was reading an older article in Attainable Adventure Cruising by Colin Speedie (Parallel ir Swept Back Spreaders?Ē Where he presents same concerns.
I would be more limited to broad reaching in reality....
thank you for your expertise, Ann!
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Old 27-05-2020, 06:15   #8
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

I’ve had both and the biggest advantage of fractional rigged boats is that you can get away with having one to two jibs, whereby a mast head rig you will need 4-5. On my old UFO 34 we had a No 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 jibs. We use to run the No 2 as the most used jib, which means we were underpowered in less than 7 knots and overpowered in more than 15 knots. On my current HR40 we reef the main way before the jib, so effectively the one jib can be used from 0 to 25 knots. Above 25 knots we switch to the staysail on the removable forestay.

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Old 27-05-2020, 06:26   #9
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

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Originally Posted by ilenart View Post
Iíve had both and the biggest advantage of fractional rigged boats is that you can get away with having one to two jibs, whereby a mast head rig you will need 4-5. On my old UFO 34 we had a No 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 jibs. We use to run the No 2 as the most used jib, which means we were underpowered in less than 7 knots and overpowered in more than 15 knots. On my current HR40 we reef the main way before the jib, so effectively the one jib can be used from 0 to 25 knots. Above 25 knots we switch to the staysail on the removable forestay.

Ilenart


Hmmm, very interesting info! Thank you!
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Old 27-05-2020, 15:24   #10
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Hi DanCan,
There's a bit of loose terminology getting used here.
I have a 12m fractional sloop designed more than 40 years ago; the design sailplan is 150% #1, 130% #2 (both obviously overlapping) and 110% #3, non overlapping which is the sail I use pretty much all the time single or short handed BUT there is a penalty in lighter airs which would be significant in long passage making.

This is the way fractional rigs were then, and until not so many years ago. The forestay terminated, on a 12m boat typically 3m or so from the mast head, hence the old terms 3/4 or 7/8 rig as a descriptor of HOW fractional a rig was. When the trend to non-overlapping headsails started, to maximize the sail area in the fore-triangle, the forestay was pushed up back almost to the masthead and J increased. This reduced the amount the area of the main had to be increased to maintain total sail area and balance. Designers were also then able to take the chain-plates out to the gunwale; good outcome.

These older fractional rigs usually, but not always had swept back spreaders, as do the modern rigs which from the practical point of view should really be thought of as non-overlapping mast-head rigs with swept back spreaders.
What you probably should be looking for is a boat DESIGNED with non-overlapping head-sails and with swept back spreaders, although take note of what some previous post have to say about the limitations of swept back spreaders.

Rgds
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Old 27-05-2020, 16:07   #11
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draughty View Post
Hi DanCan,

There's a bit of loose terminology getting used here.

I have a 12m fractional sloop designed more than 40 years ago; the design sailplan is 150% #1, 130% #2 (both obviously overlapping) and 110% #3, non overlapping which is the sail I use pretty much all the time single or short handed BUT there is a penalty in lighter airs which would be significant in long passage making.



This is the way fractional rigs were then, and until not so many years ago. The forestay terminated, on a 12m boat typically 3m or so from the mast head, hence the old terms 3/4 or 7/8 rig as a descriptor of HOW fractional a rig was. When the trend to non-overlapping headsails started, to maximize the sail area in the fore-triangle, the forestay was pushed up back almost to the masthead and J increased. This reduced the amount the area of the main had to be increased to maintain total sail area and balance. Designers were also then able to take the chain-plates out to the gunwale; good outcome.



These older fractional rigs usually, but not always had swept back spreaders, as do the modern rigs which from the practical point of view should really be thought of as non-overlapping mast-head rigs with swept back spreaders.

What you probably should be looking for is a boat DESIGNED with non-overlapping head-sails and with swept back spreaders, although take note of what some previous post have to say about the limitations of swept back spreaders.



Rgds


I really did not know the backstory of it and your info is very much appreciated. Many things to weigh on now. More info, better decisions, right? Again, many thanks!
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Old 27-05-2020, 17:30   #12
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Another thing about swept back spreaders is the superior support for the mast that is available. On our boat we can (and have done) remove forestay, Solent stay and baby stay without fearing the mast will fall over. This is handy when lifting in a smallish travel lift and when renewing bits of the rigging.

Means that the shroud chainplates must be pretty stout, though!

And one other good thing about many fractional rigs is that they sail well on main alone, something we've not enjoyed on the various masthead rigs we've owned. Really useful for slowly tacking your way into an anchorage... or when you are just feeling lazy!

Jim
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Old 27-05-2020, 18:31   #13
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

Fractional rig boats can be awesome. Big mainsail eliminates need for flimsy nylons flown downwind. Upwind, the thing will just smoke.


Have sailed fractional nordic / international Folkboats. Outstanding simplicity, ability and fun factor.


Many modern racers are also fractional rig.


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Old 27-05-2020, 19:01   #14
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

DanCan it really depends what sort of sailor you are when it comes to rig types.I am not "into" sailing so I started falling alseep reading all these well informed opinions. For me fractional or masthead either will do as long as the yacht goes forward and our autopilot can handle the load.
If you like the yacht, learn to live with the rig it has.
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Old 27-05-2020, 19:09   #15
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Re: Fractional-rigged sloop boat

We have a fractional rig without swept-back spreaders. Works for us, even with a 152% genoa.
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