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Old 12-11-2009, 01:01   #1
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Can You Junk Rig a Cabin Cruiser?

I understand that a Chinese junk rig does not have the heeling pressure of a Bermuda rig. So can a person use a junk rig to sail a cabin cruiser ??? I would appreciate any ones in sight and thoughts on this.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:28   #2
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Junk rigs on cabin cruisers were in vogue around the 80's in the UK. Some sailed very well, probably because the owners took the time to really learn and tune their rig.

I found this site that may help.

Junk Rig the ideal cruising sail.

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Old 12-11-2009, 05:00   #3
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Well, one could put a sail rig of any kind on most any kind of boat. Whether a junk rig would be practical on a particular boat would depend on several factors including:

- the size, height, center of effort of the sail plan
- center of gravity, stability, buoyancy, hull shape of the boat
- strength of the hull and topsides where the rig would be mounted, stays/chain plates installed.

So the safety and usefulness of adding the rig to a cabin cruiser I think would very much depend on which cabin cruiser and the intended use. Can't think of any cabin cruise I would junk rig and sail around the Horn.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:15   #4
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Like squeezing a wet pumpkin seed, a sailboat goes to weather when it can resist the sideways force of the wind. So a keel of some sort is required: without it, a hull can't go any closer to the wind than the old Galleons could. It just blows sideways.

But that was good enough for the Conquistadores.

A junk rig has less healing force because it's center of pressure is not as high as a sloop rig might be. That just says the middle of the sail is lower.

So: yes you can put any kind of sail you want on a 'cabin cruiser' and it will go down wind. Of course. it will go downwind without a sail, too. If the sail is bigger than a kite, it may make the boat flop all over the place, and the tiny rudders on a lot of power boats won't work very well, they were meant to operate in the high-speed flow of the propeller(s).

Add a keel to resist sideways motion, more rudder area to work in slow speed water, and a mast that can stand a lot of wind force, and you have a sailboat, but one that will fall over on its side because it doesn't have ballast or outriggers to keep it upright!

Okay, add a mast, a heavy keel, a rudder, some winches to deal with the really big loads, and you have...

A really ugly sailboat! And you've spent a ridiculous amount of time and money to get one that doesn't sail worth a tinker's damn because the hull shape is wrong.

Morale: If you want a sailboat, buy or build one. If you have a 'cabin cruiser' and you want a sailboat, sell the cabin cruiser and buy or build a sailboat. If you like the look of a junk rig, get a junk rig. If you want to sail upwind better, buy a better sailing rig. There is a reason why motor-sailors look more like sailboats than motor boats, and it has to do with suiting the design to deal with what Mother Nature provides for free rather than trying to beat Mother Nature into submission in a cloud of fumes! In the end, Mother Nature wins.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:56   #5
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I agree with the above. You could put a junk rig on a cruiser but why bother. It wouldn't be very efficient given the hull form of a cruiser, and you'd have to make all kinds of mods to the hull to get it to sail even half way decent. I think it would be better to find an old sailboat hull and start there.

My very first sailboat was a 12 foot cedar runabout that I bought for $50 sitting on the bottom of Frenchmans' Bay, Lake Ontario. I took it home, added a cuddy cabin, rudder and two leeboards alah the dutch fishing boats. My mast was a raw spruce tree trunk, peeled and oiled. I had a girlfriend help me with the sail, it was simple cotton sheet with wood battens. Junk rigged.

I actually sailed it once. Not very successfully. The problem I had was not so much with the sail as with the leeboards. I didn't have enough weight to them, and they wouldn't stay submerged. Sorta floated along in formation with the hull and as such they didn't do much to aid upwind or even on a reach. Perhaps I should be grateful that a snow plow crushed it in the yard that winter.

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Old 12-11-2009, 10:00   #6
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I suggest you goto Yahoo Groups and put in Junkrigs. All sensible life is here! Read Annie Hill, Arne K, Slieve G, David Tyler, Paul Fey etc etc all of whom are extremely hands on practical and have sailed many thousands of junk rigged miles...Well it is somewhere to start! David
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:10   #7
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Thank you all

Thank you all ! All of you answered my question with a lot of detail. I am going to purchase a sailboat in 2010. I had one a few years ago, but was interested on the possible cabin cruiser conversion. Now I can throw that idea out and concentrate on just sailboats. Thanks again to you all.
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junk rig

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