Welcome to the Junk Rig Association (JRA)

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Search engines seem to track our entire lives. Some also trawl the web for images. Here are some that Google found on 14th March 2015. Click the mosaic for today's update - there are lots to explore.
      google images update

Formed in 1979 at the Southampton Boat Show by a group of junk rig enthusiasts, the JRA (Junk Rig Association) is for its members and about their boats and their rigs. We aim to: promote the use of the junk rig by encouraging members to organise 'rallies' and 'junkets' (see About Us) and via our tri-annual Magazine and this site; encourage the development of junk and related rigs, the building or conversion of boats to the junk rig, and the use of vessels with the rig or its derivatives; create an international community of people who've already 'junked' their boat, are thinking of doing so, or are just interested in learning what it's all about.  

Summing that up, our main job is to get the rig talked about. Former Chairman David Tyler certainly helped there: the Ocean Cruising Club recently awarded him their Rose Medal "for the most meritorious short-handed ...and exceptional voyage on board Tystie [from the UK to New Zealand]. You will  have inspired many others, some of whom may well adopt a junk rig." David's follow-up voyage to and around Alaska was tracked here

Junk Rig Glossary

The final version of the Junk Rig Glossary is now available and can be found under the Junk Information menu, or directly here.  This Glossary lists all the terms related to the junk rig, its implementation and use.

Where are we based?

We were formed in the UK, and although our 'office' address and banking remains in the UK we are run by an increasingly international Committee via the Internet. A number of posts become vacant every year, at the AGM, so if you choose to join you could also put your name forward to help run the 'club'. It doesn't run itself. Our membership is now more than   50% outside the UK. Click the chart for detail.

Boat of the Month

Feb 2017 Fou Po and Fou Po II 1932-35

 Éric de Bisschop was the first in a line of 20th century French sailing heroes. In the early 1930s, with his friend Joseph Tatibouet, he built a 40 ton, 60 ft. Ningpo junk some 1,000km up the Yangtze river. The two then sailed this junk, Fou Po (above), around the Indonesian Archipelago, studying currents and investigating the possibility (and his belief) that the South Pacific islands were colonised from southeast Asia. After being shipwrecked on Formosa during a typhoon in 1932, de Bisschop and Tatibouet immediately set about building a replacement to continue their studies.

The replacement was Fou Po II (left), a smaller 44 ft. junk of 13 tons, and much better-suited to their needs. Fou Po II  was in fact a typical fishing junk of Amoy. De Bisschop expressed the opinion "Such a ship embodies the science of all the ages; it is extremely seaworthy, does not ship a drop of water, it is spacious, easy to maneuver, and inexpensive to build".

In 1933 they continued their travels around the Phillipines and what is now Indonesia. In the Marshall Islands, in 1935, they were arrested as spies by the Japanese occupiers and jailed. After somehow talking their way out of prison, they continued their voyage and studies with a 2,500 mile trip to Hawaii. During this voyage, they discovered their stock of food was spoiled, having had the seals broken open during searches by their Japanese captors. They barely reached Hawaii, close to death by starvation.

While they were recovering in hospital, Fou Po II was destroyed by a storm along with the results of all their scientific studies. The shock nearly broke de Bisschop: "Three years of study lost, everything is lost ... I cried like a beaten child ...". At a time when few Westerners put to sea in small boats, they had travelled over 10,000 miles in a native junk, mostly against prevailing currents and winds.

On recovery the pair went to Honolulu and built a Polynesian sea-going double canoe Kaimiloa (see JRA Magazine issue 45). In this craft, also junk rigged, they sailed south through the Pacific, passed through the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, and into the Indian Ocean. They then sailed on back to France via Cape Town to a hero's welcome. From Hawaii they had sailed a further 19,000 miles in 14 months, crossed most of three oceans, and demonstrated the total fitness of two different types of native craft, both junk rigged, for the largest-scale ocean voyages.

Right: de Bisschop & Tatibouet aboard Fou Po II.

Photo credits:

Les confessions de Tatibouet by Francois de Pierrefeu, Librairie Plon, Paris, 1939.

Kaimiloa by Eric de Bisschop, Librairie Plon, Paris, 1939.

Our Boat of the Month Archive is here.

Get Started

Via this page you can, even as a non-member, access many of our resources and explore our services.

To get full access you'll need to become a member - click JOIN US in the menu on the left.

Some of the things you can do even before you join include:
  • Download Ash Woods'  easy-to read Beginners' Tour [pdf, 108 Kb]. Ash wrote this for us while he was still a 'newbie'. Thanks, Ash.
  • Watch a YouTube presentation created as a junk intro for yacht clubs, odownload as a pdf [7 Mb].
  • Download Arne Kverneland's pdf [987 Kb] 'Junk Rig for Beginners' in English or French. Arne has put much thought and energy into developing cambered panel rigs. This article - one of many which you can find here - goes back to basics. It's a great read before you tackle something just as essential - Hasler/McLeods' bible Practical Junk Rig.
  • Explore membership benefits in About Us - scroll up until you see the menu on the left.
  • Find out about junks in Junk Information.
  • Browse some of the latest forum posts (right).
  • Check out photographs of members' boats in our own ever-expanding Photo Gallery.

  • Watch these Google videos or see some stills by clicking on the mosaic at the top of this page.
  • Use the search box below to explore the public pages of the site.

So lower your sails (easy in a junk) and Join Us. For how to see the menu on the left). We're great value.

Converting your boat to junk rig is the best thing you can do to improve her safety and efficiency!


The adjacent posts are from selected public fora. To see all the public posts, use the menu at the left.

Only members can post on this site. On members' pages they are attributed by name, but in 'open' fora such as those used here, they may be shown as 'Anonymous' for reasons of privacy and security.
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       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

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