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. Tystie and David are now in Canada.

Where are we based?

We were formed in the UK, and although our 'office' address and banking remains in the UKMembership distribution 14/07/2015 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

December 2015 – Graham Cox's Arion

With her sturdy lines and distinctive black sail, Graham Cox's steel Tom Thumb 24 Arion is somewhat iconic within the JRA. Having voyaged in the Pacific aboard a variety of craft, from a 6m bermudian sloop to a 35 tonne gaff schooner, it was always Graham's intention when he bought Arion's hull and deck in 1996 to give her a junk rig. In 2010-11, after sailing her for some years with her Bermudan rig, he went ahead with the plan.

Arion was given an aluminium utility-pole mast 200mm dia x 5mm wall, tapering to 110mm diameter at the top, sleeved for the first 1.5m and raked forward by 3º. The Hasler/McLeod sail, modified by Graham and David Tyler, is of black Odyssey III fabric. Using darts sewn into the luff and leech, the camber is 8-10% in the four lower panels, decreasing progressively in the upper three. The mast has been trouble-free, but after breaking an under-specified aluminium yard he built a new one from 100 x 3mm tube. The halyard is attached to the yard with a three point span to spread the load.

After some modification to luff parrels, Graham reported that the sail set beautifully and the camber seems just right. It has a fixed balance, about 15% at the tack decreasing to 10% at the throat, and the boat seems perfectly balanced on all points of sail. Driving hard downwind at maximum hull speed, 6 - 6.5 knots, in winds of 15 knots gusting to 20, showed the boat to be as well-mannered as it always was, with no sign of wanting to round up. He was delighted with the rig and amazed at how powerful it was.  Even in light airs the boat sails to windward as well as he could remember it ever doing before the conversion.

If ocean cruising he might be tempted by a flat sail, but a certain amount of close-quarters sailing is always required, even if just entering and leaving port. Sailing well in light airs and smooth seas is one of his great pleasures, and the light, soft Odyssey III material greatly enhances light air performance. He likens it to sailing with a drifter, yet the sail is strong enough to withstand considerable abuse*. Graham declares his rig conversion a success, and believes that the junk rig will keep him sailing longer than he might do with any other rig.

*Note: For the reason why Arion may soon revert to a flat junk sail, see this forum thread.

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.

Recent Posts

01 Dec 2015 09:04 • Anonymous member
26 Nov 2015 01:05 • Anonymous member
25 Nov 2015 22:36 • Anonymous member
22 Nov 2015 19:31 • Annie
19 Nov 2015 19:18 • Anonymous member

You can search the 'public' areas of the site using this Google box:

       " ...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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