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
September 2015 – John and Suzy Lee Cornicelli’s Persephone

This month's BOTM is something a little larger and perhaps more conventional - John and Suzy Lee Cornicelli's 42' Colvin Gazelle, Persephone.

John says:

Persephone is a modified, Tom Colvin-designed "Gazelle", pilothouse junk schooner.  Her steel hull was built in St Augustine, Florida, but we found her in Galveston needing complete refit and re-rigging.  After two years of patient advice from JRA members, and from local steel boat captains, we were sailing.  Our experimental auxiliary is an 11-kilowatt electric motor mated to a controllable-pitch propeller, salvaged from an Sabb diesel.Unable to decide on a name, we gave the job to my 10-year-old daughter Catherine.  With a committee of friends, she examined a library of Greek mythology, Harry Potter and Patrick O'Brian.  Greek mythology won, thank god:  I couldn't bear radioing Hermione Granger to the Coast Guard.

I grew up sailing small boats and working riverboats; Suzy (left) is from Florida, so we’re both attracted to water and although we’re new to schooners, Persephone has been patient with us.  We sail the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay, with challenging tides, currents, radical depth changes and fluky winds, but we enjoy teaching the kids boat handling, navigation, and seamanship, supervised by our morale officer, Sally the Wonder Puppy (left).  Handing a 50' schooner's helm to Valerie (age 9), while we make coffee, is pretty easy with junk rig, although an unplanned jibe can turn into Horatio Hornblower wearing ship.  She is very a forgiving vessel: tacking or wearing are single-handed jobs, and repairs under sail are easy.  Learning to balance our schooner has been most rewarding and Persephone tells us when she's happy.  We've run aground only twice: on her maiden voyage and in front of George Washington’s house, god help us.
One day we will do long distance cruising, but for now the voyaging world comes to us: after the motor boaters go home on Sunday, leaving us alone with our little bays and rivers, they’re replaced by yachts passing through during the hurricane season, sailing from Europe to the Caribbean and back.  We get the chance to visit boats and share recipes and wine.

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.
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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