Welcome to the Junk Rig Association (JRA)


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Public and Members' Areas.

This is the public Home page. Members should log in top right. This should take you to the Members Area - also accessible using this link, or from the menu, left.

For help , first try HELP, then email the Webmaster

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.  

Members' photo gallery - hover mouse over image to pause slideshow

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

Apr 2017 Allen Farrell's
China Cloud

Allen Farrell, helped by his wife Sharie, has designed and built over forty graceful boats using only the simplest of hand tools. China Cloud, the last of these boats, is three-masted Chinese junk and based on the typical pole and trading junks of Fuchow (Fuzhou). She carries the balanced, retractable rudder typical of those vessels. Allen did the rough shaping with an axe and finished with a saw, a plane and a chisel. Built mainly of red cedar, she is light with a copper clad bottom, and is unballasted. For her first two years her sails were those made from an orange tarp that covered her building shed. Like many of the Farrells' vessels, China Cloud is engine free, being sculled with a yuloh.

In 1982 Allen wanted China Cloud ready to live aboard when Sharie returned from a stay in a hospital, so he launched her almost single handedly at Lasqueti Island, British Columbia, using block and tackle, around trees and rocks, and gradually down a steep slope to the water.

China Cloud is said to ride well with hardly any roll. Her swooping sheer, typical of the junks of Foochow, gives the helmsman good visibility forward. With a length on deck of 42 feet and a beam of 10 feet she draws only 2 feet 10 inches. Together with her twin bilge keels this make her ideal for the shallow waters of the Farrells' favourite cruising grounds in British Columbia.

Dan Rubin* says of her balance that it " allows China Cloud to turn virtually in her own length." He also mentions " her uncanny ability to sail at wind speed with the slightest breeze." In the same article he quotes Turkka Tuominen, a friend of the Farrells from Finland, who was at the helm of China Cloud as she made sail and got under way: "It's so easy. It cannot be this simple!" Dan Rubin describes China Cloud as the culmination of four decades of boatbuilding and sailing by her owners - and like them, she carries the accumulated wisdom of the years.

Allen and Sharie lived aboard China Cloud for 14 years, living largely from forage and managing on a shoe-string. Sharie passed away in 1996, leaving Allen to live his last few years on board China Cloud where he painted every day using the ships ladder as his easel. Allen died in 2002.

*Resolution, No. 32, the Journal of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, Summer 1996.

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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