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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.
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.
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.
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