Engineless Junk

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  • 03 May 2017 23:16
    Reply # 4812983 on 4762649

    Thank you Arne, for the advice on how to handle upper and lower sheets.  I have learned something new, which is always a thrill.  When gybing, I like to haul the sheet in and flake it down on the cockpit seat, then put the tiller up and execute the gybe.  As the sail goes across, I then let the sheet run back out through my gloved hands.  The rope clutches would perform a similar function of acting as a soft brake on the sheet, provided you watch for tangles. 

    For an engineless junk, that must manoeuvre under sail at all times, these things are of vital interest, as there may not always be enough room to tack the boat around.  A small engine can do you a great service if you are a lazy sailor like me!

    By the way, I have tried hauling my halyard from the mast and am amazed at how much easier it is than hauling horizontally.  However, I prefer working from the cockpit, so must put up with the extra friction.

    Fair winds to you this summer.  Here in the southern hemisphere, winter is approaching, but I am in the tropics, so it is also my sailing season.

  • 03 May 2017 17:09
    Reply # 4812513 on 4762649
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Graham,

    Handling the upper and lower sheet on a junksail doesn’t need to be as complicated as it sounds. If one lets them pass through clutches before the (snubber) winches, one can haul in a bit on one tail, then just drop it and haul on the other, etc. My friend, Svein Magnus Ueland has upper-lower sheeting on the 70sqm mainsail of his Samson. In lighter winds he just grabs both sheets in one grip. In stronger winds, it is easier to sheet in the upper part of the sail first. Then the lower part will go quite slack, and this sheet can quickly be taken in afterwards.

    Btw, Svein hoists the mainsail at the mast, which is much more effective than pulling horizontally on the halyard while standing in the cockpit.

    Arne


    Samson


    Last modified: 03 May 2017 17:14 | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 03 May 2017 11:24
    Reply # 4811945 on 4810276
    Arne Kverneland wrote:

    Thanks, Graham for a very interesting posting. Choosing the right sail area, suited for the kind of sailing, the weather in the area, and not least to our physical limitations, is a central challenge.

    Frankly, I wonder if Lin Pardey may have been a bit unfair to Arion. From looking at their Seraffyn and Taleisin, it appears that the ‘clouds of light-air canvas’ mainly consists of a big jib, set on a long, permanently set bowsprit. Their masts are not very tall, and the triangular mainsail with no roach at the leech (no battens) is not big. These boats appear to be ‘pulled by the nose’. This tactics offloads the rudder on a reach. I once spotted Taleisin in a regatta on a wooden boat festival in Risør, and noticed how they had spread the canvas horizontally, rather than vertically. Taleisin looked much like a gaff cutter, which had just had the gaff removed.

    One big difference is that Lin and Larry were sailing Seraffyn together. Being two competent people on board makes everything a lot easier. Venturing out on the bowsprit to furl the jib (no rollers) is not for everyone, and to make it at least half-safe, a good helmsman is a must.

    The biggest junksail I have seen in use is the 80sqm sloop JR of the 37’ Peregrine (see NL 48). Even if the owner and crews were young and fit, they ended up adding an electric capstan, but then they managed very well ( I think the sheet was divided in an upper and lower part as well). The manual winch was kept as a backup.

    I think these electric capstans are brilliant. I have reckoned on it: The drain of the battery must be very low as hoisting lasts for just a couple of minutes (or less). They are quite reasonably priced as well.  I bet that solar panels or wind generators will easily manage to keep the battery topped up.

    With this ‘electric halyard’, and with the sheet divided in an upper and lower section, I think one can safely increase the sail area on a JR without adding another mast.

    The remaining challenge is to have enough rudder authority to cope when reaching and running. A capable rudder is the key to let one rig with a broader and bigger sloop JR.

    Arne

     

     



    Yes, you are right, Arne, the Pardey's light weather sails were all headsails set from the end of their bowsprits, albeit very effective in revving up light air performance.  No way I could get out to the end of that "widowmaker" at sea these days, and I even hated it as a young man, when I sailed from NZ to Tahiti on a gaff schooner.  These days I don't like to leave the cockpit.

    Peregrine's sail is impressive and looks a bit intimidating to me!  80 sq metres - wow!  I've been thinking of an electric winch or perhaps a Winchrite for my halyard, which would solve that problem.  The sheet is another matter.  Separate upper and lower sheets can be good for controlling twist as well as sharing loads, I am told.  It would be good if there was one person for each sheet.  Being a solo sailor, I'd still have to overhaul them both at the same time.  The ideal for me, as I get older and frailer, is to arrange the rig so it is effortless to sail at all times.  I am not quite there yet, though I have taken to tacking in fresh winds instead of gybing, like Ketil does, which solves my problem in an inefficient way.  (Once I have at least three panels reefed (20+ knots of wind), I find the sheet loads manageable.

    I'd like a boat with uncluttered decks that I sail from an enclosed central station, just a Jester pramhood to peer out of, then I could gybe with slack sheets.  If I sell Arion one of these days, I can think about it.  There is a flush-decked fibreglass International Folkboat for sale in Sydney for next to nothing, very run down.  It was set up as a daysailer with an open cockpit.  I could put a Jester style cabin over the open cockpit and leave the decks clear.  Not much room below compared to Arion but it would be a beautiful boat.  We'll see what happens!



  • 03 May 2017 10:31
    Reply # 4810276 on 4762649
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thanks, Graham for a very interesting posting. Choosing the right sail area, suited for the kind of sailing, the weather in the area, and not least to our physical limitations, is a central challenge.

    Frankly, I wonder if Lin Pardey may have been a bit unfair to Arion. From looking at their Seraffyn and Taleisin, it appears that the ‘clouds of light-air canvas’ mainly consists of a big jib, set on a long, permanently set bowsprit. Their masts are not very tall, and the triangular mainsail with no roach at the leech (no battens) is not big. These boats appear to be ‘pulled by the nose’. This tactics offloads the rudder on a reach. I once spotted Taleisin in a regatta on a wooden boat festival in Risør, and noticed how they had spread the canvas horizontally, rather than vertically. Taleisin looked much like a gaff cutter, which had just had the gaff removed.

    One big difference is that Lin and Larry were sailing Seraffyn together. Being two competent people on board makes everything a lot easier. Venturing out on the bowsprit to furl the jib (no rollers) is not for everyone, and to make it at least half-safe, a good helmsman is a must.

    The biggest junksail I have seen in use is the 80sqm sloop JR of the 37’ Peregrine (see NL 48). Even if the owner and crews were young and fit, they ended up adding an electric capstan, but then they managed very well ( I think the sheet was divided in an upper and lower part as well). The manual winch was kept as a backup.

    I think these electric capstans are brilliant. I have reckoned on it: The drain of the battery must be very low as hoisting lasts for just a couple of minutes (or less). They are quite reasonably priced as well.  I bet that solar panels or wind generators will easily manage to keep the battery topped up.

    With this ‘electric halyard’, and with the sheet divided in an upper and lower section, I think one can safely increase the sail area on a JR without adding another mast.

    The remaining challenge is to have enough rudder authority to cope when reaching and running. A capable rudder is the key to let one rig with a broader and bigger sloop JR.

    Arne

     

     


  • 03 May 2017 03:09
    Reply # 4809737 on 4762649

    Lin Pardey had a look at Arion last year, and said that the boat reminded her of Serrafyn.  However, she said that the thing she would miss, if sailing Arion, would be the ability to set clouds of light-air canvas, as many of her favourite memories are of ghosting along in light airs.

    The only way to get that extra sail area on a junk is to increase the working sail area, if you don't set ghosters.  However, I would not like to have any one sail larger than 50sq metres, and preferably 40 sq metres.  It would depend on the aspect ratio as well.  David Tyler's new higher aspect-ratio sailplans might be easier to handle than the single, low aspect-ratio, Fantail-type sail he had on Tystie at one point, which was more than 55 sq metres from memory.

    At times, when I am feeling weak and ill, I find hoisting and gybing Arion's 35 sq metre sail a bit of a handful, though during my good days (and today is a good day, long may it last) it is quite manageable.  So, my summary is: I'd go for the biggest sail area I could manage, (you can always reef, and the masts themselves do not put much weight and windage aloft).  In my case, that means no sail larger than 40 sq metres, but it could be 50 sq metres if you were young and strong, and I'd go for the highest aspect-ratio I could get away with.  High aspect-ratio sails had a bad name, due to twist, with flat sails, but cambered sails are different. Gybing is the real limitation for me, as I do not like gybing with a slack sheet (too many things to foul).  If you had a winch for hoisting the sail and clean decks (like Galway Blazer), so could gybe with slack sheets without care, then perhaps the sky might be the limit?

    Because Arion is a short, fat boat, and because the only alloy mast I could locate was 10.5 metres, my sail is a little less that the original working sail area of the bermudian rig.  We still ghost to windward in light airs nicely in flat water but not in an ocean swell.  Off the wind, even at sea, I do not consider Arion undercanvassed.

    Last modified: 03 May 2017 03:14 | Anonymous member
  • 02 May 2017 19:10
    Reply # 4809120 on 4762649

    David and David,

    Thank you.  Those are both great descriptions of how to know when we're nearing the boundary conditions, and the reasons for pushing, or not pushing, into them during design. 

  • 02 May 2017 09:11
    Reply # 4795228 on 4762649

    I agree with David Tyler, it all depends on the type of sailing that you anticipate doing with your boat. Arnie  suggests going with a sail area displacement ratio of up to 25, but his sailing is done mostly in relatively sheltered waters, often with fluky winds, so a more conservative SAD ratio may be applicable if you sail the wide oceans and can not avoid the occasional storm. However if sailing without an engine then having all the horsepower you can safely set means that you can keep moving and possibly avoid some bad weather, or make your anchorage in daylight. The Pardey's in their books recommend plenty of sail area as a safety factor, and they have completed three circumnavigations without an engine in two different boats (not junk rigged though both would be good candidates). As David says the governing factors are the mast height, sheeting angles and boom height. Also the stiffness of the hull shape and depth of the center of gravity of the ballast govern how much sail the boat can stand up to. As with most things it is a compromise and must be tailored to your personal factors.

    Last modified: 02 May 2017 09:42 | Anonymous member
  • 02 May 2017 08:06
    Reply # 4795147 on 4762649

    I've regretted my greed 

    1. When the sheet gets to too steep an angle relative to the leech, on account of the deck blocks can't be placed any further aft.
    2. When the sheet drift gets too small, on account of the foot of the sail has got too low.
    3. When the halyard drift gets too small, on account of the head of the sail has got too high.
    4. A deeply-reefed, very large sail is not as convenient to use as a partly-reefed, moderately sized sail.
    5. And then there's just the simple point that the sheeting system cannot be optimised for both a full sail and a reefed sail. 
    If you sail in an area where light summer breezes are your predominant sailing conditions, of course you pile on the sail area. If you plan to sail anywhere, anytime, you have to plan for winds from 0 to 40 knots, and then it makes more sense to be more conservative in your choice of sail area.
    But again, there's no sharp cutoff between OK/not OK.
    Last modified: 02 May 2017 09:54 | David
  • 01 May 2017 17:49
    Reply # 4793984 on 4762649

    I get that: I'm curious, though, as to the factors that caused you to regret it when you got a bit "greedy". 

    Last modified: 01 May 2017 17:50 | Anonymous member
  • 01 May 2017 17:02
    Reply # 4793824 on 4793559
    Scott Dufour wrote:

    On a different thread, David Tyler wrote, regarding designing in large sail areas:

    "Whenever I've felt greedy and put on "just a little more sail area", I've regretted it..."

    David Webb mentions, though, that:

    ...light weather conditions [are] the reason that we make our junk sails as large as possible, often as much as 50% larger than the Bermudan predecessor. It is much simpler to make the junk rig as large as possible and then just reef as the wind gets too much for the area set.

    So of course we must be looking at trade-offs.  I'm curious at what both Davids think is the natural stopping point versus an original Bermudian sail area, and what costs begin to outweigh the gains as we go up in size. 

    I don't think there is a natural stopping point, when adding area over and above the bermudan area. As we say quite often around here - "horses for courses". Remember that I've been used to looking at this from the point of view of offshore and ocean sailing, where others look at it from the point of view of inshore sailing use. Then there are all kinds of different boats. And so on. One size doesn't fit all.
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