Welcome to the Junk Rig Association (JRA)

  Cookies help us deliver JRA services. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.           Read more 

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 

New to this site, or to Junk Rig?? - scroll down to the "Get Started" section below for lots of resources

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

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.  

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.

Featured Boat

January 2022 - Gaia

By Jim and Helen den Hartog

Tom Colvin, an American shipwright and boat designer, designed the Gazelle for his personal use when he lived in that marvellous cruising area, the Chesapeake.

When building Gaia we were obsessed with safety having studied why people lose their boats.

We chose the Gazelle design mainly because of her junk rig and because she would be made of steel, thinking this would be safest for short-handed sailing by two people no longer young and not particularly athletic and of course steel is much stronger than other materials.

We brought back all running rigging into our pilot house so that we would always be able to control our sails, protected from the elements, without venturing outside.

In 26 years, we have never used our foul weather gear and have seldom needed to use our safety harnesses.

While building Gaia back in the 1990s and making changes to his favourite design, we always consulted with Tom Colvin.

He was easy to approach, a joy to be with and not at all critical when we suggested alterations we wanted to make to his baby.

For example, we wanted a pilothouse, and with some trepidation showed him a design we had in mind. To our immense relief, he approved, and in fact later used something quite similar for another client.

Initially we used removable Eisenglass but soon changed too much stronger 3mm Lexan which is not only bendable but also provides much better all around visibility.

The pilothouse as designed is light weight but very strong. It has stood up well during the circumnavigation and beyond.

Early on in our reading we decided that having a free-standing rig would also be safer since there is so much less to go wrong. We did subsequently add temporary backstays but keeping the forestay tight is not easy. We don't regret our choice, though, as there are other advantages besides safety.

Some of the other changes we made to Tom’s original details are as follows:

All underwater through-hull hose connections are eliminated.

We pick up water and discard waste through standpipes that also serve as the now necessary cockpit drains.

For safety we used waist high stanchions with a solid ss tube right out to the end of the bowsprit as a pulpit.

We use modern anchors and we also installed the largest electric windlass we could find at the time.

We chose aluminum for our masts: 6061 T6 Al, for its superior strength over 6063, though that might have been a mistake as 6061 T6, although 30% stronger, cannot be drawn, which means our masts are straight and not tapered as is preferred.

For battens we used pultruded fibreglass tubes of variable stiffness as recommended by Sunbird.

Our sails do not have batten pockets, and after initially tying them to the battens, we opted to use heavy duty black cable ties with good effect.

We also use bolts through the sails at the luff and leech and we screw and glue the sails to the tapered batten ends to prevent the sheetlets getting caught.

The original Gazelle was engineless, but our low pilot house still left plenty of space for an engine. Initially we chose a 35HP Yanmar, but later replaced it with a 30HP 3YM30 light-weight Yanmar, and a British-designed auto-pitching prop that aids in motor sailing to windward.

We can remove our engine in a few hours since our cockpit floor is removable.

On Earth Day In 1995 we launched Gaia in Picton, on the shores of Lake Ontario, and in Aug of that year set off on what later became a 22-year circumnavigation.

Were we correct in making these changes? It is difficult to say. Our most drastic change was the addition of a pilothouse and for us it was the right choice.

Tom's original Gazelle is more attractive, classic even, but our pilothouse made Gaia more comfortable and safer in our opinion. We would not want to sail a circumnavigation without it and she is also more liveable at anchor or in a marina.

Now after decades of living on Gaia as our only home, we’ve been happy with our choices, and grateful for her abilities to take us to so many places. The adventure continues. For now.


Although we ended the description of Gaia by saying 'the adventure continues' unwelcome medical news since writing that has forced us to pass Gaia on for further adventures to others that appreciate her fine rig and she is now for sale.

Gaia lies currently in Florida and is not officially for sale there.

Gaia is one of the best equipped Gazelles in existence and details about her can be had either by accessing the Gaiaforsale.com website first, then contacting us directly at gaiaforsale@gmail.com - or by visiting the JRA website. We are asking 55kGBP, 65kEUR or 75kUSD.

Editor’s note: the website Gaiaforsale.com has some lovely video footage of Gaia under sail.

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.
  • 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.

  • Click on these images to see visual models of junk rigs and their rigging

  • 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 forum posts listed above are from selected public fora. To see all the public posts, select "Forums" from 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

                                                              Site contents © the Junk Rig Association and/or individual authors

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software