The Long Way (book) Bernard Moitessier & description of Siamese junk rigs

  • 09 Oct 2021 18:29
    Message # 11236650

    I'm reading Bernard Moitessier's book The Long Way about his voyage in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe single handed round the world race.   Chapter 8 has some a very interesting account of his early sailing days in the Gulf of Siam on a traditional junk rig hauling freight between the various ports, having grown up in Viet Nam.   The sails were made of woven Latania Palm fronds, and had to be wet down with salt water to retard rot.  The material came in 2' widths sold by Chinese merchants, and was stitched together with coconut fiber string, the works needing to be replaced every 5 months in the dry season and 3 months in the wet season.  A new set of sheets every 3 weeks, and topping lifts every month.  The junk carried 20 tons of cargo, and the masts were stayed.  

    One thing I had not realized about the original Golden Globe was that it was conceived among friends, and the Sunday Times got involved turned it into a "event", and drew more competitors into it.   If you have not read it, the book A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols is a great account of the race.


                                                                      H.W.

       " ...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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