From Gunter to Junk

  • 03 Jul 2021 02:53
    Reply # 10722286 on 10721263

    If you later make a new mainsail for her, you can give it a classic junk profile, with vertical luff and leach, which would make sheeting and reefing the sail easier.  You obviously need to keep the stays and the jib, as the mast is both too far aft and not stout enough to be unstayed.  You'd need a new mast stepped further forward to        do away with the stays and jib.  But it could still be a respectable junk as it is.  We are a broad church!  My boat, Blue Moon, was junkette rigged when I bought it, though I converted to a standard unstayed junk rig later.  It sailed well but I had gotten used not having a jib on my previous junk-rigged yacht.  Here is what it looked like.  You can view more images at my member profile.

  • 02 Jul 2021 21:10
    Reply # 10721699 on 10721263

    And why not. nothing to loose, much gained. Well done.


  • 02 Jul 2021 17:54
    Message # 10721263

    Our Westerly 22, Palinurus, has at last got a junk rig of sorts!

    The project started from Arne’s ideas described in his document “From Gaff to Junk” and came to fruition this year when Covid, Brexit and the Gunter-rig yard needing repair all culminated in a project based on working with what you’ve got, re-using old stuff and spending as little as possible (except for a badly needed new sewing machine!)

    Back in April the old worn out Gunter mainsail was laid out on beams to get an idea of where battens would work, and after various struggles with a cheap sewing machine and a total lack of suitable timber for battens and a bout of “lock-down inertia” I finally got it together in recent weeks. 

    Some points to bear in mind:

    • I’m well aware this is the sort of thing that can get the Junk Rig a bad name but…
    • It’s only a very temporary solution for learning purposes.
    • It’s not expected to last very long
    • It’s supposed to be fun!

     And lo and behold it seems to work! We motored out to a nearby Island the first evening, intending to sail back but the wind died to almost nothing but at least we got familiar with raising and lowering etc. 

    Yesterday I went for a ten hour jaunt, motoring and sailing in light airs (flat calm to force 2 or 3), about 8 miles offshore south of Cape Clear and back through the islands. Got up to 3.5 knots at one stage and a young Minke whale had a close look at this strange beast too, swimming right under the boat in crystal clear water.  I didn’t use any headsails, just observing this sail. Lots learned and lots of adjustments and lots of ideas about a more permanent sail.

    The main thing I learned, and I’m not surprised, is that sailing with a junk rig is a pure joy! (Never mind about the slatting battens and the odd tangle.)

    The Westerly 22 Gunter rig is very heavy, the yard is massive and the halyard attached to a sliding wire strop is nerve wracking, and it is a nightmare to reef single handed in any sort of a sea. I always thought the peak of the sail just added drag and didn’t do much work so it won’t be missed. A junk is definitely the way to go. 

    Pictures with captions in my member profile photo albums.

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       " ...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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