Mizzen sail self steering

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  • 22 Aug 2021 21:20
    Reply # 10948577 on 10940457
    Deleted user

    Like Jan, it has seemed an obvious use of a "jigger" to me for a long time.  Joshua Slocum put a "jigger" on Spray while in South  America, but never bothered to explain it's purpose or how he used it.  Obviously not a driving sail of any consequence, it could only serve for balance and self steering and for a riding sail....... an air rudder on a boat.    I searched the net for accounts of a yawl mizzen being used this way, and the only account I ever found before this was on a sailing dinghy somewhere in New England.  It was not connected to the rudder in that account, but was used to balance the boat and allow it to steer itself.  Apparently it held course very well... at least on the point of sail where he was testing it.. the account was brief.  He just got tired of steering all the time and decided to add a mizzen which  seemed to work to some extent.  

          I was delighted to see David experimenting with this as well as his biplane schooner rig.   It would be interesting to see someone apply this to a larger catamaran... like Oryx for example.   There would seem perhaps to be significant benefits in the rig in terms of smaller lighter lower masts and sails.... though probably significant performance loss compared to a single tall mast......... if performance as your priority.  Safe easy comfortable voyaging and easy handling would seem of a higher order of importance when voyaging compared to racing around on weekends and seeking thrills.

  • 21 Aug 2021 03:18
    Reply # 10945192 on 10940457

    One person going below doesn't have too much effect, but one person moving across the cockpit changes the course about 10 degrees.  Mind you, she's just a little 6 meter boat.  I assume on a larger or stiffer boat, the course change would be less. 

  • 20 Aug 2021 16:46
    Reply # 10944134 on 10940457

    Thanks for posting that, it has seemed like an obvious solution to me for a long time but I never got around to trying it. How does it react to the crew going down below from the cockpit and altering the trim of the boat? ( Particularly on the small monohull). 

  • 19 Aug 2021 00:07
    Message # 10940457

    I recently posted a web page about our new mizzen self steering system that I thought might be of interest. 


    We've installed it on our junk-rigged catamaran and also on our trailerable monohull with bermudan rig.  As you can see from the videos on the web page, the results so far are promising. 

    We're hoping to do more offshore testing in the catamaran next month, hopefully in rougher conditions, and will report back to the forum. 

    Meanwhile, let me know if you have any questions.



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