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Chinese Lug Sails


JRA-Junk Meeting  ~  JRA-Newsletter  ~  Clay's RABBIT

29' Sharpie TWILIGHT


Instead of the originally drawn gaff cat yawl rig, I will use chinese lug sails on our 29' sharpie TWILIGHT. This is mainly because of personal preference but also the 5m long boom of the gaff main isn't very user friendly in my eyes.
Another thought was that gaff cat yawls are only close winded when blessed with a sailmaker who knows the art of the four sided main sail... as Phil Bolger  pointed out years ago.
The mizzen mast is moved foreward so she is a ketch now.
Robin Blain and Alan Boswell of Sunbird Marine Services, Horst J. Duschek, as well as fellow members of the Junk Rig Association and Discussion Group were and still are a great help in the process of converting.

Phil Bolger´s opinion on Chinese lug sails can be read in:
103 Small Boat Rigs, H. H. Payson & Co., South Thomaston, Maine.

The Chinese widely used leeboards and so I
thought of replacing the bilgeboards by leeboards also. Dismissed my plan after Susanne Altenburger (Phil Bolger & Friends) gave me a call:


Apparently, icepressure presents no danger to the two bilgeboard cases as I had thought, but according to Susanne, leeboards (which can be found in many Bolger designs) don't function completely to their satisfaction. The movement of the boards can interfere with the motion of the hull under certain circumstances, she said.
Jim Melcher seems to use a Herreshoff style leeboard mounting on his Bolger designed “Chinese” gaffer ALERT alert

This boat was originally drawn as a cat yawl, but re rigged later with only one battened gaff sail for handling purposes. This didn't work out so well either so Jim ended up with a traditional junk sail. see JRA newsletter 44.

Hermann Otto pointed me to another boat that's maybe interesting in this context: SUMNER - vertical sided with twin bilge keels - designed by Blondie Hasler for the 1966 Round Britain Race, was converted to Junk in 1972. See: Practical Junk Rig, p.223. Sold to Bernard Brecy she sailed to the Azores and back to France. In 1995 he donated her to the Conservatoire International Plaisance de Bordeaux. After a refit she is now sailing the Garonne River with her junk-rig.  See: Blondie by E. Southby-Tailyour.

Hermann's own multihull OCCAM certainly deserves respect too although probably in a different way:


Chuck Merrell another builder of a Phil Bolger design suggests junk rigging the Jessy Cooper. See the drawings on his website: Tomboy Two

For more information about Chinese lug sails, contact:
JRA Robin Blain Hon. Secretary of the
Junk Rig Association at: 
373, Hunts Pond Road, Tichfield Common,
Fareham, Hampshire,
PO14 4PB
Tel: + 44 (0)1329 842613
Fax: + 44 (0)1329 315232

or visit the homepage of the

that's now hosted by Jerry Limber.

Thanks to an Paul Liebenberg initiative we have a Junkrig Discussion Group:

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