Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Phil Bolger's Chinese Gaff Rig

I think...not completely sure..but I think I have found the rig for Autarkia.





With this rig, from what I can see allows me to use simple stays on tabernacled masts...easy and light enough to raise and lower.  Also the main is a junk hybrid so the stresses are low (I can sew the sail up myself) and the height of the mast is low (you can get that gaff way further up).  Options for a mizzen and foresail are many and varied as well.

However, I am unable to find details about this rig - at least the little important ones that would allow me to build it.  Phil wrote a book titled '103 Sailing Rigs, Straight Talk' that is unavailable for the most part.  But from what I have read, he describes the rig in detail therein. There seems to be a few floating around Amazon and Ebay at crazy prices... I've spent a fair amount on books so far so it is out of that budget.

Fortunately, there is a copy at the Vancouver Public Library which I will go get maybe this week.

So for now... I am begging your thoughts :-)


14 comments:

  1. First thought is ... take a look at this online used book consolidator that I've used a lot in the past -- Abebooks.

    They have a few listings for the book, the first of which might not be ridiculously expensive:

    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=103+Sailing+Rigs

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Yoda. With shipping and dollar exchange $45.00 USD winds up to be close to a hundred bucks CDN :-) I'll hit the library and photocopy the relevant pages and save a return trip.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hard to beat a stock chinese lugsails really easy to build (and use) parrels. Bolgers looks to involve either sail track or hoops. Parrels allow adjusting the sail slightly fore and aft. I sheeted my 330 and 430 sqr ft lugsails to my mizzenmast, just as Bolger shows here. On the continuous sheeted method (vrs euphroe) running the sheet blocks up the mizzen mast helps a bit to ease all the yard sag-off instead of sheeting it all to the deck. Dave did the same on Luna. Also you lose the softening effect, in coming about, from that sail area in front of the mast. Really easy tacking with that nice feature with the sail just softly flopping over to the other side most of the time. IMHO Bolger was a innovator but he did not improve on centuries of chinese refinement of this rig. A more effective innovation (not Bolgers) was the cambering of the individual panels. But if I was sewing up another lugsail I would not even do this. Hard to improve on the utility of a regular lugsail for ease of sewing up and use. Another reason I really like the idea of a well spread three masted rig, especially on a boat with mere leeboards to pivot around and not a long straight keel (as on Colvins junks). Just one lugnuts opinion............

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good points. I never thought of sheeting to the mizzen with a conventional junk sail... not in Hasler/McLeod either. More to digest...

      Delete
  4. This is the only person I know of who tried this rig and it was a failure ( http://www.atomvoyages.com/articles/sailor-interviews/99-alert.html ). As has been already pointed out that rig will be very mean in a gybe.

    On a much much smaller boat, I converted a standing lug to something similar to Bolger's Chinese Gaff with a forward tilting mast, fixed parrels attached to battens, a peak halyard, but a normal sheeting arrangement off the boom. I created curvature in the sail using darts. That rig worked very well, but as I said the boat was only 15 feet long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot to add it used lazy jacks too.

      Delete
  5. Thanks Rob. I'm back at the drawing board again :-) It's funny how either here or on my own I always wind up back to the conventional time tested junk rig. It is great to have this feedback from everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  6. While you're re-scratching your head, these might be worth a re-read:

    * http://abargeinthemaking.blogspot.tw/2014/01/rig-o-morale.html

    * http://abargeinthemaking.blogspot.tw/2014/02/rethinking-rig.html

    * http://abargeinthemaking.blogspot.tw/2014/01/schoon-er-ketch.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just about to start poring over Dave's stuff once more. Thanks for narrowing down!

      Delete
  7. You're welcome. Re-reading them myself.

    Hopefully, this next question won't pull us off into the tall grass, but I thought it might be interesting to explore a bit. I wonder if any of the blog readers has experience with or has taken a hard look at a felucca / lateen sail configuration:

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:901_Felucca.JPG

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateen

    In addition to the aesthetic appeal (for me), as long as it could provide adequate propulsion, the major advantage that I can see is that it can be designed (height) to easily eliminate the "mast can't go under the bridge" problem.

    Considering that we're not talking about rigging racing boats anyway, could the advantages of this type of ancient, time-tested rig outweigh any disadvantages?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S. - Here's an additional link from a guy who seems to have figured out how to reduce/eliminate the typical cons of a lateen rig:

      http://www.flyinglateen.com/

      The entire content of this barebones and mysteriously dated website (2007-2012) is interesting, but be sure to read (left side menu) "The New Rig" and "Red Sky at Night ...".

      Delete
  8. I saw that a few years ago and it inspired me to draw this: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IgCJtOnswTc/VgVdVRy7ycI/AAAAAAAAAEE/WX4ESxQyBIc/s640/Jones%2BBarge%2B3.jpg

    I'm back to a junk ketch... details to come :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. If your boat was as long as your web addresses, you could have your own sailing entourage!

    Thanks for the drawing. Yeah, something like that. Do you remember what you learned while evaluating it, and specifically what caused you to decide against it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reefing was a biggie. It would have to be some kind of roller setup and I think that engineering the yard would be chancy and difficult.

      Delete