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Old 10-30-2007, 09:24 PM   #1
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If anyone's nterested in a quick and pretty convincing overview of the value of frestanding rigs, I guess that you could do a lot worse than talk to Eric Sponberg who's not only enthusiastic and clearly knowledgeable but also has a pretty straightfoward writing style - I understood nearly every word first time round so ...

His site is http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/

He also seems pretty approachable responding personally and immediately to my own recent interest and suggesting that I help by spreading the word so ......

....hope it's of interest; see ya!
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:36 PM   #2
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Wow! Thank you for sharing the link info. His website certainly explains the concept very well.

Very interesting.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Peter Owen View Post
If anyone's nterested in a quick and pretty convincing overview of the value of frestanding rigs, I guess that you could do a lot worse than talk to Eric Sponberg who's not only enthusiastic and clearly knowledgeable but also has a pretty straightfoward writing style - I understood nearly every word first time round so ...

His site is <a href="http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/" target="_blank">http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/</a></a></a></a></a></a></a></a>

He also seems pretty approachable responding personally and immediately to my own recent interest and suggesting that I help by spreading the word so ......

....hope it's of interest; see ya!
Don't know Mr. Spoonberg but I suspect I'll be running into him pretty soon as I'm relocating to his neighborhood to work on my new project boat which has an extremely rare (I know of only three) free standing schooner rig called the Gallant. (I'd never heard of it when I bought the boat) but have since done some research. I managed to track down the gentlement who commissioned her design and building and he has given me some information you might find interesting. Seems he was running thru a squall downwind in 30 gust to 40 knots of wind when he passed thru the center and got a 180 degree windshift. It gybed breaking a number of battens and as he put it, "the masts bent like fishing poles, but came right back up " when he loosed the sheets. His opinion after ten years of full time living/cruising/ "his" -now "my" boat, and some 35 years of sailing/racing before that, was that "any other rig would've gone over the side." The spars were custom built in England , fibreglass/composite and, as I've inspected them sitting out on the hard I can testify that they're darned big for a 44 footer-they each set 600sq feet of soft wingsail with aluminum ribs.

The more I find out about the rig the more anticipation I have of getting her back in the water and seeing what she can really do .

Seer
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:54 AM   #4
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I started this thread as a result of reading another on cruiser forum about the "soft wing sail" and, in particular, the one called the Omer - my contribution there - as SeeYa - was to remark on that rig's similarity with the Gallant which appears in another thread about SV Aphrodite. Sponberg'sname came into it cos he's clearly an advocate of free standing rigs albeit focusing on the value of the rotating mast to get better sail entry at all points of sailing.

I actually asked him a few questions including one about the similarities between the Gallant and Omer rigs and I'll root out his response and publish it here - Florida is clearly going to be an interesting place to be a fly on the wall!

For my part, I'm instinctively enamoured of the free-standing rig but have never sailed one and I'll be interested to hear how you get on with Eric.

Good luck with your project; see ya
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Old 11-07-2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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As promised, some recent questions to Eric and his reply - hope they're of interest.

See ya

Eric

Thank you for your prompt response; I have taken on-board what you suggested and (re-)introduced your name to CruiserLog via a post on freestanding rigs and will do so wherever else I get the chance - I'm now a fan!

I understand that the rotating mast is a logical progression in terms of improving the efficiency of the mast/sail combination and in particular entry off the wind but it there's now a big question which is relevant in my own financially constrained search for something in the range 38 to 44 foot - Tantons and Freedoms have my attention.

I have seen wishbone rigs on Freedom 35s, Tantons, Nonsuchs and Wylies with the mast enclosed in a pocket in the luff effectively producing a smoother albeit rounded entry and I think that some Wharrams use the same approach (or hoops). To add to my confusion/interest, there are also things called the Omer Soft Wing Sail, Gallant rig and, I'm sure, many others.

How do you rate these approaches? Does the "conventional" wishbone rig allow the sail to be moved forward enough to get (any) lift downwind? Does the (soft) wing sail have anything to offer other than more material and structure aloft?

Sorry to trouble you with this but I haven't yet identified a better source of information - if you want to point me in another direction, of course, please feel free.

Thanks for your time and understanding

Peter Owen

Hi Peter,

I had never heard of the Omer rig, so thank you for that. It is very much like the Gallant rig. The Omer rig may look neat, but it is complicated by lots of parts. So that is a big drawback. It has a wrap-around sail which, while it forms an aerofoil, necessarily makes the sail twice as heavy, and therefore, expensive.

In general, my observations in innovative rigs show me that too many people are fixated on the 2-dimensional aspects of the foil shape, when they really should be concerned with the 3-D shape and simplicity of design and construction. For the latest ultimate on 3-D shapes, look at the last round of America's Cup rigs--those big square-top mains are the real ticket! Aside from the current Dope in the White House, there is nothing more conservative than a sailor--he will not change his beliefs easily, and he will not spend money to do so (gee, just like the Dope). So any new rig has to be simple and not too expensive.

The early Freedoms had wishbone rigs with two-ply sails. These were changed in the early 1980s to single ply sails with conventional booms. The boats sailed better--pointed higher and had better speed made good to windward. That sounded the death knell for two-ply sails anyway. The Tanton's and the Nonsuches had wishbone rigs with single ply sails. They work. There is nothing inherently wrong with wishbones. The masts for those boats were still round, and round is not good--too blunt. The Herreshoff Cat Ketches all had half wishbones, which work fine. Wishbones can be heavy--there is a lot of load in a wishbone boom. But you really need only half of it as the Herreshoff rigs showed. And this also led the way to a non-round mast. I designed elliptical section masts for the Herreshoffs, and so that was the beginning of my development of the non-round, single-ply sails with half wishbones. The next step was to rotate the masts.

That development came with the new masts for Wobegone Daze--the concept of the stub mast was born there. Like a rudder with a stock almost, the stub mast goes up through the deck, where it is sealed, and the mast bearings are mounted on this stub. The wingmast slips over this stub mast and so is free to rotate on the stub mast, yet this allows the main and jib halyards (if you have a jig) to remain under tension all the way back to the cockpit--they come down through and exit the stub mast through a heavily reinforced area just above the deck.

Wobegone Daze had both wishbones and conventional booms, at the request of the owner, but I find that unnecessarily complicated and heavy. That led to the idea to use the half wishbone from the Herreshoff's, mounting it on the side of the mast right where the upper bearing is inside, an area already well reinforced. This is the concept for the Globetrotter 45, and also my new incarnation of that design, Eagle, which won the popular vote by a couple of furlongs on the recent Cruising World design competition (the official judges didn't like my design that much, rating it only number 7 out of 10, but what do they know???). To view the results of the design competition, you can go to:

<a href="http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845" target="_blank"><a href="http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845" target="_blank">http://www.cruisingworld.com/polls.jsp?ID=845</a></a></a></a></a></a></a></a>

So after more than 20 years of design and development, I think I am closing in on what constitutes a simple rig that is not too hard to build, that works, that is easy to sail, and that is very efficient. We'll get to see how this works again in my design Saint Barbara, which is nearing completion and will be launched in the spring of 2008. She is a 37.5' sloop with a wingmast rig--mainsail, jib, big code 0, and a more or less conventional boom (conventional orientation with hydraulic vang). She also has two big jib booms that are kind of like Hoyt jib booms. They are free to rotate--one to port, the other to starboard, and they also have hydraulic vangs. the code 0 is tacked to the end of one boom swinging out forward, and the clew is sheeted to the other boom swung outboard aft. This sail is huge, and it doubles as an upwind spinnaker and a downwind spinnaker. The boat also has a wood and carbon fiber lifting keel. The whole thing is a real exercise in innovation.

Anyway, that's my take on rigs. Feel free to post any or all of this on CruiserLog.

Thank you for your interest.

Regards,

Eric

Eric W. Sponberg

Naval Architect PE (CT)

President

Sponberg Yacht Design Inc.

50 Ocean Court

St. Augustine, FL 32080

Tel: (904) 460-9494
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:37 PM   #6
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Hmmm, I dunno,

Maybe its just me, but after reading his entire description of his rig...

it didn't sound all that *simple* to me and CERTAINLY not inexpensive heheh.

My Gallant is a schooner, eash sail has one halyard, one sheet, that's it.

Free standing masts step on the keel, that's it.

the halyards and sheets lead to a bubble hatch over the helmsman's seat in the Pilot House.

To operate the entire rig:

You open the bubble over your head, stand up on a

flip down step just high enough so that your shoulders clear the top of the hatch, and

1. to raise sail, you grab each halyard in turn, take a couple of wraps round the small std. sheet winch, and crank em up- at any angle to the wind...hit the jam cleat, tie em off- then,

2. now pull the sheets in and cleat till you get the balance you want and away you go.

That's it. Really.

To reef,

1. You take each halyard in turn, let it out enough to give you the sail area you want (it collapses like an accordion on the boom, one section at a time) and tie it off.

done.

To Furl,

1. You let each halyard off in turn until the entire rig is on the boom, in its lazyjacks.

Done.

This is how it goes, regardless of weather, regardless of angle to the wind....oh, and when you're finished, you step back down and close the bubble hatch, have another sip of your favorite beverage. If you're just checking sail trim etc., you just stand up as with your head in the bubble, you have 360 degree unobstructed view...

I could be wrong but to me , THAT is "simple"

I'll be very interested in seeing spoonberg's design on the water. Sounds very high tech, and *Very* expensive.

One other advantage of the Gallant. You don't need a sailmaker to make your sails. Just a suitably width sized bolt of sail cloth, any color/colors you like. Each "panel" of the sail threads in horizontally thru grooves in the ribs. So to build a sail by your self, you simply cut each panel to length, sew small boltropes on the top and bottom edges, thread em in, and your done. Doesn't get any cheaper than that. The rib/battens make the sail shape into a soft wing. AND since the sails don't ever touch anything, there is no chafe, none, zip, nada. They last a VERY long time since they don't flap, flutter, slat around etc., and the rig is eerily silent. Its the UV that gets your sails eventually and even that can be fought with by using darker colored fabrics. Oh, and in an emergency, you don't even need to use sailcloth as pretty much any fabric that will catch wind will do. The stresses on the individual panels are relatively small. Ridiculously small compared to a std. racing sail.

Anyway...I'll be interested in seeing his design.

seer
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Old 11-07-2007, 04:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for this fascinating contribution to my totally inexpert and inexperienced ponderings on the optimum way to exploit a sometimes difficult medium.

Do you have any photos? Why is she a project boat? Why Florida and what are your plans for her?

See ya
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:19 PM   #8
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Thanks for this fascinating contribution to my totally inexpert and inexperienced ponderings on the optimum way to exploit a sometimes difficult medium.

Do you have any photos? Why is she a project boat? Why Florida and what are your plans for her?

See ya
My boat is in the yard on the hard at the moment as i begin a substantial refitting/refurb. She was custom built by Kanter in Canada in 81. Lots of things have changed since then, and I have a lot of equipt. to install. I'm also changing her engine and aux cooling systems, the interior plumbing arrangement, the setup in the galley (losing the oven, adding washer/drier) installing a totally different head arrangment and what I hope will be the ocean going sit down bench seat tub/shower/mini-jacuzzi to die for (I hate crashing around in a standing shower in a seaway).

Add that to upgrading the electronics etc., change in color, new antiskid system on the deck and top of house, awning, integrated module bimini/bugscreened and weather enclosed cockpit *tent* , not to mention provisions for catching BIG fish heheh and you get the idea. Lots to do.

I'll see about getting some photos up of the boat, but the masts are out of the ship at the moment, so no pictures of the rig. You can however, see pictures of Carl Bostek's 46' steel Gallant Schooner with nearly identical rig, on his website at :

http://svaphrodite.bostekanesthesia.com/

Aphrodite is in Hawaii at the moment.

My boat is rigged a bit differently than his and Carl is sorting out some sail twist issues at the moment but we're both having fun in a very exclusive *club* LOL. I'm in Florida, and he's in Hawaii but we've both decided that sooner or later we'll find an ocean we can be in at the same time LOL. I've heard there is another Gallant boat, a 42' Endeavor type originally belonging to the english designer of the rig but now somewhere in south florida. When I run him down that will make 3 that I know of . I'm *informed* there may be a few others down Aussie/Kiwi way, but havn't tried to track them down yet. Maybe someone on the board has seen one there.

In any event, what happened was that I've been over the years, and during my experience with all the other boats, gradually putting together in my mind a proper "last" boat capable of doing and going pretty much anything and anywhere I want at reasonable speed, and excellent comfort. I was just getting ready to begin construction on my own *ideal* boat when I came across my now 'project' boat just begging for a chance to get back onto the water and show what she can do Finding her has saved me at least 2 years and gobs of money and she shows every promise of being perhaps a bit better than the boat i would've built. Her original owner/designer (whom I've talked to) is a wonderfully pleasant and extremely experienced racing/cruising sailor long since retired from the sea, and who knew a thing or two about what he was doing when he built her.

Oh, one last big advantage of the Gallant that comes to mind. Since the sails are always above deck (I suppose you could fool around with some kind of chute or mule if you wanted ) there is no need for a sailocker down below. This really opens up some room in the boat as all you need is a place to store your bolt of sailcloth.

Please note that free standing masts change the stresses on the hull HUGELY from a std marconi type rig. The area where the mast penetrates the decks needs reinforcement, near a bulkhead is good. BUT!! on the other hand without the bow and arrow effect of the marconi rig trying to shoot the mast out thru the bottom of the hull, a whooooole log of very expensive and potentially disastrous (if something fails) gear is rendered totally unnecessary. Because somewhere around 24 percent of the sail protrudes in front of the mast, and the wing's design, sheet lead tension is trivial therefore all those expensive monster winches are not needed. , nor the hydraulic vangs, etc. etc. etc. so to build one today, depending on what material was chosen for the masts, might turn out to be very economical. The only 'hard' part would be getting the ribs and booms right, (7 ribs, one boom per stick) but I would think that might not turn out to be hugely expensive either.

In any event, hard to beat for handiness and general utility.

As to why Florida, well that's where she was, and having met some of the other owners in the yard, as well as the managers, I couldn't really think of a nicer place to be. If you havn't been in the St. Augustine area before, its worth a look. *Really* nice little town with some good sailing type people. Besides, I havn't spent a lot of time in the east coast waters, and seeing as I'll be workin on the boat most of the winter...Florida isn't a bad choice hehehe

seer
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:56 PM   #9
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For my take on the wingsail on a catamaran see http://www.dunnanddunnrealtors.com/Catamaran.html

There is little sail twist, because the sheets go to the batten ends, as on a junk sail. The problem with the wrap-around sails tried on the Freedoms was that the sails would cling to the mast when wet, creating lots of drag that interfered with reefing and furling the sails. Further, on the Freedom wrap-around rig, having the boom go in the middle of the sail was a problem for reefing. On my design, only the equivalent to mast hoops touches the mast. There are no expensive and delicate bearings, as the mast doesn't turn. The camber adjusts for the tack you are on with a hinge in the batten assembly. Part of the sail sticks forward of the mast, easing the loading on the sheets in the same way that a balanced rudder reduces forces on the helm. Each batten provides a natural reef point which doesn't even have to be tied down.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:57 PM   #10
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Interesting Concept !

Have we images of one sailing ? Also what would it cost to build this design in 2008 with the say 2 x 100 HP engines.

Richard
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:46 PM   #11
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Interesting Concept !

Have we images of one sailing ? Also what would it cost to build this design in 2008 with the say 2 x 100 HP engines.

Richard
Well, 6 months ago I figured about $250,000, including $60,000 for unskilled labor that I would train and supervise. You can get really good John Deere 107 hp engines that will last for 20,000 miles for $27,000 each, including ZF220A trannys-that's their 6 cylinder derated to run flat out for 24 hour days for 3,000 hours per year, the 6068SFM-50. About $8,000 less per engine if you get their 4 cylinder engine-the 4045TFM.

My cost for building includes no allowance for a place to build, because I have one already. My price estimate included engines and trannys. Add $15,000 for my plans and up to 100 hours of phone calls or e-mails.

No pictures of a built one, because I am just starting building #1, but you can see Pho, which has a very similar rig, at http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulletin/uplo...ead.php?t=54225 and at

http://www.themultihull.com/wharram2/bf9.htm . If you are interested in my ideas, check the site from time to time. I have updated it almost daily since I established the catamaran page. -TD
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