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Old 06-21-2011, 04:42 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by baranof View Post

A few comments on the gaff rig. I have a 40 foot double ended steel sloop,gaff rigged. Hoist is 28',gaff is 15' and boom is 24'.

I frequently sail the boat alone in moderate weather and find that with the proper planning it is no harder than the bermuda rig.

Surely there are more strings to pull,but if one wants to sit and steer why not a power boat. Most people with gaff rig enjoy it precisely for what it requires to sail.

Other than a roller furling jib the only exception I have to blocks and tackle are highfield levers on the runners.

Reason for making a comment is that one chooses the rig and boat for how one wants to experience sailing.

A comment about difficulties handling gaff rig. I am 88 years old.
Gooday bloke. Sounds like a nice yacht ! What design is it ? Do you sail in the Columbia River ? I've a mate over there that does & is doing a trip up 'the inland waterway' up inside Vancouver Island (which he does every year at this time) for several weeks. Bit cold for me even in your summer. Become to used to living in the tropics in north OZ-land. Had enough snow growing-up (never let it be said) in West Van, B.C to last me several life-times.Ciao, james
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:05 PM   #30
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You can make great arguments for both rigs (or maybe any rig).

But for me... this picture kind of sums it up. Who doesn't love a boat (and rig) like this?

(Black Witch, S.F. Bay)

bob pattison
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:54 AM   #31
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[QUOTE=BobPattison;1308751554]

You can make great arguments for both rigs (or maybe any rig).

But for me... this picture kind of sums it up. Who doesn't love a boat (and rig) like this?

(Black Witch, S.F. Bay)]

G'day Bob. WOW many times over. Love it, love it, plus. Magnificent photo, wonderful traditional classical yacht in full flight. Who cut the sails? They look very well shaped(cut). IMHO Shame the jib 'wollies' (tell-tales) aren't flowing properly or as well as the main leach ones. Why aren't there any 'wollies' 12" to 14" back from the luff of the main? Thanks for sharing the photo with all of us. Sure makes me want go to 'SF' and hitch a ride!! Ciao, james
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:16 PM   #32
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Sails? Me my friend....Challenge Cream sailcloth...with external 3-strand 'hemp' rope (polyester the color of hemp) ,hand sewn rings, and finger patches...all designed to be period for the yacht. It was a fun project.

Woolies...to each his own I gues.

bp
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:37 PM   #33
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Sails? Me my friend....Challenge Cream sailcloth...with external 3-strand 'hemp' rope (polyester the color of hemp) ,hand sewn rings, and finger patches...all designed to be period for the yacht. It was a fun project.

Woolies...to each his own I gues.

bp
Ah, so those are called "finger" patches. What range of years were they appropriate?
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:53 PM   #34
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Finger Patches: Some call them 'tongue' patches as well. I have seen them on sails as long as there have been photographs.

I think they evolved with the advent of miter-cut jibs, but can't be certain. They worked well with natural fiber sails that were much more elastic.

As sailcloth became stronger and less stretchy, we have seen the patches morph into larger 'load distributing' shapes.

For me the Finger patch is 'classic' and almost always belongs with traditional sailing vessels.

bob

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Ah, so those are called "finger" patches. What range of years were they appropriate?
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:52 AM   #35
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Well, I was looking for info about early man-made (like Dacron) sails and appropriate years of use for the finger patches therein. Not natural fiber sails. My guess was post-WWII but I don't know exactly when--I originally thought maybe the 1960's?

Older boats (like ours, which was sailing in the 1930's had natural fiber sails which require almost no patches. I sort of wondered about that when looking at an old photo of my boat sailing (and reefed) with no corner patches to be seen. Similarly, I've noted that on other pics of other boats/sails (pre WWII pics) that the patches are actually just long narrow reinforcement (seems to be called "liner patches") along the edge near the clew/tack/head but no "finger" or other patch extending into the field of the sail.

I went to the Sailmaker's Apprentice where I learned (page 269) that "It is amazing how traditional natural-fiber sails withstand so much strain with such small patches. There are two reasons for the miracle: the durability of traditional materials derives in great part from their elasticity, resilience, and absorption of shock. In addition, traditionally made sails are supported and bound by rope or wire which takes most of the strain. Increasingly, with the use of rigid synthetic fabrics, the emphasis has been on the sailcloth itself sustaining the stress. With little absorption and elasticity, either the fabric itself must provide the brute strength o rthere is insufficient strength to withstand the load. This is why you find large corner patches in unroped soft Dacron sails and mammoth radial strip patches in hard-finished Dacron and laminated fabric sails."

The author goes on to talk about patch shapes and sizes including a statement parallel to that which you made about the use of the tongue (finger) patches on mitered sails. However, now I'm even more confused since I know mitered headsails have been around a while (e.g. I have a pic of my boat with mitered jib in 1931--no real corner patches on it though...) so I suppose again that it was the use of Dacron that brought out the "fingers."

So...Dacron/synthetic fibers...1950's, 1960's?????
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:43 PM   #36
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I have a Compac Horizon Cat with a gaff rig. I trailer sail. The mast hinges just above the boom. It is very, very easy (and quick) to raise the mast and rig. Shorter masts are much easier to raise! All lines run back to the cockpit, so it is also very easy to sail.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:46 AM   #37
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Default gaff rig!!

I am another fan of gaff rig. Sold my last boat a few years ago, a 41 LOD 53 LOA gaff schooner built in 1920. The rig was easily handleable by one as the sails were small enough. Granted there were a dozen halyards to learn but, chafe is the major reason, I believe, that the gaff rig has fallen into disfavor. Although sewing a bit of leather on a sheet or line worked, duct tape was my friend until the end of the trip. Hand splicing the standing and running rigging, whittling out bulls eyes and deadeyes, ease of sail repairs due to flatter cut, and use of blocks instead of expensive winches all keep the cost down and are user friendly when repairs are required. As far as sailing goes, when going to weather in the Trades, a gaff is almost as good as a marconi simply because if you point up much more than 45 degrees in the usual 35 knots breezes like we have in Hawaii, it will get pretty uncomfortable for the crew. The wife and I sailed our schooner from Hawaii to Alaska. A couple of buddies and I sailed an 80 foot gaff ketch to Mexico from Hawaii. Nice trips as the motion is easier than a marconi even if you factor in a full vs a fin keel, just don't let the gaffs flog about when becalmed!!!. When I start looking for the next sailboat, a gaffer will not be ruled out, after all, look at Joshua Slocum.....
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #38
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On our schooner, our mainsail is Bermuda rigged but our foresail is gaff. When there isn't much wind but yet quite a roll of the sea, we use the gaff vang (runs from the end of the gaff spar to a block just below the triatic stay) on the mainmast to keep the spar from swinging about. It is also useful for sail shape on any point of sail.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:06 PM   #39
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Default schooner fun!

Our schooner had the original Egyptian cotton main from the 1920's when we got it. Never used it much as washing out the salt/drying before stowing was work and the dacron from the '60's worked fine. Saved the main when we sold the schooner as it will work fine for canvas on frames for the wife's oil painting. We had a gaff main and staysail. Made for lots of possibilities and the trysail we used in stormy weather balanced out quite well, too. Otherwise, to play with were a fisherman over the staysail, golly-acre which was a recut upside down genoa with the tack at the main masthead, the head on the end of the bow sprit and the clew sheeted to the stern and the main topsail, which was a windsufer mast, teak wishbone and sail (made it easier to fly and quite colorful, too). Also had a square sail for the fore which was the lower 1/2 of a spinnaker. Lots of halyards and sheets to trim! Old rigs have so many possibilities. Wish I had pictures....
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:20 PM   #40
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You had a bit of an odd combo there--a staysail schooner with a gaff mainsail? Usually on a gaff-main and gaff-foresail rigged schooner, it is the gaff main that is "given up" for the convenience of a Bermuda main but somehow the gaff foresail remains. I recently spoke with one of the owners of the Elizabeth Muir, a lovely 48' schooner in San Francisco. She has a Bermuda main but has been rigged at various times with gaff fore or with a main staysail in place of the gaff fore. We didn't talk long about the matter and I look forward to learning more, but the owner did say that the gaff foresail was more versatile and mentioned that with the staysail in place he had to use a large fisherman or golly wobbler to achieve the sailing which could be had with gaff fore alone. He predominately races, so I suppose he's quite knowledgeable about these things.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:49 PM   #41
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Oh yes, I agree, a racing schooner is way different from our schooner which was modeled after the late 1800's coastal cargo schooners along the western US coast. The original owner had, from what I was told, the boat built as a retirement get away for him and his buddies to drink, play cards and occasionally sail/motor to Catalina to gamble. I am not a racer, but for a bit, I skippered Teragram a 65' Alden Bermudan main staysail schooner in the charter biz in Hawaii and the difference was significant. Sadly, the next owner ran it on the rocks in Kona and that was that. Mr Alden did not design many unattractive or slow boats.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:25 PM   #42
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Was you're schooner always with a main staysail but yet gaff mainsail? I just haven't ever seen that combination in person or print.
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