Balanced lug rig for John's Sharpie

I think that I would like to substitute balanced lug rig with tabernacles for the designed Bermudian rig, for both sails.

Could someone comment on feasibility, and on my thoughts below?

  1. I think a BL rig could be designed to use max 10 foot lumber, which is the longest I can get locally and reasonably cheaply. (A 10 foot stick of clear straight 4 by 4 Western red-cedar is USD50, and for meranti (aka "lauan", Shorea spp., "Phillipine mahogany") it is USD105.  To get something longer means hiring a tractor-trailer from Detroit to Cincinnati)
  2. I would like the reduced tippiness with no loss of off-wind speed.
  3. I've heard that the loss of pointing ability and upwind speed by switching to BL is actually moderate, and I don't mind rowing if I'm in a hurry and destination is upwind.
  4. The C/E would shift forward, but could that be compensated for by making the mizzen larger than the main?
  5. If the BL idea is feasible, what about using a sprit-boom with it?  I've not seen a BL rig with sprit-boom, I don't think.  But I like the self-vanging and "reduced head injury" features of spritboom.


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RE: Balanced lug rig for John's Sharpie

I'm not sure that using tabernacles on lug rig masts would work well. They are usually used with standing rigging that have strong side support. You might check out John's article in Life of Boats which discusses lug rigs in some detail.

A large mizzen will sometimes negate it's advantages though Bolger used them to balance some of his designs, the Sainte Valery comes to mind. In the St, Valery he designed a very large rudder with a small centerboard located far forward. Let us know what you come up with.

RE: Balanced lug rig for John's Sharpie

Good luck with the BL decisions! How about a hollow mast using bird's mouth type construction? It would be strong and a lot lighter than a solid wood mast. Less weight aloft would be a good thing. Perhaps it could be free-standing.

I enjoyed reading John's article on Lug Nuts the other day too!


RE: Balanced lug rig for John's Sharpie

Robert and PocketShip: Thanks for the good info.  You've given me some research to do as well and then I'll let you know what I end up doing.  I just bought a very neat gizmo for stitching canvas and I have some white polytarp, so I can experiment cheaply.

I find myself unexpectedly having a lot of free time on my hands and am eager to get back to the Sharpie project, long collecting clutter in the garage.

Pocketship, I've been away for a few years.  So, are you building a Pocketship? 

RE: Balanced lug rig for John's Sharpie

You are right about tabernacle idea.  The mast couldn't stand on the deck without side support from shrouds and stays.  I would need the mast to pivot and then drop down all the way to the mast step in the bottom of the boat, and be supported by the deck when underway, just as in the original design.  The tabernacles would only be used in transporting the boat and stepping the mast, would only need to resist the lateral forces involved in stepping.

Have you seen this done?  It would require a rotating collar to hold the mast when trailering and guide the mast into the deck hole when stepping.  Does it seem feasible?

RE: Balanced lug rig for John's Sharpie

I was reading more about the plans for Bolger's St. Valery and discovered that he actually specified tabernacles for the unstayed masts. The tabernacles are visisble on the photo above - they are heavy white timbers fore and aft and on sides of each mast. He wanted them to be able to drop the masts quickly for the many fixed bridges on the French canal system. They extend very high up the mast.  I think Wooden Boat magazine discussed the St, Valery in issue 157 - you can digitally down their back issues inexpensively. Where there is a will there is a way - though it's sometimes not so elegant.

RE: Balanced lug rig for John's Sharpie

tx much, Robert. Will check that out.

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