Skerry sail



Long time skerry sailer.. sprit sail. As i get older, finding it difficult to set... any thoughts on this rig versus lug sail ? Also, with respect to performance, is there an advantage in either... maybe just my lack of skill, but moving thru the eye with the sprit sail often clumsy...Tom C


9 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Skerry sail

My preference goes to the lug rig for the Skerry,  but then again my skills may not be tops, either:

1. It looks better in my opinion, and esthetics matter to me.

2. it is much easier to leave the dock with mast rigged and hoist the lug sail when clear than it is to have the mast rigged and have to fumble with the sprit to thread it intio the peak while standing and maintaining balance. Adding a line to guide the sprit to the peak works, but we start adding spagghetti lines in a small boat.

2. Of course, one can have the mast and sprit rigged onshore and the whole thing brailed so that once clear of the dock you can unbrail it and sail away,. In theory it sounds great. In practice, I found that in anything but light winds it can be a wild ride at the dock since the brailed sprit rig still offers wind resistance and heals the boat at the dock/ramp. When beach launching, not a problem but when launchinmg from a boat ramp, usually built for power plastic boats, you get your tender wooden boat knocked against the dock. 

Sailing the lug or the sprit seems very similar to me, with my bias being towards the lug. Articles have been written about the sprit and lug actually being pretty equal, but the sprit having a slight advantage on some points of sail, cointrary to popular beliefs and seeming logic. To me, those things hardly matter as perfect tuning and competition is not my gig. I seem to extract better performance out of my lug rig than when I use the sprit on my Skerry. I say "seem" because we all know those things can be subjective, even when using a stop watch and/or GPS. Too many variables

In light winds, moving through the eye with the sprit can be frustrating and very gentle rudder use must be used to prevent the rudder from acting as a brake. Omce the winds get above 4-5 mph (stlill light), I find getting through the eye of the wind on a tack is not a problem with the sprit or the lug.


RE: Skerry sail

   Eric.  Thank you for the thorough and thoughtful reply to my query. I began to think lug rig while watching a series of utube videos by an Englishman named Roger Barnes.His boat, a small open French design , carries a lug sail and he seems to be able to set off on a day's sail with little fuss. I will make a choice sometime this winter... thanks again, Tom C

RE: Skerry sail

I love Roger Barnes.  His videos and book are great.  He has a standard lug on his Ilur.  The Skerry has a balanced lug.  I have a balanced lug on my NED, and I have found it a breaze to rig and get going quickly.  It is simple and it works.  I typically get everything set at the ramp, then hoist it once clear from docks, boats, etc.  

RE: Skerry sail

   C-dog, thank you for the reply. Your description of an "away we go" from the ramp is exactly what i am looking for .... stay well.. iwill update on my rig.   Tomc

RE: Skerry sail

Eric DuPont said >> In light winds, moving through the eye with the sprit can be frustrating and very gentle rudder use must be used to prevent the rudder from acting as a brake. Once the winds get above 4-5 mph (still light), I find getting through the eye of the wind on a tack is not a problem with the sprit or the lug.

In my experience that's not so much related to the sail rig as to the rudder and how it harmonizes with the hull. My balanced lug Faering Cruiser is much finickier tacking than my boomless sprit Brand-X dinghy. The FC needs to be sailed through the eye of the wind. I can't just throw the rudder over and expect it to turn, whereas I can do just that with the Brand-X and its sprit.

Is your comparison for the same hull with the official sail rigs?



RE: Skerry sail

   Laszlo.    Thank you for your reply. Not sure what you mean by "official sail rigs". My skerry is about 10 years old. Following build,  I purchased the sprit rig from CLC. To be honest, I don't remember being offered rig options, tho perhaps i did make a conscious decision to go sprit. In any case i am doing a little sailing this week and will further assess... thanks again, Tomc 

RE: Skerry sail


I certainly agree with your assessment. Yes, it is a stock hull and stock sprit rig from CLC. I agree that rudder managment helps sail through the eye of the wind, smoothly whereas an abrupt throw of the rudder acts like a brake. I was merely pointing out how frustrating it can be in very light winds. It is much more forgiving of sloppy rudder control once the wind blows. Having said that, since I have both the lug and the sprit for the same hulll: I find the lug more eye pleasing, easier to setup and yielding slightly easier tacks in low wind conditions. I must admit it might be more of a sailor's poor techniques (mine) than an actual boat issue. I do like the high sitting boom in the sprit rig, which yields a wide open cockpit. This high boom arguably looks funky to me. She reminds me of a cocktail glass with a little flag in there, instead on the more traditional umbrella. LOL Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I know.

RE: Skerry sail

   I chose the balanced lug for my Skerry, over the sprit, because I figured since some of the sail area would be forward of the mast, it would aid more in tacking, than the sprit would, though I've never sailed the sprit, so I don't know if that's true.  - I always raise sail in the parking lot, making sure all's set up and right, and then drop sail before launching and then re-raise when out away from the dock.  - One little trick I recently discovered, which admittedly belongs in the Duh department but I'll mention anyway, is that while out in the parking lot (raising and then lowering sail), it makes a big difference to park with the car and trailer pointed into the wind. :)

RE: Skerry sail

   Kurlanny.. thank you for the advice on prepping in the parking lot... it appears the votes are in for the lug rig... tomc

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.