Comments and replies

“I notice that the keel of your boat looks a bit as if designed in the 1950s (for cruising). The long keels from before WW II were then made shorter, but the rudders were still integral with the keel. This resulted in reduced wetted surface and quicker tacking, but the rudder authority was also reduced so they had to use the sails quite a lot to help manoeuvring. Falling off with pinned sheets was often not possible. Steering with the waves rolling in on the quarters could also be difficult.  I see that the original rig was a Bm yawl. That is the perfect rig for that boat: As soon as they wanted to bear away from close-hauled sailing, they could ease the mizzen sheet and thus move the sail centre dramatically forward. This way they could actually make them self-steer from close-hauled sailing and down to somewhere in the beam to broad reach.

Now I see that you have put a schooner JR on her. That may work well as long as you are sailing close-hauled, but reaching and running you must be prepared for dropping 2-3 panels in the main to avoid a heavy weather helm. Remember, on a reach you get the combination of these broad sails outside the boat and the boat heeling. A fairly simple plan B ( if it proves needed  –  I might be over-cautious…) could be to add a second, freestanding spade-rudder at the aft end of the waterline. With the two rudder linked together, you would have great control. I know that some boats have been modified this way.

The rig looks good. I hope you plan to make it with camber in the panels. That ship is probably fairly heavy (?) so the added drive from cambered sails would be welcome.”

Anyway, good luck!

Despite having a overall length of 37 ft., the waterline length is only 26 ft. – which modern day racer sailors would probably scoff at – but from a long distance cruising perspective has its advantages. I have witness a 6 ft vertical wall of water racing up on my stern, braced myself for the wave to wash into the cockpit, only to witness a sudden rise in the stern and the threatening sea wall to be swallowed underneath. The modern reverse transom sail boat with stretched waterline length would have taken it aboard for sure.

Hence the rudder is actually a lot closer to the aft of the underwater profile of the hull than would seem at first glance and I’m not anticipating any excessive wander or weather helm.

I got rid of the missen mast after my third Atlantic crossing because I found it to be a waste of space.

With regards to altering the size and balance of the sails to achieve better balance and less weather helm when running, I agree, that’s the beauty of the Junk rig – so easy to do.

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘camber in the panels’. Do you mean pre-bent battens? If that’s the question then the answer is no. My main concern when sailing long distance (the only kind of sailing I do) is having battens that don’t break too often and can be easily replaced at sea if they do.

The boat weighs in at 8.5 tons unloaded.

– – – –

“Hi Simon I have measured the length of the battens on your main sail, and find that the lengths differ a bit!? Is that so, or is the sails drawing a little inaccurate?


All the battens are same length. 16 ft for the main, 11.5 ft for the fore. The plan you are referring to is just a small sketch for display purposes only. My actual blueprints are much larger and more accurate with detachable sails :).

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