Sowing sails

Last week the mainsail was own together and has now been fitted on the boat complete with battens made from aluminium tubing.

junk sail creation

Frances sticking batten pockets into place prior to sowing

After a lot of consideration, I have opted for the ‘traditional’ Hassler/MacLeod flat sail design with two battens/panels  in the fan head. I have chosen this conservative design over the much tooted cambered Junk sails design for the following reasons:

  • The flat junk sails have proved themselves in long-distance ocean sailing whereas the cambered sails (to my knowledge) have only been used in local waters never far from land.
  • The flat sail is a simple and robust sail design suited for heavy weather whereas the cambered sails, using vertical seams, would be less durable over the long haul.
  • The priorities of long distance sailing is simplicity and dependability – not winning races against conventional sloops.
  • Extensive upwind work is rarely encountered in long distance routes if you understand global weather patterns and plan your passages appropriately.

The cambered Junk sail and other ‘advanced’ forms of Junk sail design like the split rig are reported to give superior upwind performance over the flat Junk sail and although I have not seen a cambered Junk rig in action I do not doubt those claims. However, the proponents of these designs are local sailors more interested in zipping around the harbour and beating their sloop sailor neighbours in local races. Their priorities are clearly different from long distance sailors who place long-term dependability  over short term speed.

Current progress report – mainsail sown and in the lifts along with yard, battens, boom, mast parrels. Yard hauling parrel, luff hauling parrel, tack line, and sheets to be fitted. I will then start some sea trials with mainsail only.

Waiting for some more supplies before sowing the foresail.

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