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At 12:22pm on December 11, 2021, Dean Wilkerson said…

I was curious about your plans of a few years back to junk rig your T30.   One post then silence on the subject.   I strongly believe that the biplane junk rig is just about ideal for my purposes as a single hander.   I don't own a catamaran at the moment, but my leaning is toward Wharram cats.   My goal is global sailing  over a period of years, probably single hand most of the time.   I've been a member of JRA for a few years now, since the Yahoo group shut down.   My inclination is to go as small as practical, to keep expenses low...but that's a mixed blessing.   Tangeroa seems about the realistic minimum, though I'm attracted the T30, and the Pahi 31. 

     I long ago concluded that a multihull was the only logical choice for me for that mission.  The upright ride, means a lot less fatigue, and the ability to beach the boat means I can do a lot of my own maintenance from bottom cleaning & painting to repairs on rudders, renewing lashings, etc, and being very mechanical, I'm inclined that way.   Smaller and simpler is better In my estimation.......I've had the other  ;-)

     The challenges of the junk rig are fairly small, mainly building and stepping the masts, and the sail construction.   Free standing masts eliminate a huge number of maintenance and failure points that in my estimation are a veritable "house of cards".  

      Of the junk rigs, the camber panel rigs are really the only realistic option for decent performance on all points of sail.    Paul McKay's Aerojunk design as you can see here, offers camber while having flat fabric sails by using a "batten cage".... A rather brilliant innovation.  The boat shown is Pete Hill's Oryx, a stretched KD 860 catamaran.    There are several attractions here.  One is of course using flat sailcloth...... keeping things simple, and easily repairable, and another is the lack of some running rigging.... such as luff hauling parrels.   You build the strong and simple batten cages ONCE, and in a pinch use whatever fabric is available.  By contrast the camber panel rig is a bit of a sewing project.   I've recently come to take the soft wing sails seriously, having regarded them as overly complex before.   In reality they offer a lot.  Enclosing the mast inside a streamline section, with hinged rigid battens.  This is not complex really, and again the fabric is essentially a flat piece which can simply be wrapped around, and could be laced to the battens in lieu of batten pockets... rib stitched like an airplane wing.    With only about a dozen of these for a biplane rig, it doesn't represent a huge challenge.  Note the bottom version in the image below.  Once you work out the methodology the fabrication is not a big problem.

      I'm currently preparing to start building a Richard Woods Strike 18 type trimaran as a test bed, and small trailerable "sail camper" with a cuddy of sorts.   I hope to have it ready by next summer, sailing with a pair of beach cat hulls for amas.  

...........  I'd like to hear where you are...... or aren't with your biplane project.   To me the smaller shorter masts and rigs, and the open deck space, ease of tacking, excellent downwind sailing, instant reefing, etc.... are overwhelming positives..... But racing is of zero interest to me.


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