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View Diary: Schooners, Ketches, and Yawls (Photo Diary) (23 comments)

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  •  Great collection of sailing pictures (9+ / 0-)

    I've sailed the San Juans several times, either on my own boat sailed up from Long Beach or on my partner's trailerable 26 foot sloop.

    Didn't see too many yawls in the pictures, expected. Much more common in New England rather than west coast. And your pictures had a good crop of Gaff-rigged ships (where there is a boom, or Gaff, at the TOP of the sail to lift and shape it.

    Question is, why such a range of configurations? Depends on the winds where the boat will be used, maneuverability, ease of sail management. Sloops with one large triangular sail (and a jib, in the front) is the most common rigging for small sailboats. But having sail high on the mast encourages heeling in stiff wind and causes control and performance issues. But they are well handled by a small crew and can often be fast upwind because of careful sail-shaping rigging to get the best possible airfoil, and to give the jib clear access to the wind and shape it to give a really good pull to the boat unobstructed.

    Ketch and Yawl rigs, with two main sails and (often) several jibs) mean each sail is smaller but the quantity of sail square foot is good. Both are more common where the main sailing routes are across the wind (a beam reach, trade routes) rather then upwind, the hull heels less, more sq. ft means steady pull with easier sail management once the sails are up.

    Boats that sail in light winds make even more, different choices.

    Whole books have been written on this subject!! Several! (Hundreds or Thousands, actually)

    For being at first glance a fairly simple device to get the wind to move you, Sailboat (and Sail) architecture is quite complex. If you've ever read much or seen an America's Cup Racer you'll see why millions are spent perfecting the boat for a few extra tenths of a mile an hour and for tactical advantage.

    A great diary, from a wonderful area in which to sail.

    Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

    by blindcynic on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 09:39:43 AM PDT

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