Preview: My Favorite Rig and Why—A Guide Post by Doug Hylan

Sloop "Jianling"

As a lazy sailor, my favorite rig would be fractional sloop, sans running backstays. I have enough excitement just coming about, and find that I often forget all about the runners until well after they should have been set up. There is nothing worse than settling down on a new tack, getting your beer bottle all squared away, and then discovering that dmned runner slatting all about. It’s a standing backstay for me!

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12 Responses So Far to “My Favorite Rig and Why—A Guide Post by Doug Hylan

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    Rick Pratt says:

    Hi Doug,

    My first sail boat was a Knarr. It was so lovely that it could be difficult to sail because so many folks would come along side to compliment it.

    Rick Pratt

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    JOHN DUGGAN says:

    I suppose it is too much to expect, on a site dedicated to traditional and classic boats, that there will be enthusiasm expressed for the modern masthead sloop rig. Sure, it is not without its drawbacks, and few boats are as unsatisfactory as a badly set up masthead sloop, but this rig is the workhorse of thousand of cruising boats enjoyed all around the world. There is no easier way to set sail than unfurling a genoa and a well balanced sloop will sail well to windward under even a roller reefed genoa, if properly cut. There is no inner forestay to get in the way, sheets and halyards are at a minimum and a fully battened main is easy to handle. It is not the most romantic of rigs but there are plenty of reasons why it has become one of the most popular in the world

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    Michael Jones says:

    Having been possessed by a William Garden “Eel” this year, it has confirmed my opinion of the yawl as a great rig for single handed sailing. While not my first yawl, it is my first experience With the sliding gunter rig, which has the benefits of a shorter main mast and the sailing ability’s of a macaroni rig. The main sets with one halyard. With the main mast set in a tabernacle the shrouds stay attached and fixed, it can be lower and re-stepped with the forestay.

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    Mark Baldwin says:

    How nice, Doug, to have such a clearly stated vindication of sticking a mizzen on my Sea Sprite 34. When I started to do it, a friend insisted that I have the notion Approved By A Naval Architect. You looked at a sketch and said, “Seems about right. You want about 2″ of rake, for the appearance of it.” So I have claimed that it is a Professionally Approved Design. It also works the way you describe.

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    randy hines says:

    i sail hull speed under mizzen and reefed jib in 25-30 winds comfortably all day long in my Alied princess 36 ketch, i have no doubt the yawls can do the same.
    cheers randy

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    Vance Scott says:

    I am building a 20″ lug rigged yawl but have never sailed one so am much encouraged by these comments. Thanks for the great vids and info.
    Western Australia

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    martin schulman says:

    Ben’s photos, as always, are wonderful. How about a little section on photography with emphasis on boat shots. Ben what do you see before the shot, how do you determine the settings on your camera, what kind of camera do you work with and what editing do you do. Also, I have appreciated you photos for years but always wonder about the camera settings for each.

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      Ben Mendlowitz says:

      Hi Martin, we do have a video on the site that shows me photographing Charlena, here is the link perhaps some day we will do another that covers some of the specifics you mention in detail. For photos like those above in full sunlight I usually set the f-stop at 8 which is where most lenses are sharpest and also gives a decent amount of depth of field. With an ISO of 100 or 200 your meter will give a nice fast shutter speed which will eliminate any blurring from camera movement due to following the subject in a moving/bouncing boat. Best regards, Ben

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    Stan Sinowitz says:

    I have been sailing 50 some years and I’ve had sloops and cutters and the cutter is the best for single handed sailing. You drop the jibs and you have no drive with the main sheeted in. When you cast off frm a mooring with only the main sail hauled up, you have all the time to set the jib first, flying, and then haul up the staysail. Haul in the jib sheets when ready and off you go!

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    Gord Phillips says:

    Let’s hear it for the yawl rig! I probably only use the main on my Acadian Yawl half the time – either because I’m getting enough power out of the genoa & mizzen alone, or because I’m just too lazy to hoist the main. And there have been occasions when I found I was sailing faster without the main because I was over-powered, heeling too much, etc with the main up.

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    Ben Mendlowitz says:

    Hi Daniel, That is Starlight, Concordia Yawl number 23. She has the standard fractional yawl rig and at 39’10” is the smaller of the two yawl designs that the Concordia Company offered in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Best regards, Ben

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    Daniel DeZwarte says:

    I too sail a Yawl and I agree exactly with your endorsement of the advantages. What is the beautiful Yawl pictured in the video? I have a 34 foot yawl; graceful ends and fairly narrow at 9 feet beam. I built it from just a bare hull many, many years ago. She sails well and looks pretty good doing it. Thanks for the blog and all the great videos. Keep them coming! D.J.D.