Preview: The Yawl Rig – My Favorite Rig and Why by Dick Wagner

November 15, 2014

Dick Wagner

The physics of sailing include the wind, the current, the underwater hull shape and the sail area. It is really a battle between the non-compressible water and the very compressible wind.

Once I raced in a nine-ton staysail schooner against about a dozen 26’ Thunderbird sloops (average weight about two tons). The first leg was to windward. Of course, after lots of tacks, we were last in rounding the buoy. The wind was now light and on our stern. With mainsail, fisherman, foresail and the upper and lower jibs setting wing-on wing, we glided past the T-birds. How cool was that!

 

mothers day at camano 2007_credit Frank Murzdia

JOSHUA, a SPRAY replica, in 2007. Photo by Frank Murzdia

I like square rigs, sprit rigs, gaff, lateen, lug or Marconi rigs placed in the right position on the right hull, single, double, trimaran or scow. Tried them all. But the best rig for sailing in ponds or on the seas is a yawl. The mizzen is your friendly ghost. Whn you are at the helm and sailing to windward, you can read a book or write a poem while the mizzen keeps you on course.

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