Preview: My Favorite Rig and Why — The Gaff Rig, a Guide Post by Tom Cunliffe

December 18, 2014

Avatar Tom Cunliffe

Gaff Rig

Gaff-rigged DIRK

The following is an excerpt from Tom Cunliffe’s forthcoming book The Complete Ocean Skipper, which will be published next year by A & C Black.

Take a dinghy tour around any anchorage and you’ll see that althoug the Bermudan sloop is now the default rig there are often other boats that break the mould. A junk-rigged schooner, perhaps, or a gaff cutter. Maybe even an unstayed carbon mast towering in aerodynamic splendour above the shining anodised forest. Who are these guys? Are they eccentrics playing out some fantasy? Are they hopeless romantics who refuse to let the past slip away, or are they innovative brains at work? The truth is, they could be any of these things.

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