The successful VolksCruiser is not just about spending less for stuff. A lot of it has to do with thinking how sailboats work. That said, if you actually suss out how/why sailboats work and act on your findings. It’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll wind up saving money if you do.
For instance, you’d think that the most commonly used rig in sailing would also be the most logical rig… Common sense right?
As it happens, a while back, someone by the name of Tony Marchaj did a study of how boats work with a special emphasis on rigs and the results were exactly what most people who sail would never dream of. Heresy upon heresy such as the fact that lug and gaff rigs would outpoint a Bahamian sloop (the rig 99% of folks use). No opinions, just plain old scientific method.
Marchaj’s book “Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing” pretty much spells out the gory details (and is well worth the read) but the reason I mention this is that it proves that not only is it OK to use an alternative rig like junk, balanced lug, or gaff but it really makes sense to do so.
My personal favorite is the balanced lug because it is simple, cheap, and has pretty much zip in the way of things that break or fail. Throw in the fact that it has more power per square foot of sail area than the Bahamian sloop rig at a fraction of the cost, it makes lots of sense for anyone but for someone on a budget, it’s pretty much a slam dunk.
Another rig that makes a lot of sense for the VolksCruiser crowd is the junk… Not quite as powerful as the balanced lug but with a slew of advantages that makes it a pretty equal choice when all is said and done. For me, the choice hinges on whether you like to fiddle with line or not… I’m lazy so the balanced lug tends to win out.