Where’s Spock when you need him…

Logic is a funny thing…

Especially when it’s connected with boats. For instance, a friend recently wrote about changing a gaff cat rigged boat into a junk schooner. His reasons for such a conversion were listed as the single sail was too big to be easily handled, possibly better balance of the schooner rig, and the ease of reefing the junk sails.

I sorta/kinda agree… It’s logical in fact.

The problem is, it’s logical in a sorta/kinda way.

Take the smaller sized sails of the schooner rig in place of the big gaff rig sail. If you were replacing it with a reasonable facsimile schooner rig it would work in your favor. However, if you were replacing it with two smaller junk sails you’d more than likely find yourself with two sails that each weigh as much or more as the bigger gaff cat sail. The big single sail would make it easier to handle and weigh less than two smaller sails. Me, being cheap and all, I tend to focus on the fact that you’ll also wind up more than doubling the cost of your rig…

Which is not to say I don’t really like the junk rig or think it makes all kinds of sense. It is a great rig. The problem comes in when you don’t think a rig through to it’s logical conclusion. Keep in mind that anything you do in terms of boat design/redesign is always going to be a compromise and have a downside somewhere in the mix. Most people’s boat logic tend to exclude the compromise and downside part and include a lot of rose colored views.

Another issue is that the schooner rig is going to play havoc with the boats interior, result in some expensive modifications, and actually add to the boats complexity and make it more difficult to balance rather than easier… sadly without a gain in performance for your trouble and expense.

So, we’re kind of left with the “junk rig is easier to reef” advantage but there are any number of ways to make the single big gaff easier to reef or alternative rigs that would cost less and work better in the situation…

So, what would logic dictate?

Anyone who knows me knows I really like the junk rig, though I do admit to thinking that the western balanced lug rig is way better on nearly every point (but, that’s a conversation we can have later) and I think it makes all kinds of sense especially when you’re starting with a boat that is a new build or requires a rig to be replaced.

Which sorta/kinda brings us around to the fifth rule of VolksCruisng…

                                          Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.

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