Just about all of the boats I cover on VolksCruiser have the same rig and it’s a problematic affair.
For starters, I actually like the Bermuda rig as it’s highly developed and if you’re going to race it’s pretty much the only one you can use. That said, if I were designing a cruising boat it would just about be the last rig I’d choose.
So, what’s wrong with the Bermuda rig?
Let me count the ways…
- For maximum performance the Bermuda rig requires a sail inventory that takes up more space than your average cruising boat has room for.
- While highly developed, the rig is also highly monetized which makes it very expensive.
- Any rig 100% dependent on rigging to stand up has lots of potential failure points any of which can result in a mast-loss clusterfuck.
- Sailing a Bermuda rig is labor intensive. Which is OK when you’re racing, not so much when you’re crossing an ocean.
- While the Bermuda rig is highly developed, it was a poor choice to development over more powerful and efficient rigs. If you have a chance you’ll want to read any of C. A. Marchaj’s books on the subject as they’ll rock your world.
So, if the Bermuda rig has problems what’s better? Well according to the wind tunnel testing by C. A. Marchaj just about every rig out there is better than the Bermuda rig. So take your pick.
In my case; I’m still partial to the various lugs and junk rigs. Then again, I’m not a purist “Old Gaffer” sort of fellow and see no issues in taking a lot of that Bermuda rig science and applying it towards making a lug rig perform better, less prone to failure, and easier to use.
But more on that subject next time…