I’ve always liked the gaff rig because it’s a stout spar that does not require a lot of tension to stand. There’s a lot to be said for that.
While I don’t think that Tom Colvin’s junk rigs were fully evolved they did make a whole lot of sense.Take his Gazelle for instance.
Minimal stays with the ability to carry a jib makes all kinds of sense to me. The masts are lighter and less expensive than free-standing masts. Mast placement tends to be more normal in the sense that they are less radical where the interior is concerned which is no bad thing when dealing with a classic plastic boat. The fact that a jib is a great aid to balancing the sail plan and helps with windward ability is an added bonus. The Colvin rig makes a lot of sense.
Then again, it would make even more sense if it was brought into the current century.
Yep, I’m well aware that most junk rig aficionados tend to be foresail and standing rig phobic but a well designed junk or lug cutter would make all kinds of sense where a bombproof, powerful, and inexpensive rig is what you want.
With the current available tech it would be easy to build a light spar in plywood (see Reuel Parker’s) and since textile rigging has become an available affordable alternative it’s within the reach of anyone. Take a little extra effort and serve the rigging and you’ll have a rig that will last into the next century.
Might be a bit of heretical thinking you should think about.