Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hardangersjekte Valgerda Lug Sail

Last spring when I purchased the William Atkin Valgerda known as Reinsdyr she had been stripped of her inboard motor, sail and rigging. After some repair and extensive caulking and refinishing she debuted at the Toledo Wooden Boat Show, but as a rowing craft.

Meanwhile, back in May, I had ordered a new sail that has just now arrived.

The plans for the Hardangersjekte Valgerda as William Atkin drew them show a fixed lug sail with a moderate peak. The design sail area is 72 square feet. This seemed a bit small to me, probably as an auxiliary to a primarily motor driven vessel.

We all know how Doryman feels about that! For a boat of this size and weight I thought that the sail area should be no less than 100 square feet, but not much more since the rounded hull and dramatic rise would result in a boat that sailed hard-over. I also wanted a balanced lug with a higher peak in an effort to pinch to windward more efficiently. Damn the motors, full sail ahead!

Paul Gartside designed a beautiful balanced lug option for his Skylark that I like very much and it just so happened that my friend Lynne Fabricant of Sailmakers Art had just made that sail for a customer. She agreed to size the plan up from 88 square feet, sent me a drawing for a 119 square foot lug sail and contracted to make it up in tanbark.

The sail is one more example of Lynne's quality work. Regular readers will remember she made the mainsail for Mistral and it is also perfect.

I hoped to make up the rigging from the plethora of salvaged gear stored out in the boatyard and it looks like it's going to work out fine. The mast is nearly fifteen feet long, made of old growth spruce. It has been with me a long time. A good friend salvaged it years ago and traded it to me (thirty years or more, no kidding!), but until now it has not found a home. It's been used for different applications which are evident in many old mounting holes for cleats. They've all been plugged meticulously though I never quite trust a plugged hole to be as strong as original so hopefully this will work out. The mast is a true collector's item with tight grain like you've never seen.

The yard is also spruce. Much newer stuff, though I've carried this around for thirty years too. Also salvaged from an old mast.
I pieced it together with two long scarps so was able to pre-load it with a bit of a curve to resist the tension that a yard like this is susceptible to. For the same reason, a bit of an upward curve is cut into a sail with an upper yard to help keep the sail from sagging as wind increases and sail tension pulls the yard down.

In this way I could keep the size and weight of the yard to a minimum.

The sail will be loose footed with a boom. I have an old spinnaker pole that will work beautifully. You've heard of the fellow who built a boat to match a nice pair of oarlocks he had?........

With the epoxy still curing on the sticks, I was compelled to set the new rig up and see how all of the calculations worked out. It's very cold and wet outside, so setting up on the boat was out of the question. What you see is the best I could do. Sorry if you were expecting photos of a Hardangersjekte under full sail, pushing a bow wake.

That will have to wait but I promise,

The dog is trying to tell me she can't reach her bed which is the blue rug under the head of the sail.
She wasn't anywhere around when this project started.



robert.ditterich said...

Some beautiful things are worth waiting for.
Goodness, you've kept us this long (tapping foot) another few weeks won't hurt, I guess...but I don't envy you working on the floor!

doryman said...

Sorry for the wait, Rob. It's been out of my control since the sailmaker has been so busy. I applaud her for that, since the economy here is derailed and many people have no work at all.
I looked at the pictures Mary took with wonder -- with my poor old back, it's amazing I can bend over that far!
If Lynne had gotten my sail out a month earlier I might be on the water with it, but the weather has been perfectly slimy lately. We're watching for snow, which almost never happens around here.

Anonymous said...

Good call bumping up the sail area, Michael. I have always thought she was under canvassed. Will you will the boom with a sheet that attaches in multiple places..the spinnaker pole designed for compressive stresses may need that. Hard to say without knowing more, but food for thought. Cheers.

doryman said...

I've had a few misgivings that I didn't add enough extra sail area! Time will tell.
The attachment for the boom is still under consideration and thank you for your input. The spinnaker pole is a stout old stick.
One thing that concerns me with a lug sail is how much the boom lifts running down wind. You can get a nasty twist and some scary jibes in a hurry, so I'm considering a quick release vang on a traveler. The traveler would be a simple line clipped across the cockpit and attached to the boom about halfway. In this scenario the sheet lead would be close to the end of the boom.
I like having separate controls for sail shape. I might even attach a foreguy to the forward end of the yard - we'll see how she goes to weather.