Friday, January 21, 2011

Hardangersjekte Valgerda Lug Sail

There has been rain non-stop for weeks and I've been reluctant to uncover the faering and set up the new mast, but we've had a welcome respite and a bit of clear weather so this is the result.

The mast is set up with guy ropes in place of standing rigging and the lines marked for future reference (shrouds and stays forthwith...). The mast and yard have never been tried, yet they work together nicely - meaning the math worked out - which is always rewarding.

It appears that the stays, which are included in the original design, will interfere with the free run of the yard. In fact, on a downwind run, the yard will bind between the stay and the mast in an alarming fashion. Does anyone out there have experience with running stays? I think I will need to devise a method of relieving the leeward stay, much the same as one would with a running back-stay.

I can see from this mock-up where the halyard cleat needs to lead and where to place the downhaul, though it would have been more informative to rig the boom. All of the boats in Doryman's boatyard are sequestered away under tarps for the winter and in this case there are a few tree branches that interfere with everything, but no matter, enough information was gathered from this experiment to move forward.

"Lose not a minute!", as Captain Jack Aubrey would say.


Brandon Ford said...

Looks good! Supposed to be nice weather this weekend. Come up to Devil's Lake with your Valgerda. There is a real nice boat ramp close to my house. I'll get out my hip boots and I'm sure we could launch her from the ramp. I could get pictures from Ravn.

Adrian Morgan said...

Couple of things: first it's a faering, not a fearing (unless you are referring to the terrifying way they grab your imagination and capture you soul.)

I suppose in the hands of a real viking they might also be a craft of which to be afeared. But anyway...

As for the sail, the mast should be free standing, or the shrouds will interfere with the sail shape.

You could try setting up the halyard as a windward shroud, but that would entail dipping the lug every time you tack, and untacking the, er, tack, dipping lugger style. No need for shrouds if the mast is strong enough.

Have a look at my website for photos of the faering I built some years back and the rig.

Keep up the good work.

doryman said...

So right! Dyslexia strikes again and it will not be the last time.

I was always the first one out in a spelling bee. Spell check has been a godsend for me, but it doesn't recognize faering no matter how you spell it!

Looking at the plans for the last few months, I suspected exactly what you warn about - should have asked you earlier. To get enough height from the old mast I had (which is a beautiful piece of spruce - don't know how old the mast is, I've had it for thirty years, in storage)It sits on a partner and no longer has any bury. To have a free standing mast, I'd have to build a new one, which could be done.

So, I guess that answers your note, Brandon. The best I could do would be a reach, which could turn into a big mess if I missed a tack and had to wear around.

doryman said...

Do you see any problem with setting up the shrouds on blocks and running a control line to cleats on either side? Then the shrouds could be released to leeward, just like a running back stay. The helmsman would have to be on his toes downwind!!

Adrian Morgan said...


I really am no expert, but I reckon the oldest and simplest ways are the best. I am sure a system of blocks and pulleys would work, but why not stick with the tried and trusted? How long would it take to whittle a new mast, strong enough to stand without stays? Doesn't need to be fancy, or even that hefty.

By all means experiment - it's exciting - but I suspect the answer is an old one. Or maybe it's just me getting stuck in the past...

Whatever. Have fun!

doryman said...

I was looking at the mast today and thinking it wouldn't take much to scarph on three feet. But I just built the mast partner and bedded it in... :-)
Time to get out the hole saw.
Didn't really want to make up all those wires anyway.

O Docker said...

Please follow the teachings of tradition.

All this talk of running backstays is making me weak in the knees.

I don't know how many times I've spotted some fine old racing machine that I was all set to take a liking to, followed the lines of the rigging, only to be caught up short by the discovery of runners.

"Pity," I go away thinking.

doryman said...

I spent a decade racing on a boat with so many lines you couldn't see the deck. Which may have tainted me.

This boat has only one sail, so how hard can it be?

I know what you mean though, or possibly I am inferring this - when something unpredictable happens, which might be every other minute on a sailboat, those loose stays (or shrouds in this case)could spell disaster.

It occurred to me yesterday that what I really need for this boat is a "grown" pole. That's what the Vikings would have done. It will have to be about 18 feet tall, which is getting up there. Part of the design parameters of a boat like this is that the mast and yard should fit inside the boat when rowing for any distance.

Laingdon said...

Twice two cents' worth here: go with the unstayed rig- that's how lug rig works, with the exception of the halyard-as-shroud routine, as in a felucca. And as for running backs- they are as traditional as you can get, on a gaffer.

That being said, I have little runners on my sailing dory, a photo of which still graces the header of your redoubtable publication, and they work great. What works is what works; there's no point in forcing a particular design feature onto a boat for the sheer sake of having that feature, or from rejecting one that would suit the need. One of the great values of 'tradition' lies on the fact that traditional rigs/designs were generally refined over many years to suit a specific need and/or set of conditions and tend to have had the bugs worked out pretty well. While it can be both fun and practical to adopt and adapt various aspects of different rigs to a given boat, the trial and error tends to take a while. Having a hybrid rig on my little boat, I am still tweaking and fiddling with it going on five years since launching, which, for me, is part of the fun.

doryman said...

My grandad, who was a jack of all trades and had done some boat work in his life was a master at building to the materials at hand. His design grew from the pile of lumber in front of him.

This is a similar situation where the pieces lie in storage, waiting to be used - which is becoming a mortal sin to me as I grow older.

Less junk in storage is my motto.

The rig for this boat is, so far, completely of salvaged materials and has cost virtually nothing.

Mariners have made much from nothing for centuries.

Laingdon said...

More from less is a noble and esthetic creed.

doryman said...

So the point here is that I could rig something that would work and would have historic precedence but not be traditional (and possibly a bit too complicated).
Or I could start shopping for the spruce to make a new (unstayed) mast. I'm a bit stuck here. For one, it's a lean year and cash is hard come by.

The maxim of less is more works either way.

Laingdon said...

why not go with working out something with what you've got for now- use runners or a halyard/shroud- and get the boat going. A new mast could always be gotten out when time and energy/money are more plentiful. One of the reason we're messabouters is that small craft are easy to improvise on and and play around in by mocking up different arrangements, right. Keep it simple, keep it cheap and it won't be hard to change or develop more fully later.

tie some strings on that thing and go sailing, man!

doryman said...

I've spent a few nights working on mast step design and it's apparent the you are right. There are unknowns about this boat that haven't been discussed here. The keel has been altered enough that the exact lateral plane would be hard to determine.

The only sensible solution is to sail the boat and see how she handles, so that's next. I'll splice up some shrouds this weekend.

The Yaquina Guide Boat is ready for another sea trial too, so it could be an exciting week.