my two cents worth. I agree with you and think the concept is a
worthy one, however the rig may be best left with dipping (SMS FMS),
or balanced (MJ) lugs as originally chosen. Bolger went with these on
bigger boats of similar motor-sailer, or powered sail-assisted
passage intentions too, like on his own RESOLUTION, and the REIVER
recently posted about here.
These four-sided rigs are unstayed, with an easily lowered mast that
makes riding out or motoring into a blow respectively more relaxed or
fuel efficient. Also, any large true lateen rigs I've seen have been
The rigs JG has shown aren't lateens however. They are staysails (big
jib-like sail on rear set mast) with some similar desirable
attributes of lateens in being a lifting sail, with a relatively low
CoE for their size when fully deployed.
Most photos I've seen of large lateen rigs reef to the yard; this, I
think, due to it just being easier to tie the heavy materials of old
to the lowered yard before re-hoisting, and the requirement to keep
the decks free. JG's staysails are also shown furling upwards to to
the stay. I see some issues here: the masts will be harder to design
for the benefits of lowering them and the rig out of the wind
altogether; the weight of the sail is raised aloft as reefing
progresses (this may reduce rolling however, and even capsise by
increasing the moment of inertia); and the CoE is raised with that
reefing, when ideally it would be better lowered.
Another attribute of the staysail is just that: it needs staying. I
realise that JG has shown only sketched ideas, but IMHO there is
rather insufficient staying shown - take a look at Bolger's STAYSAIL
CAT (BWAOM, p149), or his staysailed CRUISING CATAMARAN (Derek
Harvey's book or MAIB Vol9 N013) to see how much staying is required
to stiffen the mast! The staying and stiff mast are required in turn
to tension the luff.
All that staying tension places great compression loads on the mast
which the hull must resist - or the mast will be driven through the
bottom, or the hull will "banana". This extra hull strength in turn
may require the hull to be considerably heavier (and more costly in
build and fuel) than otherwise.
The common bermudan rig with main furled and poled out twin jibs from
the single forestay is a well proven self-steering down wind cruising
type. The lug may require just that bit more watching, but simple
sheet self steering would even relieve much of that. Big lateens have
to be watched carefully down wind as an accidental uncontrolled gybe
can be disasterous.
The lug and lateen are good reaching and not bad to windward.
However, a lot of the above may not apply to your or JG's sail assist
if the wind is often with you. The twin staysail rig shown by JG may
not require all that staying, with the other inherent acccomodations
I've mentioned, if it is absolutely to be used only for dead down
wind work. If this is all it's to be used for then it won't matter if
the luff sags somewhat, but sail assistance is given up for anything
more than a very broad reach off the true wind. This rig may just be
for the most refined of gentlemen ;)
--- In email@example.com
, "donschultz8275" <donschultz@...>
> So whatcha think?
> The neat thing I am writing about is that Jeff Gilbert has, in the
> Yahoo group jgbuilders photo section, sketches of a couple of his
> cats, Gravel Truck and Gumboots, using what he calls a lateen rig.
> sets the mast (masts) rearward and rigs a jib to it. The sail is
> loose footed (no boom) and is intended for downwind runs only. He
> suggests setting 2 of them, side by side, on his catamarans. Makes
> sense based on his note below...