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Re: [Michalak] Re: Lug Sails

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  • Anders Bjorklund
    Brian Pearson (aka keyhavenpotterer) in Britain recommends an additional bit of lashing that connects the throat cringle to the yard. Its purpose is to prevent
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 24, 2013
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      Brian Pearson (aka keyhavenpotterer) in Britain recommends an additional
      bit of lashing that connects the throat cringle to the yard. Its purpose is
      to prevent the tension on the luff from pulling it downward along (and away
      from) the yard. That helps to prevent the head of the sail from being
      tensioned too much when the downhaul is applied hard. He places a
      tiny padeye on the top surface of the yard, directly in line with the luff
      tension that pulls down on the cringe. A lashing through that padeye
      directly opposes the downward force, and holds the cringle in the correct
      location when the downhaul tension is varied.

      Anders


      On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 3:08 PM, prairiedog2332 <nelsarv@...> wrote:

      > Any additional suggestions?
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • prairiedog2332
      Very good suggestion: Hopefully this illustrates it further. http://smallcraftadvisor.com/message-board2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=238&star t=40
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 25, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Very good suggestion: Hopefully this illustrates it further.

        http://smallcraftadvisor.com/message-board2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=238&star\
        t=40
        <http://smallcraftadvisor.com/message-board2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=238&sta\
        rt=40>


        --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, Anders Bjorklund wrote:
        >
        > Brian Pearson (aka keyhavenpotterer) in Britain recommends an
        additional
        > bit of lashing that connects the throat cringle to the yard. Its
        purpose is
        > to prevent the tension on the luff from pulling it downward along (and
        away
        > from) the yard. That helps to prevent the head of the sail from being
        > tensioned too much when the downhaul is applied hard. He places a
        > tiny padeye on the top surface of the yard, directly in line with the
        luff
        > tension that pulls down on the cringe. A lashing through that padeye
        > directly opposes the downward force, and holds the cringle in the
        correct
        > location when the downhaul tension is varied.
        >
        > Anders
        >
        >
        > On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 3:08 PM, prairiedog2332 nelsarv@... wrote:
        >
        > > Any additional suggestions?
        > >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Anders Bjorklund
        Excellent Nels, thank you for finding that! Anders ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 25, 2013
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          Excellent Nels, thank you for finding that!

          Anders


          On Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 5:52 AM, prairiedog2332 <nelsarv@...> wrote:

          > Hopefully this illustrates it further.
          >
          > http://smallcraftadvisor.com/message-board2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=238&star\
          > t=40<http://smallcraftadvisor.com/message-board2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=238&start=40>
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • jhargrovewright2@juno.com
          My I express the same. Just because we do not respond to each of your posts.....many of us study each word and link.....but we do not have anything to add or
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 25, 2013
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            My I express the same. Just because we do not respond to each of your posts.....many of us study each word and link.....but we do not have anything to add or a worthwhile comment. Nels, II always read you. Woops, I do have a question....why prairiedog? JIB

            ---------- Original Message ----------
            From: Anders Bjorklund <andersbjorklund5@...>
            To: Michalak@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Michalak] Re: Lug Sails
            Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2013 09:03:25 -0500


            <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
            Excellent Nels, thank you for finding that!

            Anders

            On Thu, Apr 25, 2013 at 5:52 AM, prairiedog2332 <nelsarv@...> wrote:

            > Hopefully this illustrates it further.
            >
            > http://smallcraftadvisor.com/message-board2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=238&star\
            > t=40<http://smallcraftadvisor.com/message-board2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=238&start=40>
            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • prairiedog2332
            Thanks John, The only thing I wonder about is if folks see errors and don t bother to point them out. So I welcome them most of all as we both learn that
            Message 5 of 18 , Apr 25, 2013
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              Thanks John,

              The only thing I wonder about is if folks see errors and don't bother to
              point them out. So I welcome them most of all as we both learn that
              way:-)

              I always thought the sprit boom leg o' mutton was about the best rig for
              simplicity and performance, being self-vanging and how you can adjust
              the draft by adjusting the snotter. But it requires such a tall mast to
              get any area and tall tapered masts are not the easiest things to make
              as well as man-handle and travel with. Plus, in order to have easy
              reefing they need sail track.


              Then the more I looked at lugsail rigs the more I saw how advantageous
              they are. Especially once understanding the necessity of keeping the
              luff tight and the joys of jiffy reefing along with some other tweaks.
              As Ross Lillistone mentions you can make them simple as can be and then
              experiment with tweaks for years with just a bit of added string.


              Then you can get into the Mik Storer levels with full battens dyneema
              lines and sheet bridles and on and on. So my latest wondering is about
              those mainsheet bridles with a traveller, 3 blocks and 3 attachment
              points to the boom like on the GIS?


              http://www.storerboatplans.com/GIS/GISRigging.html
              <http://www.storerboatplans.com/GIS/GISRigging.html>


              I surmised this was to bring the mainsheet closer to hand when hiking
              out over the rail but apparently it also helps to control boom bend. If
              you have the boom tacked down at the forward end and the sheet tied at
              the back end then the boom will bend in the middle and throw off the
              shape of the sail. As the wind increases the sail becomes fuller at a
              time when you want to flatten it. Any comments on that?

              And I got further confirmation about what Anders says about a higher
              peaked gaff tends to twist less than a lower peaked gaff. John Welsford
              says it does twist a bit when hit with a gust but immediately spills
              excess wind off the peak as the gaff bends there and is actually and
              advantage for maintaining control and heeling.

              And a final word from the sail guru, Todd Bradshaw. When making a
              sail, the degree of yard and boom stiffness or lack thereof has to be
              known when shaping the sail. And he goes on to explain how to test your
              rig to see how well it does in that regard. He feels this is one area
              the polysail makers have not taken into account. Comments?

              John, the "prairie dog" moniker was was from way back to when I lived on
              the prairies and my business then was called "Prairie Dog Distributors".
              A lot of my customers called me Prairie Dog as a result.

              Nels
              --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "jhargrovewright2@..." wrote:
              >
              > My I express the same. Just because we do not respond to each of your
              posts.....many of us study each word and link.....but we do not have
              anything to add or a worthwhile comment. Nels, II always read you.
              Woops, I do have a question....why prairiedog? JIB




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • John Trussell
              Nels, I ve built a couple of boats with a balanced lug sail, My experience has been that these sails need a fair amount of downhaul tension to set well and
              Message 6 of 18 , Apr 25, 2013
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                Nels,



                I've built a couple of boats with a balanced lug sail, My experience has
                been that these sails need a fair amount of downhaul tension to set well and
                that the downhaul is more likely to bend the boom than tension through a mid
                boom location of the sheet. The boom on my first effort (a Michalak 'Mixer')
                bent quite a bit. My solution then (and since) is to increase the depth of
                the specified boom by about 25 to 30% over what the design specifies,
                tapering the boom toward the ends. This seems to solve the problem and the
                extra weight doesn't seem to be significant.



                I've had other boats with different rigs and I think that for my sailing, a
                balanced lug sail is my favorite.



                JohnT



                _____

                From: Michalak@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Michalak@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                Of prairiedog2332
                Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2013 2:00 PM
                To: Michalak@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [Michalak] Re: Lug Sails





                Thanks John,

                The only thing I wonder about is if folks see errors and don't bother to
                point them out. So I welcome them most of all as we both learn that
                way:-)

                I always thought the sprit boom leg o' mutton was about the best rig for
                simplicity and performance, being self-vanging and how you can adjust
                the draft by adjusting the snotter. But it requires such a tall mast to
                get any area and tall tapered masts are not the easiest things to make
                as well as man-handle and travel with. Plus, in order to have easy
                reefing they need sail track.

                Then the more I looked at lugsail rigs the more I saw how advantageous
                they are. Especially once understanding the necessity of keeping the
                luff tight and the joys of jiffy reefing along with some other tweaks.
                As Ross Lillistone mentions you can make them simple as can be and then
                experiment with tweaks for years with just a bit of added string.

                Then you can get into the Mik Storer levels with full battens dyneema
                lines and sheet bridles and on and on. So my latest wondering is about
                those mainsheet bridles with a traveller, 3 blocks and 3 attachment
                points to the boom like on the GIS?

                http://www.storerboatplans.com/GIS/GISRigging.html
                <http://www.storerboatplans.com/GIS/GISRigging.html>

                I surmised this was to bring the mainsheet closer to hand when hiking
                out over the rail but apparently it also helps to control boom bend. If
                you have the boom tacked down at the forward end and the sheet tied at
                the back end then the boom will bend in the middle and throw off the
                shape of the sail. As the wind increases the sail becomes fuller at a
                time when you want to flatten it. Any comments on that?

                And I got further confirmation about what Anders says about a higher
                peaked gaff tends to twist less than a lower peaked gaff. John Welsford
                says it does twist a bit when hit with a gust but immediately spills
                excess wind off the peak as the gaff bends there and is actually and
                advantage for maintaining control and heeling.

                And a final word from the sail guru, Todd Bradshaw. When making a
                sail, the degree of yard and boom stiffness or lack thereof has to be
                known when shaping the sail. And he goes on to explain how to test your
                rig to see how well it does in that regard. He feels this is one area
                the polysail makers have not taken into account. Comments?

                John, the "prairie dog" moniker was was from way back to when I lived on
                the prairies and my business then was called "Prairie Dog Distributors".
                A lot of my customers called me Prairie Dog as a result.

                Nels
                --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Michalak%40yahoogroups.com> ,
                "jhargrovewright2@..." wrote:
                >
                > My I express the same. Just because we do not respond to each of your
                posts.....many of us study each word and link.....but we do not have
                anything to add or a worthwhile comment. Nels, II always read you.
                Woops, I do have a question....why prairiedog? JIB

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • prairiedog2332
                Wish I could locate the thread where Mr. Bradshaw discussed lug sails on the WB forum. He tends to go off on rants sometimes but as one member shared, they are
                Message 7 of 18 , Apr 26, 2013
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                  Wish I could locate the thread where Mr. Bradshaw discussed lug sails on
                  the WB forum. He tends to go off on rants sometimes but as one member
                  shared, they are worth reading:-)

                  One thing I recall him mentioning was that some folks tend to overdo it
                  with luff tension that ends up damaging the sewing on the sail, when
                  boom stiffness might be the problem needing looked at.

                  So had me thinking that an expensive sail might be compromised by poor
                  spar matching and tensioning. A boom or yard can be stiffened without
                  having to make a new one. One way is add a short tapered stave to the
                  bottom or a narrow one on each side and test it for a smooth curvature.
                  Or add some glass tape that winds off gradually. Both secured with epoxy
                  of course. He also shared a way to determine how well the sail sets
                  under various conditions. Involves applying a strip of contrasting tape
                  above a certain height and paralleled to the boom. Each sail design
                  works best with a certain amount of hollow being visible for a given
                  length of foot and how smooth the tape line curvature. Sailrite sells a
                  special tape but you can use an alternative so long as you remove it
                  after a day or so.

                  Anybody familiar with that idea? The bottom line is that it is just not
                  the sail itself that decides the performance level. It a npart of the
                  total package, including the yards, mast and hull design as well as the
                  under water foils. And of course the skill and experiece of the skipper
                  with a particular boat.

                  Nels



                  --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "John Trussell" wrote:
                  >
                  > Nels,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I've built a couple of boats with a balanced lug sail, My experience
                  has
                  > been that these sails need a fair amount of downhaul tension to set
                  well and
                  > that the downhaul is more likely to bend the boom than tension through
                  a mid
                  > boom location of the sheet. The boom on my first effort (a Michalak
                  'Mixer')
                  > bent quite a bit. My solution then (and since) is to increase the
                  depth of
                  > the specified boom by about 25 to 30% over what the design specifies,
                  > tapering the boom toward the ends. This seems to solve the problem and
                  the
                  > extra weight doesn't seem to be significant.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I've had other boats with different rigs and I think that for my
                  sailing, a
                  > balanced lug sail is my favorite.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > JohnT
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > _____
                  >
                  > From: Michalak@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Michalak@yahoogroups.com] On
                  Behalf
                  > Of prairiedog2332
                  > Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2013 2:00 PM
                  > To: Michalak@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [Michalak] Re: Lug Sails
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Thanks John,
                  >
                  > The only thing I wonder about is if folks see errors and don't bother
                  to
                  > point them out. So I welcome them most of all as we both learn that
                  > way:-)
                  >
                  > I always thought the sprit boom leg o' mutton was about the best rig
                  for
                  > simplicity and performance, being self-vanging and how you can adjust
                  > the draft by adjusting the snotter. But it requires such a tall mast
                  to
                  > get any area and tall tapered masts are not the easiest things to make
                  > as well as man-handle and travel with. Plus, in order to have easy
                  > reefing they need sail track.
                  >
                  > Then the more I looked at lugsail rigs the more I saw how advantageous
                  > they are. Especially once understanding the necessity of keeping the
                  > luff tight and the joys of jiffy reefing along with some other tweaks.
                  > As Ross Lillistone mentions you can make them simple as can be and
                  then
                  > experiment with tweaks for years with just a bit of added string.
                  >
                  > Then you can get into the Mik Storer levels with full battens dyneema
                  > lines and sheet bridles and on and on. So my latest wondering is about
                  > those mainsheet bridles with a traveller, 3 blocks and 3 attachment
                  > points to the boom like on the GIS?
                  >
                  > http://www.storerboatplans.com/GIS/GISRigging.html
                  >
                  >
                  > I surmised this was to bring the mainsheet closer to hand when hiking
                  > out over the rail but apparently it also helps to control boom bend.
                  If
                  > you have the boom tacked down at the forward end and the sheet tied at
                  > the back end then the boom will bend in the middle and throw off the
                  > shape of the sail. As the wind increases the sail becomes fuller at a
                  > time when you want to flatten it. Any comments on that?
                  >
                  > And I got further confirmation about what Anders says about a higher
                  > peaked gaff tends to twist less than a lower peaked gaff. John
                  Welsford
                  > says it does twist a bit when hit with a gust but immediately spills
                  > excess wind off the peak as the gaff bends there and is actually and
                  > advantage for maintaining control and heeling.
                  >
                  > And a final word from the sail guru, Todd Bradshaw. When making a
                  > sail, the degree of yard and boom stiffness or lack thereof has to be
                  > known when shaping the sail. And he goes on to explain how to test
                  your
                  > rig to see how well it does in that regard. He feels this is one area
                  > the polysail makers have not taken into account. Comments?
                  >
                  > John, the "prairie dog" moniker was was from way back to when I lived
                  on
                  > the prairies and my business then was called "Prairie Dog
                  Distributors".
                  > A lot of my customers called me Prairie Dog as a result.
                  >
                  > Nels
                  > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com ,
                  > "jhargrovewright2@" wrote:
                  > >
                  > > My I express the same. Just because we do not respond to each of
                  your
                  > posts.....many of us study each word and link.....but we do not have
                  > anything to add or a worthwhile comment. Nels, II always read you.
                  > Woops, I do have a question....why prairiedog? JIB
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • PolySail_Dave
                  Nels, You asked for comments from PolySail makers on sail guru Todd Bradshaw s observations that PolySail makers don t take the degree of yard and boom
                  Message 8 of 18 , Apr 27, 2013
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Nels,

                    You asked for comments from PolySail makers on sail guru Todd Bradshaw's
                    observations that PolySail makers don't take the degree of yard and boom
                    stiffness and other technical factors into account when constructing
                    [lug] sails. Since I am the one who created the name PolySail, I assume
                    he means me, and I am happy to respond.

                    First, let me say that I know Mr. Bradshaw's work well, and that every
                    sail of his that I have seen online is exceptional in appearance. I
                    suspect that each of those sails is also an excellent performer when
                    properly rigged and I give him credit for his extensive knowledge when
                    it comes to working with Dacron and other traditional sailmaking
                    materials and perhaps many of today's high tech laminates. I'm also well
                    aware of his oft-stated opinions that our PolySails essentially don't
                    measure up to "real sails" on any level because we don't know nothin'
                    about buildin' sails the way they is supposed to be built.

                    Occasionally, one of Mr. Bradshaw's rants concerning our understanding
                    of sailmaking and our instructions on making particular types of sails
                    have aligned with our testing or for some other reason hits home, and I
                    have made changes to specific instructions as a result. For those
                    moments of insight and helpfulness, I thank him. But many of his
                    demeaning comments I simply dismiss because he works with different
                    materials than I do in sailmaking, and I doubt that he has nearly the
                    knowledge of differing polyethylene tarps and their stretch
                    characteristics or suitability as sail materials as I think I do. I
                    give myself credit for working with polytarp for 17 years, and I believe
                    I know its limitations and capabilities fairly well by now. I've had it
                    tested to destruction with other sail materials on sophisticated
                    machinery; I've done strip testing myself of three different weights of
                    poytarp to help me understand their differing stretch characteristics
                    under variable pressures; and I've received plenty of feedback from
                    customers over the years on polytarp performance and durability. The
                    long and short of all this is that I've concluded that some polytarp is
                    very good material for particular types of sails, the material doesn't
                    cost very much, it's great for testing and experimentation, and it opens
                    up sailing to many who might otherwise be put off from trying the sport
                    based on its reputation for exclusivity and by the jargon and "gurus" of
                    the sailing world.

                    To hark back to your initial post on lug sails, Nels, you mentioned that
                    Bolger thought lugs were easy to make and that "awning makers" could
                    make one. Phil might have been exaggerating to make a point, but I think
                    he was probably right that it doesn't require his Naval Architect's
                    degree to make a decently performing lug sail. Emiliano Marino, aka
                    Raven, the Sail Doctor, who writes a column in Small Craft Advisor, and
                    was the author of The Sailmaker's Apprentice takes a similar approach,
                    saying at one point that "...perfectly acceptable sails may be made from
                    Tyvek, polyethylene tarps, London Fog raincoat material, bag nylon, or
                    tent canvas--not to mention old sails." I might be mistaken, but I
                    believe I recall that the lug sail on Graham's Rogue on John Welsford's
                    page is one I built for him. Did you immediately identify it as polytarp
                    and conclude the boat wouldn't sail well? (I have the same photo of the
                    Rogue in one of the shots that was sent to me by a customer down under,
                    and I do recall building a couple of Rogue sails for customers in
                    Australia or New Zealand.) To me, the performance of polytarp sails is
                    well-proven. Polytarp lug sails made by me and others have always
                    performed well on PDRacers in the Worlds competition. Brad Hickman won
                    with one of my lug sails in 2011 even though I didn't ask him about his
                    stiffness. One of our kit lugs placed third last year to a well sailed,
                    Laser sail equipped PDR and a large sailboard sail on another. Mike
                    Monies and Andy Linn managed to run most of the 2011 EC with our lug
                    sail, then Mike campaigned it on SCAMP #2 throughout the year before it
                    was replaced with the "official" SCA sail in early 2012 at Lake Havasu.
                    However, before the polytarp sail was changed out, (According to Jackie
                    Monies" account) Mike won his class with the polysail lug, then raced
                    again with the new sail and placed second (obviously, a tuning issue.) I
                    believe a few boats have managed to sail the entire Texas 200 with
                    polytarp sails. In my mind polytarp lug sails are much like Jim
                    Michalak's boats--they're usually cheap to build, easy to put together,
                    and perform unexpectedly well. What more could you ask for, especially
                    if you are sailing one of Jim's or Phil's designs? As a novice, I first
                    turned to polytarp in 1996 because I didn't want to pay more for a sail
                    than I paid to build my new Bolger Cartopper. I firmly believe there's
                    still very much a place for polytarp sails in spite of some people's
                    efforts to discredit them and in spite of some truly awful first efforts
                    by first time sailmakers and sailors with some not so good hardware
                    store tarps.

                    Finally, to get back to Todd's comment that we PolySail makers don't pay
                    enough attention to technical details of sailmaking like spar and boom
                    stiffness. He might be right there, but then--maybe we don't have to
                    give it our attention because of the way our material behaves--and maybe
                    he does. His materials and ours are , perhaps, at two different extremes
                    in the sailing world. (Actually, I do sometimes ask customers about some
                    details, such as the material they are using for their yard, boom, and
                    mast, especially when I think they might have an answer and it's
                    important to them that I ask. But I can't recall ever asking them about
                    their stiffness and passing it off as essential to know for sailmaking.)
                    As for rigging, I point customers both to Michael Storer's site, and to
                    the chapter on lug sails in David Nichols' book The Working Guide to
                    Traditional Small Boat Sails. Nichols shows several options for rigging
                    the traditional lug. Both are great resources for me and for my
                    customers because I confess to knowing very little about rigging a lug
                    sail myself and these are good people to learn from.

                    Dave Gray

                    By the way, does anyone know if Jim still recommends putting that huge
                    tack dart in polytarp lug sails? I know at one time he had a math
                    formula all worked out for sizing that dart. I think Chuck and Sandra
                    Leinweber included that dart when they made their first polytarp sail
                    from one of our kits for their Michalak Caprice, and, as I've come to
                    expect from polytarp, it performed well on that boat whether in spite of
                    or because of that dart. Like me, polytarp is a very forgiving material.



                    >
                    > The only thing I wonder about is if folks see errors and don't bother
                    to
                    > point them out. So I welcome them most of all as we both learn that
                    > way:-)
                    >
                    > I always thought the sprit boom leg o' mutton was about the best rig
                    for
                    > simplicity and performance, being self-vanging and how you can adjust
                    > the draft by adjusting the snotter. But it requires such a tall mast
                    to
                    > get any area and tall tapered masts are not the easiest things to make
                    > as well as man-handle and travel with. Plus, in order to have easy
                    > reefing they need sail track.
                    >
                    >
                    > Then the more I looked at lugsail rigs the more I saw how advantageous
                    > they are. Especially once understanding the necessity of keeping the
                    > luff tight and the joys of jiffy reefing along with some other tweaks.
                    > As Ross Lillistone mentions you can make them simple as can be and
                    then
                    > experiment with tweaks for years with just a bit of added string.
                    >
                    >
                    > Then you can get into the Mik Storer levels with full battens dyneema
                    > lines and sheet bridles and on and on. So my latest wondering is about
                    > those mainsheet bridles with a traveller, 3 blocks and 3 attachment
                    > points to the boom like on the GIS?
                    >
                    >
                    > http://www.storerboatplans.com/GIS/GISRigging.html
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I surmised this was to bring the mainsheet closer to hand when hiking
                    > out over the rail but apparently it also helps to control boom bend.
                    If
                    > you have the boom tacked down at the forward end and the sheet tied at
                    > the back end then the boom will bend in the middle and throw off the
                    > shape of the sail. As the wind increases the sail becomes fuller at a
                    > time when you want to flatten it. Any comments on that?
                    >
                    > And I got further confirmation about what Anders says about a higher
                    > peaked gaff tends to twist less than a lower peaked gaff. John
                    Welsford
                    > says it does twist a bit when hit with a gust but immediately spills
                    > excess wind off the peak as the gaff bends there and is actually and
                    > advantage for maintaining control and heeling.
                    >
                    > And a final word from the sail guru, Todd Bradshaw. When making a
                    > sail, the degree of yard and boom stiffness or lack thereof has to be
                    > known when shaping the sail. And he goes on to explain how to test
                    your
                    > rig to see how well it does in that regard. He feels this is one area
                    > the polysail makers have not taken into account. Comments?
                    >
                    > John, the "prairie dog" moniker was was from way back to when I lived
                    on
                    > the prairies and my business then was called "Prairie Dog
                    Distributors".
                    > A lot of my customers called me Prairie Dog as a result.
                    >
                    > Nels
                    > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "jhargrovewright2@" wrote:
                    > >
                    > > My I express the same. Just because we do not respond to each of
                    your
                    > posts.....many of us study each word and link.....but we do not have
                    > anything to add or a worthwhile comment. Nels, II always read you.
                    > Woops, I do have a question....why prairiedog? JIB
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • CHARLES
                    A couple of things, Dave-First, there have been MANY boats who completed the Texas200 with polytarp sails. To me, that fact alone proves the viability of the
                    Message 9 of 18 , Apr 28, 2013
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                      A couple of things, Dave-First, there have been MANY boats who completed the Texas200 with polytarp sails. To me, that fact alone proves the viability of the material. I know of a few who have successfully completed the event with polytarp sails that weren't even sewn (ie:taped only). In terms of construction, they are so much easier to work with than Dacron, the sewing machine that my wife uses for quilting will easily sew through several layers of polytarp. Sewing more than 2 layers of Dacron are just not possible with most cheap machines.

                      Regarding the darts-Jim's 75 foot polytarp lugsail performed better upwind with the dart than without on a boat I built a couple of years ago . That said, I have seen lots of polytarp sails that did well upwind with no darts, shaped only by the rounding of the edges.

                      Dave, to me you are right up there with Bolger and Michalak in terms of how your work has changed the way things are done in the world of small boats. I appreciate you, your scholarly approach to the subject, and your willingness to share what you have learned. Thank you.

                      Chuck P



                      --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "PolySail_Dave" <polysail@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Nels,
                      >
                      > You asked for comments from PolySail makers on sail guru Todd Bradshaw's
                      > observations that PolySail makers don't take the degree of yard and boom
                      > stiffness and other technical factors into account when constructing
                      > [lug] sails. Since I am the one who created the name PolySail, I assume
                      > he means me, and I am happy to respond.
                      >
                      > First, let me say that I know Mr. Bradshaw's work well, and that every
                      > sail of his that I have seen online is exceptional in appearance. I
                      > suspect that each of those sails is also an excellent performer when
                      > properly rigged and I give him credit for his extensive knowledge when
                      > it comes to working with Dacron and other traditional sailmaking
                      > materials and perhaps many of today's high tech laminates. I'm also well
                      > aware of his oft-stated opinions that our PolySails essentially don't
                      > measure up to "real sails" on any level because we don't know nothin'
                      > about buildin' sails the way they is supposed to be built.
                      >
                      > Occasionally, one of Mr. Bradshaw's rants concerning our understanding
                      > of sailmaking and our instructions on making particular types of sails
                      > have aligned with our testing or for some other reason hits home, and I
                      > have made changes to specific instructions as a result. For those
                      > moments of insight and helpfulness, I thank him. But many of his
                      > demeaning comments I simply dismiss because he works with different
                      > materials than I do in sailmaking, and I doubt that he has nearly the
                      > knowledge of differing polyethylene tarps and their stretch
                      > characteristics or suitability as sail materials as I think I do. I
                      > give myself credit for working with polytarp for 17 years, and I believe
                      > I know its limitations and capabilities fairly well by now. I've had it
                      > tested to destruction with other sail materials on sophisticated
                      > machinery; I've done strip testing myself of three different weights of
                      > poytarp to help me understand their differing stretch characteristics
                      > under variable pressures; and I've received plenty of feedback from
                      > customers over the years on polytarp performance and durability. The
                      > long and short of all this is that I've concluded that some polytarp is
                      > very good material for particular types of sails, the material doesn't
                      > cost very much, it's great for testing and experimentation, and it opens
                      > up sailing to many who might otherwise be put off from trying the sport
                      > based on its reputation for exclusivity and by the jargon and "gurus" of
                      > the sailing world.
                      >
                      > To hark back to your initial post on lug sails, Nels, you mentioned that
                      > Bolger thought lugs were easy to make and that "awning makers" could
                      > make one. Phil might have been exaggerating to make a point, but I think
                      > he was probably right that it doesn't require his Naval Architect's
                      > degree to make a decently performing lug sail. Emiliano Marino, aka
                      > Raven, the Sail Doctor, who writes a column in Small Craft Advisor, and
                      > was the author of The Sailmaker's Apprentice takes a similar approach,
                      > saying at one point that "...perfectly acceptable sails may be made from
                      > Tyvek, polyethylene tarps, London Fog raincoat material, bag nylon, or
                      > tent canvas--not to mention old sails." I might be mistaken, but I
                      > believe I recall that the lug sail on Graham's Rogue on John Welsford's
                      > page is one I built for him. Did you immediately identify it as polytarp
                      > and conclude the boat wouldn't sail well? (I have the same photo of the
                      > Rogue in one of the shots that was sent to me by a customer down under,
                      > and I do recall building a couple of Rogue sails for customers in
                      > Australia or New Zealand.) To me, the performance of polytarp sails is
                      > well-proven. Polytarp lug sails made by me and others have always
                      > performed well on PDRacers in the Worlds competition. Brad Hickman won
                      > with one of my lug sails in 2011 even though I didn't ask him about his
                      > stiffness. One of our kit lugs placed third last year to a well sailed,
                      > Laser sail equipped PDR and a large sailboard sail on another. Mike
                      > Monies and Andy Linn managed to run most of the 2011 EC with our lug
                      > sail, then Mike campaigned it on SCAMP #2 throughout the year before it
                      > was replaced with the "official" SCA sail in early 2012 at Lake Havasu.
                      > However, before the polytarp sail was changed out, (According to Jackie
                      > Monies" account) Mike won his class with the polysail lug, then raced
                      > again with the new sail and placed second (obviously, a tuning issue.) I
                      > believe a few boats have managed to sail the entire Texas 200 with
                      > polytarp sails. In my mind polytarp lug sails are much like Jim
                      > Michalak's boats--they're usually cheap to build, easy to put together,
                      > and perform unexpectedly well. What more could you ask for, especially
                      > if you are sailing one of Jim's or Phil's designs? As a novice, I first
                      > turned to polytarp in 1996 because I didn't want to pay more for a sail
                      > than I paid to build my new Bolger Cartopper. I firmly believe there's
                      > still very much a place for polytarp sails in spite of some people's
                      > efforts to discredit them and in spite of some truly awful first efforts
                      > by first time sailmakers and sailors with some not so good hardware
                      > store tarps.
                      >
                      > Finally, to get back to Todd's comment that we PolySail makers don't pay
                      > enough attention to technical details of sailmaking like spar and boom
                      > stiffness. He might be right there, but then--maybe we don't have to
                      > give it our attention because of the way our material behaves--and maybe
                      > he does. His materials and ours are , perhaps, at two different extremes
                      > in the sailing world. (Actually, I do sometimes ask customers about some
                      > details, such as the material they are using for their yard, boom, and
                      > mast, especially when I think they might have an answer and it's
                      > important to them that I ask. But I can't recall ever asking them about
                      > their stiffness and passing it off as essential to know for sailmaking.)
                      > As for rigging, I point customers both to Michael Storer's site, and to
                      > the chapter on lug sails in David Nichols' book The Working Guide to
                      > Traditional Small Boat Sails. Nichols shows several options for rigging
                      > the traditional lug. Both are great resources for me and for my
                      > customers because I confess to knowing very little about rigging a lug
                      > sail myself and these are good people to learn from.
                      >
                      > Dave Gray
                      >
                      > By the way, does anyone know if Jim still recommends putting that huge
                      > tack dart in polytarp lug sails? I know at one time he had a math
                      > formula all worked out for sizing that dart. I think Chuck and Sandra
                      > Leinweber included that dart when they made their first polytarp sail
                      > from one of our kits for their Michalak Caprice, and, as I've come to
                      > expect from polytarp, it performed well on that boat whether in spite of
                      > or because of that dart. Like me, polytarp is a very forgiving material.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >
                      > > The only thing I wonder about is if folks see errors and don't bother
                      > to
                      > > point them out. So I welcome them most of all as we both learn that
                      > > way:-)
                      > >
                      > > I always thought the sprit boom leg o' mutton was about the best rig
                      > for
                      > > simplicity and performance, being self-vanging and how you can adjust
                      > > the draft by adjusting the snotter. But it requires such a tall mast
                      > to
                      > > get any area and tall tapered masts are not the easiest things to make
                      > > as well as man-handle and travel with. Plus, in order to have easy
                      > > reefing they need sail track.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Then the more I looked at lugsail rigs the more I saw how advantageous
                      > > they are. Especially once understanding the necessity of keeping the
                      > > luff tight and the joys of jiffy reefing along with some other tweaks.
                      > > As Ross Lillistone mentions you can make them simple as can be and
                      > then
                      > > experiment with tweaks for years with just a bit of added string.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Then you can get into the Mik Storer levels with full battens dyneema
                      > > lines and sheet bridles and on and on. So my latest wondering is about
                      > > those mainsheet bridles with a traveller, 3 blocks and 3 attachment
                      > > points to the boom like on the GIS?
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > http://www.storerboatplans.com/GIS/GISRigging.html
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I surmised this was to bring the mainsheet closer to hand when hiking
                      > > out over the rail but apparently it also helps to control boom bend.
                      > If
                      > > you have the boom tacked down at the forward end and the sheet tied at
                      > > the back end then the boom will bend in the middle and throw off the
                      > > shape of the sail. As the wind increases the sail becomes fuller at a
                      > > time when you want to flatten it. Any comments on that?
                      > >
                      > > And I got further confirmation about what Anders says about a higher
                      > > peaked gaff tends to twist less than a lower peaked gaff. John
                      > Welsford
                      > > says it does twist a bit when hit with a gust but immediately spills
                      > > excess wind off the peak as the gaff bends there and is actually and
                      > > advantage for maintaining control and heeling.
                      > >
                      > > And a final word from the sail guru, Todd Bradshaw. When making a
                      > > sail, the degree of yard and boom stiffness or lack thereof has to be
                      > > known when shaping the sail. And he goes on to explain how to test
                      > your
                      > > rig to see how well it does in that regard. He feels this is one area
                      > > the polysail makers have not taken into account. Comments?
                      > >
                      > > John, the "prairie dog" moniker was was from way back to when I lived
                      > on
                      > > the prairies and my business then was called "Prairie Dog
                      > Distributors".
                      > > A lot of my customers called me Prairie Dog as a result.
                      > >
                      > > Nels
                      > > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "jhargrovewright2@" wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > My I express the same. Just because we do not respond to each of
                      > your
                      > > posts.....many of us study each word and link.....but we do not have
                      > > anything to add or a worthwhile comment. Nels, II always read you.
                      > > Woops, I do have a question....why prairiedog? JIB
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                    • jhargrovewright2@juno.com
                      Chuck P. You have just coined a phrase.... Dave is our Polysail Rockstar. His efforts and vision have created a movement in our sailboat culture. A solo
                      Message 10 of 18 , Apr 28, 2013
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                        Chuck P. You have just coined a phrase.... Dave is our Polysail Rockstar. His efforts and vision have created a movement in our sailboat culture. A solo artist in the genre (the term usually implies celebrity status, or stardom). I have never had a failure with the material or methods. I only sew when I know the sail will be used for years and have never had a failure....of the material or methods. I am a believer... JIB


                        > >
                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • prairiedog2332
                        Dave, Thanks for your information rich response. I should clarify that when I referred to Todd as sail guru it was intended tongue in cheek. And I did
                        Message 11 of 18 , Apr 28, 2013
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                          Dave,

                          Thanks for your information rich response.

                          I should clarify that when I referred to Todd as "sail guru" it was
                          intended tongue in cheek. And I did mention somewhere that an expensive
                          sail on a cheap boat or a cheap sail on an expensive boat are probably
                          not the best options. And I have followed your extensive R&D quite
                          closely over the years regarding materials and shaping of polytarp
                          sails.

                          One thing that occurs to me is that the hand workmanship and sewing
                          involved - no matter what the sail material - can really add up
                          time-wise, let alone the cost of proper fittings like grommets, bolt
                          ropes, corner re-enforcement and so on. Plus the space required to lay
                          out the materials and measure and cut them, and a good sewing machine.
                          Then packaging for shipment and invoicing and keeping a sail making
                          business going plus responding to countless queries;-)

                          If one takes the time and makes the effort to consider all the options
                          for refined tweaking like Todd considers important , then the price of
                          the finished product becomes more than perhaps the market will bear, or
                          you end up working for nothing. So compromises are always a necessary
                          part of it.

                          My feeling is that your sails match pretty closely the philosophy of
                          Jim's boat designs and no doubt get more folks out sailing than any
                          other design philosophies.

                          Nels


                          --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "PolySail_Dave" wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > Nels,
                          >
                          > You asked for comments from PolySail makers on sail guru Todd
                          Bradshaw's
                          > observations that PolySail makers don't take the degree of yard and
                          boom
                          > stiffness and other technical factors into account when constructing
                          > [lug] sails. Since I am the one who created the name PolySail, I
                          assume
                          > he means me, and I am happy to respond.




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • PolySail_Dave
                          Nels, John, Chuck, Paul, Mike, and others, thanks for your expressions of support. But I m not ready to be compared with any of those giants of small boat
                          Message 12 of 18 , Apr 28, 2013
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                            Nels, John, Chuck, Paul, Mike, and others, thanks for your expressions
                            of support. But I'm not ready to be compared with any of those giants of
                            small boat design that a couple of you have mentioned. There is plenty
                            of room for criticism of some of the instructions for making individual
                            sails on my library page sail database, and all of my web pages probably
                            could use updating. I am constantly learning about and hopefully
                            refining some of my own construction techniques when it comes to working
                            with various tarp sails, but there is only so much time available as
                            Nels points out below. Those of you who follow along with my PolySail
                            International Facebook page, are probably aware of how many sails I
                            crank out in a week and some of the daily issues I face in keeping this
                            little operation above water. I try to post photos, including dimension
                            tags, of most of the sails I make on Facebook as often as I can, but the
                            more popular "finished" sails, like the 60 sq. ft. leg o' muttons that
                            are white on white, often don't get mentioned, much less photographed.

                            Nels, I did take notice of your point about cheap sails on expensive
                            boats and expensive sails on cheap boats and intended to mention it in
                            my earlier response because I thought it was an excellent point. I'm
                            also glad that you opened the door for me to reply to some pretty
                            serious criticism that's been posted for all to see on the Wooden Boat
                            forum and might even have been damaging to our business in recent years.
                            My wife and I have often talked about whether I should write responses
                            to some of those passionate anti-polytarp sail posts that come up if
                            you search for polysails or polytarp sails on the Wooden Boat Forum. But
                            so far, we've decided that it's probably better to let that issue alone
                            on that particular forum for fear that nearly all of our time would be
                            taken up trying to keep up with multiple posts and that we might not
                            find as much support among the members of that particular forum. We
                            would really have to have our house in order before taking on that
                            group, I believe.

                            In the meantime, your responses have encouraged me, and I might yet go
                            forward with some plans to work on a Polytarp Sailmaker's Apprentice
                            that I've talked with Raven the Sail Doctor about, or fix up my web
                            site, or do some workshops, or even take on the sail "guru" on the
                            Wooden Boat Forum. However, in reality, I'll probably be content if I
                            can just get one of those things done before my next retirement.

                            Dave Gray




                            --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "prairiedog2332" wrote:
                            >
                            > Dave,
                            >
                            > Thanks for your information rich response.
                            >
                            > I should clarify that when I referred to Todd as "sail guru" it was
                            > intended tongue in cheek. And I did mention somewhere that an
                            expensive
                            > sail on a cheap boat or a cheap sail on an expensive boat are probably
                            > not the best options. And I have followed your extensive R&D quite
                            > closely over the years regarding materials and shaping of polytarp
                            > sails.
                            >
                            > One thing that occurs to me is that the hand workmanship and sewing
                            > involved - no matter what the sail material - can really add up
                            > time-wise, let alone the cost of proper fittings like grommets, bolt
                            > ropes, corner re-enforcement and so on. Plus the space required to lay
                            > out the materials and measure and cut them, and a good sewing machine.
                            > Then packaging for shipment and invoicing and keeping a sail making
                            > business going plus responding to countless queries;-)
                            >
                            > If one takes the time and makes the effort to consider all the options
                            > for refined tweaking like Todd considers important , then the price of
                            > the finished product becomes more than perhaps the market will bear,
                            or
                            > you end up working for nothing. So compromises are always a necessary
                            > part of it.
                            >
                            > My feeling is that your sails match pretty closely the philosophy of
                            > Jim's boat designs and no doubt get more folks out sailing than any
                            > other design philosophies.
                            >
                            > Nels
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In Michalak@yahoogroups.com, "PolySail_Dave" wrote:
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Nels,
                            > >
                            > > You asked for comments from PolySail makers on sail guru Todd
                            > Bradshaw's
                            > > observations that PolySail makers don't take the degree of yard and
                            > boom
                            > > stiffness and other technical factors into account when constructing
                            > > [lug] sails. Since I am the one who created the name PolySail, I
                            > assume
                            > > he means me, and I am happy to respond.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                          • simonfbroad
                            Hi all, I ve come in late to this thread, and haven t read it all, but thought I would put my 2c worth in anyway. I have had a few communications (on WB forum)
                            Message 13 of 18 , Apr 28, 2013
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                              Hi all,

                              I've come in late to this thread, and haven't read it all, but thought I would put my 2c worth in anyway.
                              I have had a few communications (on WB forum) with Todd Bradshaw while I was making my first sail.
                              In all my discussions he never demeaned polytarp as a sail material to me, quite the reverse, he just pointed out that you had to work with the specific properties of sail material you were working with.
                              Delving deeper into the process it appeared to me that his dislike of the darted style of sailmaking is largely due to his belief that with all the math and all the work in getting it right, it wasn't really much more difficult to make a sail using 'proper' (read traditional) methods, regardless of the material used.
                              I took up that challenge and made my polytarp sail (to Todd's design) using traditional methods, cutting my polytarp into 'bolts' and broadseeming with double sided tape. It took me one evening in the lounge room measuring and cutting, and one afternoon on the driveway marking out and broadseeming the panels together, and one more evening tidying up the edges, reinforcing the corners and putting the eyelets in.
                              What I learned about sails in the process was probably more valuable to me than the sail itself.

                              Does Todd rant on a bit, certainly. Is he a little too critical at times, probably. But he always takes the time to explain his opinions, the guy is passionate about what he does and I think we can all relate to that.


                              As to JM's darts design for making a sail, I believe all his essays on the subject are available on line, but would point out that I have bought a couple of Jim's plans (Fat Cat and Mayfly 16) and both give the measurements to make sails by traditional methods.

                              cheers
                              Simon.
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