Alternative Sail Plan for Micro
- I have been researching the possibility of building a Micro for sailing and cruising the Great Lakes. I have read through many of the posts dealing with Micro here as well as corresponded with some Micro owners/sailors who have been very kind to share their experiences of the boat with me. There seem to be 3 primary difficulties about the boat. 1) It is difficult to launch because of the salient keel; 2) it does not sail to windward well; and 3) the mast can be troublesome to step because of its length and weight.
Many here say that setting up an appropriate trailer with a drop axle will resolve difficulty #1. Since shallow launch ramps are not a concern for me, I don't consider this being a problem. Opinions vary on the Micro's pointing ability. Some say it is a slug to windward, others say they get her to point decently. While I do like a good windward slog, and while an awful lot of my daysailing is windward, the other virtues of the boat seem to me to outweigh this particular shortcoming. This leaves the question of the main mast. This is probably the problem most cited and the one that concerns me most. I know that PB&F changed the sailplan to accommodate a mast tabernacle, but quite frankly, I think it detracts from the boat's good looks and makes it look rather rhinoceros like. Rhinos are not the stuff of romance! Neither is the prospect of wrestling a 23 ft stick into place. So, with that in mind I decided to fiddle with an alternative main sail plan and I would like you Micronauts to tell me why it would not work.
John Welsford's Rogue sail plan was the template I used for my sailplan (http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/jw/rogue/index.htm). It is a standing lug rig of 118sqft, the foot of which is controlled by a sprit boom. He also has 1 ft of roach in the leech. The dimensions of my version of this rig are:
Leech 18'3" for a nominal area of 135 sq ft. I did not factor the roach in, but it would add 15-20 more ft of sail area for a total of 155 sq ft at most (I'm speaking only of the main here without the mizzen factored in). When I cut out the pattern and put it on the plan, using the same tack point as the leg-o-mutton, the coe of the lug matched exactly the coe of the original main, although it was slightly lower, which I expected. With this rig, one could eliminate the top 6 to seven feet of the main mast as originally devised, eliminate the weight of the stick and have a more manageable mast to wrestle in place. Set up time would be much quicker and the standing lug would be a powerful sail for the hull not to mention the fact that it is an attractive shape.
I wish I had pics to show you, but lack the technology for such things. Anyway, I would be interested in hearing why this would be a bad idea.
I’m aware of the Michalak designs. Having built a June Bug, a Micro, a Brick/Duck, and a Shoebox I want to make something nicer. I’m working my way towards having time available to do that.