Lug rigs for racing performance

There has been a fantastic discussion about some of the racing possibilities of balance lug rigs on my forum

I have learned a huge amount from sailing my BETH sailing canoe and the Goat Island Skiffs over the years, but recently ran into Brian who uses a lug rig for racing traditional British boats.

So a wonderful discussion about lugs and rigging options from the very simple but effective systems I use on my boats to the systems that make the rigs fly around the racecourse!

The GIS is proving attractive to people with racing backgrounds so some of them are discussing how to tweak the original rig.

We have just had our Lymington River Scow Nationals. 44 boats racing in gusty conditions in the Western Solent. For Michael and anyone else who loves lug rig here are many pictures

Lymington Scows sailing on the Solent – highly developed Lug rigs

note there is a second album as well. For your interest I borrowed LR 365 (orange sail) for the day and joined in.

Reefing these lug rigs needs the main to be dropped, the halyard is attached about 15″ further up the gaff and the reef tied in, then re-hoist the sail. Spars are, 3m gaff and boom and 3.5m mast. For Solo it would be great to reef without dropping the gaff – so my question is – for GIS and Beth are they reefed without moving the halyard attachment point?

Just imagine 20 Solo’s off on a weekend Raid around the Solent. Will be great.


Howdy … WOW … Brian .. thanks for that!!!

With the 1880s (that is a year) halyard arrangement for the lug rigs on all my boats you don’t need to change anything at the top end at all except ease the halyard – the halyard block does not need to be moved at all.

I have decided that a rectangular boom (rather than round) makes it easy to set up a couple of cheap pulleys and cleats so it is possible to reef without moving forward in the boat either. Or pulling hte boom back to the cockpit.

The first picture shows a very interesting downhaul system … which I will be forced to meditate apon!

The website the pics are on above is from John Claridge. Another top level racing hotshot who has gone classic!!! He dominated the UK Moth scene in Skiff type hulls when us lot were using superlight scows. When there was more than 12 knots we would win the worlds, if less then the skiffs would win.

Claridge’s skiff moth developments also fed into the development of the most recent (1980’s breakthrough) generation of the 18ft skiffs developing hulls with a lot less drag instead of concentrating on the amount of power available.

His skiff Moths looked quite radical at the time – and WONDERFUL construction methods in very thin materials … but little did he (or we) know that the hull beam was going to end up around a foot wide … and then later sprout hydrofoils!!!

Top level builder/designer/sailor.

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