OzRacers, PDRacers, Oz Goose, Ocean explorer .. Lug vs Sprit sails

Ok … lug vs sprit

We finally had two PDRacers with either rig option on the same stretch of water. The event was the Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival.

The Sprit sail design and making method is in the plan for the PDRacer (a whole $20 for 90 pages – really a course on modern boatbuilding) and the lug rig is a free option for purchasers of the plan.

Mike on the beach … look at that sail shape. Is there enough sail Mike?

You can see a story on his boat … the “sexy black PDRacer” below on this blog.

This was the first time the boat had been in the water.

Waiting for the start gun … I sooo missed the start. Was really late trying to get clear wind and too far away from the line.

Mike got a very nice start and may have been in the first one or two boats to the windward mark before he had to come back and pack up. You can see the pink boat (me) trying to catch up.

And for those who wonder about the mast pressing against the sail … the windward leg had the sail on the “disadvantageous side”.

In other words, no material difference.

I took the pink PDR through the whole race … confused my friends in the TS16 after I caught them on starboard on the last windward leg.

The PDR had the legs of the balance lug rigged 16footer furthest out when going upwind … the guy was a very good sailor – outfoxed everyone on the first downwind leg by heading high and coming down fast on a increase on windpressure.

That was a boat of some historical significance too built as a tender to a major shipbuilding area in … um maybe Melbourne.

Pic right is Mike coming in with his rudder in shallow mode. That buoy was attached to a long length of rope that went off to the left and was tied to the wharf.

It made sailing out of this space pretty crap and in the stronger breeze of saturday it made it exciting coming into the area too.
photos of PDRacers
Photos of the Goolwa show
Info on the OZ PDRacer sailboat Plan ($20 and abundantly detailed)

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4 thoughts on “OzRacers, PDRacers, Oz Goose, Ocean explorer .. Lug vs Sprit sails

  1. Hi Michael

    I have the Oz Racer/ + Goose supplement plans: could you pass on the plans for the lug rig?

    Also, I read somewhere from you recently somewhere online that the basic mast for the Goose needs beefing up if it’s going to carry the lug rig – true? If it’s so, what dimensions might I need to change on the mast build?

    All the best


    • Hi Richard,

      I will email the lug rig information to you. I know you bought the plans.

      (the lug rig supplement is a free plan for the spars and sail for either the OZ Goose or OzRacer – the main advantage is that it is reefable)

      The mast has to match the stability of the boat. The Goose and the OzRacer both have the same beam which is part of the stability. If you only sail the Goose by yourself the standard mast will be fine. But if you want to have a couple of people sitting on the side deck and leaning out I would recommend adding 6mm (1/4″) to the cross section of the box section mast. So instead of being 62mm square at its widest point it becomes 68mm square. All other widths should be increased 6mm as well.

      Hope that helps you make a decision about what to do.


  2. Okay, what was the conclusion– lug or sprit? Which performed better?

    • Hi Jerry,

      Relative performance of sails is a really fraught area. And there are few conclusions to be drawn by any testing I’ve seen.

      The big problem always is … what are you comparing? Should the rigs being tested have the same

      Heeling moment

      Of the many choices having sails of the same area is the least meaningful.

      If wanting to really test the differences between rigs then I’d put a team together for each rig, decide the criterion (eg … use this hull and mast design and let each rig group work out their optimum solution – eg .. is it better to have a high lug sail with less area or a lower one with more area. This preparation needs to be exhaustive for each rig.

      Then the different rigs get to race each other.

      That would make sense 🙂

      However … for the simpler question – the ozracer sails – the 89 sq ft lug or the 82 square foot sprit boom rig … the bigger sail area trumps I think – providing you use the normal lug rig tweaks of a powerful downhaul.

      If both are equally badly set up .. then then the sprit boom sail will be better, because it is harder to make a mess of the rigging.

      Or if a race from unrigged on the beach to sailing a course to unrigged again … then the sprit rig gets about 10 minutes more sailing time or a bit less.

      Best wishes

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