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Thread: Some canoe rigs

  1. #61
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    Default Masts, halyards, vangs, downhauls, part 2: lateens

    If Bermudans and Lugs are the current top of the charts for canoe sails, the traditional lateens can't be far behind. While I view them as increasingly obsolescent, one can still buy new sails and complete rigs.

    Lateens have about the shortest masts of all common rigs, and they are usually stepped far forward. The shape of a lateen places the CE rather far aft, and with booms that are frequently 10 or more feet long, the bow position becomes a necessity. While they are usually short, lateen masts need to be strong because so much sail area is behind it (or beside, when running). Different rigging systems have been used over the years. One old version is the Cincinnati rig from that Ohio town, in the 19th century.



    It is rather ingenious: a ring fastened to the mast is lifted over a sturdy metal pin on the mast. The sailor pulls the rig to the rear and slips a hook near the front of the boom around the mast. No halyard, no downhaul or vang (in those days) and only a sheet for control. In this example the yard is nearly vertical and the boom is cocked up a bit. The picture illustrates well just how much of the sail is behind the mast. The next images show a Cincinnati rig with two boom hooks and an early provision for reefing. This sail stands completely vertical until reefed. The picture also shows a standing lug with a similar large area behind the mast.



    The use of boom hooks has continued on lateens for years. The weight of the sail holds the hook against the mast, yet it can be disconnected with ease.

    More recent lateens often use a halyard, as in this example from the web:



    This whole rig seems to be drooping, with the boom's outboard end close to the water. This is a challenge with sails with long booms; if they aren't cocked up at the rear, there is a danger they will hit the water while sailing and 'trip.' A bit of mast rake aft is also helpful in lifting the boom when reaching or running. We can't make out how the boom connects with the mast, but if that connection point was further forward along the boom, the aft end would rise. Note also that the halyard is attached about 2/3 of the way up the yard. More common practice is to have that connection no more than 45-50% along the yard. This ASYMMETRICAL ACA lateen shows the principle:



    This sail's sheeting it pretty far forward along the boom. I am guessing that there is a boom hook that isn't visible, and that that prevents the stresses of the powerful sheet from forcing the sail forward.

    I am also guessing that this next sail is derived from John Bull's "little Pete," though is is cut differently than in Bull's plan.



    The boom is parallel to the water but the sail is carried high enough for clearance.

    A lateen that uses a halyard with the boom kept in place by a hook is easy enough to hoist and lower; the sail needs to be raised all the way to the masthead fitting to keep it from sagging away when it is on the leeward side. In modern practice is is common to add a vang OR a downhaul parallel to the mast. This is still not a problem. Use of a parrel on the yard begins to complicate matters. The yard and boom are joined at the tack by some sort of fitting, locking them together. The difference in location between the halyard attachment point and the boom connection to the mast is so great that any attempt at a parrel must take this into account.


    A problem with lateens is and always has been the difficulty of reefing. A well cut sail can be fairly weatherly and the broad area is good for reaching and running. Of course, the large sail area that is outboard when running can try to make the canoe round up. Lats are slightly balanced but have less balancing area forward of the mast that most lugs, and their CEs move further outboard than comparably sized Bermudans. These sails can be hard to stow when lowered, the consequence of their long spars.

    Asymmetrical lateens go some way to improve rig proportions, but in the process they gain exceptionally long yards, accentuating the stowage issue.

    I will probably add a couple of additional lateen bits, but my next topic is mast fittings and halyard/downhaul rigging.

    Bob

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Eagles Nest Lakes, Ely, Northeastern Minnesota, USA
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    Great stuff, Bob. You're a good teacher and in spite of my being an old dog, I'm learning some new tricks. Thanks!
    SB

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
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    Default Sail and mast fittings

    (Remember, these posts are for novices, and this one is absolutely for novices.)


    Whenever one rigs a sail there is almost always some gear involved--pulleys ('blocks') cleats, fairleads, etc. I figure it may be worthwile to identify some of these before putting them to use. Fair warning: I will use the most common names I know for these various bits, but some makers apply slightly different labels.



    This photo shows eight different blocks (on shore you can call these things pulleys, but as soon as you step aboard you will want to start talking sailor talk, and that means they are BLOCKS. The bottom row shows three SINGLE blocks and one DOUBLE. That should be easy to sort out. Three are stainless steel and have nylon SHEAVES while one, the black one, has a plastic body and sheave with a supporting stainless strap. That particular block also has nylon ball bearings concealed within it. They make it turn more easily, but in truth, on a conoe all four will work well.

    In the upper row, the two plocks on the left have 'BECKETS' to tie a line to--we will see how these things work later. And the two on the right are also double blocks, but with their two sheaves arranged in line, one larger than the other so the outer line clears the inner.





    Here is a view of three variations on a single theme. All three basic blocks are similar, but the one on the left is designed to bolt to something--mast, deck, etc.--to provide a turning function. We saw the other two in the previous shot. Manufacturers try to minimize the number of things they have to make by designing multipurpose components. Blocks like these also come in different sixes. These are fairly small. These happen to be made by Harken, but there are a number of good makers.





    This last batch shows some rather specialized blocks all made or set up to be fastened to a deck, mast, etc. and to change the direction in which a line runs. They are all relatives of the left hand block in the previous photo.

    ALL of these blocks are better than the normal run to be found in hardware stores (Ironmongers??). Purchased from marine suppliers, they can be expensive. My own view is that canoes use so few that, when possible, it is best to use the 'right stuff.' But if you need to use the commonplace stuff, do so if that gets you on the water.

    I am not out to push any manufacturer. Here just for illustration purposes are the basic and traditional blocks provided by one US maker.



    Next up: some cleats.



    Cleats are fittings made to hold the end of a line and keep it from moving--the halyard that hoists your sail for example. I've laid out some different types.
    This time we will start at the top.

    The top row shows four variations on CAM CLEATS. These things use one or two rounded jaws with teeth to grab and hold a line. They are spring loaded so the line stays under tension. The three on the left all have variation of FAIRLEADS to keep the line close to the cleat. On the left-middle are two more larger versions.

    Right in the middle of the photo are two HORN CLEATS, one of the most traditional types. The larger one is a black nylon molding, The smaller one is metal. The larger cleat shows a line secured in the traditional and best approved fashion.

    On the lower right are two CLAM CLEATS. These are passive molded nylon fittings with teeth that can grab and hold a line. One is vertical, the other mounted on a side. These come in many forms and sizes.

    Finally, there is one unusual little and old-fashioned CAM cleat at bottom left. This old timer is designed to fasten to a mast to secure a halyard or other line.

    All of these cleats do the same job--fastening a line-- but they do it differently, and at different prices. Horn cleats are inexpensive and you can even make your own of wood. They have been around forever and are quite reliable. For a canoeist, however, they have a downside. One must be right at the cleat to belay one's line or to release it, and that may be inconvenient or awkward.

    CLAM cleats are fairly inexpensive and are pretty secure. If you guide the line over one and pull it toward you and downward, the cleat will engage when you release it.
    They have the modest downside that you have to pull the line rearward rather firmly and then up to release.

    CAM cleats are by far the most expensive. On a positive note, they hold lines well. A nice feature of MOST modern ones is that they will release by simply pulling the line upward, making them the fastest acting of the bunch.

    When rigging a canoe one must trade off between cost and convenience. You can use different cleat types in different locations.

    It is somewhat axiomatic that one should NEVER cleat the main sheet on a canoe or small boat. But given the realities of life, many of us still provide a cleat for that sheet so we can let go of it for a brief break, to adjust something else, for a sip of coffee, etc. For that purpose I always choose a good CAM cleat.





    It is often necessary to secure something to a deck, or to change the direction of a line a but (but not enough to require a block), so the nautical industry has given us some options.

    The top row shows four different FAIRLEADS. The two on the left are black nylon. The next to the right is black nylon with a stainless steel reinforced liner that prvents wear. The one on the right is an older style made of phenolic (also known as tufnol) and quite nice.

    Middle, l-r: four PADEYES and an EYESTRAP. Padeyes are heavier duty versions and may be selected when lifting a heavy load. (The middle one is both a padeye and a rudder gudgeon.)

    Bottom row, l-r: two plain eyestraps, a reinforced eyestrap/fairlead, an EYEBOLT with nut, a SCREW EYE with block, and two different SHOULDER BOLTS



    Next up: some tackles:



    A TACKLE is an arrangement of blocks and lines to exert some increased force in pulling something. There are many types. This image shows four tackles that are all set up to be boom VANGS. In each case there are two blocks and a line. The two on the left show three parts of the line between the blocks; the end of the line 'tails off' to the sailor's hand. The next shows a fourth segment of line between the blocks. The one on the right shows five.

    The bottom block of each includes a cleat, so the sailor can set the tackle and then release the line. The way in which vangs are set up makes it convenient to have the cleat placed there.

    These tackles have 'mechanical advantage.' If you ignore friction in the system, the two vangs with three line parts will exert three times the force that the sailor puts on the tail--a 10 pound pull on the tail becomes 30 between the two blocks. And the next two have a 4:1 and a 5:1 advantage.





    This closeup of this particular vang reveals that the 'cleat' function is formed by a bent segment of steel held in place by two pins. Release the rings and remove the pins and the cleat portion can be removed. Downhauls for lug sails often are cleated on the deck, so this is convenient.

    My examples are all taken from a collection amassed over many years. There are some newer looking items in the shops, but they all do the same jobs.

    With these pieces of hardware behind us, we can start to look at the actual setup of rigs.

    Til next time,

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Cavenagh; 3rd-May-2017 at 02:28 AM.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
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    275

    Default To the masthead!

    (If you have read Hornblower or Aubrey/Maturin or many other British novels about the sailing navy, you may recall that unruly or tardy midshipmen were often sent to the mastheads to contemplate their misdeeds. I have been terribly tardy in continuing this thread, so I am sending myself ---to the masthead. Of course, canoe mastheads can't handle a 2xx pound sailor up there, so I guess I will just have to do some describing...)

    We have been looking at Bermudan saisl, lateens, lugs and the odd oddity. We have seen some of the sail handling hardware in common use. Now we need to venture up to the tip of the mast to see what goes on there.

    First, a reminder: the halyards for Bermudan sails (where used, and for gunters, and the Balogh sails, and most other types that sit behind and attach to the mast) run fore-and aft. They go up the front of the mast and pull the sail up along the rear. Of course, sails that are sleeved or lashed permanently to the mast use no halyards.

    The halyards for lugs and lateens mostly go up one side, down the other. In other words, they run about 90 degrees out from the fore-and-afters.

    Lets look at some mastheads for wooden masts:



    (For this segment, I plan to channel the late Percy Blandford who wrote 100+ DIY books, many articles, and also designed canoes and boats. Blandford affected a very dense style including simple line drawings and numbered commentaries. I've always admired his talents.)

    Item 1 shows the tip of a simple wooden mast; 2 shows a blowup detailing a simple 'beehole'* drilled and shaped right through to permit a halyard to be operated without any mechanical devices like blocks. One drills a hole straight through the mast then uses a variety of tools to shape a very smooth and fanned out pathway. (I use a Dremel type tool with rotary rasps and sandpaper). This approach is classic. Little can go wrong with a simple hole. If the mast is very soft wood, however, the hole can wear and erode rapidly from the friction of the halyard. In that case, some builders have glued a small block of very hard dense wood into the mast, then do the shaping through it. Figures 3 and 4 suggest that option.

    In figure 5 we see a 'sheave' (the rolling bit in a pulley/block) let into the mast. Traditional, and fine for a fore-and-aft halyard, but perhaps not so good for a lug or lateen, because the sail and halyard move through quite a wide excursion and the halyard can jump out of or jamb in the fitting.

    Figures 6 and 7 show my current favorite approach: I taper the mast suitably then fasten ( with loooong screws) a nylon fairlead to the masthead. This is much faster than the beehole and if the fairlead wears it can be replaced easily.

    When a lug or lateen is run up the mast, the yard is normally stopped a few inches below the beehole/fairlead, etc. to permit the sail to rotate easily. For this reason it is very desirable to add a parrel as in figure 8. (Many parrel forms are possible.) The parrel keeps the yard under control as it is hoisted and can help lock its position. Perhaps most important of all, the parrel transfers the thrust of the sail to the upper mast when the sail is to leeward, relieving the halyard and masthead fitting of some strain.

    Here is a sample simple masthead, with beehole:



    If we step back, the masthead is revealed as part of a wooden mast extension for an aluminum mast:



    Figure 1 shows our beehole. Figure 2 shows a tapered shaft. Fig 3 reveals a step: the upper portion is the same diameter as the outside of our aluminum mast, while 4 is of a reduced diameter that can be slipped into the tube.

    Mast extensions have been around for a long time. I made this one on a wood lathe, about a 5-10 minute job (and another few for cleanup). A wood extension on an aluminum mast is often the easiest way to extend the mast, or to create an arrangement for the halyard. This one was intended to make the mast a bit longer. I used lightweight pine.

    If an aluminum or carbon fiber mast is used, we need some way of terminating the tip and handling a halyard.



    Figure 1 shows a simple plug with beehole. The plug could be metal, plastic or wood. In 2, a plug seals the top of the mast and accepts the force of an eyebolt that in turn holds a block for the halyard, all to one side. In 3, there is just a plug for a sleeved sail It needs rounded edges to protect the sleeve from chafe.





    This photo shows the plug + hole that I made up for my Opti rig. That mast is 1 3/4' in diameter, so you can guess at sizes. I spent considerable effort in smoothing out the path the halyard takes--this photo was taken partway through that task.

    The block shown below is a variation on a theme; it could be screwed to the side of a mast's head for the halyard.




    These photos and drawings just hint at the possibilities that are available. Sometimes it is worth reading through marine outfitters/candler's catalogs in search of simple fittings we can use. Here for example are two end fittings for the 1 1/2" yards and booms used on a Sunfish sailboat. Figuring out if they will fit you needs can be a challenge as measurements are seldom provided.

    http://www.apsltd.com/boom-cap-w-eye-and-pin.html

    http://www.apsltd.com/boom-cap-w-o-eye.html

    I must admit I seldom bother shopping for these things as I can usually cobble something together quickly.


    I guess we better dive down and look at the other end of the mast. This may take a while as my wife and I are particularly busy at present.

    Bob

    *BEEHOLE: this may be an American term. Carpenter bees bore almost perfectly round entry holes in exposed wood, then go off sideways. If we could train bees, making up these holes would be simple.
    Last edited by Bob Cavenagh; 19th-May-2017 at 09:07 PM.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
    Posts
    275

    Default To the masthead!

    (If you have read Hornblower or Aubrey/Maturin or many other British novels about the sailing navy, you may recall that unruly or tardy midshipmen were often sent to the mastheads to contemplate their misdeeds. I have been terribly tardy in continuing this thread, so I am sending myself ---to the masthead. Of course, canoe mastheads can't handle a 2xx pound sailor up there, so I guess I will just have to do some describing...)

    We have been looking a Bermudan sail, lateens, lugs and the odd oddity. We have seen some of the sail handling hardware in common use. Now we need to venture up to the tip of the mast to see what goes on there.

    First, a reminder: the halyards for Bermudan sails (where used, and for gunters, and the Balogh sails, and most other types that sit behind and attach to the mast) run fore-and aft. They go up the front of the mast and pull the sail up along the rear. Of course, sails that are sleeved or lashed permanently to the mast use no halyards.

    The halyards for lugs and lateens mostly go up one side, down the other. In other words, they run about 90 degrees out from the fore-and-afters.

    Lets look at some mastheads for wooden masts:



    (For this segment, I plan to channel the late Percy Blandford who wrote 100+ DIY books, many articles, and also designed canoes and boats. Blandford affected a very dense style including simple line drawings and numbered commentaries. I've always admired his talents.)

    Item 1 shows the tip of a simple wooden mast; 2 shows a blowup detailing a simple 'beehole' drilled and shaped right through to permit a halyard to be operated without any mechanical devices like blocks. One drills a hole straight through the mast then uses a variety of tools to shape a very smooth and fanned out pathway. (I use a Dremel type tool with rotary rasps and sandpaper). This approach is classic. Little can go wrong with a simple hole. If the mast is very soft wood, however, the hole can wear and erode rapidly from the friction of the halyard. In that case, some builders have glued a small block of very hard dense wood into the mast, then do the shaping through it. Figures 3 and 4 suggest that option.

    In figure 5 we see a 'sheave' (the rolling bit in a pulley/block) let into the mast. Traditional, and fine for a fore-and-aft halyard, but perhaps not so good for a lug or lateen, because the sail and halyard move through quite a wide excursion and the halyard can jump out of or jamb in the fitting.

    Figures 6 and 7 show my current favorite approach: I taper the mast suitably then fasten ( with loooong screws) a nylon fairlead to the masthead. This is much faster than the beehole and if the fairlead wears it can be replaced easily.

    When a lug or lateen is run up the mast, the yard is normally stopped a few inches below the beehole/fairlead, etc. to permit the sail to rotate easily. For this reason it is very desirable to add a parrel as in figure 8. (Many parrel forms are possible.) The parrel keeps the yard under control as it is hoisted and can help lock its position. Perhaps most important of all, the parrel transfers the thrust of the sail to the upper mast when the sail is to leeward, relieving the halyard and masthead fitting of some strain.

    Here is a sample simple masthead, with beehole:



    If we step back, the masthead is revealed as part of a wooden mast extension for an aluminum mast:



    Figure 1 shows our beehole. Figure 2 shows a tapered shaft. Fig 3 reveals a step: the upper portion is the same diameter as the outside of our aluminum mast, while 4 is of a reduced diameter that can be slipped into the tube.

    Mast extensions have been around for a long time. I made this one on a wood lathe, about a 5-10 minute job (and another few for cleanup). A wood extension on an aluminum mast is often the easiest way to extend the mast, or to create an arrangement for the halyard. This one was intended to make the mast a bit longer. I used lightweight pine.

    If an aluminum or carbon fiber mast is used, we need some way of terminating the tip and handling a halyard.



    Figure 1 shows a simple plug with beehole. The plug could be metal, plastic or wood. In 2, a plug seals the top of the mast and accepts the force of an eyebolt that in turn holds a block for the halyard, all to one side. In 3, there is just a plug for a sleeved sail It needs rounded edges to protect the sleeve from chafe.





    This photo show the plug + hole that I made up for my Opti rig. That mast is 1 3/4' in diameter, so you can guess at sizes. I spent considerable effort in smoothing out the path the halyard takes--this photo was taken partway through that task.

    The block shown here is a variation on a theme; it could be screwed to the side of a mast's head for the halyard.




    These photos and drawings just hint at the possibilities that are available. Sometimes it is worth reading through marine outfitters/candler's catalogs in search of simple fittings we can use. Here for example are two end fittings for the 1 1/2" yards and booms used on a Sunfish sailboat. Figuring out if they will fit you needs can be a challenge as measurements are seldom provided.

    http://www.apsltd.com/boom-cap-w-eye-and-pin.html

    www.apsltd.com/boom-cap-w-o-eye.html


    I guess we better dive down and look at the other end of the mast. This may take a while as we are particularly busy at present.

    Bob

  6. #66
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    Nov 2007
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    cambs
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    1,394

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    Oh no ! The pictures aren't showing for me

    Sam

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pennsylavania USA and Ontario Canada
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    275

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    Sam, I am sorry and deeply frustrated. The technique that worked previously didn't work this time. I am back to an entirely new drawing board.

    Bob

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
    Posts
    477

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    Like smoke in the eyes...

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