The Corribee Owners Association Boat Register reports the following distribution of rig types:
Junk: 6 (2%)
Ketch: 1 (0.3%)
Sloop: 1 (0.3%)
Standard: 114 (37.1%)
Tall: 12 (3.9%)
Unknown: 174 (56.4%)
All the Coromandels are reported to be Junk rigged.
Eduardo Murcia has kindly provided this extremely clear picture of the standard rig Corribee TWOCAN. Click on the image to enlarge and clearly see all the shrouds and stays. With some browsers you will be able to click again and zoom in even further. An action shot of the same boat can be seen below:
According to the Katie Miller article in Practical Boat Owner, April 2007 the sail area of a standard rig Corribee Mk 2 (main and 100% foretriangle), is 14.5 m2 (156 sq ft).
A picture of the tall rigged Corribee INISHEER.
According to the Katie Miller article in Practical Boat Owner, April 2007 the sail area of a tall rig Corribee Mk 2 (main and 100% foretriangle), is 16.3 m2 (175 sq ft).
A picture of the junk rigged Coromandel NIX.
Declan McKinney has kindly provided this very nice close up of his junk rigged Corribee Galway Girl. An action shot of the same boat by his friend Jim can be seen below.
For junk rigged boats, the bible is ‘Practical Junk Rig: Design, Aerodynamics and Handling’ by H.G. Hasel and J.K. McLeod. See further reading for more details.
Mike Auton has kindly allowed us to post a description and explanation of how hinged battens work on a junk rig:
Mark Deverell has kindly allowed us to post a very detailed twenty two page description of rigging a Coromandel with a Chinese Lug Rig below:
Declan McKinney has kindly provided these reflections on his first year (2008/2009) of junk rigged Corribee ownership along with a beautiful picture of his boat heading into the sunset on its inaugural spin in September 2008:
Vive la Difference – A year with Junk rig
Now that we have one full season on Galway Girl behind us, it’s time to reflect on our experiences of junkrig and consider how it has matched our expectations.
So, why did we choose junkrig in the first place? Well, we didn’t seek to really. We’d been trying to talk ourselves out of shopping for a Corribee for a few years, and thus had passed up a few nice standard-rigged boats. Along the way we’d learned enough about the junk-rigged version to be intrigued and, when “Lucy E” turned up to seduce us, junk no longer seemed such an odd choice of rig.
The key attraction of junkrig was of course its famous ease-of-handling and inherent safety. This was important as we intended to sail short-handed and, with Valerie in practical terms a novice, this choice promised a stress-free platform from which to enjoy our first experiences of cruising on our own boat. In this respect, the rig surpassed our expectations.
Full sail can be hoisted in a fraction of the time it takes to remove the sail cover. When the sail was nicely set up we were able to fully raise it with little effort; otherwise, we occasionally took a turn around the winch to help with the last foot or so of halyard. In a panic the sail can be stowed in just a few seconds or, in normal use, a bit longer as the slackening lines are progressively taken in and tidied up. In practice we found that sometimes we had to shake down the last two panels by hand, though we should be able to tune this out so that the sail drops repeatably under its own weight. Reefing is truly one of the junkrig’s party tricks; in any conditions, a mere flick of the wrist is all that’s required to let the sail down a panel or two. As a result there is no need to reef early in anticipation, and instead one can concentrate on sailing to the prevailing conditions.
Self-tacking and self-gybing, the junkrig makes for pretty simple manoeuvring. Tacking, we found that in general all that was required was a positive shove on the tiller, dinghy style, though of course with no need to tend any lines. At times we struggled with a tendency to end up in irons, but there was always a reason such as a rigging failure (eg. undone batten parrel on our Ballyvaughan trip) or a more subtle rig-tuning issue. To help maintain momentum through the tack, we sometimes found it beneficial to hold out the boom until the bow had passed through the wind. Relative to a Bermudan rig, gybing is pleasantly undramatic, as the movement of the boom is damped by the balanced sail (ie. sail area shared fore and aft of the mast). It’s worthwhile hauling in some mainsheet just to limit the amount of slack sheet available to whip your hat off or even wrap itself around your neck; otherwise the sail will finally get around to gybing itself somewhere approaching a beam reach on the opposite tack.
Sailing downwind, we cannot get enough of this rig! Unintended gybes just don’t happen so even when barrelling through chop, dead downwind in a blow, you can forget about staring nervously at the boom. This is the time when you can see a little light bulb go off above our friends’ heads as Galway Girl’s rig delivers near-spinnaker performance with none of the trepidation one might normally reserve for sailing ‘by the lee’, nor even so much as a collapsing headsail. Care does need to be taken to ensure that the boom is not let out so far as to exert excessive pressure on the battens and, though we were cautious about this, we still managed to break a batten-hinge.
What else can I say about the safety of junkrig? Well, the only reasons Valerie ever had to visit the foredeck this season were to pick up the mooring or heave a bowline. Against this, there were times when I went forward to effect an adjustment or repair underway and would have appreciated some standing rigging to hang on to.
Going into our first season then, we’d had a good idea of the advantages of junkrig and happily these were borne out in practice. However, we’d also started off with a fair few reservations that I’ll discuss in the remainder of this article.
Conventional wisdom states that junkrigs don’t go upwind, never mind those paired with a bilge-keeled hull. This was a concern as we invariably have a long beat into the Bay to contend with before we can set course for our destination, and also because it’s no fun to be always bringing up the rear when sailing in company. We expected to compromise a little pointing ability, and in general much of what we’d read from those with actual experience of junkrig was encouraging. It hardly seems likely that people like Roger Taylor would stick it out season after season if this rig were a dead loss. For a while mid-season it did seem like the rig’s detractors might have a point with, on the very worst day, tacking angles of a laughable 130º or so. However, with a few tweaks we finally had her tacking through 100º again and at last we could enjoy a lively upwind performance.
Our efforts to coax Galway Girl upwind taught us that, while sailing a junkrig is simple and stress-free, sailing it well is another matter. The first lesson is to overcome the desire to sheet in hard as for a standard mainsail. When beating, the junk sail should set at an angle of incidence of only a few degrees to the apparent wind. One consequence of this is a very small heeling moment; indeed, if the boat starts to heel noticeably it’s probably time to sheet out. The junk sail does not offer much in the way of visual cues, and we therefore made constant use of the GPS and compass to judge how we were doing. Notwithstanding the apparent low-tech nature of the rig and the fact that it looks about the same whatever you do, it proved quite sensitive to a bit of tweaking and really rewarded us when we got it right. We believe the main contributor to our beating woes was an under-tensioned tack parrel; adjusting this to move the boom aft made a dramatic improvement to our pointing ability. We considered rigging this as a running line for next season, but Hasler & McLeod advises that this should be unnecessary as the luff parrel alone should provide adequate control of the luff.
Other concerns centred on whether I might find the rig a bit tame and whether I’d be ploughing a lonely furrow with junk rig and so missing out on the opportunity to hone sail trimming and rig-tuning skills that would be useful for racing on Sandrine. In fact, we found the rig liberating in many ways. It got us out in conditions where we wouldn’t have dared sail short-handed on a conventionally-rigged boat, and provided some thrilling rides at that. We had plenty of technical challenges in areas of our sailing that years of racing do not necessarily develop, such as anchoring, boat-handling under power and generally taking responsibility for setting up and sailing our own boat. Galway Girl will never be a training aid for racing crew but, at least based on this year’s experience, she more than makes up for that in a whole range of ways.
I did wonder if we would present a curious sight. As far as we know, GG is the first junk-rigged boat based in the Bay since Galway Blazer came home with Bill King (our local hero, incidentally, of whom we’re immensely proud. Select ‘submarines’, view from 4.20 mins onwards). Not everyone’s heart leaps when a junkrig wafts into view, and I quote from an otherwise complimentary PBO review in Dec 1978: “What of the rig – am I converted? Well, the answer must be in the affirmative for although in aesthetic terms the sight of a junk sail jars the horizon, once aboard such considerations slip away”. As it happens, we mustn’t look too ridiculous out there as we are constantly approached with compliments, and fellow sailors are invariably intrigued by the mechanics of the rig. We even seem to blend in nicely with the Galway Hookers that grace our home waters.
Now, as seasoned junkies, we can’t wait to kick off another year under junkrig. There’s a big empty horizon out there waiting to be jarred!
There is believed to be a single ketch rig Corribee: Blauwe Anjer. She is believed to be one of a kind with limited room for cocktail parties in the cockpit…
Jonny Moore has kindly allowed us to reproduce this article:
Casulen II was built in 1978. As we were not sure of whether she had been re-rigged since then, we decided that we should do so. Instead of paying someone to do it for us, we bought a 100m roll of 4mm 1 x 19 stainless steel wire, some brass ferrules and borrowed a crimping tool.
The job took a whole weekend to complete and cutting the old rigging was something we didn’t want to do, as we were not 100% sure of our rigging skills! However, once we had worked out what we were doing, we found it to be a fairly easy job. As the new rigging has stood up to over 1000 miles of sailing and experienced over 40 knots of wind, we think that we possibly got it right!
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