Thursday, November 13, 2008


Lately  my arc of interest has veered toward the Junk rig, undoubtedly because of my exposure to it via Hasler et al. It's an interesting rig with many advantages for the cruising sailor. It is easy enough for the homebuilder to craft, inexpensive relative to many other rigs, is self tacking and easy to reef or drop in a hurry. Most resistance to this rig centers around the perception that it won't go to windward. Recent and not so recent experimentation by Arne Kverneland and Slieve McGalliard, among others, have improved this function using cambered panels and other variations. You'll find much discussion on these matters on the Yahoo Junkrig Group site and at the JRA. Roger Taylor has two jibs for Mingming, a very light multi purpose Genoa and an even smaller dinghy jib he can carry up to about Force 5. Roger reports that "they make a big difference with the wind anywhere forward of the beam" but cautions that with an unstayed mast you must be able to get them in quickly.
Many designers have used the rig for their designs including Thomas Colvin, Thomas MacNaughton and Bruce RobertsMichael Kasten has an interesting discussion of the rig on his website.
I would love to hear from anyone who's had experience with this rig.


The O'Sheas said...

The local broker has a junk that my 5 y/o loves.

It offers very comfortable living quarters. I always take a boat ride through Aberdeen when I go to Hong Kong and imagine it would be pretty cool living onboard, although maybe not amongst quite so many people as there.

Anonymous said...

I’m delighted to see your interest in the Junk Rig Thomas.
As for Junks not going to windward its one of those well packaged myths has been sold gradually over generations so that the truth has come to seem utterly preposterous.
Anyone with any doubt about the viability of the rig should read Gavin Menzies’ book “1421” which shows that Chinese Junks were circumnavigating the globe in the thirteenth century, long before the Europeans.
As for the Yahoo Junkrig Group site, it is ‘the’ place to go for advice on the rig.

Tim Hirzel said...

Hi, I love your blog. I just found it. I have a blog myself at In poking around the web for research, I found a treasure trove of boat photos I think you will like, in particular some of Junk rigs in Hong Kong. Check out this link:

surf around that site to find tons more of Karsten Petersen's incredible pictures.

Besides the Junks, find the set where he was aboard a big ship getting smashed up in the North Sea. Incredible. I'll be keeping up with your blog for sure. Thanks. -Tim