Here follows a few thoughts from Robin Blain - of
the Junk Rig Association:
I think it is worth emphasizing that the
"motion" of a boat with the un-stayed masted junk rig is far more relaxed than a
boat with a stayed mast. Crews often tell me they feel less tired at the end of a
days sail in their junk rigged boat than they did with their previous Bermudan rigged boat
which had a shorter sharper motion. Another important advantage is the quietness of
the junk rig due to the sail being fully battened and so preventing sail flapping and the
lack of tension in the running rigging also prevents noise and chafe.These advantages are
not obvious to people who have never sailed junk rigged boats, even if they have read a
lot about the rig. Anyone interested would pick up some more advantages from the Junk
Association Information Pack.
We are now fitting new battens to old rigs and
improving their performance, particularly to windward to the point that they are matching
similar Bermudan rigged boats to windward.The offshore junks are going for the GRP tube
battens that are selected by a computer program, so that they get stiffer as you go up the
sail, depending on their length and the area of sail panel above each batten. The
specifiCATAMARANion can also easily be altered for either coastal or ocean cruising.The jointed
battens work well when there is little wind to bend the GRP battens.
We have also found it is advantageous to use
what we call Keep battens on the opposite side of the sail to the working battens.
We use the cheap, lightweight and very flexible plastic 7/8" OD household water pipe
by Osmaweld as they can be lengthened from their standard 4m length by glued joints.
These are laced through the sail to the working battens as we have done away with batten
pockets, so saving 20% off the sails cost.These Keep battens give an efficient airflow and
prevent chafe of the sail from the lazy jacks.
I hope you find all the enclosed information
useful, as we feel it is essential to share research and development of the junk rig
between all interested parties, to improve the efficiency and consequent enjoyment of the
junk rig for all and so give the rig the best possible image to other rig users.