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Bruce Roberts-Goodson

Illustrated Custom Boatbuilding.
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JUNK RIGS (UK, Australia and Europe) LUG RIGS (USA and Canada)
The Chinese have used these rigs on the rivers and for coastal cruising for thousands of years. What is not so well known it that the not so distant past these junks were much larger and used for long distance passage making voyages.

Some 40 odd years ago Englishman Colonel H. G 'Blondie' Hasler developed a simplified and modernized version of the traditional Junk rig and used in on 'Jester' a boat that was to prove the worth of Hasler's Junk rig designs. During the past few years hundreds of cruising sail boats have been equipped with this rig and it has proven to be a viable alternative to the more popular traditional and modern rigs.

Modern junk rigs are capable of creditable windward performance and can often out-reach and out-run boats fitted with more conventional sail boat plans. Some of the advantages of the junk rig are, easy to reef,  low initial and maintenance costs, lack of standing rigging (less to go wrong), and a certain beauty. 

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This Roberts designed Golden Hind 36 has recently successfully crossed  the Atlantic both ways & according to her owners handled some very rough conditions with ease.

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Many Bruce Roberts designs, boat plans and STEEL OR ALUMINUM PLANS & CUTTING FILES are available featuring the junk rig.The Spray 40 Pilot shown on the left is one of many Spray designs that accept this rig. See below for links to several Spray designs that are available with junk rig option.

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Several Roberts Spray 40,s  have been successfully fitted with the junk rig.

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Junk rigged Roberts 25 fitted with a junk style mainsail. This boat was built in Australia.


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All Bruce Roberts Junk rigs come with detailed sheet and halyard layout.

The boat plans for all junk rigs come with special construction and control line (not shown here) boat plans and drawings.

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.