~ Sustainable Seafaring from Oceania. History, Design, and Relevance ~

November 05, 2016

The "New Tack" video

Some video, finally.  This is my first and only take and there's no narration.  Please pardon the amateurish quality.  It was my first video shot on a (borrowed) smart phone.

By the way, the sail can be shunted without brailing it up as shown but the foot would drop nearly into the water when the mast is centered.  The brailing does come in handy at times.

Here's the video and a poem-like mnemonic device for the shunting sequence:

Brail it up (the sail)
Center it up (the mast)
Move the sail across

Tilt it forward (the mast)
Drop it down (the boom)
Haul the sheet and go

So, I'm satisfied that I have found a good method of single-handing the traditional Micronesian proa rig.  Should I be blessed to be able to build again I'm confident that this will allow me to handle the rig in larger boats and in most sea states.

Following are some pictures and more in-depth commentary which I hope will help.  I've left the pictures huge - it may help to see the details.   BTW, as soon as I can get Blogger to cooperate, I'll post a higher resolution video.

Please bear in mind that this is a crudely and cheaply built mock-up made to test a rig idea - the fittings consist of what I had on hand.

(1)  Longshot, on starboard tack

(1)  In this longshot we see the basic rig.  With the continuous-loop backstay belayed note that the backstay is taut even though there is slack in the forestay.  No matter - the yard is bowsed-down to the the bow with a bungee cord and hook.  The yard stays in place even if the boat is pitching around in a choppy sea.

(2)  Another longshot, starboard tack

(2)  Another longshot.

(3)  Medium shot, starboard tack

(3)  Medium shot.  I used little cuphooks to belay the backstay.  The real boat would have cleats or linestoppers.

(4)  Bungee cord and socket at bow on starboard tack

(4)  Closeup of the bungee cord with hook and the heel of the yard in a socket at the bow.

(5)  Backstay belayed

(5)  The backstay belayed with the sail deployed.

(6)  When the mast is centered

(6)  Closeup of the belayed backstay when the mast is centered mid-shunt.

(7)  Halyard bridle view 

(8)  Another halyard bridle view

(7) and (8)  Two views of how the halyard bridle works while shunting the sail.  The bridle allows the yard to move upward while passing amidships thus keeping the heel and foot of the sail out of the water.

(9)  Halyard bridle view on the other tack

(9)  Here is the halyard bridle view with the sail on the port tack.



(10) and (11)  A couple of final shots on port tack.  In shot (11) the heel of the yard has gotten out of its socket at the bow but the real boat would use a stronger bungee cord and hook to keep it bowsed down snugly.  The "keeper" sketched below worked pretty well on my first boat.

Here's an earlier post from December 13th of 2015 with some background data - 

The "New Tack" works...

Good results working with the "new tack" mock-up rig this weekend!  There's a new Page I've put up on it - A Working Crabclaw Sail:

I'm happy enough now with this rig that I'd use it tomorrow if I could build a new boat!  That's all I can ask.  The ancients have already done it all for me!  All I ever needed was a way of short-handing the rig.  I'm ready to go sailing now!