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alternate sail plans for a Spindrift 11N

Steve W

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I'm done building my 11N, but I'm having a hard time getting a sail for it. I had always intended to build a simpler rig for it, so lacking a sail, maybe this is the time. Has anyone ever put a sprit rig, like the one shown on the catspaw series onto a 11N?

take Care,


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I have a leg-o-mutton sprit sail for my 10N and have trial rigged it, but have yet to use it. Was hoping to try it this week, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen.





This is an experimental......read inexpensive......tarp sail. About 65 sf vs. the 55 in the 10N plans. This sail will hoist and douse while on the water, but doesn't reef. With that much sail area, it won't be used in a blow! The rig is pretty simple. Halyard to raise it; downhaul to tension the luff; snotter to tension the foot and leech and a mainsheet. I'm using the same traveler setup on the stern as the designed rig.

The sail is laced onto the mast. I seem to recall the method was devised or at least promoted by Bolger? To knock it down should only require dropping the line on the clew, rotating the sprit to align with the mast and roll it all up. This is a one piece mast. I am building the stock three piece aluminum mast, which may allow it all to roll up in a tighter / shorter bundle to store/trasport it.

I have no delusions that this sail will outperform or even come close to the stock sail. In a race, I suspect I'd lose every time. It is simpler to rig however, and it can be doused while on the water without having to pull the stick.

Option B, which I may also try, is a balanced lug rigged as Storer does for his GIS and similar designs. The one I'm thinking of is the same sail used on a Shellback dinghy. Both this leg'O and the balanced lug have centers of effort roughly the same as the designed sail. The balanced lug I'm thinking of can be both doused on the water and reefed. And the mast is shorter as well. It has it's own rigging issues, but is relatively simple and will adapt easily to the boat as it is now.

Again, neither one is intended to perform as well as the designed rig. Just simple rigs to hoist and douse on the water to extend the range a bit farther than I'd care to row.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got a chance to field test the experimental sprit sail yesterday.


Although it doesn't look like it, there was quite a bit of wind on that little lake. Blowing 10 to 15, with gusts over 20. On occasion, there were whitecaps forming with only a 200 yard fetch. Not what I had in mind for my test, but it worked fine. The quick response of that little boat to a gust always surprises me. On a beam reach, response to a puff was to leap forward and up on plane. Snap your head back fast. Sprit to starboard and there was a definite difference in tacks. Port tack with sail draped over the sprit never did respond as well.

As for the sail, it worked fine. Not as easy to rig as I'd hoped and I had my lashings too tight, so was not able to raise and lower it as well as I'd hoped. Very simple to knock down and rollup, however. Pull the halyard, downhaul and snotter line out of the blocks, lift the mast, lay it on the ground and roll it up with the sprit inside and you are travel ready.

I confirmed what I already knew, that this sail rig is not going to keep up with the stock rig, but if a person wanted a simple sail rig to knock around in, this would work. That lake was 1/4 mile long and we were covering the length of it in a matter of minutes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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