Each photo below is of Paul Hernes' Phoenix III named Willy Wagtail. Even though she is sporting a green sheer strake in the first, second and fourth photos, and is looking nicer with a more plain colour scheme in the other two, she is the same boat, and nothing has been changed other than the sailing rig.
|Phoenix III with her sprit rig set without a boom. This can only be done on boats which have had the correct sheeting geometry designed-in from the beginning.|
|This shows the boat sailing under mainsail alone|
|In this photo, Willy Wagtail is carrying the flying jib from the sprit rig, and a standing lugsail taken from a Joel White-designed Poohduck Skiff - which by coincidence is a design which can also be sailed with or without her jib.|
The matter of hull/sail balance is frequently brought up, and one can't just put any rig on any boat and expect the boat to perform properly. The rigs have to be proportioned in such a way the hull balance is maintained within certain limits, otherwise you will end up with excess weather-helm or, even worse, lee-helm. At the design stage I put a lot of time into proportioning the various sail plans so that they will balance. However, you can see from the last photo above that there is a lot more tolerance for centre-of-area and centre-of-lateral resistance changes than the theorists will admit (I limit my comments here to small centreboard and leeboard dinghies - and even then, the rudder and centreboard proportions, area, and location must be taken into consideration when following this line of thought).
|This is Periwinkle with her Periauger or Cat-Ketch rig as designed...|
|...and here she is with the mizzen removed altogether, and the main mast moved back to a third mast partner and step. This step was designed-in to allow just this procedure.|
|Another shot of Periwinkle moving well with the mast and mainsail in the third location. This arrangement changes the sail area from 155 sq.ft to 104 sq.ft without the need to reef both the mizzen and the main.|
|Here, the crew of Periwinkle were anticipating tricky conditions outside the cove and had not only used the mainsail and mast in the third location, but had tied in a reef as well.|
|This is another shot from the same day (52 sq.ft mizzen sail only) and I am told by a person who I trust (no names) that Periwinkle was actually overtaking the boat in the background.|
See in this youtube clip just how well the boat goes when being sailed by a light crew - in this case one person.
The old-fashioned rigs have got a tremendous amount going for them if you know what you are doing, and if you are prepared to be patient with your development. All basically cordage, wood, leather, and cloth.