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Origins of the Caledonia Yawl design The Crazybird crew Go to the Discussion Forum

Full rig - click to enlargeSetting up the rig

Oughtred has designed two rigs for the Caledonia yawl, a lug rig and a high peaked gaff rig. In both cases these have two masts, a main mast forward and a mizzen mast aft. The lug rig is unstayed and carries no jib. Crazybird carries the high peaked gaff rig (left).
The lug rig is simpler and quicker than the gaff to set up and dismantle. Setting up the gaff rig on Crazybird, launching and fully preparing the boat to sail takes us 30 to 45 minutes. Less to dismantle. Comparative performance? We don't know. With the gaff rig Crazybird sails very well in a variety of conditions and outperforms many comparably sized classic and even more modern trailer yachts.
For the gaff rig the mainmast is supported by a forestay and two sidestays. There are no backstays. The mizzen is unsupported. Running in very fresh conditions we are sometimes a bit worried about the lack of backstay and have thought of adding running backstays, but haven't yet. It seems to add unnecessary complexity.
We have no topping lift or lazy jacks. They too seem like unnecessary complexity. We are happy to just drop the mainsail onto the floor of theOne reef in the main & No2 jib - click to enlarge boat.
The mizzen mast carries a sail about the same size as the larger jib, with a light boom. It is sheeted to a removable bumpkin which protrudes about 3ft aft of the stern. We stow the mizzen sail by wrapping it around the mast.
The foot of the mainsail is supported by a boom to which the sail is not laced. The boom is located on the mast simply by a pair of leather served wooden jaws. This simple arrangement enables the mainsail to be removed from the mast (and centre of the boat) and stowed to one said enabling the boat to be more easily rowed.
Forward, Crazybird carries a jib which is located on a bronze furler. In winds of much over 12 knots this jib is best furled and replaced with a much smaller (No 2) jib (at the same time as the mainsail is reefed, see picture right.
Tiller - click to enlargeThe tiller arrangement on a small ketch always presents problems. The traditional arrangement is a short transverse bar on one side of the rudder stock, attached to a long tiller forward to the helmsman. The rudder is then turned by pushing and pulling the tiller forward and aft. This surely provides a lot of convenience, freeing up the middle of the boat however for myself, being rather conservative on these things, I prefer a traditional tiller and have retained a laminated tiller made up by Nev, which loops around the mast. It's always a talking point with visitors!
For towing and storage we stow the entire rig in two specially designed cradles which straddle the boat athwartships, these cradles having the double function of also securing the boat on the trailer. In specially cut slots we stow from starboard to port; the mast, the tiller, a boathook, the mizzen mast (with sail rolled around), the boom, the gaff (with the mainsail flaked between it and the boom), the bumpkin and finally the mizzen boom. Its a lot of spars. We carry a pair of oars on the floor of the boat. We secure the spars using rubber bands (sliced inner car tube) stretched between dowels on either side of each spar. (Each rubber band covers two spars). This stowage arrangement works very well indeed and is highly recommended. We cover the spars and whole top of the boat with a silver coloured reflective waterproof cover which keeps road dust and rain out whilst surely improving towing performance.
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