been using Lug Rigs for centuries because of their unique sailing
The lug combines the efficiency of a square sail, when running before
the wind with the windward ability of a fore and aft rig.
There are four basic types of lug sail.
square sail, the lug’s sail is suspended from a
However, unlike the square sail the halyard is not attached to the
center of the gaff but closer to the leading edge.
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The gaff sail and sprit sail are also four cornered rigs but their sail
hangs completely behind the mast.
This does mean that the mast doesn’t interfere with the sail making it
this does put the center of effort well behind the mast which requires
more staying to hold the mast upright and makes it more difficult to
control twist in the sail.
Too much twist will mean that while the bottom of the sail is drawing
the top will stall.
Too much twist can also mean that the sail will tend to drive
downwards, increasing the healing moment.
Lug rigs, with their center of effort further forward overcome these
The dipping lug is so called because each time the boat tacks or gibes
the whole sail and gaff must be brought around to the leeward
This prevents the mast
spoiling the shape of the sail if it where to be left on the leeward
The problem with using this
sail is the coordination needed to quickly dip the sail when tacking.
For this reason it is
generally used on boats which are likely to travel long distances on
It is also why most
recreational craft use standing or balance lugs.
More on the Dipping Lug Rig
With the standing lug, the yard and sail usually remain on one side of
In the west, lug rigs
traditionally mount the sail on the starboard side, which probably
accounts for the rule for giving way to boats on starboard tack.
However, it can be fitted with
a tripping line from the throat which allows the gaff to be dipped.
The tack of this rig is set
close to the mast.
Like the dipping lug it is
usually loose footed.
The balanced lug is similar to the standing lug, except that it has
And the boom extends beyond
the mast, the tack being affixed back from its leading edge.
This allows more of the sail’s
leading edge to extend in front of the mast.
This means that the sail is
more balanced, hence the name.
This is an ideal rig for small
boats with short masts as the sail can be peaked up high and needs a
minimum of rigging.
More on the Balanced Lugsail
Chinese Lug Rig.
or Junk Rig is similar to the balanced lug except that it
is full battened
The Junk has been in use in a
myriad of styles and on boats of all sizes for centuries in East Asia.
The Chinese navy
circumnavigated the globe, in their Junks in the fifteenth century
while European sailors were still coming to terms with the idea that
the world was spherical.
More on how to rig a junk sail.
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When I got the ship it was a wreck and had no mast, some odd bits of rigging and two sails. …
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