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Gunter Rig

Started by Old Forum, April 07, 2014, 11:57:37 AM

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David Bone

High Peaked Gaff Mainsail.

My boat came with the standard Low Peaked Gaff Mainsail & Topsail, which, with minor modifications, have served me well for 7 years but I rather fancied the High Peaked Mainsail, offered as an option with original build.

From Arun Sails, successors to the original makers, I tried without success, to get a dimensioned drawing of the HP sail.
In the end, Mike Seller (WB 95) supplied me with a measured drawing of his original HP sail.
From this as a basis, Goacher Sails of Bowness, made me a good new sail at a reasonable price.

Longer spars were required, so first class spar timber was obtained from Robbins, again at a reasonable price.
(Spruce for the gaff and Douglas Fir for the boom.)
Jaws, in the original style, I fashioned from Ash for the boom and laminated Ash/Iroko for the gaff.

Finally completed this winter, the new arrangement has been put to the test and I am well pleased.
The sail is easy to hoist and lower, the boat feels better balanced, with weather helm reduced.
I am sure she sails better to windward, than with low peaked gaff alone and I am less bothered by gusts than when the topsail was set.
At an area of 115 ft2,( Less than main+topsail but more than main  alone.) and more of the sail near the foot, I feel confident in a moderate wind.
I haven't yet been out in a wind strong enough to require a reef and will be interested to see at what force this is needed.
Following my original sail, reefing points were placed at 700mm & 1,400mm above the foot. I am not sure this is the best placement and think perhaps, 500mm & 1,000mm might be better. Experience will tell and I will amend if necessary.

Two recently added photographs in the 'Gallery'show the boat under sail.

David Bone

High Peaked Mainsail:

Paul Thomas

Hi David, I am back on the forum if not yet back on the water. Very interesting reading about your experience with the high peak gaff rig now it is in commission. Glad to hear that you achieved the performance gains you hoped for. It also looks fantastic, rather like a Cornish Crabbers Shrimper I thought.

Paul Thomas

Hi David or indeed anyone who knows, it's me again. I hope you can help. Regarding the high peaked sail, I have the possibility of swapping my main and topsail with spars for an original high peaked rig. I am a little confused though. Your sail, which looks gorgeous, is copied from WB95. I have looked at some others in the gallery, WB61, which was for sale last week and WB112, which look completely different. Actually more like a larger version of my sail. I thought there were two alternative rigs. Do you know if there were more? I am after the look you have achieved with the ease of a single sail.


Hi Paul, WB61 and WB112 look to me to be standard main (+topsail).  WB112 looks like it has the metal spars.  I am not aware of a third rig arrangement, I have only ever seen the standard main + topsail and the high peaked gaff.

David Bone

I agree with David.
Examples of high peaked gaff shown in the gallery are: WB106/96/95/91.

Paul Thomas

Many thanks David and Dave. I must be getting my Winkle Brigs in a twist. I was fooled by an erroneous description in a for sale ad. It seems the high peak rig was mainly fitted to the later boats from the evidence.