Author Topic: Winklebrig 98 bought! - any advice on rig conversion to gaff and topsail rig?  (Read 633 times)

TimB

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Hi to all owners!
I've just bought wb 98, and I'm really looking forward to getting the boat together and sailing with my two boys on the south coast.
By way of intro I've been sailing since 1972, learned in mirrors at Himley Hall SC in W.Mids - then into Int Moths, then various other dinghies, then solent & offshore racing etc.
I live in Hove as prev owner did - so will be based from Sussex YC.

I love the look of the lower gaff and topsail rig and wondered how to convert it from high rig to gaff and topsail? Any advice/ drawings/ insider knowledge would be enormously appreciated! - I'm also looking at additional jib and lengthening the bowsprit....but maybe I should calm down and take it one step at a time!  ;D
Tim B

Paul Thomas

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Hi Tim. I have WB48 with the topsail rig. I am not an experienced sailor and find the topsail a bit of a handful. I would be interested in converting to high peaked gaff. If you were interested in swapping the relevant bits and pieces, we could talk. I am aware that it would mean swapping the sails which are numbered, but there must be a solution to that. My sails are in good condition. The main is a bit faded and has a slight abrasion in one spot near the foot. It was like that when I bought her and has never been a problem.

TimB

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Hi. This sounds like a mutually beneficial arrangement and I'd be glad to see if we could sort something out between us. I'm certainly happy to swap rigs if we can arrange?
The sails I have are in good condition, but as yet, I can't attest to how good they are as I haven't sailed the boat yet!
Sail numbers can be easily removed from sails and either re-glued (if they are  the self adhesive type) or re-stitched. I'm happy to discuss further and could send pics and etc - Let me know what you think.
All the best
Tim  :)

Paul Thomas

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I will take some pictures and measurements, weather permitting.  Can you do likewise and let me know the dimensions of the spars. I  believe yours are longer than mine. The topsail, I would say, has had much less use, and is usually kept at the back of the wardrobe.  There are pics in the gallery of Partan. They are from the previous ownership, but are representative. I am near Bridgwater in Somerset, so a fair distance,  but I make occasional trips to Brighton to visit relatives.

dave_cawston

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Hi Paul & Tim, bear in mind that the topsail arrangement on Partan is not the standard original set-up.  With the standard original arrangement you haul the topsail yard, with topsail attached to it, up to the top of the mast, whereas Partan has the topsail attached to the gaff and the topsail yard is  fixed to the top of the mast (if that makes sense).  Markie and Partan spent a lot of time sailing together and although I am of course biased, I am convinced the original set up sails better, looks better but is more difficult to set. 

Paul Thomas

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Thanks David. I only remembered that after posting. Unfortunately I do not have the original topsail yard. I imagine it is easy enough to make one. Is it a simple yard with a hole in each end or does it have any other features?

Having only used the current arrangement, I cannot be certain, but lacing it to the gaff rather than its own yard results in  flying it back to front, and although it appears symmetrical and flat, affects the way it draws.

I agree that that the original looks better as well. It would be good for it to go to someone who will use it.

TimB

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Hi. Thanks for all this information, which is really useful.
I'm quite keen to return the rig to it's original format, so will need to get hold of a new spar, or get one made up. I will try to take some pictures of the sails and spars etc and also do some measurements for you.
 - should we use this site - or might it be better to communicate via email directly? - I'm happy to use whichever you feel more useful and appropriate.
Tim

Paul Thomas

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I have sent a pm with my email,  but some of tne feedback from other members is useful. I am pretty sure there is a picture of the topsail yard somewhere on the forum, and if not someone will provide one.

Paul Thomas

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I thought so. Page 2 of the rig section, in the second crom bottom thread. There are pictures and dimensions. Cheers.

TimB

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Thanks Paul - I've sent you some pictures of the sails and spars - the mast is in need of some repair work, as you will see from the pics.

Paul Thomas

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Hi Tim, thanks for the pictures. I would only be interested in swapping my mainsail, boom, gaff and topsail for your main, gaff and boom. I would want to keep my mast which is not standard and might not work for what you want to do with the topsail. The colour looks the same, and I note that only one  number needs changing. I would like a better view of your gaff jaws though. Mine is a saddle type which I am advised will not work well with the higher peak. Does yours have the curved jaws?

TimB

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Hi Paul. Thanks for your mail.
I will pop a picture of the jaws to you in the next day or two for you to have a look at.
I'm going to have to get a new mast made up (thanks to woodworm feast!) - so any dimensions of the mast would be helpful, if you know them
- is there somewhere where the technical details and proper dimensions /spec of the topsail rig including spar length and ect available- also, does anyone know of a wooden spar manufacturer in the south of the UK? ....I'm thinking I will try to get a wooden bottom and top sections plugged into a central aluminium round central section to make up the complete mast unit. Any views/ ideas/help!? - All gratefully accepted!  :)

Paul Thomas

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Hi Tim, there are details of the topsail and its spar on the forum: The Rig / page 2 / Topsail . The dimensions match my sail. The spar would be relatively easy to make from a suitable piece of timber. Also in the rig section is a thread on new masts. The only mast maker I know is Noble Masts in Bristol, which is where mine came from. I don't know the dimensions, but I could measure it. Someone would know the dimensions of an original standard mast I should have thought.

Martin

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Hi Tim.

This is a very long shot, but a long time ago Roger Parish the former owner of 'Partan' used to have a spare wooden mast in his garage. I no longer have Roger's contact details but I think Dave Cawston may have kept in contact with him. Perhaps Dave could respond to this if he knows if Roger kept his spare mast.

Roger changed his original mast for a new hollow one to make raising and lowering easier. If I was going to have a new timber mast made for a Winklebrig I would definitely have a hollow one. Not only will it be lighter which will  improve the Winklebrig's 'tenderness', but perversly hollow masts are also stronger.

Good luck!

dave_cawston

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Tim, I have sent you a PM with Roger's mobile number.  Roger was convinced about the advantages in having a lighter hollow mast, quite possible.  But I have survived over three decades with a solid all wood one and it is still very easy to raise and lower. http://www.winklebrig.org/smf/index.php?topic=281.0