Chris Boxer has written about our recent meeting at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. You can find his post on Emmelène’s blog.
Emmelène has a split junk rig, which means about a third of the sail area is ahead of the mast and formed of conic sections called “jiblets”. These direct airflow over the main part of the panels abaft the mast. The slot effect helps the air stick to the back of the mains and so increases the stall angle, and thus how high you can point. To make this work the luffs of the main sections need to be tight near the mast, like the luff of a Bermudan main.
It’s quite like sailing a stack of small pivoting Bermudan rigs!
It’s often said that the Coromandel’s mast is too far back. Tammy certainly suffers from weather helm, especially on a reach. But Emmelène has none at all. It’s quite spooky.
If anything she could do with moving the centre if effort aft a touch. The sheets are perhaps a little too relaxed and sometimes it was hard to persuade the sail to swing out.
This is no fault of Chris’s. He bought the rig second-hand to replace the poor “hi-power” rig that came with Emmelène. In fact it was the exact rig the Practical Boat Owner featured in their comparison of junk and Bermudan rigs (using identical Splinter 22s I think) a while ago.
I look forward to meeting Chris again and perhaps trying it all out in more varied conditions.