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There’s no wind, but there’s this

Isle of Wight


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The to-do list

If you are really observant you might have noticed a new page on the blog in the “about” menu: To Do.

I’ve collected together all the to-do notes from my log book and other pieces of paper that I could find. I’m sure I have not found everything.


Feel free to ask questions about anything on the list. Many of the items need writing up! I have little sketches and diagrams for a lot of stuff too.


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Blog bursts

You might be wondering why my blog posts appear in bursts, with thousand of words seemingly flowing in spite of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Firstly, please do not use me as an example of someone who has recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have not recovered. Rather than explain, I’ll refer you to my good friend Tan’s excellent article about it. I’ll just quote this:

If I’m doing fieldwork at Dolphin Reef, I’m in a safe enough place to push myself and then rest up until I’m functional again.

Tammy Norie does this for me.

In fact I’m writing slowly all the time.

I use the WordPress app on my phone to draft many articles at one about different topics, keeping notes as I go. What mainly holds them back from publication is the photographs. These tend to sit on my camera memory card until I’m at my desktop computer, where I can catalogue and edit then before uploading to Flickr and pasting links into the articles.

On top of that I tend to schedule articles to post automatically on future days so that not everything appears at once.

Because I was always told you should leave them wanting m

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Tammy meets Mr Fox

I met Chris Edwards and his self-converted Red Fox Vision at Newtown Creek on the Isle of Wight, and we sailed in tandem up to Southampton Water.

There are also photos on Flickr, but this is my favourite.


Apparently there are only five Red Fox Vision yachts in existence, and Chris is very lucky to have this one. It’s one of those smart and innovative designs that didn’t appeal to the conservative yachtsman. Just the sort of thing for a radical junk rigger!


2017-08-23 · 17:37

Aerojunk Coromandel

In 2015, Gavin Dalglish put me in touch with Paul McKay, who had sent him designs for an aerojunk rig for the Coromandel. I’ve just managed to get back in touch with Paul, who’s given me permission to reproduce his drawings and documentation here. I thought it was timely given the discussion of Emmelène’s split rig, and the sudden burgeoning of aerojunk rigs by Pete Hill and others in the JRA Magazine issue 74. I’d much rather have this somewhere public and useful than sitting in my inbox!

Here is one of Paul’s drawings, over the top of the standard rigging of the Coromandel.

There’s more complete information in Paul’s document, AeroJunk Folio Interim 2.  In addition, Paul wrote to Gavin:

I have drawn a suggested AeroJunk sail plan for your boat. I have overdrawn it on an original line drawing from Newbridge for comparison. You can see it is semi-elliptical. The original ‘lead’ appears to be 7.5%. This design will give a ‘lead’ of 10.25%. If there is a problem with weather-helm or too small a rudder then this will help a lot. Hasler/McLeod allow for a lead up to 12%.

The position of the original C/E and the position of your mast determines that this AeroJunk design becomes ‘low-aspect’. (My mast is further aft and forces a high-aspect design) The new C/E will be lower than Newbridge’s, so although this sail is 199 ft2 or 18.4m2, you should be able to carry the extra sail without penalty. Because of the camber in both sails it should go like a train!

I have drawn a batten angle of 1.5% above the horizontal. This works nicely on my boat. The batten spacing is 3ft or 915mm. The batten width will be such that the main produces a 1:8 camber. I haven’t worked this out yet but the boom will be somewhere between 600 and 900mm wide at the mast. You will need a spreader yoke about 400mm wide hung just below the front mast top. The lazy-jacks will be fitted to eyelets at 350mm centres on this yoke. Although the jib looks narrow it is slightly larger than mine so will work well.

Because of the low-aspect, there will be no problems with jib/main balance. Finally I have drawn a deliberate roach at the top of the mainsail. I suggest you incorporate that by fitting short permanent battens to support the roach. If you do away with the roach you will increase the ‘lead’ slightly. Something you can try if you still have weather-helm problems.

Gavin was planning to build this rig, but I have not yet managed to get in touch with him to find out how it went.  The last I heard, Gavin was drying out his Coromandel for osmosis treatment somewhere near Vannes in Brittany.

Here is a picture of Paul’s Etap 23i with a similar rig. Note the different sheet arrangement.


Paul wrote to Gavin:

Having finished my batten remodelling I took the boat out for a sail on Tuesday. It was a perfect Force 3 wind and I got a broad reach from just outside the marina for two miles before I had to tack. I was getting between 5 and 5.5knots. The tack took me close hauled and I still got 5.5kn although I was well heeled over by this time. That close to the wind I have the rudder hauled towards me as the weather-helm naturally increases. But this demonstrates how efficient the AeroJunk can be. My waterline length is 19 feet compared to your 16 feet so my maximum hull speed is 5.66 knots but I have had the boat at 7.5kn downwind. This is with 208ft2 sail. (Well down on the supplied sail area although the official sail area is 196ft2)

In a later message to me, Paul wrote:

Because the top weight of this rig is lighter than a conventional junk I use a downhaul line fastened to the main halyard/sail cringle. I need this to get the last 2 panels down so a combination of pulling the mainsheet and the downhaul does the job.

As Gavin says the forward mounted cockpit sheet jammer and the sheet fastening to the tail of the halyard presses the battens in against the mast and helps to reduce twist in the sail. Because of the twist in the sail, in an Ocean-going boat, I would use heavier canvass and a flatter camber in the top panel that would double as a storm sail. My rig, now 204ft2 (18.95m2) is made from 5oz Dacron.

To keep the sail tidy and effective when reefed I use individual downhauls on battens 1 and 2 plus a combination downhaul fastened to the front of the boom, batten 1 and 2. These have been good enough for up to a Force 5 wind. The strongest wind I have sailed in was a F5 (forecast 19mph) You could have a downhaul for every batten if you had enough deck sail clutches.

I suffered a blue-sky knockdown last year when hit by a gust on a sunny day. I think I got to about 50 degrees heel. The gust spun the boat round in its length while I hung grimly on to the safety rail. The whole thing lasted about 20 seconds. I estimated later it to be a Force 7 with all sail standing. The only effect was to stretch 4 of the 50lb locking cable ties.

Today, Paul wrote to me:

I am just about to start [a folio on the Aerojunk] again. I have also just designed a new sail for Miranda, slightly larger at 20m2 and have made new battens from telescoping aluminium tubes. The sail is being made now and I expect to get it in a couple of weeks.

It was interesting to discover that Pete Hill had made AeroJunk sails for his new boat, Oryx. I believe he has now designed and made AeroJunk sails for 2 other boats in New Zealand. He has done this without any reference to me so must have got all his information from my original articles in the JRA Newsletters. […]

When I finish the folio I will hopefully publish it in the JRA.

So we can look forward to some very interesting updates from Paul. In the meantime, this article will I hope encourage and interest you all.


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It’s been a long time since I made a post about Tammy Norie. I’ve been disabled by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for over a year. I’ve improved a lot over the last few weeks, but if you know anything about CFS you’ll know I have to increase activity very slowly. So here I am with Tammy at FSMBC ready for a bit of very gentle pottering around The Solent.

It’s very good to see her.
Unfortunately I’ve missed yet another year of the Jester Challenge. CFS, sleep deprivation, and COLREGS do not mix, even if I’d had the necessary spoons to prepare! I’ll definitely skip the trans-Atlantic next year, but perhaps I’ll be ready for Baltimore in 2019.

I can’t promise lots of blog posts, but if I do any significant work on Tammy you’ll definitely hear about it!

I’d love to hear news of your Coromandels. What’s been happening?


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Solent Boat Jumble

I will be at the Solent Boat Jumble in Netley tomorrow with a boot load of boat bits to sell. (In fact, the same things I took to the Beaulieu Boat Jumble in spring!) Do let me know if you’re nearby.


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The course is set. The wind vane steers. The weather’s good. The wind is up. I remember this! Too late this year for big adventures. But not for big dreams and big plans. While the wind vane steers.


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Visiting Taiwan

I will be visiting Taiwan next week. I plan to track down traditional boats and visit any maritime museums I can while I’m there.

Does anyone have any tips?

I will report back with whatever I find!

I’m sorry the blog has been so quiet. I have been very occupied with work since September and have had almost no time for sailing or boats at all. However, there is some news, and I will write some detailed entries soon about it.  The short version:

  1. Tammy Norie was craned out two weeks ago at Woodbridge and I towed her to Waterbeach, near Cambridge, where she’s in a friend’s driveway, so that I can work on her.
  2. I have a fairly detailed to-do list for the Jester Azores Challenge and will share the plans with you on the blog.
  3. I will be making pictures and videos of my work on Tammy leading up to the Jester Azores Challenge.

Right now, the Challenge feels impossible. But then again, what I did last summer seems quite unlikely, so that’s no guide.


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Southampton Boat Show tomorrow

I will be at the Southampton Boat Show tomorrow. If you happen to be there and would like to meet please leave a comment and I’ll send you my phone number.

Tammy Norie will sadly not be in attendance.

In the evening I’ll be at the Jester Challenge south coast meet up.


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