How to run a Schooner?


Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
In Memoriam
Okay, so the "Schooner" thread has me wondering. Don't things get really busy in the cockpit trying to run two sails, rudder, leeboards and stay dry at the same time?

"Schooner Thread" is here:

Does anyone have a photo showing how the ropes ("sheets"? in sailor lingo?) are arranged for a rig with two masts/sails?

I have Todd's great book, but I don't think there was a diagram or explanation along these lines included. I think a sequel is needed :cool: .
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Fitz said:
Don't things get really busy in the cockpit trying to run two sails, rudder, leeboards and stay dry at the same time?

It actually isn't as bad as it appears. The image at can be enlarged to show that both sheets run through a pulley for a 2:1 (or two to one) advantage and can easily be held with one hand leaving the other hand free to give an occasional tug on the rudder line or just hang on. Two sheets controlling two sails in one hand also means that you can simply move that hand forward to head into the wind (by pulling in the stern sail while letting out the bow sail at the same time). Moving that hand toward the stern will produce the opposite effect and head down wind. The leeboards rarely require any adjustment except when launching from shallow water or coming in to land. The rudder is also used primarily to change tacks, avoid obstacles, or other sudden changes of direction. The middle thwart is a good place to sit and makes it easy to slide your weight from the middle of the canoe to the windward rail when necessary. It does get busy when changing tacks. I have thought about adding a sliding hiking board like Dan and Andre's 16/30s but that will take more practice. The sailing canoe at would be much more difficult to manage, even with all of the jam cleats.

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Sequel? Don't hold your breath. Writing the text, doing all the drawings and doing the basic graphic layout for that book took me five and a half months. Fighting tooth and nail to make sure that it actually reached the shelves in a format that was true to the original was a five year battle that I don't plan to repeat. Best bet if you want more is to watch the obits and after I'm gone see if you can convince my wife to sell you my old Macintosh. It has detailed and measured drawings for over 100 different rigs in it, mostly for canoes.

Once people get used to the basic logistical problems of controlling two sails with one hand, they tend to find the amount of steering that can be done by sail trim alone really interesting. I've had several customers who bought twin rigs and went test-sailing before they had their rudder systems built and who managed quite well in general. Most do eventually build rudders, which do come in very handy in close quarters or if you need to maneuver up to a dock to land, but for much of their open-water sailing they've learned to use as little rudder as possible and steer mostly by trimming or easing the mizzen.