Following a lengthy correspondence on the Steamboat Forum as to what one might do in the event of the untimely loss of fire/water/steam, or other mechanical catastrophe (especially given our intent to brave tidal waters). I concluded that an auxiliary sail rig might be the best solution.
There were a number of people trying to convince me that I could row myself to safety, but that seems like hard work on a 26ft, 3-tonne boat! Moreover, I think the sails might be fun – (providing one remembers to extinguish any fire first!).
So, I set to getting myself an education – and to cut a long story short I came across the Junk Rig, and the Junk Rig Association – and I think I am sold!
The benefits of simple sailing, easy reefing, lack of standing rigging, elegance and odd-ballness are all a good fit for Befur’s mindset, and out way the doubts about windward performance – and as Paul Fisher commented – “we are not talking America’s Cup performance, you just need to get home” !
More Research to be done, but a single forward mast and demountable funnel seem to fit the bill… I downloaded the Kindle version of “The Chinese Sailing Rig” by Derek Van Loan, which provided a very readable introduction to the design and build of such a rig, and now have my head firmly stuck into The Practical Junk Rig by Hazler and McLeon – a real bible of the topic…
OK read all that and this is what I think it looks like….
In the end we opted for a slightly smaller cabin, to provide more space in the cockpit. This also entailed building a significant steel frame to support the mast tabernacle (which allows the mast to fold for trailing). The mast is a tapered extruded aluminium pole (actually provided by a lamp post manufacturer) and is ~6″ diameter, as Junk Rigs do not have the stays (shrouds) normally fitted to a yacht, so the mast needs to be strong enough to be free standing. The sail, which Lou made to Arne Kverneland’s instructions (another Junk Rig Association guru). The fears of exhaust from the boiler setting fire or melting the sails proved entirely unfounded!