I have been trying for about 20 years to convince the builders and owners that my stay sail rig is much safer and more manageable than the usual gaff rig. I speak now of the very large schooners with from three to five masts. The most prominent objections are, that it is difficult to procure perfectly sound masts of over 28" in diameter; it is very unsafe even when the sticks are of good quality to secure them perfectly. All the masts hang or depend on the integrity of the bob stay, the forestay and the springstays when run from masthead to masthead; if the bob stays give way when the vessel is pitching into a heavy sea, the foremast goes and all the others fall, as a matter of course. In the present rig in order to get canvas enough, the topmasts are generally very long and very heavy; the aftermast is invariably the longest and is generally so far from the stern that the mizzen or spanker is the largest and most unwieldy sail when it should be the smallest.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.