Rigging To Sail:

You should have your running rigging (what other kind is there...;) set up according to the designed sail plan. You don't need double blocks etc, but the odd cam cleat would be welcome if you can afford it. Flying Tadpole II is devoid of anything except lightweight blocks and hand-made wooden horn cleats.

You could use any old rope for the sheets, but use pre-stretch dacron for halliards or you'll be forever fiddling with the peak.

Have topping lifts set up before hoisting, as otherwise everything drags across the deck and the crew. Sails can theoretically be hoisted at any angle, because of the absence of standing rigging: in practice, anywhere with the wind abeam or forward.

Always have sheets let off and free to run when hoisting, but remember the main boom is 16ft long. "Normal" boats with short booms don't realise this and will crowd you. Hoisting the main with slack sheets, or just letting the sheet run in close quarters, can put a nice hole in a fibreglass hull. So can the bowsprit, but that's another story.

Remember: The First shall be Last.

Main goes up first, followed by fore, and only then the jib. Taking in sail follows the reverse order. This is totally different to the modern masthead rig. NEVER try to sail with the jib only, she'll go straight downwind.

hoistingFrom the plans, mark on the masts where the boom jaws should be, for simplicity in hoisting. Keep the gaff parallel to the boom when hoisting. Once the boom is high enough, cleat the throat halliard and peak the gaff.


Make sure the gaffs are well peaked. A ridge running from the peak to the tack, when sails are empty, is usually correct unless winds are very light. A ridge running from the throat to the clew will bring tears of mortification and rage to a proper schooner skipper's eyes and the boat will hate you.

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