Appendices -- Useful Supplemental Information


(Books from Dabbler Sails’ collection that illustrate the spectrum of small-boat sailing rigs, from ancient to modern. For want of a better idea, I have chosen two simple categories to organize them under: GENERAL -- books that are resources for all sorts of rigs; and SPECIALIZED -- books devoted to a single sailing rig, hull type, or geographic region. Within these broad categories arrangement is by original publication date.)


SMALL-BOAT SAILING RIGS, Jane Ahlfeld & Jenny Bennett, with illustrations by the inimitable Jan Adkins. A tear-out section in the Jan/Feb, 2010 (No. 212) issue of WoodenBoat Magazine. A half dozen pages presenting a synthesis of Jenny Bennett’s "Sailing Rigs" and Adkin’s "Craft of Sail" (see below for both). A handy reference for those small-boat builders who are noodling what kind of rig to put in that boat-a-building that has displaced the car in the garage. Spot-on for the advantages/disadvantages of the various lug, sprit, & gaff rigs, & of sloops, schooners, cutters, yawls and ketches.

IAIN OUGHTRED, A Life in Wooden Boats, Nick Compton. WoodenBoat Books, Brooklin, ME, 2008. 159 pp, 9” x 11”. A study of the brilliant, enigmatic small-craft designer and builder, with a parallel subplot tracing the growth of the woodenboat revolution in Britain and the USA. The author was editor of the British journal Classic Boat. Iain Oughtred has created some of the most elegant lapstrake rowing and sailing craft to emerge during the recent decades of wooden boat revival. Features Iain’s take on lug and sprit rigs, guest appearances by Peter Spectre (WoodenBoat magazine), Lance Lee (the Apprenticeshop), a complete list of Iain’s designs, and selected plans (prams, canoes, dinghies, dories, double-enders, and small cruising yachts). A beautiful and inspiring book.

THE WORKING GUIDE TO TRADITIONAL SMALL- BOAT SAILS, David L. Nichols. Breakaway Books, Halcottsville, NY, 2006. 96 pp, 8.5” x 11”. Well-illustrated survey of all the traditional small-craft sails, with some marlinespike basics and tips on rigging. See our review elsewhere on this Appendices page.

SAILING RIGS, Jenny Bennett. Naval Institute Press, 2005. 95 pp, 9.75” x 8.5”. Many photos and drawings illustrate the history of the several well-known rigs, on merchant and fishing vessels, as well as yachts, from full-rigged ship down to the catboat. Curiously, except for a single reference to a sprit-rigged North Carolina seine boat, the four-cornered sprits'l is omitted -- though it was a common type among inshore European fleets in the 16th century, and is a very popular small-boat sailplan today.

SAILBOATS, edited by Nic Compton, Salamander Books, Ltd., 2003. 400 pp., 8" x 6". 500 high-quality color photographs, many full page, covering the entire spectrum of modern sailing vessels: Dinghies, racing yachts, solo racers, Olympic classes, cruising boats, classics, work boats, and tall ships. Every type of sail & rig, interspersed with history and sketches of important events and personalities. The photos are spectacular, and the text, by the former editor of the British publication Classic Boat, is rich and informative.

CANOE RIG, Todd E. Bradshaw. WoodenBoat Books, Brooklin, ME, 2000. 265 pp, 11” x 8.75”. Although the rig and sail types are imagined for and drawn on canoes, the rich information on how to design and make them is easily adaptable to any size sail. Bradshaw illustrated this big volume on some magic computer program. He delves into all the variables -- calculations for sail areas, rig balance, spar bend, and sail shaping. An appendix displays large, clear, measured plans for all the little sails he illustrates in the body of the book -- lateen, leg-o-mutton, gunter, batwing, gaff, balanced and standing lugs’ls, sprits’ls, sprit boomed, Chinese lug, jibs, and even a couple of squares’ls, plus a few more! Most of these could be scaled up to suit the case.

BOAT PLANS AT MYSTIC SEAPORT, Anne and Maynard Bray. Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT, 2000. 210 pp, 8.5” x 11”. An illustrated catalog of yacht and boat designs lodged at the Mystic Seaport Museum Library. Among the designers are L. Francis Herreshoff, Wink Warner, Fred Geiger and Al Condon. Among the designs are sailing skiffs, daysailers, and cruisers. Sail and rigging plans all sharply-printed line drawings.

WOOD, WATER & LIGHT, photos by Benjamin Mendlowitz, text by Joel White. W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1988. 178 pp, 10" x 11". Spectacular color images and commentary focus on 24 beautiful wooden boats, among which a baker's dozen built to sail. Each boat gets several pages: under way, interior details, hauled out, etc. For the sailor or sailmaker, the sailing shots are revealing. There are many near-perfect sails nearly perfectly deployed, worth careful study. The sailmaker's eye also ferrets out a few un-peaked peak halyards, slack outhauls, and sloppy leeches, which also merit study. A beautiful coffee table book full of inspiration.

SMALL-CRAFT RIGS WORTH A SECOND CONSIDERATION, by Iain Oughtred. WoodenBoat Magazine, 1986 - 87. This is not a book, but a 5-part series of articles covering basic details of small-craft rigs -- bermudan, gaff, lug, sprit, gunter, lateen, batwing, etc. Appeared in Woodenboat numbers 74 through 78. A thorough survey of small-craft rigs, with many useful variations on rigging details. Small-craft designer Oughtred sprinkled on some good illustrations, which will straighten you out on snotters, parrels, luff lacings, peak halyards, and much more. This is such valuable information on the whole spectrum of traditional rigs I’m surprised WB hasn’t put it out in book form.

PETE CULLER’S BOATS, John Burke. International Marine, Camden, Maine, 1984. 295 pp, 9” x 11.” Subtitled “The Complete Design Catalog,” this treasure trove of small-boat designs is not an ordinary catalog. It contains clear, crisp profile and plan drawings, construction details, and, most importantly for the browser of this bibliography, sail and rigging plans. Culler more or less retrieved the sprit sail from oblivion, and many, many of these traditional small craft are rigged with sprits’ls. There are also leg-o-mutton plans, gaff rigs, and lugs’ls, on boats ranging from dinghies to schooners. All the sail and rigging plans sport dimensions which can be read with the naked eye, or with the aid of a hand lens. Each study plan is accompanied by the pithy comments of Cap’t Pete himself, or supplied by the author.

100 SMALL BOAT RIGS, Phil Bolger. International Marine, Camden, ME, 1984. 262 pp, 6” x 9”. Every imaginable rig sketched on a suitable hull (Bolger called them “cartoons”), with commentary. A more recent edition is titled 103 Small Boat Rigs. If you’re noodling what kind of sail or sails to put on that little skiff you’re building, this is the book to start with. Bolger’s other books, Small Boats, Boats with an Open Mind, and The Folding Schooner, elaborate on some of these rigs.

FIFTY WOODEN BOATS, the Editors of WoodenBoat Magazine, Brooklin, ME, 1984. 112 pp, 8” x 10.75”. A catalog of building plans available from WoodenBoat. Two succeeding catalogs (Thirty Wooden Boats, 1988, and Forty Wooden Boats, 1995) make a total of 120 plans to peruse. Many of the sailplans have dimensions which can be read with a magnifying glass. A treasury of small craft rigs. WoodenBoat keeps them in print.

SAIL AND OAR, John Leather. International Marine Publishing Co., Camden, ME, 1982. 95 pp, 7.25” x 9.5.” Hull, rig, and sail plan drawings and photographs for some two dozen American and British small craft, both historical and modern. Lots of interesting and proven rigs for small cruising boats, beach cruisers, dories, and canoes. A great study book for anyone interested in today’s proliferating “row/sail” designs.

MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM WATERCRAFT, Maynard Bray. Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT, 1979 and later editions. 300 pp, 8.5” x 10”. Most of the usual small-craft types are here in photos, line drawings, and informative commentary by the author -- catboats, sailing dinghies, sharpies, sneak boxes, whitehalls, etc., etc. Not to be confused with the Boat Plans at Mystic Seaport above. Two different books.

BUILDING CLASSIC SMALL CRAFT, VOL. 1, John Gardner. International Marine, Camden, ME., 1977. 300 pp, 8.5” x 11”. By the same author and publisher, in the same format, is More Building Classic Small Craft, 1984. Two additional volumes in similar format were published by Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT: The Dory Book in 1987, and Classic Small Craft You Can Build in 1993. Many of the designs described in these books include traditional sailing rigs. The latter-mentioned volume has a particularly valuable chapter on balancing the rig of small boats.

SKIFFS AND SCHOONERS, R. D. “Pete” Culler. International Marine, Camden, ME, 1974. 200 pp, 8.5” x 11”. Although the basic thrust is boat building, there are sail plans, with dimensions, for many of Culler’s own designs -- sprits’l skiffs up to gaff-rigged cargo schooners. Most of the plans show spar dimensions as well.

CURIOUS YACHTING INVENTIONS, Joachim Schult. Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1974. Translated from the German edition, published in 1971. 140 pp, 8.5” by 10”. Culled from patent records and other sources, some of these “inventions” are crack-brained, some visionary, some fell by the wayside, some are part of “yachting” today -- like a 1922 proposal for reefing the main by rolling it up around the mast. Read roller furling in the mast. Also curious is the introduction, by Dougal Roberterson, who later, with his family, spent 38 days on a small raft after their schooner was sunk in the Pacific by whales -- see “Survive the Savage Sea”, his description of the ordeal.

SENSIBLE CRUISING DESIGNS, L. Francis Herreshoff. International Marine, 1973. 394 pp, 10” x 7.5”. Many examples of LFH’s beautiful designs, with very detailed drawings of, among other aspects, the spars and rigging details for various Bermudan, gaff, Gunter, and lug rigs. Get out your magnifying glass and study inventive and “sensible” ways to make and rig gaff and boom jaws, tame the sliding Günter, use sheet metal instead of expensive bronze castings, and find proven spar diameters and tapers.

THE CRAFT OF SAIL, Jan Adkins. Walker and Co., NY, 1973. 64 pp, 11” x 9”. Adkins’ characteristic pen and ink artwork elucidates this “primer of sailing.” Everything from simplified aerodynamic theory to sailors’ knots, reefing, heaving to, & reading charts. Novices will find the vocabulary they lack. Old salts will be treated to an elegant reminder of the basics. One of the very best introductions to small craft sailing.

WORKING WATERCRAFT OF THE WESTERN WORLD, Thomas C. Gillmer. International Marine, Camden, ME, 1972. Second edition, 1994. 276 pp, 7.5” x 9.5”. Besides having designed the two Pride of Baltimore replicas, (and the 30’ Allied Sea Wind, hull #69 of which was my home during many years of cruising), Tom Gillmer was a professor at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. This research is blessed with the drawings of marine artist William Gilkerson and hundreds of rare photos. A look at sails and rigs proven in the merchant and fisheries fleets of Northern Europe, the British Isles, the Mediterranean, and North America.

THE TWILIGHT OF SAILING SHIPS, Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1965. 206 pp, 8" x 11". Forward by Howard I. Chapelle. Archival black and white photos of merchant vessels and school ships. A valuable resource for details of square rig.

THE NATIONAL WATERCRAFT COLLECTION, Howard I. Chapelle. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1960. 327 pp, 8.5” x 11”. Another catalog, this time of the maritime material housed a half-century ago in the “United States National Museum,” a corner of the Smithsonian Institution. Lots and lots of small craft, many illustrated as photos of rigged models of American and foreign fishing boats, obtained at the various 19th Century Expositions held in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, etc. These photos of models make an unusually intriguing book.

AMERICAN SMALL SAILING CRAFT, Howard I Chapelle. W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1951. 365 pp, 6” x 9.5”. If any book can be called the standard reference for what we call “traditional small craft”, this is it. Every type of North American small sailboat is detailed in text and drawings. Many small craft have been built with no further information than Chapelle’s lines, mostly taken off existing boats or models, and their rigs. Sailplans throughout.

INTERNATIONAL MARITIME DICTIONARY, Rene de Kerchove, Van Nostrand Co., New York, 1948. 900 pp, 6" x 9". As well as as being an excellent general nautical reference, has very clear and detailed definitions and characteristics of all the small-craft rigs, including rare and bizarre ones like felucas and settees.

SAILING AND SMALL CRAFT DOWN THROUGH THE AGES, Edgar L. Bloomster. United States Naval Institute, Annapolis, MD., l940. 280 pp, 9" x 12". Barques, brigs, botters, caiques, & xebecs, they’re all here, in silhouettes and text. Part of the book is organized as a glossary, so if you want to know what an Arendal yawl, or pinky, or tjalk looked like, you can find out. Then check out the chapter on “Sails and Rigging” for Bloomster’s sketches of all the known types of sails.

YACHT DESIGN AND PLANNING, Howard I. Chapelle. W. W. Norton & Co., 1936. 320 pp, 6" x 9". Much useful information for the small-boat builder or designer. Chapters on sail plans and specifications are rich in material relevant to small craft rigs.

SAILING CRAFT, R. G. Matthews. Eyre & Spottiswoode, Ltd., London, 1933? 162 pages, 7.5” x 10”. A charming presentation of fishing and yachting vessels along the coasts and inland waters of England. Sixteen water color plates and 125 drawings. The text is in form of a cruise log, in which the author shares local history, and sketches for us what he sees along the way. His beautiful pen and ink work leaves no doubt about the details of sails and rigging used on vessels he portrays – from working sprits’l barges to the elegant yachts of the day.

ELEMENTS OF YACHT DESIGN, Norman L. Skene. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1927 and later editions. We have excerpted his useful table of spar proportions elsewhere in the Appendices, but there is lots of additional information relevant to building and rigging small craft in the older editions. A revision by Francis Kinney, 1962, focuses on large craft, and drops, among other material, Skene’s chapter on making half models, builders models, and sailing models.

THE FORE-AND-AFT RIG IN AMERICA, E. P. Morris. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1927. 215 pp, 6.5” x 10.” An illustrated survey of (mostly small craft) sailing rigs, grouped by type of boat -- catboat, dory, sloop, ketch, brig, schooner. Based on published material dating back to the 17th century. Liberally laced with engravings, photographs, and sketches. Author’s intriguing speclations about origins and evolution of various fore-and-aft sails make good reading.

LAST DAYS OF MAST AND SAIL, Alan Moore. Clarendon Press, Oxford, England, 1925. 260 pp, 5.5” x 8.25”. My copy is a 1970 reprint from David and Charles, London. Ironic title in light of today's small-craft revival. An invaluable source for rigging practices in the last years of commercial sail in Britain, the Mediterranean, and the Near East. Based on the author’s observations while a temporary surgeon in the Royal Navy during WWI. The illustrations of a vast array of small craft rigs are by R. Morton Nance, enhanced with “two drawings by an Arab.” Conveniently divided into chapters on square, lateen, sprit, gaff, and lug sails.

MAST AND SAIL IN EUROPE AND ASIA, H. Warington Smyth. John Murray, London, 1906. 371 pp, 8” by 5.25”. Modern reprint editions available. Smyth, with help of over 300 pen and ink thumbnails, describes almost exclusively craft from the world’s fleets of harbor craft, workboats, and cargo and fisheries vessels. Hundreds of different rigs are clearly defined. A drawing on page 193 illustrates the earliest use of sprit booms I am aware of -- a Groomsport (Ireland) open yawl sports sprit booms slung on the masts and stuck through the clews of the pair of dipping lugs’ls.

CANOE AND BOAT SAILING, W. P. Stevens. Forest and Stream Publishing Co., 1903. 238 pp, 11" x 8". "Containing plain and comprehensive directions for the construction of canoes, rowing and sailing boats and hunting craft." A basic resource for American small craft and their sailing rigs. My copy is a 2000 reprint from D. N. Goodchild's Press at Toad Hall.

THE SAILING BOAT, Henry Coleman Foulkard. Edward Stanford, London, 1901. 555 pages, 11.5” x 9.” Subtitled “A Treatise on Sailing Boats and Small Yachts, Their Varieties of Type, Sails, Rig etc., with Practical Instructions in Sailing and Management.” But that’s not all: “Also the one-design and restricted classes, fishing and shooting boats, sailing chariots and ice yachts, as well as foreign and colonial boats, canoes, &c, &c.” Emphasis is on craft in the English waters. Hundreds (539 to be precise) of photos and drawings by the author and others illustrate, with informative clarity, all the rigs known at the turn of the century, which of course includes today’s resurgence of those rigs – gaff, gunter, lug, sprit, etc. A Nautical Vocabulary in the form of an appendix throws light on the origins of some common small-craft rig terms in use today: Foulkard says a “snorter” is a “small rope strop into which the heel of a spreet is set.” And he tells us that to “scantalize” is to take the power out of a sail, and warns that it is sometimes erroneously written as “scandalize”. Pretty expensive in the original, but modern reprints are available.

SMALL YACHTS, C. P. Kunhardt. Forest and Stream Publishing Co., New York. 1877. My copy is a reprint by D. N. Goodchild, The Shellback’s Library, Philadelphia, PA, 2000. 394 pp, 10.75” x 16.75”. A classic reference. Essays on yacht design, single-handed yachting, maintenance, etc., followed by a an enumeration of 19th century American watercraft types, illustrated in full-page plates. Everything from centerboard catboats, deep, narrow cutters, and shallow-draft sharpies to sailing canoes and lifeboat conversions.

YACHT AND BOAT SAILING, Dixon Kemp. 1878, London. My copy is another Shellback’s Library reprint, 2002. 650 pp, 10,.75” x 16.5”. This elephant folio contains the designs and observations of the 19th century’s small-craft guru. Packed with wholesome sailplans, rigs and rigging details, made clear as crystal on beautifully-engraved plates. The accent is on British craft. A chapter on “Centerboard Boats for Rowing and Sailing” gives a sense of deja vu, in light of today’s plethora of similar craft for beach cruising and “raids.” Big plates with details would allow re-creation of any of the wonderful designs illustrated, or their sails.


BAHAMIAN SAILING CRAFT, Wm. R Johnson, Jr. Explorations, Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas, l973. 56 pp., 9.25” x 12”. Several later editions and still in print. Subtitled “Notes, sketches and observations on a vanishing breed of workboats.” Complied while the author lived aboard an Abaco ketch and cruised the Out Islands. Hand lettered text. Beautiful, accurate pen & ink drawings of the island dinghies, smacks, schooners and ketches with their signature big-headboard sails. The only complete resource for these craft.

CATBOATS, Stan Grayson. Devereaux Books, Marblehead, MA, 1996. 200 pp, 7’ x 10”. History, designs, archival and modern photos, anecdotes and yarns. Many sail plans and rigging details.

THE CHESAPEAKE BAY OF YORE, Frederick Tilp. Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc., Annapolis, MD., 1982. 150 pp, 11” x 8.5”. Sketches of typical Bay boats during the days of working sail -- many by noted marine artist John M. Barber. “Mainly about Rowing and Sailing Craft” is the subtitle. Bugeyes, skipacks, sharpies, flattie and deadrise skiffs, all sketched with their distinctive rigs. Text rich in history and anectdote.

THE CATBOAT BOOK, Several authors, edited by John Leavens. Published for the Catboat Association by International Marine, Camden, ME., 1973. 160 pp, 9.5” x 11”. Articles by men associated with catboats as designers, historians, sailors, or builders, liberally seasoned with photos and drawings. A great resource for gaff rig research, since most catboats wear it.

SLOOPS AND SHALLOPS, William A. Baker. Barre Publishing Co., Barre PA, 1966. 174 pp, 6” x 9”. B & W drawings by the author. Traces the evolution of single-masted working watercraft along the US Atlantic seaboard, from the 1600’s to the end of working sail in the 19th century. Special focus is on the “shallops” brought in pieces in the holds of the first European Boats to land colonists in the New World-- forerunners of today’s computer-cut kit boats. Baker designed the famous Mayflower II, which replicated the voyage of the original.

CHESAPEAKE BAY LOG CANOES AND BUGEYES, M. V. Brewington. Cornell Maritime Press, Cambridge, MD, 1963. 172 pp, 8.5” x 11”. Archival photos of the indigenous Bay rigs -- leg-o-mutton sails, sprit booms, and stick-up jibs.

CHESAPEAKE BAY, A PICTORIAL MARITIME HISTORY, M. V. Brewington. Bonanza Books, New York, 1956. 238 pp, 7.25” x 10.5”. Black and white reproductions of oil paintings, watercolors, engravings, lithographs, daguerreotypes, and photographs help record the history and life of the Bay. Rich source for all the Bay’s working small-craft rigs.

HAND, REEF AND STEER, Tom Cunliffe. Sheridan House, Inc., Dobbs Ferry, NY, 2005. 7.25” x 9.5”, 174 pp. Subtitled “Traditional Sailing Skills for Classic Boats.” In this case "classic boats" translates “gaff rig." Don’t look here for sprits’ls or lugs’ls. Covers everything from typical spars, rigging details, and sails to tutelage on how to use all that. Wonderful watercolor illustrations worth thousands of words, with a glossary of the more obscure terms, and a comprehensive index. A good primer, but with much to offer the seasoned skipper as well.

THE GAFF RIG HANDBOOK, John Leather. Waterside Publications, Ltd., England, 1994. 240 pp, 8.5” x 11”. A thorough exploration of the mechanics and a photographic survey of the rig in British, European, Scandinavian, and American waters.

GAFF SAIL, Robert Simper. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD., 1980. 144 pp, 7” x 9”. Photos and drawings of working and pleasure craft around the world. Gaff sails on sloops, ketches, brigs and barges.

A PANORAMA OF GAFF RIG, John Leather and Roger M. Smith. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD., 1977. 112 pp, 8.75” x 11”. Photographs of historic and contemporary racing, cruising, and working vessels, mostly in British and European waters.

DESIGN AND BUILD YOUR OWN JUNK RIG, Derek Van Loan. Paradise Cay Publications, Arcata, CA., 2007. 104 pp, 5” x 7.75”. Based on a 1993 edition. The title says it all. See our review of this book elsewhere on the Appendices page.

PRACTICAL JUNK RIG, H.G. Hasler and J.K. McLeod. Adlard Coles Nautical, 1988. 244 pp, 8.75” x 11”. All about Chinese lugs’l geometry, design, spars, rigging. The definitive work on the junk rig. Many sail plans to study.

SETTING SAILS, A TRIBUTE TO THE CHINESE JUNK, Derek Maitland, w/ photographs by Nik Wheeler. South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, l981. 174 pp, 9.5” x 12”. Photographs, paintings and drawings of trading, fishing, lake, and river junks, with detailed sail and rigging plans.

THE SHARPIE BOOK, Reuel B. Parker. International Marine, Camden, ME., 1994. 180 pp, 7.25” x 9”. Designs and sailplans from 19th century designers like Chapelle, Kunhardt, Monroe and Clapham to modern ones like Phil Bolger. Proportions of the usual sprit-boomed leg-o-mutton sails, as well as gaff and full batten Bermudan sails.

SPRITSAILS AND LUGSAILS, John Leather. Adlard Coles, Ltd., London, 1979. 392 pp, 10” x 7.5”. Drawings and photos illustrate most of the possible variations. Includes spar and rigging details for sprit, lug, and gunter sails.

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