Lateen Rig

Gordon (
Sat, 22 May 1999 15:58:12 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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:>Hang onto that Sunfish lateen rig! I use the same rig to power my 17'
>alum. canoe and 8' El Toro! Its the safest and most efficient sail rig
>I know of (with leeboard/centerboard of course).
>In light surf, (Avila Beach/Port San Luis) I often rowed my El Toro off
>the beach, set the rudder/centerboard and lateen rig in brisk winds, had
>many a great sail and than timed my sail on the back side of a wave up
>onto the beach! Takes quick work as rudder hits the sand. But the sail
>rig is a charm!
>Larry Steffen
>HMS 18 - #373 - YUUKI
>Monterey Bay


I really think the lateen rig is underappreciated. It works great on my
Potter 14. It seems to be faster than a new Potter 15 off the wind, and it
seems to point higher, surprisingly, although a well sailed sloop-rigged
P15 will beat me upwind. I can also sail comfortably unreefed in winds
where I would have reefed my 72 sq ft gunter rig. And it's great to have
only one sail to trim when tacking up a channel. It's much faster to rig
and derig than my gunter rig. I still need to add reefing capability, and I
need to learn how to adjust the rig to minimize the occasionally high
weather helm. In most conditions, the helm is very well balanced. The mast
socket is about a foot forward of the sloop mast, and I can still use
either rig.

I can't quite imagine having a 75-80 sq ft sail on an El Toro or canoe in
a brisk wind. How do you keep them right side up? I have a Coleman 15 canoe
sitting around. Maybe I should get a sail adapter for it.

Many years ago I sailed my P14 (gunter rig with no reefing at the time)
from Santa Cruz to Monterey, accompanied by another P14. A memorable
all-day trip. Where do you like to sail YUUKI?

Harry Gordon
P14 #234, Manatee
Mountain View, CA