To get a sailboat – even the simplest one! – one desire is not enough. You have to incur expenses that are sometimes completely ruinous for the family budget. And it takes a lot of time to build such a boat.

However, there is a way out – quite accessible and inexpensive. It consists of installing simple homemade sailing equipment on a rented pleasure rowing boat (for example, the Mullet or Trout type).

Of course, you should not expect high speed and tacking qualities from such a “yacht”. This is only possible with a radical change in the design of the boat itself and more advanced equipment, including a retractable centerboard or centerboards.

Now, however, we will talk about simpler sailing weapons. Its main part is a 4.5-meter mast, which is installed in a special support (step) at a distance of 1200…1400 mm from the bow of the boat and is secured with shrouds and a forestay.

Equipping a rowing boat with sailing equipment
Equipping a rowing boat with sailing equipment:
1 – mast, 2 – bottom bracket (rod with a diameter of 8…10 mm or a pipe with a diameter of 12 mm), 3 – attachment point for the cables, 4 – jib sheets (nylon rope with a diameter of 6…8 mm), 5 – piles of jib sheets ( steel ring with a diameter of 40…50 mm), 6 – boom, 7 – boom sheet (nylon rope with a diameter of 10… 12 mm), 8 – steering assembly, 9 – mainsail, 10 – upper bracket (rod with a diameter of 8… 10 mm or pipe with a diameter of 12 mm), 11 — weathervane, 12 — mainsail halyard (nylon rope with a diameter of 6…8 mm), 13 — jib halyard block, 14 — jib halyard (nylon rope with a diameter of 6…8 mm), 15 — stay, 16 — staysail, 17 — sling (nylon rope with a diameter of 3…4 mm), 18 — cleat (metal strip with a cross-section of 2×12 mm), 19 — steps, 20 — M8 bolt with washer and wing nut, 21 — earring (sheet duralumin 2 mm thick), 22 – quick-release cotter pin (steel wire with a diameter of 1 mm), 23 – sling (nylon rope with a diameter of 3…4 mm), 24 – mainsheet (nylon rope with a diameter of 4…6 mm), 25 – corner stopper (duralumin “corner” 2x25x25mm), 26 — bracket (duralumin sheet 2 mm thick), 27 — mainsheet ring (steel wire with a diameter of 3…4 mm), 28 — boom foot ring, 29 — mainsheet shoulder strap (steel cable with a diameter of 2…2.5 mm).

The sailing rig of the boat consists of a mainsail and a staysail. The mainsail is of the “Swift” type, it is fixed using a mast pocket, raised by a mainsail halyard thrown over a bracket at the top of the mast, and stretched with a boom. The sail is controlled by the boom sheet.

The kit includes one more sail – a staysail. It is characteristic that it is not attached to the forestay – this significantly speeds up its installation and cleaning. This sail is hoisted by a jib halyard passed through a block at the top of the mast, and controlled by jib sheets passed through bales on both sides of the mast. After hoisting the sails, all risers are fixed to the cleats.

The steering unit of the sailboat is quick-detachable. It is hung on a bracket mounted on the transom of the boat.

1 — lower elbow of the mast (duralumin pipe with a diameter of 40×2 mm), 2 — support pin (steel wire with a diameter of 5 mm), 3 — middle elbow of the mast (duralumin pipe with a diameter of 45×2 mm), 4 — upper elbow of the mast (duralumin pipe diameter 40×2 mm).

The boat’s mast is a three-legged one, assembled from thin-walled duralumin pipes. The brackets are secured in the upper and lower knees: on top – with the axis of a wind vane made from a bicycle spoke, on the bottom – with cotter pins.

The cleats are also secured to the lower leg of the mast with M5 screws. The pictures show a mast of minimal dimensions, but it can also be extended using a wooden insert (L = 250…300 mm) into the mast elbow to a depth of 150 mm.

1 — rear bend of the boom (duralumin pipe with a diameter of 28×1.5 mm), 2 — support pin (steel wire with a diameter of 3.5…5 mm), 3 — front bend of the boom (duralumin pipe with a diameter of 32×1.5 mm), 4 — M5 screws, 5 — trim (duralumin strip 4x40x110 mm).

The boom is assembled from two duralumin pipes; the so-called “whiskers” are fixed in its front part, covering the mast and allowing the boom to be fixed on it. If you cannot find two pipes, the back of the boom can be made of wood – for example, from spruce.

There are two rings installed at the tip of the boom (its rear end): turns of the mainsheet are passed through the first and through the mainsail clew ring, forming a kind of soft lanyard with which you can adjust the “belly” of the mainsail, increasing it at full courses and decreasing it at sharp, as well as when the wind increases. This is done by moving the stopper up or down along the main sheet. The boom sheet is passed through a triple ring at the back of the boom and secured to a ring that can move freely along a shoulder strap – a steel cable stretched from side to side in the stern of the boat.

Cable mount
Cable mount:
1 – shroud (steel cable or piano wire with a diameter of 2…2.5 mm), 2 – thimble (copper or aluminum tube), 3 – soft lanyard (nylon rope with a diameter of 4…6 mm), 4 – shroud shroud (steel wire with a diameter of 3…4 mm), 5 – safety pin (nylon rope with a diameter of 3…4 mm), 6 – shrouds (duralumin “angle” 2.5x40x40 mm), 7 – pin (steel wire with a diameter of 3…4 mm)

The shrouds and stay are constructed almost identically and are nylon ropes with loops (loops) at the ends.

On the mast, the shrouds are fixed to a shackle fixed to the mast with a bolt and nut, and the stay is fixed to the top bracket. The shrouds and stay are stuffed with soft turnbuckles: each of them is formed by several turns of nylon rope passed through the lower fire and an earring bent from steel wire with a diameter of 3…4 mm. The earrings, in turn, are secured in three putts, screwed to the sides and stem of the boat, and secured from below with a pin. To prevent the latter from being lost, each of them is tied with a nylon strip. This way of fastening the shrouds and forestay allows you to “disarm” the boat in a matter of seconds: just pull the shroud or forestay down and pull the pin – and the mast can be dismantled.

The jib sheets are made in the form of rings tied to the sides.

Steering gear
Steering gear:
1 – rudder blade (sheet duralumin 4…6 mm thick), 2 – stock box (sheet duralumin 3…4 mm thick), 3 – feather axis (M6 steel bolt with nut and washers), 4 – sorlin (nylon rope with a diameter of 4 …5 mm), 5 – liner (duralumin sheet 4…6 mm thick), 6 – stand (pine), 7 – weed bale (duralumin strip 2×12 mm), 8 – M5 bolt with nut and washers, 9 – tiller (duralumin pipe with a diameter of 18×2 mm), 10 – safety pin (nylon rope with a diameter of 3…4 mm), 11 – pin (steel wire with a diameter of 5…6 mm), 12 – bracket (steel strip 3 mm thick), 13 – rivet.

The steering unit consists of a duralumin feather mounted on an axis in a stock box bent from sheet aluminum. An insert is riveted to the box, to which a wooden stand with a tiller mounted on it is attached with three screws. The length of the tiller arm can be adjusted: several holes are drilled on it for attaching the tiller to the stand.

The tiller is equipped with an extension connected to the lever by an elastic joint. Using an extension cord makes boat handling much easier. To lift the tail feather, a wedge is used, the free end of which is set behind the duck.

Sails - mainsail (A) and staysail (B)
Sails – mainsail (A) and staysail (B):
1 – sail panel (lavsan or nylon fabric), 2 – reinforcing tape (lavsan or nylon braid 15…20 mm wide), 3 – mainsail mast pocket, 4, 6 – zigzag seams, 5 – reinforcing tape (nylon or lavsan braid 8…12 mm wide), 7 – jib pocket (nylon or lavsan tape 50…60 mm wide), 8 – lycrop, 9 – loop (nylon braid 15…20 mm wide), 10 – sling (nylon rope with a diameter of 3 …4 mm), 11 – lower light of the lyktros, 12, 13 – boots (lavsan or nylon fabric).

Sails are perhaps the most important and complex part of the weapon. For them you need to choose a thin, durable and windproof fabric. The most suitable lavsan weighing 110…130 g/sq.m. A little worse – nylon (150…180 g/sq.m). And finally, the worst thing is cotton fabric weighing 150…200 g/sq.m – it is blown out and does not hold its shape when wet.

When cutting the fabric panel, it should be placed parallel to the luff of the sail. They are sewn together on a sewing machine with a zigzag seam using nylon (No. 60/3) or reinforced cotton (No. 45) threads. Pockets are attached to the luffs of the sails. The ends of the mainsail pocket are folded and trimmed – each with two pieces of braid, as shown in one of the drawings of the sail. The same braid is used to cover the cutout on the mainsail under the boom heel.

Somewhat above the cutout, at the junction of the sail and the pocket, a loop of braid is sewn: it secures the heel of the boom, which it does not allow to slide down. You can also secure the boom with a guy – a thin nylon cord with a fire at one end, passed inside the mast pocket to the main-halyard attachment loop.

The back and lower luffs are reinforced with braid, the corners are reinforced with reinforcing boots made of the same fabric. Steel rings are sewn to the clew corners of the sail using strong braid.

Wind vane
Wind vane:
1 – canvas (nylon fabric or colored polymer film), 2 – frame (OBC wire with a diameter of 0.6 … 1 mm), 3 – wind vane axis (bicycle spoke), 4 – washer (polyethylene, polystyrene), 5 – washer (rubber ).

The jib pocket is formed by a strip of fabric about 60 mm wide; a lycrop is passed inside the pocket, on which the lower fire is preliminarily sealed. The upper fire is sealed after pulling the lycrop through the pocket and attached with a thick nylon thread to the bow of the halyard (upper) corner of the jib.

The tack (lower front) corner of it is connected by a loop sewn there with a soft lanyard to the lower light, which, when setting the jib, is attached with a rigging shackle or carabiner to the headstay shackle. The size of the jib belly can be adjusted using a soft lanyard.

Rigging installation diagram.
Rigging installation diagram.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the rowing boat in the sailing version behaves on the water even better than in the standard version: it moves smoothly and calmly, easily climbs the wave, and does not splash the crew. However, beginners are advised to learn sailing close to shore, in not too deep water and in moderate winds. If it suddenly intensifies, you should turn the boat with its bow to the wind (toe left) and remove the sails, starting with the jib.

If the sailing trip is going to be long, make sure that the crew is equipped with life jackets, waterproof suits and sealed packaging for food and belongings, tent awnings and similar equipment used by water tourism enthusiasts.


Recommend to read

    To repair shoes at home usually resort to the help of sewing, as the needle, even the colon, cannot cope: it is not easy to pierce hard material, it is difficult to push a needle, and...
    Igor Sikorsky, an outstanding Russian aircraft designer and industrialist, was one of the pioneers of aviation in Russia. Characteristically, the first aircraft built by Sikorsky in the...