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Trawlers &
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Here's
Briney Bug in the Erie Canal with the sailing rig lowered. It takes from 5-15 minutes to lower the mast, all dependent on how badly the crew wants to avoid scratching anything. Everything needed to lower the mast, with the exception of two 10-foot pieces of rope, that needs to be added to act as boom stays, is already a part of the rig. The mast can be raised/lowered by one person.

Why do you have a sailing rig?

The purpose of a sailing rig on a power cruiser is to help the boat go faster, use less fuel, improve its motion, allow for emergency propulsion and perform as a cargo hoist. As mentioned, it is one of the lowest tech systems for emergency propulsion that we know of, and this is the system that we installed on Briney Bug.

Even though a powerboat can travel up into the wind, whereas a sailboat is more limited in doing so, it becomes too uncomfortable for either, so passages, especially ocean passages, are planned to go with the wind, not to fight it. As a power cruiser will not be sailing up into the wind, its sailing rig can be smaller, simpler and less expensive.

On Briney Bug, the mast is 25 feet long, the boom is 7 feet long (at one time both were cypress trees growing beside the boat shop). The jib is 183 sq. ft., the mainsail 80 sq. ft. and both have reef points. There are two stays and two shrouds, both with spliced eyes, four turnbuckles (dead-eyes could be used), two halyards, two sheets, and a few blocks.

The mast is in a tabernacle and is rigged to be easily lowered in minutes by one person. Off the forward side of the mast is a boom that is used to hoist the dinghy on and off, and is hefty enough that it can be rigged and swung out to reduce rolling while at anchor. To keep the end of the boom from interfering, when not in use, we made the outer four feet of the boom removable. This portion of the cargo boom which is removable, stows up in the pilot house beams along with our oars and the boat pole.

As an assist to the engine, in all but the lightest of air, our jib allows us to gain an additional knot of speed. This system is inexpensive and has performed admirably on Briney Bug. Our thanks goes out to George Buehler for planting this seed in our minds.

—Rudy and Jill Sechez

Here’s how the Briney Bug story is presented:

What does Briney Bug look like?
What about hull design?
What is the secret to engine dependability?
What’s your advice on replacement parts?
What about diesel engines?
How do you contend with boat motion?
Why do you have a sailing rig?
What’s with the big rudder?
Why do you have an open pilothouse?
Simplicity and self-sufficiency rule aboard Briney Bug . . .
How does one go about finding the right boat?
How much did Briney Bug cost?

Editor’s note: Rudy and Jill Sechez, when they are not away cruising, live aboard Briney Bug in Port St. Joe, Florida, and provide boat and yacht repair services. They can be reached at 850-832-7748 or via e-mail by clicking here.

Simplicity taken to the max

What does Briney Bug look like?

What about hull design?

What is the secret to engine dependability?

What’s your advice on replacement parts?

What about diesel engines?

How do you contend with boat motion?

Why do you have a sailing rig?

What’s with the big rudder?

Why do you have an open pilothouse?

Simplicity and self-sufficiency rule aboard Briney Bug . . .

How does one go about finding the right boat?

How much did Briney Bug cost?

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