advantages of lanteen style

Thread starter #1
I am new to the sunfish. What are advantages of the lanteen sail design? versus like the laser style sail with only mast and boom versus two spars and a mast for the sunfish?
One advantage is the easy rigging. The spar and sail stay attached to each other. Just pull the whole unit up. I understand that the lateen (sp?) rig may have advantages on a reach. Others almost certainly know more...
Compared to the Laser, the center of gravity of the Sunfish sail plan is lower, because the mast is shorter and the boom is much longer than on the Laser. So, the boat has less tendency to lean.
it's not so much the center of gravity, but the center of force. You can raise the over all sail plan on a 'fish by moving where you tie the haylard, try it out and feel those abs!!!
Another advantage - you get maximum sail are on a shorter mast making the boat (unrigged) easier to trail and store, i.e. the mast, boom and gaff all are no longer than the length of the hull. Also, as noted earlier, with the outhauls, Cunningham and gooseneck adjustments, and even a Jens rig, you can fine tune the rig to different wind strengths, crew weight and even sea conditions. With a Laser Maconi rig, you have fewer adjustments, mainly Cunningham and outhaul. Last, no sail battens to mess with on the 'fish rig. Not to shabby for a rig that dates back several hundred years!

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
Point taken. Suffice it to say that the lateen rig is ancient, so I guess we are all sailing 'fish antiques.

The other side of the coin. The Marconi rig on the laser is a far more efficient airfoil than the Sunfish rig of about the same sail area. A tall, narrow (i.e high aspect) sail simply generates more lift than the lateen rig with a lot of drag from the gaff and a spoiled airfoil when the boat sails on port tack with the sail laying on the mast. That said, the Sunfish rig works remarkably well and is a good match for the scow shaped hull. Guess Al and Court knew what they were doing back in the 1950s.

Alan Glos
we must not for get that ancient look... Even a race bred 'fish has that little bit of throw back to a vessel which looks built from hand fallen wood and sewn canvas. With the tied on sail and "awkward" spar plan if almost feels like I should be slowing a throw net and spear aboard.

Now that I think about it... that would make races more interesting...