Geezer vs. Racing Rigs

Papra

New Member
Thread starter #1
I've seen a lot of threads about HOW to rig racing or "geezer" but curious about the WHY? Geezer clearly gives you more space to duck under the boom but what are you losing? Speed, I assume, but how? Essentially, my question is two parts: 'what are the effects and trade offs of moving the gooseneck fore and aft?' and 'what are the effects and trade offs of tying the halyard higher and lower on the spar?'
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#4
The "racing style" is an application of the ancient Polynesian form of "crab claw" sail into the built-in limits of a Sunfish.

This sail's design has the main benefit of catching the upper winds—which have greater velocity. It also is readily reefed with a single line. The upper spar (pictured) is the Pacific's answer to the Gunter rig. :cool:

Hokule'aSailing2009[1].jpg
By HongKongHuey - originally posted to Flickr as Princess Taiping Sails with the Hokule'a in Hawaii, CC BY 2.0, File:Hokule'aSailing2009.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

(As a kid, I used to live on the other side of those mountains). :)

If the lower spar wasn't already marked, It's probably easiest to figure out where the gooseneck should be placed by laying the Sunfish over on grass—mast in place. (A windless day would be best).

Remove the halyard, and loosen the gooseneck.
Move the lower spar (boom) aft several inches.
Grasp the upper spar and position the entire sail so the tack just clears the [forward] deck.
Mark the location of the contact point of mast and upper spar.
Use your favorite knot to secure the halyard at that mark. (I like the thrice-run-through bowline).
Check the gooseneck, as you don't want the deck to be scratched. (And adjust accordingly).
Mark both locations for future reference.

BTW: I've never attempted this, but the above is how I'd do it. :p

The thrice-run-through bowline—slides readily, then grips like you won't believe! :)

P8300015.JPG


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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#5
Well, as an alternative to lying the rig on the grass and deciding where to fasten things, you could read Eduardo Cordero's rigging guide here Sunfish | Starboard Passage

I was unaware that the Sunfish racing rig was an evolution of the Polynesian crab claw sail.

I think the reasons Gregory Matous put in his original post he links to above cover the reasons for the low racing rig.
 

Papra

New Member
Thread starter #6
I also found kmac17's comment here very helpful. I'm glad I found it late or else I may not have posted and wouldn't have read all the great stuff here!
 
#7
Here is the Geezer Rig on the 1980 Sunfish we restored named VIPER.


View attachment 26161
If I may be technical for a minute, the higher the sail the higher the center of effort and, thus the heeling moment or what makes the boat "tippy". For geezers like me with less agility the higher rig is better. The downside is that I can't handle the stronger breezes without a lot of heeling. Hiking out is tougher the older one gets. Otherwise I'd probably hang the 'fish back up in my garage quit sailing.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#8
If I may be technical for a minute, the higher the sail the higher the center of effort and, thus the heeling moment or what makes the boat "tippy". For geezers like me with less agility the higher rig is better. The downside is that I can't handle the stronger breezes without a lot of heeling. Hiking out is tougher the older one gets. Otherwise I'd probably hang the 'fish back up in my garage quit sailing.
So what we do is pick the days we go out. And hike out when we feel like it. The lateen rig spills wind pretty easy, it takes some hard work to capsize it, like cleating a sheet. Might consider a ratchet cleat. We enjoy the light wind days ghosting about just as much as a wet romp.

Cheers,
Kent
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#9
You've heard the term, "Sail it Flat!." After you go past 15 degrees of heel angle you're
dumping wind at a ever greater amount as the angle increases. It may be necessary for
the stability of the boat but it's not what you want for top performance. Somewhere in
there is a compromise between the weight of the person providing the counter balance
and sail height/area. I'm assuming there is no one correct setup for a Sunfish and a lot
depends on the physical characteristics of who is sailing as well as weather conditions.

It is cool to go sailing at 5:00 p.m. with just enough wind to ghost along and a full moon
in the sky.
 
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