GIGS SINGLE LUG HANDY RIG The service six-oared galleys and gigs are generally rather heavy boats, and do not pull well, but they sometimes sail very well if properly rigged.
There is probably to be seen a greater variety of rigs for gigs than for any other class of boats in the navy ; one reason of this, no doubt, is that the captain of a ship looks upon his gig more or less in the light of a private boat that he can do what he likes with, and thus one sees all kinds of fancy rigs, some of them very good, and some of them rather impractical, but there is an advantage in all this, as it gives the rising generation a chance of judging for themselves, and drawing their own conclusions concerning the merit of the respective rias and there is perhaps no subject connected with the sea about which there is, and I presume always will be, such a great variety of opinions as there are about the best rig for each particular class of boat, this no doubt arises in the case of gigs from the fact that different people require their boats to do different things, one man does not like sailing if he can help it, never sails for pleasure, and only hoists his sail when he has to go a long way with a fair wind ; another man never loses an opportunity of sailing when there is any wind at all, fair or foul, so that he wants some rig that will beat to windward tolerably well, and between these two extremes there are all sorts of intermediate people, who like sailing at times, &c., &c.
Now when a boat is required for rowing and sailing alternately I don't think any rig can be considered quite satisfactory, unless it can be got up and down quickly, and this is one reason why I am a great advocate for one mast and one sail in a gig, there is very little gear about it, it can be got up or down in a few seconds, and if the mast is properly placed in the boat, and the sail properly made, and properly set, a gig will sail almost as well, not only off the wind, but to wind ward also, as with any other rig I have ever seen, and does not require a mizen to make her tack, in fact, I look upon all mizens in gigs as a popular delusion, only rendered necessary through the mast being placed wrong in the boat.
I have found a sail of the following dimen sions to answer in a 30 foot gig— Head 16 feet Luff 9 feet 6 inches Leech 17 feet Foot 19 feet Diagonal 17 feet The diagonal is measured from the foremost yard arm to the clew of the sail. The accomp
anying sketch is not drawn to scale, though it shows fairly well the shape of the sail ; it is rather a large sail, and should have four " two foot " reefs in it. When it is required to tack with a lug sail having such a long yard, the best plan is to lower the sail down altogether, unhook it, and dip the mast over the sail; when the crew get accustomed to it, it is as quick a plan as any ether, and the most practicable with such a long yard.
There should be no shrouds, the halyards taken to windward on each tack, serve to support the mast sufficiently to capsize the boat, and that I presume is as much as anybody wants.
The halyards should be fitted with a whip and pendant, and not the long halyards with the block on the traveller, which is a bad fitting, it is no support to the mast, and only serves to buckle it over the bows. It is necessary with a sail of the above shape, to have three tack hooks on each side, as in consequence of the sloping direc tion of the luff of the sail, if the tack were not brought further aft as the sail is reefed, the clew would come too low down in the boat, and the sail would not set properly. I have found three tack hooks sufficient ; one for the whole sail and 1st reef ; one for the 2nd and 3rd reefs ; and one for the close reef, which leaves a very snug sail, being little more than a leg of mutton sail.
Foremast 13 feet Foreyard 15 feet Mainmast 14 feet Mainyard 19 feet Another good rig for gigs is two dipping lugs, with short masts and long yards, and the luff of the sail so short as to allow of its being dipped without lowering the halyards.
The above sketch is not drawn to scale, but figures are correct, and the sketch gives a fair idea of the shape of the sails when made ;. and I may here remark that it is always necessary when giving a sailmaker the plan of a foursided sail to make, to give him the diagonal as well as the four sides, for a little reflection will show, that it is quite possible to make two quadrilateral sails of quite different shapes, although their sides may be respectively equal.