Classic Boat

BOSUN’S BAG

DRAGGING THE CLEW

wo of my early ocean cruising yachts came to me with flax gaff mainsails from England’s east coast. The smaller boat, built in Norway in 1903, had an overhanging boom. The spar on the 1911 Bristol Channel pilot cutter that replaced her ended directly above a shapely counter. Both sails had the benefits and drawbacks inherent in the material and its associated handwork. These could not be changed, but each suffered from a wicked design fault that had no business being there in the first place. The boats carried their goosenecks low down on

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