Build a Spritsail Sail for Your Boat

How to build a spritsail for your boat, includes information on how the spritsail works and an illustrated diagram for building your sail.

| November/December 1985

How to build a spritsail for your boat, an illustrated guide to building this seaworthy shanty. (Click on the "enlarge image" link to see a close-up view of the sail diagram.)

Build a Spritsail Sail for Your Boat

Clamp this simple spritsail onto any small, square-sterned rowboat or dinghy (such as the build-your own model featured in our last issue), and—presto—you'll have yourself a fine little wind cruiser! The rig, though admittedly not quite as efficient ( or complicated) as those on "real" sailboats, performs nicely on a broad reach, and with a good breeze can even bring a boat around to tack at about 30 degrees into the wind. Moreover, since the mast, boom, and rudder work as a single unit, even a novice can readily master the sail's operation.

By following the drawings, you should be able to assemble the entire pusher sail for no more than $45. Those of you who'd prefer to work with larger-scale drawings than we're able to present here, or who are also interested in constructing the plywood dinghy featured in MOTHER NO. 95, may want to purchase a complete set of plans that detail the building of both units. The plans are available for $10.00 plus $1.98 shipping and handling from Boat Plans, THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS PLANS, Hendersonville, NC.

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