Resources for setting up, tuning and handling balance and other lug sails

One very good thing about working with Storer Boat Plans is that Michael provide a great deal of useful information on his website to make our (and any one else’s) sails look good and work well.

So this will help anyone who uses our sails.

Goat Island Skiff Lug sails can be made by Really Simple sails at low cost

The most common question we see is the one about a lug sail having a “bad tack” because of  the mast pressing on the sail on one side.

The answer is that it doesn’t.  Lug sails work very well on both tacks and it will take a very able sailor to notice any difference in speed.

So here is a list of Michael’s articles.

1/ A Overview of rig types and experience that traditional rigs can work very well if set up correctly and some basic do’s and dont’s on the design side or to help you estimate how different rigs may perform

Lug sail tuning and set up.  Traditional rigs can go fast


2/ Detail setting up of a lug rig using Goat Island Skiff as example.  These boats are quite quick.  The halyard system shown here is the best system for lug sails, lateen sails and can be helpful for Junk and Crab Claw sails.  For lug sails strong downhaul tension makes a lot of difference to sail effectiveness

Goat Island Skiff passing another boat - John Goodman and Michael Storer in the Texas200 sailing event - tips on making traditional rigs fast

3/ More advanced look at sail twist control for lug rigs – Michael argues that the biggest advance in the development of performance sails through history is the control of sail twist.  He goes into three option for controlling twist using a powerful downhaul and introducing the “vanghaul” and “bleeter” developed by the Goat Island Skiff group.


4/ An article on handling boats that don’t have jibs including a video – using a more advanced sailing techniques to control the heel of the boat in a dynamic way to make downwind sailing faster and safer.  It will also show how there is a wrong way and right way to goosewing a cat yawl.

Goat Island skiff sailmaker - setup and tuning hints for lug rigs

5/ A collection of data from the Goat Island Skiff group and some also from Oz Racers and Puddle Duck racers – how stiff does a boom need to be? – how stiff does a yard need to be? – common constructions from a range of boats

George Isted club raced his lug rigged GIS and acquitted himself well.

6/ A case study of sailing performance improvement as George races his GIS in weekly racing

12 thoughts on “Resources for setting up, tuning and handling balance and other lug sails

  1. Edna caman looking 4 a lug sail for my 12 ft Scamp It is 100sq ft sail. please send me some info to order from you guys.
    I live in Iloilo,Philippines.

    • Hi Fred,

      We will put updates on the website as we go.

      Ilo Ilo is such a nice place!

      At first we will be making sails for Michael Storer boat plans – the Goat Island Skiff and the Oz Series. The Oz series is the OzRacer, OzGoose and Ocean Explorer – see the first page of the website for more information.

      We won’t become a ganeral sailmaker – we will only focus on a few different boats that are popular. That way we can compete with the big general sailmakers in other countries.

      Now you have subscribed to the website you will get updates automatically.

      Best wishes!

  2. thanks Edna I under stand

  3. […] recommend following the general lug rig rigging guide here – bookmark it as you WILL need it later.  The only area that might not be relevant on those pages […]

  4. Dear Edna….

    Just reently im backon building somesemple boats, …I building the modifide ocean explorer…12ft X 4ft bease on the Pd Goose…wonder you have stock on a semple sail for this.”.piipino ako “and I leave n Dumaguete ra magkano ang sail if on stock..??

    • Hello,

      We are waiting for more fabric to arrive. It will be here in 10 days. The first sails we will make will be the Oz sails to suit the ocean explorer as well as OzRacer and OzGoose.

      Best wishes
      Michael Storer

  5. Ian. Tattersall says:

    Received my new sail in Greece thanks. Now to start work on the old wanderer dinghy to get it ready for the spring. I did get hit rather heavily with the import tax, but I’m sure its all going to be worth it. Thanks for a prompt service.
    Ian Tattersall

    • Hi Ian, glad it arrived OK. Was the tax charged at the normal UK 20 percent rate?


      • Ian. Tattersall says:

        No afraid not. Greece is 23% vat. Cost me 120 Euros. Ah well its still going to be a reasonable price to get back on the water.

      • Thanks for that Ian.

        We delivered one sail to the Netherlands with no VAT. But looks like Greece is more strict.

        I do know that even with VAT taken into account we are considerably cheaper than almost all local sailmakers.

        I guess the right thinking is to assume VAT, but if it doesn’t get charged it is a nice bonus.

        Michael Storer

        Thanks again

  6. […] Resources for setting up, tuning and handling balance and other lug sails […]

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