Chinese Junk



  A native sailing vessel common to the Far East Seas .developed about the same time the Norse long Boat and the Roman galleys. The Chinese developed one of the strongest and most seaworthy vessels in existence: the junk, which is still used by the peoples of Southeast Asia.

Junk in China Harbor
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   It is a flat bottomed, high-sterned vessel with square bows  it carries two or three masts using lugsails often made of  linen or matting stiffen with horizontal battens, each sail is secured by its own line or sheet, so that each sail can be quickly raised or secured. It beam is about 1/3 of the length of the ship.  Its hull is partitioned off by solid bulkheads running lengthwise and crosswise to divide it into watertight compartments. Such bulkheads, which were not adopted by the West until the 19th century, not only make the ship structurally rigid, but also protect it against sinking. It has no keel is compensated for by a heavy steering oar or rudder, mounted on the centerline through a watertight housing in the bottom. The rudder can be raised or lowered. at sea below the depth of the junk bottom.

By the 9th century AD, Chinese junks were carrying merchants to Indonesia and India. By the 15th century junks were sailing to East Africa. In the 18th and 19 century the largest junk were as large as the Square-rigged ship around 3000 to 4000 tons deadweight.

The junk was also used for many year as the general warshipof the Chinese.

Western use Today the a much simplified version of these junk rigs, developed by Colonel H G 'Blondie' Hasler, has been in use for the last 35 years by a host of different vessels from dinghies to world circling cruisers. Yet still the uninitiated hold it up to ridicule, scoffing at its odd looks and poor windward performance, declaring it to be as anachronistic as spritsails and old gaffers.

Are they right or has the universal adoption of Bermudan rig blinded people to what is actually a wonderful rig, suited to both shorthanded cruising when used in its simplest form and, in the light of up to date research, exciting racing when in its most sophisticated form?


Format: Paperback, 111pp.

 Design, Aerodynamics and Handling
H. G. Hasler  J. K. McLeod

Retail Price: $49.95

Format: Hardcover, 244pp.

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