Friday, December 11, 2009

Jessie Cooper... why the first Loose Moose made sense

The really nice thing about free standing rigs is that they are simple... Well, at least they should be! The late Phil Bolger's Jessie Cooper design is a prime example of how simple makes sense.

For those not aware, the Jessie Cooper design (featured in 30 Odd Boats) became our first Loose Moose and was built in a hanger at the Charles De Gaulle airport, which gives a whole new meaning to the joke of when my ship comes in I'll be waiting at the airport!

We chose the JC design because we wanted to retrace the routes in one of my favorite books "The Riddle of the Sands" where the water gets seriously skinny up in the Frisian islands and the one foot draft (yes really!) was perfect though the boat was sea worthy enough to sail back to the US of A if the need arose.

I'll admit to having some reservations about the rig at the time, but while sailing around the English Channel doing our sea trials, I quickly learned that the balanced lug rig was both powerful, weatherly and trouble free... What's not to like?

The rig is self tending, self vanging and does not even require winches or other deck jewelry to make it work... But what is not so great for marine stores is pretty great for those of us on a budget and these days we are all on a budget!

Folks who need to be entertained should note that with only two strings to pull there is not much in the way of gear or things to play with so it might be prudent to bring a good book or two along as sailing our Jessie Cooper was always a sit in the cockpit and read sort of affair.

Nothing is set in stone yet but the new rig for "So It Goes" most likely is going to be a balanced lug schooner and we will keep everyone up to date on the design process. For now I'll just point out how convenient the sail area of a couple of Jessie Cooper mains work out for a CAL 34...