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Date Posted: - Wednesday - 10/17/07 - 9:56pm
Author: Randall
Subject: Mule

Happened to visit the Fuji BB tonight. Interesting disussion re use of a mule and GREAT photo of a Fuji 32 flying one.



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[> Mule sail -- Steve M-32 Pyxis, - Thursday - 10/18/07 - 12:53am

This is the first I've seen of a mule sail. I'm curious how you would rig and use it. Good sail to weather? The references I looked at tonight were talking about a small furling system but I'm not sure I want to go there. Could you give what more info you have on teh sail or drop me an e-mail? Thanks.

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[> [> All I know -- Randall, - Thursday - 10/18/07 - 8:39pm

Ya, that picture was great, wasnít it?

Mule sail: here comes everything I know, which aintí much.

Three cornered sail for ketches similar in design and function to the four cornered fisherman sail used on schooners, and at least in terms of romance (to me), to the gaffís topsail.

The head of the sail is raised to the aft of the main masthead, the foot tacks to a bracket at the lower, leading edge of the mizzen (above the intersection of the backstay), and the clew is sheeted toward the top of the mizzen. Emphasis here is that the corner of the sail that points at the head of the mizzen is the under-sail adjustment pointóthus the reference to clew / sheet.

Typically the luff HANKS onto the backstay, a thing not possible with our split backstay, but Iíve hoisted my storm jib a few times as mule and as experiment, and I donít think hanks are at all necessary.

Yes, a light or lighter wind sail that will only draw well with wind on the beam and forward. Itís not very big, so it wonít provide whopping power, but itís up high where thereís more wind, so is likely to deliver far more push than a staysail of similar size.

Iím attracted to it because it will be dead easy to raise and lower, as opposed to the much more powerful but finicky mizzen staysail. I love the idea of the mizzen staysail, but deploying it is like wrestling a ball of yarn away from a cat, and just when itís balanced perfectly, itís time to tack.

I intent to install the hardware for one this winter, which will be a tang and block at the after end of the masthead rig above the backstay but below the triadic (probably under the triadic swage and pin point), a similar tang and block at the leading edge of the mizzen masthead, and a bracket further down. All pretty straightforward, I think.

The mule has the reputation of being only for looks, but my small experiments suggest it has plenty of kick where itís neededóand it does look great, an added bonus!

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[> [> [> Mule hardware -- Steve M-32 Pyxis, - Friday - 10/19/07 - 9:54am

Do you need to weld on another attachment point on the main masthead? Or can you simply put another tang on the same pin with the triatic? Will you use the mizzen staysail halyard as the sheet for this one?

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[> [> [> [> hardware and stuff -- Randall, - Friday - 10/19/07 - 1:17pm

I've not done this yet, so this first answer is tentative, but

***re attaching tang to the triadic pin, I donít think so. I had a look at some photos I have of the masthead rig, and my original thoughts were wrong. The triadic stay connection is a fork end, so I donít think attaching a tang there would as smart as attaching to the TOP of the backstay bracket in essentially the same way the topnlift is attached. See photos.

***re mizzen, yes, the mizzen staysail halyard is the sheet for the mule or rather, the mule sheet is the mizzen staysail halyard--take your pick. :)

I donít think a weld on the bracket is necessary.


Not sure these images are posting, but here goes:

Masthead bracket, looking at triadic (upper) and backstay (lower) connection points:


Masthead bracket with hardware:

Storm Jib rigged as Mule:




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[> [> Furlers -- Randall, - Thursday - 10/18/07 - 8:46pm

...and I've seen a mule rigged on a furler, but am not considering that or anything like Terry's "semi-permanent" rig. In my view, it adds too much windage up top (something we already have in spades) when itís not in use, which will be most of the time.

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[> [> [> Mule Sail -- Tim Mertinooke, - Monday - 10/29/07 - 7:50pm

The boat in the post wasn't a Fuji, but a Hinterhoeller 25 ketch. The photo was taken during a race in Long Island Sound. I think a Fuji or Mariner would wear one well though even if it wasn't an overly practical sail.

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[> Mule rig -- Kathy Campbell SHADOW M32-#3, - Monday - 11/19/07 - 12:16am

Last weekend I was on a Newporter 40, to see how they used their mule. They have a separate stay from the top of the main, where the head of the mule attaches, that runs to about a 1/3 of the way up the front of the mizzen,where they attach the tack of the mule to an eye bolt. I think I would use a pad eye here instead of the eye bolt. They tie off the sheet on a cleat that is located on the side of the cabin at the back. Shadow has a cleat at this point probably just for sheeting in the mule. I would make a mule with either T900 or StaSet X sown in the luff in stead of hanks. My stay sails are this way an they work ok without being hanked to a stay.
I don't think a separate stay is necessary either.

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[> Mule Article -- Steve M-32 Pyxis, - Monday - 11/26/07 - 1:28pm

I just received an article from Sail, March 1980 called "Harnessing the Mule". The author is pretty insistent on the need for a boom to make the mule work well. He gives dimensions and directions for a half wishbone boom and how to rig it. With the boom it seems that it can be used on all points of sail. I think we can get about 100sq ft up there and given that my area is pretty much light wind all summer I think that the mule might become part of my working sail inventory. Drop me a line and I'll try to scan the article in although my copy is not that clear and I don't know how it will scan.

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[> [> Cool find, thanks for sharing, Steve -- Randall, - Wednesday - 11/28/07 - 2:53pm

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