In the heart of California’s Sierra Nevada foothills, miles from the sea, Ben and Danielle Zartman built an ocean-going sailboat with which to cruise with their growing family. Having no definite plan, they simply sailed away to see how far they could get. After five years and 12,000 sea miles, they finally moved ashore in Rhode Island, having cruised from San Francisco to Newfoundland by way of the Panama Canal. But Ganymede’s not done yet! Upgrades, refits, improvements, and more voyages to come.
The Modern Gaff Rig
Let’s discuss the beautiful union of cruising hull with cruising rig. Any decently beamy, heavy hull, with a keel at least mostly full, slack bilges, and an attached rudder—in short, a hull designed with comfortable, dry passagemaking in mind will be the perfect platform for a gaff rig. The advantages of a such a rig are immediate and obvious, but let’s begin with the engineering side.