Masthead28_Dec2013 - page 26

The Masthead
Dec. 2013 Page 26
About proas, regarding the cover story in the September 2013, issue of
The Masthead
, on multihull history.
I have been getting
The Masthead
and I enjoy it very much. I
just now went through the current number. Excellent as always.
I enjoyed the article on indigenous multis. Two Septembers ago
B and I went to Mexico where we encountered this proa on the
beach on Isla Mujeres. The chap in the white hat was selling
rides. A scrappy Kiwi, he built the boat locally. I'd never seen
one in person. He explained all the rigging to me and I must say
I was very impressed.
I took other shots trying to understand how the thing worked.
The owner/builder was generous answering my questions. In
the photo, the taut line going to the stern (that is, the stern of
the moment) is a backstay. The slack loop is the sheet. At the
moment the sail is fully weathervaned. The tack where the
boom and yard join was affixed to an endless loop of line be-
tween the two ends of the boat. So, to shunt, if I got this right,
he's let the sail weathervane and, taking his time, hauls the
tack to the opposite end, switches the backstay, and changes
rudders. [Proas don’t tack, they “shunt.” Ed.] I don't think the
sheeting point needed to change. He said the boat laid very qui-
etly while this went on.
There was a lot that I didn't take in. I don't think there was a
dagger or center board. I think he counted on the slabby side of
the hull for grip on the water. I can't say much about his
The boat
scooted right
along. Clearly
not the thing
for beating up
a narrow
horses for
Chris Wentz
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The Masthead
or anything related to boats? E-Mail
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