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Home / News / Loving the Lugger: Tips and Tricks for Sailing Scillabub

Loving the Lugger: Tips and Tricks for Sailing Scillabub

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Published 00:00 on 2 Aug 2020

Scillabub, the SGBA's Drascombe Lugger, returned to the water in the last week of July and is now available for use via our online booking system. Scillabub was kindly donated to the club in 2018, and since then - after a restoration project led by Steve Goodchild - she has formed a key part of our fleet, enabling members to embark on longer voyages by sail, motor, or oars.

Sailing Scillabub

Scillabub has a 'Gunter' style rig. In Gunter-rigged boats, the top of the sail is attached to a spar, called a 'yard'. When hoisted, this yard acts as a vertical extension to the mast.

In order to ensure optimal sail shape, this yard should be as flush with the mast as possible. To properly tension the mainsail, ensure the halyard is taut (affixing it to the vertical belaying pins by the mast). You can then adjust the sail, and control tension in its luff, using the downhaul.The mainsheet attaches to a traveller located at the stern, behind the tiller; it then feeds to the tiller itself for manual control.

The boat has loose-footed sails, which means there is no boom to worry about whilst tacking. Scillabub's rig has been modified to give approximately 20% more sail area than the typical Drascombe; however, as the hull is heavy and stable, she is a comfortable sail even in stronger winds.

You can reef the mainsail by fixing the downhaul tackle to the upper luff, and tying the red rope on the yard very firmly around the mast.

Booking and Using Scillabub

You can book Scillabub through our online booking system. She is one of our larger sailing vessels now made available for use outside of Monitored Sailing sessions (alongside the Quest and Wanderer), ideal for day trips and family sailing.

She can be found on the mooring buoy immediately out from the main slipway at Mill Point, accessible by boat. To reach Scillabub, simply paddle out in Colyn, the SGBA's blue-and-white 'bathtub' boat. Colyn can usually be found affixed to the Topper racks by the clubhouse; oars and paddles are in the downstairs storage area. Simply leave Colyn on the mooring buoy and swap into Scillabub for the duration.

Scillabub's sails and foils are stored within the boat. The rudder is solid steel, and very heavy; for this reason, covered footwear is advised. Please ensure to take the rudder out again after use, as Scillabub rests on the mudflats at low tide.

Due to the hull's weight, Scillabub turns quite slowly at low speeds, so depending on wind direction it is advisable to row or motor her out into the main river before raising sail. Once underway, she sails very comfortably; simply plan your course around longer tacks, accounting for slower turns and lower rate of acceleration.

Day-Trips and Family Sailing

Big, stable, and comfortable, Scillabub is ideal for longer trips and for family sailing. At 19' in length and 6' beam she can easily hold a family group, and the ability to supplement her sails with oars and the outboard means she provides a reliable platform for making longer excursions both up and down the River Dart. If Scillabub sounds like the boat for you, then we fully recommend you take her for a spin.

For more information, or if you would like someone to guide you through your first Scillabub experience, please contact River Lovejoy.

Additional Scillabub instructions are available here and a page of laminated instructions are kept in the boat.

Last updated 12:21 on 24 August 2020

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