Summary:- Refinement of the twizzle rig development for trade wind sailing, use of twizzle poles for the awning in harbour, universal joint versions, furling drums, pole end fittings, leathering, furling gear foil, height of gear. clew of jibs
Development of the Twizzle Rig Gear
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There was a limited amount of information available on the twizzle rig so certain assumptions had to be made. Naturally, things developed with experience over the years.

the twizzle universal joint v1.0

The original stainless steel universal joint the skipper had made up in the Canaries was based on an old magazine article - the rope work was added later.

Originally the poles clipped onto the bolts but it was quickly realised that this resisted torsional loads which ended up bending the pole end fittings.

The rope 'soft eyes' were quickly added and overcame that problem

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the twizzle universal joint v1.1

As the joint rotated in the vertical axis and the pole ends crossed over, which is the natural way, the bolt ends chafed the poles badly and wore a hole right through the aluminium.

The green insulating tape was added to resist chafe of the rope but in use, there was little rope chafe after several thousand miles.

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close-up of the final rope universal joint v2.0

Even when the stainless universal joint v1.1 was inverted so clearing the ends of the bolts, the heads of the bolts still savaged the leather after a few hundred miles as seen on the left of this shot.

This picture also shows the angle that the jaws of the end fitting take up naturally when allowed to rotate. The original universal bolts of v1.0 forced the pole ends into an unnatural alignment and the fittings protested.

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pole end before leathering

Here the poles are doing their second essential job of supporting the awning in harbour. Life in the tropics is a lot easier with a good awning and side screens.

The chafe mark from the stainless universal joint v1.1 can be seen near the end fitting. The original poles were found to be too short but another, longer, end section was slid inside the centre section and pop riveted home. A simple job.

The poles are stowed on the side decks with the fore end fitting clipped to the base of a stanchion. Width and curvature of the side decks govern the length of the poles.

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forward visibility

The tack of the twizzle jibs was initially made off to the furling drum with a short lanyard.

As there was plenty of room left at the head of the foil a strop was added below the tack which raised the twizzle jibs about 600mm / 2ft.

This made a marked improvement in forward visibility with no bad side effects. Even with this height of clew, severe rolls dipped the clew into the seas. The ability of the pole to swing over prevented damage from the immersion.

The mizzen was set all the time and a mizzen staysail used in broad reach winds below about 20 knots and during daylight hours.

Source of Information on the Twistle / Twizzle / Twizel Rig :-

• Yachting World May 1971 - article by H.M. Barkla and his Twister Figheadair
• Yachting World November 1988 - article by John Vigor ' Twistle in the Trades' with his 31' Freelance
• Sailing Today date? - article by Colin Jarman ' Doing The Twistle '
• Yachting Monthly April 2000 - article by Peter Nielsen ' Sails for Running '

More ...

A description of the setup, setting and striking...
The equipment used for the twizzle rig...
Video clips and picture gallery...
More development information and experience...

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last modified : 30th. August 2004

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