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    Re: Zheng He steered by the stars?
    From: Rodney Myrvaagnes
    Date: 2002 Nov 25, 10:18 -0500

    On Mon, 25 Nov 2002 12:26:56 +1100, Peter Fogg wrote:
    >Rodney Myrvaagnes wrote:
    >> Do you mean each junk had 9 masts? It would be a wonder if they got
    >> anywhere.
    >I have a line drawing in front of me, and am tempted to include it as a small
    >jpeg file, alas this is not encouraged here - consider it available on request.
    >It shows the 9 masts, the funny thing is that they do not appear to be all
    >vertical. I don't know whether this is artistic license, in order to display
    >them all, or if some masts may have been off-set to better catch the available
    >wind. As is typical with junk-rigged masts, they appear to be unstayed -
    >without shrouds.
    >At 122 metres long by 27 metre wide (about 403 x 90 feet) they were not much
    >smaller than an aircraft carrier.
    I think we can take those dimensions as fanciful.
    >As for not getting anywhere, junks sail well despite their clumsy appearance.
    That depends on what you mean by "sail well." Having three or more
    masts, regardless of how they are rigged, precludes good modern
    windward performance.
    >Some people still prefer junk rigging over more modern designs, it has a number
    >of advantages as a crusing rig.
    Yes, Blondie Hassler thought so too. But the trophy named for his boat
    has long been taken by sloops.
    Rodney Myrvaagnes       NYC                                                 J36 Gjo/a
    "Biologists think they are chemists, chemists think they are phycisists,
    physicists think they are gods, and God thinks He is a mathematician." Anon

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