Monday, May 28, 2007


A junk is a Chinese marine vessel. The English name comes from Malay dugong or jong. Junks were initially developed during the Han Dynasty (220 BC-200 AD) and further evolved to symbolize one of the most successful ship types in history.
The organization and flexibility of junk sails make the junk easy to sail, and fast. Unlike a conventional square rigged ship the sails of a junk can be moved inward, toward the long axis of the ship, allow the junk to sail into the wind.
The sails include more than a few horizontal members ("battens") which provide shape and strength. -The sails can also be easily reefed and familiar for fullness, to accommodate various wind strengths. The battens also make the sails more resistant than traditional sails to large tears, as a tear is naturally limited to a single "panel" between battens. Junk sails have much in common with the most aerodynamically well-organized sails used today in windsurfers or catamarans, although their design can be traced back as early the 3rd century AD.
The standing chains are simple or absent. The sail-plan is also extending out between multiple masts, allowing for a powerful sail surface, and a good repartition of efforts, an innovation adopted in the West around 1304. [Citation needed] The rig allows for good marine into the wind.

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