The Atlantic Challenge gigs, are replicas of a gig used by the French navy in the 18th century. Such gigs were used by fleets in harbour and at sea for ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore transport. The model used was a particular longboat which was captured in 1796 off Bear Island in Bantry Bay, Ireland, from an invading French fleet.
The rig is a 3-masted, dipping lug. Yards must be lowered and dipped to tack; halyards serve as weather shrouds and are made fast in a way that can quickly be released by the crew. The masts may be lowered and the gig rowed with ten oars, the longest of which is 5.6m (18’6″).
The Vital Statistics of an Atlantic Challenge Gig
Length 11.6m (38’)
Beam 2.1m (6’10”)
Draft 0.36m (14″)
Speed Regularly achieves up to 10 knots
Sails 2 dipping lug sails, 1 Standing lugsail (mizzen)
Foresail 15.2m² (128 sq ft)
Mainsail 18.8m² (142 sq ft)
Mizzen sail 5.0m² (50 sq ft)
Oarsmen 10 + Coxswain, Bow man and Sternsheetsman – Total 13
Construction Carvel, larch planks on oak frame