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Old 01-20-2007
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Cam, I'm not totally sold on either religion (loose foot or boltrope) but if you design a sail with a bolt rope, and you put a pocket in the bottom of the sail so it can belly out to take a good deep draft...then the bolt rope is supporting nothing but slack cloth except at the very ends. And, when you flatten the sail, again, the bolt rope is holding nothing but now that pocket is just a couple of fold of loose cloth.
So I'm not at all sure that the bolt rope buys anything at all, except a nice pocket you can sleep in atop the boom. At least, not if you're using just one main over a wide range of wind conditions. For a main that was dedicated to higher wind with a narrower draft range, I'd be inclined to agree with you. But how many casual sailors carry more than one main? Or even, a main plus stormsail?
(Slam tack a J/24 while there's someone sleeping in that pocket on the main, and they get launched overboard just like they were going out a stern torpedo tube!)
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