Join Date: Jul 2000
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Definitely go with the loose footed ....
MUCH MUCH better control for flattening and draft control with a loose foot configuration.
Too much friction with a bolt-roped foot + slugs ... which also adds a 'shelf-foot' of extra cloth at the lowest panel section; and, that shelf-foot will not allow as drastic a flattening (when needed) as in comparison to a loose foot. The shelf foot configuration is virtually obsolete for todays sails as you need a special 'flattening reef' system installed at the bottom of the sail to accomplish the same effect that is already possible with a loosefoot .... out of the box. There is no difference in strength requirements at the clew or tack between a loose footed sail or a boltroped shelf foot sail. Go with a loose foot ...
With a loose footed sail you can accomplish MORE flattening when needed and definitely MORE draft in the lower sections when needed than with a boltroped shelf foot. Hands down ... select the loose foot.