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post #2 of Old 02-15-2004
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catalina 30 new sails

Jim, I purchased a Cruising Direct main (somewhat the ''outlet'' side of North''s loft, with sails build of Nordac in North lofts) - perhaps the same outfit? It is the first loose-footed main I''ve used and, despite being wary about it, very much like how the sail sets and believe it''s a good approach. The concern about it not ''staying on the boom'' when lowered is false; it will need lazyjacks or some other ''capture'' method just as much - but no more - than a conventional-footed main. I have found the clew attachment hardware takes a lot more stress, and would encourage you to look closely at how sturdy it is on your boat...and not to underspec the twist shackle which you''re likely to use when connecting the sail''s clew to your boom''s outhaul. Keep an eye on that end of things as you use the sail, too.

I don''t have the sewn-in webbing loops you mention, and so can''t comment on the reversing method, altho'' in general I don''t like the idea of always bringing the sail down the same way, with the same folds in the same places. I try to strike my sail differently every so often.

If they are offering you full-length battens at the top, I''d warn you away from those. They improve sail shape but I have found the attachment hardware breaks the plastic shackles, tears the batten pockets over time, and is substandard with heavy use (we sail offshore). OTOH their conventional pockets have held up well, despite the funky way in which they velcro in the battens. Were I do respec the sail, I''d definitely go with the conventional pockets & battens.

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