Originally Posted by SEMIJim
What's the alleged advantage of a shelf-footed main over a loose-footed main?
Some folks worry that if the clew grommet were to let go, or if the outhaul were to part, they would have a wildly flogging mainsail, like a genoa without sheets, right over their head. And the boom could drop down if there is no topping lift.
In reality, the clew is pulled aft by the outhaul, but there is usually
an extra slug below the clew that runs in the boom track anyway. It is attached to the clew corner of the sail independent of the clew grommet. If the clew were to let go or outhaul part, the slug in the boom track would contain the clew well enough to get the sail under control.