Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Carrollton, Texas
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My little SC 22 had a bolt rope main when I first got it and it sailed okay. At that time my only method of reefing the main was the original roller reefing boom. This always felt very cumbersome to me and is definitely not recommended when the wind is way ahead of you reefing, especially if you're singlehanding.
When I purchased my new main I had double reef points put in and I went "loose footed". I also installed a boom vang and a topping lift. The boat seems to point better (not that this is any kind of a high performance ride) and I can obtain superior sail shape on any point of sail.
I much prefer the loose footed sail over the bolt rope but I don't really think there is too much difference that can be realized on a small boat. On your boat it may make a large difference though. I used to crew on several high performance race boats and we always used loose footed mains.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.