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post #5 of Old 12-27-2001
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recutting my blown out main

A total a recut, especially with the original dimensions lost in time, is difficult at best. If you can send me a digital pic of the sail beating to windward @ 10-15kt., held near to the centerline and with normal mainsheet tension, etc. ... and the pic taken from directly under the boom (looking to the top of the mast) I''ll better be able to give a more precise suggestion on rebuilding. A temporarily placed draft stripe at mid section (halfway up using a removable masking tape etc.) would be of benefit. The maximum draft on a main (for a masthead rig) should be at mid-cord to 40% of mid cord from the luff; a too far forward draft location will get you nowhere. I completely disagree with BigRed as normally (again assuming a dacron sail with dacron 3 strand boltrope) the boltrope system doesnt have to be entirely replaced - many times you can simply slide the old rope from the sleeve and put in a new one with the proper normal preload and simply restitch the 3 connections with sail twine and a robust sail needle and awl. Leech sag (stretch) over time usually does NOT affect draft location. If the leech is stretched (tripped), sometimes you can ''get away'' with placing intermediate short lightweight battens between the present battens - otherwise its a simple process of reseaming the panels ends to correct for a leech that falls off to leeward. The real question that you have to ask yourself is: is the sail material too far degraded by UV that any adjustment will NOT be worth the effort, is the stitching UV destroyed and the sail need an entire restitching? Is the material degraded (weak), etc., for that case you probably will need a new sail.
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