Join Date: May 2002
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Raise Boom/Shorten sail
I second Jeff''s suggestion. A cringle used in the manner of a flattening reef would raise the outboard end of your boom and give you the added clearance that you want over the companionway hatch. That would accomplish your objective at less cost than changing the dimensions of your mainsail, and it would leave your mainsail at its stock dimensions, so that you could use the full-sized sail in light air, if you wished. Altering your mainsail could affect the resale value of your boat. I believe most sailors wouldn''t buy a boat with a shortened mainsail, unless the owner gave a significant allowance to replace the mainsail.
Also, changing the size of the sail can have unexpected consequences. A friend had a boat with a shortened mainsail, and, when he raised it, he couldn''t keep the gooseneck slide in the track.