Sail doesn't fit boom - SailNet Community

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Old 07-16-2014
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Sail doesn't fit boom

I have a Bristol 27. It was originally sold with a roller furling boom. It is common to find these boats with the boom replaced (for slab reefing). This is the case on my boat. However, the boom is only a few inches longer than the foot of the main sail. I don't have enough room to tighten the foot of the sail. What would be the cheapest way to fix this? Buy a new boom? Buy a new main (it is in reasonable shape)? MacGyver something to extend the boom? Ideas?
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Old 07-16-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

Well, could you put a "Cunningham cringle" in the foot of the sail near the gooseneck fitting, much as is done for the luffs of mainsails to fit a racing length, or just to get sufficient tension when the luff is too long? It may create a wrinkle in the tack area of the sail when you crank in (forward) on it just as it does when you crank down on a conventional Cunningham, but that should be fairly localized.

You'd have to put some reinforcing into the area of the cringle, but cheaper than recutting the whole sail or buying a longer boom.

So you see I vote with your MacGyver concept (e.g. "how to make a nuclear accelerator from a fountain pen" ;-), except it's MacGyvering the foot, rather than the boom, to be a little shorter by putting a tiny "reef" in it where it would do the least harm.

Whatcha think?

Last edited by nolatom; 07-16-2014 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 07-16-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

A sail maker could make the adjustments necessary quickly and fairly cheaply. I'd definitely recommend against "MacGyver something to extend the boom" as you never know when you might get a sudden gust of wind your "MacGyver something to extend the boom" wouldn't hold up to.
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Old 07-16-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

I'd taper the leech to the clew area after shortening the foot ... less 'hand work' involved other than sewing on a new clew reinforcement patches and a new clew cringle. If the taper (a st is considerable, I might add a few 'auxiliary' battens to help support any excessive roach that would be the result if the OEM battens length cant handle it. If the original reinforcement clew patches wernt glued down, just cut them loose, move forward, etc. then done.
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Old 07-17-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

I'd suggest taking some pictures and showing them to a local loft. They may be able to recut the leech of your sail a bit so it fits the shorter boom properly, and that would give you a little less sail area, possibly a slightly different balance, but a neatly finished look to everything.

If the aft end of the boom is simply sliced off and capped with a plate, and you don't mind doing a lot of scrounging around, you may be able to get a section (ask the spar maker) that fits snugly inside it, so you can extend the boom another six inches or so if that's all it needs. Considering the size of the boat...a good woodworker or a patient sailor could probably take a piece of 4x4 deck post and trim it down to make a good extension as well. Given the size of the boat, and the minimal length you should need, strength is probably not an issue. For that matter, you might be able to take the boom into a local metal shop and have them fab up an extension. Again, take some pictures (end plate off) and ask around.

Or you could always ignore it for now, and try to shop around for a slightly longer used spar, but that could take a while to show up even if you've got a good consignment or breaker shop around.

Visiting the sailmaker probably is going to be the quickest & least painful way to go.
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Old 07-17-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

If the boom is a few inches longer then the foot of the main sail you should be able to come up with a workable outhaul that doesn't require sail modifications. If it is shorter then you do need a new boom.

Having only a couple of inches doesn't give you room to put the outhaul block and tackle between the sail and end of the boom. However you can put a turning block at the end of the boom, then put the block and tackle for the outhaul inside or alongside the boom. Use a short soft shackle to fit the outhaul to the boom and you should be able to pull the sail's foot flat.

If you can provide a photo of the sail and end of the boom stretched as tightly as you can manage now I can probably provide some rigging ideas.
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Old 07-17-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

Thanks for the input everyone. I like the idea of an additional cringle on the foot, near the tack. The way things are now, I do have a couple of inches to tighten the foot. How much does the outhaul contribute to flattening the sail? Can I just rely on tightening the halyard (or in my case, the boom downhaul)?
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Old 07-17-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

The outhaul is a very important sail control. Luff tension moves the draft forward, but does not flatten the sail.

A couple of inches of room between a flat foot and the end of the boom is plenty. This sounds like a rigging problem, not a sail modification problem.
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Old 07-17-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

good stuff alex...I was thinking if you still have a few inches of TRACK put something on the end of the boom letting you use the last bit of track...it might require welding an extension or mount and intalling a turning block or even an eye and rerig something further on the boom towards the mast...basically think every possible scenario before cutting the sail.

btw the outhaul probably(on many boats) is what flattens the sail the most...that and the use of vang, again depending on what setup and design you have
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Old 07-17-2014
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Re: Sail doesn't fit boom

MacGyver beats sailmakers...get a good picture to Alex he probably already has a easy fix in mind...Good resource person...
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