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Location: Annapolis, Md
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1. Most everything that I've read seems to prefer loose footed over the attached mainsail for better sailing performance on all points of sail. Does anyone here have a different opinion?
There should not be a noticable performance difference but loose foot mains are generally considered to offer slightly better performance.
2. I assume the dimensions of both sails would be the same(luff, leech and foot)?
Yes, but a loose foot main will have roach in the foot.
3. The new sail will be made with "over the top" leech line so that the line can be controlled at the tack rather than the clew. I assume that provisions can be made for controlling that line when reefed.# Is there a need for a foot line? (Loose footed staysail does not have one.)
Over the top leech lines are the way to go. It allows the leech line to be adjusted without having to pull the boom in first, so the sail is adjusted in its actual flying position. In other words, in real time rather than trial and error. There is a clam cleat at each reef but they are angled so that they automatically release when you hoist the sail again.
4. The attached old sail has a small "shelf foot". Does a loose footed sail have one and if so how do you specify the size?
There is no shelf on a loosefoot main.
5. Is a cunningham cringle needed for a loose footed sail?
Yes, but you usually do not need a flattening reef.
6. Someone suggested putting a slug near the clew and attaching to the boom. Not sure if this is needed and may defeat the advantages of a loose footed sail. Again the loose footed staysail does not have this.
You will either need a slug at the clew or else a strap to hold the clew close to the boom. Sailmakers sometimes suggest a slug at the tack as well but that depends on the geometry of the attachment for your tack. Normally there is a shackle welded to the gooseneck that precisely sets the position of the tack. But some set-ups (like I have on my boat) do not accurately vertically and/or horizontally fix the position the tack and so sailmakers may wish to do a work around.
7. Not going with full length battens due to increase friction in hoisting and dousing sail, however, maybe the top batten can be full length. Any comments pro or con about batten lenght? Charlie, what's your experience with performance with the 2+2 battens?
I am a fan of 2 x 2 on smaller boats (under 30-32 feet) but prefer full length battens on bigger boats. I do not have any special tracks or slugs for my battens and they generally do not hang up. The key to that is that the battens need to be horizontal rather than tilted up as they would be if they were partial length. I have mixed feelings about full length battens for distance cruising. There is no way to carry spare full length battens on most boats. I would be tempted to use full length battens for distance cruising because of the greater sail life, but add partial length batten pockets and carry battens for those, in case of an emergency.
8. The Challenge marblehead weave seems to be specified for low aspect sails. (less than 2.5) Is the aspect ratio calculated by luff devided by foot? If so, then something other than marblehead is needed and there is a whole list of Challenge sailcloth available. Comments on what is best? I went with High Aspect 8.62 on the new staysail that is on order.
9. The slugs in the mast are for the most part made of plastic while the reef points and head use metal slugs. Are there any differences in the type of plastics available (pro and con)?
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 06-02-2011 at 01:37 PM.