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  #1  
Old 04-13-2012
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Loose Footed Mains

What's the word on Loose footed mainsails from those in the know?
I've read that they perform just as well for the most part
I saw one cheap and was thinking of picking it up
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

I have a loose footed main and my traveler is not at the end of the boom....about 2/3 back. I have no trouble with the main sheet or sail shape. The only thing I would recommend is that you have a good outhaul so you can adjust the foot easily. Most racing boats have loose footed mains.
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

I love my loose footed main. I feel like I get much better sail shape through the entire sail, expecially at the foot. The old footed mains lose a little shape at the foot at the boom attachment point (s) . ( like pleats ) I think the loose foot has especially helped my light-air performance.

Yes you need a good working outhaul, when you need to flatten the sail.

I would recommend the switch.
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

I have both types and IF there made correctly they both work fine
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

Mainsail attached (slides or bolt rope) to the boom is much more forgiving then a loose foot main, if that's what you want but I much rather have a loose foot. With the proper outhaul set up, you will be able to really fine trim the lower portion of the main, and able to provide a nice chamber for light wind sailing. You will get a little more flutter with the loose foot. I also think the cunningham and outhaul controls work together well then a attached main.
Along with my halyards, cunningham and (1) reef row, my outhaul is run back to the cabin top to a large metal cam and winch.
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

I've had a loose-footed main for 4-5 years now, and I can't understand now why they haven't always been that way. I think you get a better and more easily controlled sail shape.
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

Two advantages of an attached main

1) The shelf is a good indication of outhaul tension; too much causes a crease.

2) You can create a water collection system for rainwater.
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

Could someone provide photo or diagram examples of this? I think it is applicable to my setup, but don't know enough about the terminology to say.
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrasi View Post
Could someone provide photo or diagram examples of this? I think it is applicable to my setup, but don't know enough about the terminology to say.


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Last edited by jackdale; 04-13-2012 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Better photo
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Old 04-13-2012
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Re: Loose Footed Mains

As Jack's image shows the loose footed main is only attached by the tack and clew along the foot. There is no bolt rope or slides/slugs attaching the bottom of the sail along the length of the boom.

While this does eliminate the old 'shelf foot' which was intended to create something of an end plate effect, the camber of the sail is more properly uniform overall and generally the outhaul is more easily adjusted due to reduced friction.

On race boats it's a big help when you actually take the sail off and stow it below.. sliding a bolt rope foot sail out the boom is the hardest part.

Overall I don't think there's any compelling reason to go with anything but a loose foot, unless you're going to need the water collection aspect of the shelf foot..
chef2sail and patrscoe like this.
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