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  #1  
Old 06-18-2012
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New sail or raise sail position on mast?

Hi all, just bought our first - 21' Newport Holiday (way used, but good shape). Not knowing anything I didn't notice that we don't have the right mainsail.
It stops short of the top of the mast by at least a foot. As a result the 'tack area' of the mainsail is always loose. The foot doesn't reach to the end of the boom so the end of the boom doesn't raise up level like it should. I was thinking of raising the boom slot & stop point in the mast to the point where the head of the mainsail actually reaches the top of the mast.

thanks in advance for your time and thoughts!
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Old 06-18-2012
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New sail or raise sail position on mast?

a photo would help. Sounds like there is a problem with the halyard or sail track, not the sail. Tie a line to the halyard and see if you can haul it to the top of the mast, then pull it back down. Use binoculars or a camera witha zoom lense to look up the track of the mast. good luck!
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Re: New sail or raise sail position on mast?

It may also be that you have the tack (the corner at the mast and boom set up wrong). A lot of racing boats actually use slightly smaller measured sails than could fit, but sacrificing some of the foot that really doesn't help much anyway.

Try raising the tack, or loosening it up depending on how it is being restrained, hoisting the mast to full height, then pulling the Cunningham down to tighten the luff. That might fix your problem.
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Re: New sail or raise sail position on mast?

Jsaronson & Stumble - thanks for the replies!
I definitely have pulled the sail raised as far as it will go (didn't want to risk breaking something). The tack has two large holes in the corner so I assumed that was the corner and it shouldn't go any further up the mast. Maybe I'm missing what makes up the Cunningham and the halyard is stuck keeping it from bringing both holes for the Cunningham up vertical against the mast?
I found a rigging diagram of a newport 17 on-line and it shows the head of the sail at topmast and and clew at the end of the boom, that's why I thought I have a replacement sail of the wrong size.
I will get pics next weekend - going to setup on dry land and try to figure out the boom vang setup. And I will check to see if the halyard goes freely to the top.
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Old 06-18-2012
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Re: New sail or raise sail position on mast?

Not all mains go all the up then mast and out to the end of the boom.they can stretch a few inches. Maybe your still timid about making the main halyard pull the main up tight? The foot will stretch with the outhaul. and if it's aboltrope main the rope inside does shrink. Getting it wet can help stretch it. Also remember to loosen the vang and main sheet when raising the main. If you have a topping lift it needs to be loose when the main is up. only after the main is up and stretched should you pull in the vang and mainsheet. (unless your going for light air and a baggy main)
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Last edited by deniseO30; 06-18-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 06-18-2012
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Re: New sail or raise sail position on mast?

Sailed one in newport when I was a kid. is it a newport 212 or a holiday 20. the 21' newport was the 212 the holiday was 20'. could also be a 214 which is 21.5' I do remember that the boom was always to long for the sail. the head of the sail should be about 6" from the top. does your boom gooseneck slide up and down on the mast. when they were new they did. you haul the sail to the top and use the downhaul to tighten the luff of the sail.
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Old 06-19-2012
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Re: New sail or raise sail position on mast?

Prost to Denise & Overboard! (that's Cheers! in beer talk)
Thanks for your replies & the pic Denise. I didn't have the boom vang installed at all. And yes, I have a baggy main... that's sad... :-)

I will post pics and updates after I attempt to apply everyones input.
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Old 06-19-2012
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Wink Re: New sail or raise sail position on mast?

I must say I am a bit confused about your problem. If I am understanding you correctly you have the tack of the sail connected to the boom, but the halyard stops short of fully hoisting the sail so the luff doesn't get tight, and there is no load at all on the tack ring. If that is the case then there must be a problem with either the halyard or the luff groove in the mast. Does the sail hoist smoothly and easily and then stops suddenly, or is it stiff, and gets progressively harder to hoist? Can the halyard be hoisted all the way to the top with just a mesenger line attached? It the luff rope at the head in good shape? It is common for the rope to start pulling off the sail at the very top, and if that happens the end of the rope can fold over and bind in the groove. Is your halyard wire rope? If so, is the splice between wire and the rope tail in good condition? If not it could be fouling where it exits the mast.
As for the foot of the sail, does it have a foot rope that feeds into the groove on the boom, or is it loose footed with only a slug that slides into the groove? Does the outhaul reach the clew ring? Either way the boom should be supported by the sail.

Even if te sail is too small for the mast it should still work, just like a reefed sail does.
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Old 06-24-2012
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Re: New sail or raise sail position on mast?

Hi all & thanks again for your replies. I went up and did a dry land rigging and took pics. Would appreciate your input again!

1) the slot up the mast is clear, and the mainsail COULD go to the stop except that the tack has two brass holes (what's the correct term?) that won't let it rise any further. It stops 2' short of the top of the mast. The halyard is standard rigging rope.
2) with the foot pulled tight the clew is still 18" from the end the boom.
3) the length of the luff is 20' 8"

4 pics - tack 1 & 2 are closeups that show the two brass holes, bottom one secured to the boom. Not only does that keep the sail from rising any further, the stitching around the brass holes won't go up the halyard slot.
The other two show the gap from head to top of mast (head) and the gap from the clew to the end of the boom (boom).
1 more pic of the mast/boom intersection. finger pointing to stop that the boom sits on
Attached Thumbnails
New sail or raise sail position on mast?-tack.jpg   New sail or raise sail position on mast?-tack2.jpg   New sail or raise sail position on mast?-clew.jpg   New sail or raise sail position on mast?-head.jpg   New sail or raise sail position on mast?-boomstop.jpg  


Last edited by ehroe2; 06-24-2012 at 03:17 PM. Reason: adding pic of mast/boom intersection
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Old 06-24-2012
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Re: New sail or raise sail position on mast?

It's pretty clear that's not the sail for that rig. The luff/hoist/mast side is too short by some distance, as is the length along the boom.(foot)

It's still usable as long as you can tension everything appropriately but it will be like having a reef in all the time.

The two holes (cringles) at the tack are being used correctly.. the lower one is to go into the tack fitting as shown, the upper one is your 'cunningham', a secondary means of getting luff tension once the sail is hoisted.

So this will get you going, I suppose, but it's not the correct/original dimensions that your boat was designed for.
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