Pros and Cons of Loose Footed Sails - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 31 Old 11-10-2006
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Loose footed mains shed water better.
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post #12 of 31 Old 11-13-2006 Thread Starter
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Anyone have any experience with FX Sails? Bill seems great, and the prices can't be beat. Any input?

Chris
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post #13 of 31 Old 11-14-2006
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Having read the pros for loose-foot sail, do I suppose the only pros left for sail with bolt-rope to boom is the strength when faced with strong wind ?
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post #14 of 31 Old 11-14-2006
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No, you may not suppose that. In a properly made mainsail there should be absolutely no difference in strength between a loose footed sail and a mainsail with a foot bolt rope. In heavy air, the outhaul is tensioned such that that the shelf at the foot of the sail is collapsed and so the bolt rope has no load on it at all. In heavy going (prior to reefing) with either type of mainsail, the full loads are taken by the outhaul and clew strapping and not by the foot of the sail.

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post #15 of 31 Old 11-14-2006
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One other point to consider: at least theoretically, a sail with a bolt rope may be more efficient, because the boom will impede the circulation of air from the high pressure side to the low pressure side. Whether this makes a practical difference, who knows?
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post #16 of 31 Old 11-14-2006
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Bob, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're referring to the end-plate effect. The argument that is advanced in favor of loose footed mainsails is that the attachment of the sail to the boom generates turbulence along the foot of the sail, and that this turbulence is not present on a loose footed mainsail. Personally, I don't think that small amount of turbulence is a very significant factor, but there are plenty of other benefits to the loose footed mainsail to justify it.
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post #17 of 31 Old 11-15-2006 Thread Starter
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And reefing with the loose footed sail is basically the same? What does one do with the outhaul? Is that cranked up and then the sail is reefed, or does the tension on the foot of the sail not make a difference when reefed?
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post #18 of 31 Old 11-15-2006
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The reefing process is unchanged with a loose footed sail.

The reef clew lines will act as the outhaul when reefed. It is therefore important that there is an aft component in the pull of the tightened reef clew line (but not so flat aft that the clew wants to lift away from the boom), and that you have the required mechanical advantage to achieve the proper foot tension.

Making sure that there is no load on the sail while you are putting the reef in helps (sail luffing and boom supported), some larger boats have dedicated winches for tensioning these lines. An under-boom winch in combination with gooseneck stoppers works well here (if all lines are not led aft)

Also, as SD noted before, when tying up the extra sail, if you do so, it can be done without going around the boom, and will stress the sail less for it.

Last edited by Faster; 11-15-2006 at 04:40 PM.
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post #19 of 31 Old 11-15-2006
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Actually, setting up the reefing lines on a loose-footed main may be easier than on a boltrope-main. The reefing lines can be attached to the boom with a simple bowline, rather than requiring any hardware to terminate the end of the line, as is required on the boltrope mains.

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post #20 of 31 Old 11-15-2006
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FX Sails

This reply is for Scurvy, who had asked if anyone had used FX Sails. I have, and have been very pleased with the results. The workmanship is first rate, the price was good, and the boat sails better.

It's a loose footed main, by the way. There is absolutely no reason to get any other kind. They are easier to trim, have better shape, and better to reef. If the end plate effect did anything at all, the big time racers would be using bolt ropes on their booms, but in fact they are just about all going loose footed.
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