Pros and Cons of Loose Footed Sails - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-07-2006
scurvy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 225
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
scurvy is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to scurvy
Pros and Cons of Loose Footed Sails

Hi everyone,

Just received a quote from North Sails, and noticed that they recommend the loose foot sails for their cruising customers. Been sailing a while now and have never owned or considered owning one...but my reasons for prejudice toward the standard cut may be unfounded as I know very little about the aspects or advantages of the loose foot. Any info you might offer on this subject will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Chris
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 11-07-2006
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 14,684
Thanks: 68
Thanked 195 Times in 187 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Having used both over the years, we have no problem with the idea of loose-footed mains. They make for easier outhaul adjustment because there is less friction in stretching the foot. Some make much of the "shelf" and its "endplate" effect on the efficiency of a sail with a boltrope foot. We have found that when the outhaul is stretched for beating the gap tends to close up on the boom anyhow.

Off the wind you get a more uniform shape right down to the bottom of the sail.

If your sailing involves removing the mainsail between outings, a loose-footed sail is easier to bend on and unbend at the end of the day.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 11-08-2006
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Another advantage of the loose-footed main, if you use sail ties, you can run them around just the sail at some points to help keep the sail bundled neatly. This is hard to do with a bolt-rope foot main. Same thing with the reefing points. This might actually save the sail if you try raising it and forget to undo the reef point ties, as the reef points are anchored to the boom but to the loose foot of the sail, which has far more give.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 11-08-2006
scurvy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 225
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
scurvy is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to scurvy
loose foot main

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
This might actually save the sail if you try raising it and forget to undo the reef point ties, as the reef points are anchored to the boom but to the loose foot of the sail, which has far more give.
I hadn't thought of this actually, good point! I Can definitely see how she would keep her shape better than the bolt-rope foot main...right down to the boom. I figure North Sails knows what they are talking about...they make a nice product. Perhaps this is worth a try.

Thanks for the info!
Chris
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 11-08-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,538
Thanks: 3
Thanked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Sailormon6 will become famous soon enough
For many years I used a mainsail with a deep shelf foot and flattening reef for racing as well as cruising, and, after loose footed mainsails became popular, that mainsail was just as competitive against them as it had been before. The deep shelf foot of that sail enabled me to adjust the draft of the mainsail drastically, to optimize the boat's performance at different windspeeds. The flattening reef enabled me to take the belly out of that sail when I wanted the boat to point to windward. So, I'm not convinced that a loose footed mainsail is inherently superior to a footed mainsail with a racing shelf foot, but that's not the only reason why you should get a loose footed mainsail when you replace your present mainsail.

When you ease the outhaul of a footed mainsail, the boltrope, which attaches the foot to the boom, prevents the sail from taking on a really deep draft. When you ease the outhaul of a loose footed mainsail, it can take on a much deeper draft, similar to what was possible with the old style racing shelf foot. That means your loose footed mainsail will be capable of a wider range of adjustment than the ordinary, footed mainsail, and that's a huge benefit. The loose footed mainsail is capable of about the same range of adjustment as the old racing shelf foot.

A lot of people set the tension on their outhaul and never adjust it again for the rest of the season. If you get a loose footed mainsail, you should definitely install a couple of blocks and a cleat on the boom to enable you to quickly and easily adjust the outhaul tension while under way, because that easy adjustability is what enables you to take advantage of the loose footed sail's benefits. Then try adjusting it with more draft at lower boat speeds and windspeeds and when sailing off the wind, and with less draft at higher speeds, and when sailing to windward.

I just ordered a new mainsail and genoa for my boat, and had no reservations about going with the loose footed mainsail (but I did specify that I wanted the performance cut). ;>)

Last edited by Sailormon6; 11-08-2006 at 12:45 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 11-08-2006
SailorMitch's Avatar
Senior Moment
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: MD
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
SailorMitch will become famous soon enough
At one time loosed footed mains were big with racers because the sail area below the boom wasn't measured so didn't result in a penalty. PHRF et al could've caught up with that by now -- I'm a cruiser.
__________________
SailorMitch
Sailing winged keels since 1989.
1.20.09 Bush's last day the end of an error !! Hopefully we still have a constitution and economy left by then.


"Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength." The Dalai Lama


good planets are hard to find-- a song by steve forbert


I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging the future but by the past.-- Patrick Henry.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 11-09-2006
scurvy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 225
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
scurvy is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to scurvy
Thank you to all who contributed their knowledge and suggestions to this post. I have a lot to think about and decisions to make, but I feel more confident in doing so now. Any more info...keep it coming!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 11-09-2006
Thanks Courtney.
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: IL
Posts: 3,954
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 11
T34C has a spectacular aura about T34C has a spectacular aura about T34C has a spectacular aura about
How does the loose footed main compair to a sail that attaches to the boom w/sail slugs instead of a bolt rope? (I'm in the process of ordering a new main also.)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 11-10-2006
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
A sail that attaches with sail slugs instead of a bolt rope has none of the advantages of a loose-footed main, and is weaker than a full bolt rope, at least in terms of supporting the foot of the sail. I don't see any point in getting one of them. A loose footed sail is better in my opinion. The load on a loose-footed sail is taken up by the clew and tack, which are heavily reinforced.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 11-10-2006
scurvy's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 225
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
scurvy is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to scurvy
I am 98% sure that I will move on a loose footed sail next season. Did a list of the pros and cons and the pros for the loose footed sail far outweigh the cons...particularly when it comes to sail trim and control...seems almost a "no brianer" to me.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pros & Cons: Mainsail furling booms Vitamin Gear & Maintenance 6 07-18-2008 03:04 PM
Pros & Cons of Bowsprit? FritzN Boat Review and Purchase Forum 6 10-30-2006 02:34 PM
loose footed or track mainsail soverel28 Gear & Maintenance 5 05-21-2002 04:08 AM
Winged Keels Pros & Cons OldGlory Boat Review and Purchase Forum 13 04-09-2002 05:51 PM
Hughes 26 Pros and cons bgriffiths Boat Review and Purchase Forum 1 03-03-2001 10:14 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:03 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.