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AllThumbs 08-15-2008 01:42 PM

Mainsail help
The main on my 15 foot boat has a chord in the luff which goes in the groove of the mast. It seems like this chord has shrunk causing the sail to be wrinkled at the luff. It also makes it a lot harder to raise since the wrinkles make it a tighter fit in the mast. If I lay the sail out on the grass I can definately see that the luff is short and it won't let the sail lie flat. I guess I am wondering if this is normal (done on purpose) or if the rope has indeed shrunk. The sail is stitched thru the chord so the only way to fix would be to remove the stitches, pull it thru, add some rope and restitch. Is it worth it and would using it as is degrade performance? I would estimate the luff would be 6" longer if repaired.

Thanks, Eric

pfatyol 08-15-2008 01:49 PM

Are you sure that the cord has shrunk and that the sail has not streched / been blown out, Loosing it's built in shape? I would look at how old the sail is and have a loft do a check out on the main.

Good luck

AllThumbs 08-15-2008 01:54 PM

According to the PO, the sail is 5 yrs old. Been used for 3 of those years, a couple times a week for a couple hours each time during the summer months.

Should a sail have shape of should it lie perfectly flat on the floor?


pfatyol 08-15-2008 02:02 PM

Short answer no, That's part of the reason to have a it checked a a loft. They will double check the shape, check the stiching, clean and overall evalute the sail for you. My main has slugs, I have not used a bolt rope sail in about 20 years now. But I am a firm believer in having the loft check my sails yearly, I consider it mandatory maintenance on my boat.

jgeissinger 08-15-2008 02:52 PM

Rope luff
Many small boats, such as my Lido 14 and others do use bolt ropes on the main. Among my sails is an old set on which the rope luff has indeed shrunk. I can get rid of most of the problem simply by really applying a lot of force to the main halyard when hoisting. The main halyard should be rod tight even on a small boat like that. You are not going to hurt anything by trying, and if it doesn't work, take the advice already given you. A sailmaker can put in a new rope luff quickly and inexpensively.

jgeissinger 08-15-2008 02:54 PM

Rope luff (cont.)
Forgot to add: No, the sail should not lay flat on the floor. Yes it does have shape built in to it.

AllThumbs 08-15-2008 03:09 PM

Thanks for the advice. I will get the sail checked out this winter.


AllThumbs 08-15-2008 03:11 PM

Maybe I can get the dude to add slugs at the same time. I hate how much effort it takes to hoist and drop the main.


sailingdog 08-15-2008 03:35 PM

An excellent idea. Get metal slugs if you can...they are more UV-resistant than the plastic ones...

Originally Posted by AllThumbs (Post 354570)
Maybe I can get the dude to add slugs at the same time. I hate how much effort it takes to hoist and drop the main.


SVDistantStar 08-15-2008 04:33 PM

Ive been thinking of having a new main made for the Butterfly. Currently it has a bolt rope, im considering when i have the new sail made to have slugs installed. Any advantage with slugs over the bolt rope?

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