Sloop rigged with loose-footed main (no boom)? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 14 Old 12-28-2009 Thread Starter
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Unless you get a traveler to work, you won't have a self tacking sail anymore.
Could u explain how a self-tacking sail works? thanks.
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post #12 of 14 Old 12-28-2009
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Could u explain how a self-tacking sail works? thanks.
The idea of a self tacking sail is that when you come about, you do not need to do anything to the sheet as long as you are going to end up on the same point of sail. Sails that use a boom and have a single sheet are self tacking because the sheet will allow the boom to go out the same distance from centerline on both tacks(this assumes that you don't do anything weird with a traveler). As I described, a loose footed sail cannot be sheeted to centerline so to be self tacking the sheet length needs to stay the same but the sheeting point needs to move which it would not need to do with a boom. The sheeting point can be moved using a sheet horse/traveler that allows the proper amount of movement. However, getting the sheet to stay the same length becomes a bit trickier at this point.

Since putting a traveler on a loose footed sail is tricky, most people use 2 sheets just like a jib does. When you tack, you simply change which sheet you are using. The trouble with this is that you end up with a lot to do between steering, tacking the jib, and tacking the main.

One other caution that I forgot before is that your boat has to be properly shaped to accept the sheeting for a loose footed sail. The sheet now has to lead aft instead of vertically and it has to sheet outboard of centerline. It will not work if the stern does not extend a few feet beyond the clew of the main or if the stern is narrow. Many traditional double ended boats used a loose footed main and a boom on the mizzen because a loose footed mizzen will not work with their hull shape. And this all assumes that the sail is built for being loose footed.
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-09-2010
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Newb here:Often single handed sailing. Other than self tending and less sq. ft. What are the pros and cons of club foot jib.
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-09-2010
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Originally Posted by oldironnut View Post
Newb here:Often single handed sailing. Other than self tending and less sq. ft. What are the pros and cons of club foot jib.
Harder to control the shape of the jib. On many, you can't move the fairlead forward or aft to change the shape of the sail.

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