Sloop rigged with loose-footed main (no boom)? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-20-2009
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Sloop rigged with loose-footed main (no boom)?

Just idly thinking... what would be the disadvantage of having no boom on say, a 30' sloop?

There'd be no danger of bonking heads during coming about, and I suppose you could rig a shackle to pull the foot outwards like a boom.

Is there a name for this rig? Would appreciate thoughts and discussion on this.

Dan
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Old 12-20-2009
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if you were sailing in 15 knots of wind, and changing course from a broad reach up to a close haul.....how would you get the mainsail centered?

You have a shackle attached to the clew of the mainsail with a sheet, two ?....where would you lead the sheet to?
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Old 12-20-2009
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Sailing downwind the main would simply go into a deep pocket like a jib.. the main would readily collapse and fill like a headsail sailing too deep. Also you'd have no way of maintaining leech tension ( no vang)

We've sailed on a Farrier F25C trimaran that was rigged with no boom, but they virtually never sail with the wind aft of the beam regardless of heading.
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Old 12-21-2009
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I think you'd have a lot of trouble maintaining any shape to your sail, whatsoever, particularly going to wind.
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Old 12-21-2009
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The rotomolded hobie cats have no booms....
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Old 12-21-2009
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Cats can do it because of their width and speed. Some traditional boats with lug or sprit rigs are boomless. My Dory has a sprit rig that sailed boomless for many years. I added a boom for easier sheeting and better down wind shape. A great advantage of small boats (the dory is <19') is the ability to cheaply experiment with the rig.
The boom transmits much of the drive to the mast. Without it a 30' sloop would need mainsheet winches. It would also change the balance.
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Old 12-22-2009
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You hardley ever sail a Hobie dead down wind without a spin. Usually they broad reach. This is thier fastest point of sail so the apparent wind is much farther forwrad than on a 30' sloop.

Keep in mind that loose footed and boomless are two different arrangements. Loose footed mains still have a boom, but the foot is not in a track along the top of the boom. It is only connected at the clew.
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Old 12-23-2009
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The boom gives you greater adjustability, you have an outhaul. Reefing is simplified. Positioning of the mainsheet and traveler is closer to the helmsman. You could rig a sloop without a boom, but it would probably be more of a pain to get your mainsail setting right. In some conditions, you want a loose foot, and others a tight foot. The only way to acheive that without an outhaul is to have an entire traveler-grid instead of a linear traveler. That could become pretty complicated.
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Old 12-28-2009
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thx all, esp Tager.
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Old 12-28-2009
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The problem with getting rid of the boom has to do with sail shape. When sailing on the wind, this can be corrected by using the proper sheeting angle but off the wind, you won't be able to get the correct sheeting angle. As you fall off farther, you want to sheet the sail more outboard to keep it from bagging too much and this simply isn't possible. Think of it just like a big genoa. I suppose if you found a compelling reason to try this that you could work out a whisker pole for downwind sailing but at that point you might as well just use a boom.

I have sailed many loose footed traditional vessels and almost all have 2 sheets which is almost as dangerous as having a boom. Some boats with a single sheet lead the sheet to centerline which gives terrible sail trim. A traveler is pretty hard to get to work correctly without a boom although a rigid track one can work. Unless you get a traveler to work, you won't have a self tacking sail anymore.
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