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  #11  
Old 02-02-2011
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Does the boom even come into play any more?
Absolutely. Without it, the boat's deck would have to be inordinately long in order to run the mainsheet from the clew to a "main car" (similar to a genoa car) and then forward to a winch. Also, since most mains end somewhere near the helmsman's head, the sheet would constantly threaten to decapitate the driver.

You might ask "What about jibs? They're loose footed". True, but jibs are a compromise too. May jibs are boomed, but the rig inherently limits the size of the sail. So we loose foot it and run the sail aft of the shrouds. But that limits the sheeting angle to how wide the shrouds are.

So mains have a boom for practical reasons - a) to easily control the sail back where the people are and b) because rigging it like a jib just won't work because there isn't enough room.
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Old 02-02-2011
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Go loose. I love the my footed main (Pearson 323). Better sail shape in all wind conditions; more control. No foot flutter. Only thing I would say is make sure the foot can be pulled tight on the outhaul - mine is a little bit too small, so when the outhaul is fully tightened the sail is barely flat - another couple of inches would have given my a better "stretch flat" on the foot.

My daughter's laser is loose-footed too..... :-)
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Old 02-03-2011
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Running your reefing lines is also simpler with a loosefooted mainsail, as you don't have to have the sailmaker include slits or grommets for the reefing line to pass through when you're tying it around the boom.

Also, you can tie the reefing nettles around just the sail, which is a bit more forgiving than if you tie them around the sail and boom, when you forget to release them and try shaking out the reef--you're less likely to tear the sail and cause a very expensive repair.
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Old 02-03-2011
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This all sounds very interesting and appealing -- does anyone have a photo of what a loose foot main looks like on the boom? Can a bolt rope main be converted into a loose foot?
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Old 02-03-2011
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PhotoBoatGallery.com Photography by Allen Clark
There are some other photos in that same gallery.
In heavier air it just flattens out nicely like the pic in the next link
PhotoBoatGallery.com Photography by Allen Clark

Yes, any sailmaker can conver an attached foot to loose foot on basically any sail. Cost should be less than $100. Possible in the $50-75 depending on the relationship you have w/ the sailmaker.
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There is no question that the boat will perform better with a loose footed main. However, you need to make sure that the loads you place on the boom are not increases the stress above acceptable levels. When there is a bolt rope in the sail running in a track on the boom, the loads are spread out along the boom and it is better from a structural standpoint to have mid-boom sheeting. However, on a loose footed sail, all of the loads are concentrated at the end of the boom. With mid-boom sheeting you end up with a large bending moment which is really bad. With end of boom sheeting, you don't have a bending moment but you need to make sure that your hardware can handle the loads.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
PhotoBoatGallery.com Photography by Allen Clark
There are some other photos in that same gallery.
In heavier air it just flattens out nicely like the pic in the next link
PhotoBoatGallery.com Photography by Allen Clark

Yes, any sailmaker can conver an attached foot to loose foot on basically any sail. Cost should be less than $100. Possible in the $50-75 depending on the relationship you have w/ the sailmaker.
Like the sound of the loose footed set up, having read a few articles on its benifits.
Is it a matter of a strong slider at the clew and leave the bolt rope out of the boom grove? Alternativly I could remove most of the bolt rope, say up to 6 inches behind the clew and 6 inches from the mast allowing the most of the foot to clear the grove. Current system is roller boom reefing and its not great for reefing in heavy weather. Sail shape is a bitch when more than a couple of rolls are needed
Safe sailmakeing.
Ps Found the needle, and the palm.
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Last edited by centaursailor; 02-03-2011 at 06:03 PM.
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I don't know if this would be strong enough, since a bolt rope foot sail depends on the bolt rope for a good part of the foot's strength, and doing this would more than likely cause the sail to tear more readily.
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Originally Posted by centaursailor View Post
Like the sound of the loose footed set up, having read a few articles on its benifits.
Is it a matter of a strong slider at the clew and leave the bolt rope out of the boom grove? Alternativly I could remove most of the bolt rope, say up to 6 inches behind the clew and 6 inches from the mast allowing the most of the foot to clear the grove. Current system is roller boom reefing and its not great for reefing in heavy weather. Sail shape is a bitch when more than a couple of rolls are needed
Safe sailmakeing.
Ps Found the needle, and the palm.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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A couple of thoughts to consider

1. Simply removing the slides does not make a loose footed sail. Sail made with foot slugs has a shelf built incorporated into the bottom of the sail that transitions the main's foil to a straight edge. Removing the slugs might make the sail look loose footed, but it's not the same beast.

2. On any sail, including a main, the loads are concentrated in the corners. Thus, the load is not spread along the boom. This is why many sailors do not tie reefing lines when reefed (we rarely do) and why reef points are not reinforced; they are not under much load. I can't really think of any concrete examples why any boat with a footed sail can not transition to loose footed without modification.

zz4gta - I know the boat in the photos. The skipper is bowman with us for Gov Cup.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
I don't know if this would be strong enough, since a bolt rope foot sail depends on the bolt rope for a good part of the foot's strength, and doing this would more than likely cause the sail to tear more readily.
Missed the obvious, Could the ropeless foot section be strengthened with webbing, getting some anyway for those replacment life lines?
Safer reefing
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