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blakeyoung 03-16-2013 11:31 PM

loose footed main - attachment question
For my new sail I am purchasing a loose footed main, and I am trying to decide what, if any, attachment there needs to be at the aft end of the boom. It seems that there is one of three common options:

1) No attachment to the boom groove at all. The outhaul keeps the sail tensioned and in position along the boom. Example:

2) A single round slug on the foot of the sail near that holds the mail to the boom (in addition to the outhaul).

3) Using a boom strap.

Before ordering, I wanted to know the pros and cons of each method.

I currently have a bolt rope for my main on my Catalina 22.

PaulinVictoria 03-16-2013 11:54 PM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
1) You'd better have a lot of mechanical advantage in your outhaul, and I guess as soon as you loosen the outhaul a touch, you loose all ability to keep the clew of the sail in line with the boom.
2) The most common, and probably what I would do.
3) I find straps a pain, we had one on a raceboat and it was forever getting stuck, so when using the outhaul you are not only fighting the sail, you are fighting the friction of the strap around the boom.

PaulinVictoria 03-16-2013 11:56 PM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
(oh, and in your photo of 1 above, the clew is attached to a car on a track on top of the boom, so it's actually effectively the same as 2 above anyway)

blakeyoung 03-17-2013 12:17 AM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
Thanks for the reply. So with the outhaul car in the photo, you'd just have a line to pull the car aft to add tension as opposed to pulling on the clew itself like with a single slug near the clew? What is the advantage of the track and car setup?

SchockT 03-17-2013 12:21 AM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
You definitely want the clew attached to the boom otherwise when you ease the outhaul the boom will drop instead of the clew sliding forward. a slug in the groove is the simplest thing. The strap is used on race boats, but PaulinVictoria is right; it is a pain! Every time you want to adjust the outhaul you have to help the strap along because it binds.

The track and car would be nice and smooth, making adjustments easy, but it is not necessary. Judging by the length of the track in your pic, the boat has in mast furling, in which case loose foot and a car are necessary.

PaulinVictoria 03-17-2013 12:26 AM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
As far as I can tell it makes no difference whether you pull the car or the clew, the clew always stays the same relative to the boom, it just moves fore/aft (unless the outhaul goes through a block on the car and then to the clew).
Track and car probably has less friction, and if your boom doesn't have a groove then that's an option. For you, I'd keep it simple and just have a slug with regular cleaning and application of sailkote. That's what I do anyway.

blakeyoung 03-17-2013 12:31 AM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
Sounds great. Thanks for the help. I'll order the loose foot with a slug at the clew. As long as there's a clew cringle I should be able to rig up any of the above systems if needed in the future anyway. But I agree that staying with the single slug certainly seems like the best option.

Faster 03-17-2013 12:48 AM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
Actually I prefer the clew strap... KISS...

jeffzee 03-17-2013 01:00 AM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
on my San Juan 7.7, i have a new Ullman main with loose foot, they put a rather large metal slug at the clew, and it works very well, spreads the load out nicely which allows for easy adjustment of the outhaul.

RichH 03-17-2013 02:04 AM

Re: loose footed main - attachment question
Clew 'outhaul' slug ... usually coated (teflon 'frit') and about 2-3 time the length of a 'normal sized' slug. has them in 'some' sizes
Sailrite stocks clew slug

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