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Old 06-03-2004
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gaff sails

I plan to have built traditional narrow panel horizontal cut sails for a gaffer main on a 40 ft boom. I would prefer a loose footed sail. I have heard that the mainsail cannot be loose footed with the horizontal cut.

Is this correct, and if so, why?
Are there any ways around this?

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Old 06-03-2004
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gaff sails

I think that you have a bigger problem doing a loose-footed horizontal panel mainsail with a gaff rig than you would on a Bermuda Rig. Gaff rigs place enormous bias loads on the sail cloth compared to Bermuda sails. With a large gaff mainsail, these loads would greatly distort the sail shape migrating the camber aft, if the sail is free to pull away from the boom. It is the bias loads that required the mainsheet and gaff peak blocks to be spread out along the boom and gaff rather than concentrated in one spot as would have been more efficient from a mechanical advantage perspective.

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Old 06-03-2004
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gaff sails

There is a little bit of an explanation here, though Jeff''s is more complete...

He references two books, the Gaff Rig Handbook by Leather, and Hand Reef and Steer by Tom Cunllife, both pretty much required reading for gaffers.

Good Luck!
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