Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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Mike, all questions are good questions when you're starting out. Hard to answer the gooseneck/mast slot ones without knowing the boat or the overall dimensions, but that never stopped me ;-).
You don't want the slide on your boom (seems you're describing a sliding one, not a fixed one) to end up wholly or partially in the wide ("bullet" or sail-slide) part of the mast groove. If it is, then the vertical forward edge of your sail (translation=the "luff", the trailing edge is the "leech") is either too long or too short (the latter assumes there's more mast groove below the bullet opening?). So if you haul the head of the main up all the way, and tighten the luff hand-tight, and your boom slide is in the opening, you could slack you halyard a few inches to move it down, and into the groove. Or, shorten the luff a few inches by finding a strong-looking cringle (ring) just above the gooseneck corner of your sail (the "tack"), and lashing them a couple of inches closer together with a piece of line, then raise halyard and adjust so your slide is just above that opening, the wrinkle this makes shouldn't be a big deal on most boats.
Or if you have jiffy-reef lines, try pulling in a reef fore and aft, this may put the slide where you want it.
But these are jury-rig solutions, the "right" fix may be with your sailmaker.
Boom height? That's sorta designed in already, but should be high enough that you dont need gymnastics 404 to get under it (especially on a jibe, when it's moving with force). It should certainly clear your head when you're sitting normally. Again, don't know your boat, some small ones may not have this luxury, most big ones do. If it remains a problem, have your sailmaker shorten the leech a little til your head likes it.
Jib: You're right about the halyard. some jibs do sweep the deck, usually on the racier designs. You don't want it to catch in mid-tack, but if it's just chafing, have your sailmaker reinforce it in that spot. Or, if you don't care about ultimate speed and want better vis forward, you might have him cut the foot and clew (trailing corner) higher.
Some of this is guessing without enough info, your mileage may vary etc, but enjoy the drive..