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post #11 of 38 Old 08-07-2018
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

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Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
Is that one of those new-fangled loose luffed jibs?
Main sails built for light air areas have a considerable 'shelf' along the foot to be more efficient in those conditions. You can take some of that 'bag' out of the sail with a Cunninghamm main sheet and the outhaul. You really need to see where the draft in the sail resides. New unstretched out sails will have the draft forward but it moves aft as the sail deteriorates. Horizontal Stripes on the sail make it much easier to see the shape of the sail

Another thing is the leach of the sail. Can you stop the leech from fluttering and/or falling off to leeward by pulling in on the sheet or tightening up the vang?? If not the sail is probably toast though a recut may be able to rejuvenate it a bit.

Last edited by roverhi; 08-07-2018 at 09:22 PM.
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post #12 of 38 Old 08-07-2018
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

The down haul appears to be loose and there is definitely a problem with how the main sheet is rigged with the sheet only going through half the block.

Hard to tell from a backlit photo but going through the boats rigging with the owners manual in hand making sure its correctly setup may be a great thing to do before replacing anything.
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post #13 of 38 Old 08-08-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

Thanks for the replies. I know I want a new sail at some point and the boat/sail is small enough I think it makes a lot more sense to just get a new sail rather than spend money on a recut. I just need/want to learn how to get the most out of this sail before I abuse a new one.

The jib is set as a luff wire roller, just a convenience thing until I get CDI Flexfurl and new genoa. It's always been a trailer sailor but I finally have it at a slip so I pulled out an old roller I had made for a smaller boat just to make it easier to head out and the winds are so light here generally I go between motoring and sailing a fair bit even on short sails.

I have telltales on the main and I can get them all flying straight back (which doesn't say anything about draft) but I feel like it should have a bit more power to it. It does not have a traveler so honestly my best shape and power came from manually dragging the sail over and down. In light winds I am guessing a traveler would make a big difference in getting the most power close hauled.

It does not have a downhaul rigged, although it does have a grommet.

So it sounds like I should look at rigging the downhaul and get some additional purchase so I can get some more tension on the outhaul.

And buy a reel furler :-)
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post #14 of 38 Old 08-08-2018
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

If it moves the boat and you're happy, the sail is just fine. If you want better performance, that's another matter. I had a similar conversation with my sailmaker a few months back and spec'd out a new main, since the current one is original kit on a 1976 boat. His advice on loose foot: no difference on performance, easier to remove and install the sail.

Still haven't pulled the trigger on a new main, because the current one keeps me at optimal beer-drinking speed.
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post #15 of 38 Old 08-08-2018
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

I'm guessing you could improve things by just trim. You do need to able to tension the luff with the mainsheet and/or cunningham. And need a decent outhaul so you adjust the draft. Also a vang will help in keeping the boom down when off the wind. And a traveller in combination with the mainsheet to adjust twist.

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post #16 of 38 Old 08-08-2018
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

I'd slow done a bit and figure out what the picture shows - and what it dosen't.

I notice that the jib tack (at the bottom, front) has a furling drum - but the jib also appears to have hanks. That dosen't make sense to me. TSchmidy, can you have someone in your area take a look at it and figure out the system you have? (It looks to me like someone just put a traditional hanked jib onto the top of a drum. If so, then just hank it on!!)

In terms of main sail shape, let's try to do one thing at a time. Once you figure out your jib, then figure out the main. Yes, there are ways to get mechanical advantage to get the sail tight, but you also need to look at things like the boat-rope (the rope that is sewn into the luff of the mainsail), and some other factors. Boat ropes on older sails shrink a bit. A quick trip to the sailmaker and they can just re-sew it!

There's nothing like inviting your local sailmaker out to the dock. Often there are also riggers working around harbors who can also give you advice about your rig. Lot's of times they are very resonable in price for an initial consultation because they are looking to the future of a customer relationship with you. Also there are really knowledgable sailors who would be happy to lend a hand to figure out some of these basic set-up kind of issues. Asking around may lead you to these people.

One way or another, you will figure this out. Please let me (us) know what you find out. Perhaps you can send close up pictures of this jib set up? Godd luck, and keep sailing that boat!!
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post #17 of 38 Old 08-09-2018
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

Sorry but this guy needs to find a friend who knows how to sail and give him a case of beer to get him started.
jephotog and SailingUphill like this.

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post #18 of 38 Old 08-09-2018
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

A little gorilla tape should do it!
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post #19 of 38 Old 08-10-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

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Originally Posted by Bleemus View Post
Sorry but this guy needs to find a friend who knows how to sail and give him a case of beer to get him started.
So you don't have anything useful to say?

Which phrase applies to you; 'If you don't have anything good to say...' or 'A wise man holds his tongue and is thought a fool; a fool opens his mouth..."

Oh wait, it's the internet. And yeah, my question was a bit dumb, there is a lot of tuning to be done, but in the end I need a new sail.

@Scotty C-M , thanks for the advice. I am inland so I can't find anyone I really have faith in for sail making. I used to head over to the coast and there are some shops over there I'd give my business too, but blew an axle on the trailer coming back from my last trip and decided to put the trailer repair money into a slip for the next year or two. On my trips to Pamlico sound, the heavy winds (15-20 almost always) don't make sail shape or trim much of a priority and I can get hull speed just hacking around, but trying to learn a bit more dealing with light winds on the lake.

So looking to head to the coast after I get the trailer repaired. I know I can get 90% of the sail I want but I want to get someone to look at the whole rig and not just some pictures.

Thanks again for the more helpful advice.
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post #20 of 38 Old 08-10-2018
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Re: How bad is my main sail?

OK. If you're on your own, here is a way to do it. Hank on that jib (to the forestay). Does it work? Does it go up and down? It should. OK. Good to go.

The main? Set it on the mast. If it looks OK, go for it. If it has a lot of sag" on the luff. Take it down and look at the boat rope. When you stretch it, does the main stretch too? If the main is loose in the luff, with the boat rope tight, drive it to a sailmaker to fix it. The sailmaker doen't need to see it on the boat. Make an advance appointment, and they can do it while you wait. If you can't make it to a sailmaker then don't. Eithor way, take the sail down to the boat, put it up, and go for a sail.

OK. Your sails are as good as your going to get them this year. Have fun. Sail every chance you get. Do everything you can do to get the best trim out of your sails. Look at every YouTube, read every article and book you can get your hands on. Buy one of Don Guillette's sail guide placards. http://www.sailtrimproducts.com/sail_trim_chart.html. I've never used one, but from all I can tell they are a very good condensed version of what you need to know.

Did I mention go out and sail? Yeah, go out and sail the heck out of those sails!!! Make the best of them. You're going to have a great time, and improve your skills. At some point get your jib system figured out. At some point a sailmaker is gonna look at your sails. At some point you're gonna get better and better ... but you're never gonna have another shot at having a blast now .... so .... go for a sail!!

Last edited by Scotty C-M; 08-10-2018 at 01:18 AM.
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