Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-05-2019 Thread Starter
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Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

My mainsail currently slides onto the boom via bolt rope, a good arrangement if you're not using a "Mack Pack" style sail cover. The "Mack Pack" style cover sits on top of the boom and has 2" webbing the slides between the boom and the foot of the sail.

The PO had cut slots into in the foot of my mainsail for the 2" webbing, but did not stitch them...bad, bad, bad.

So the question now is, do I just stitch the slots, button hole style, or do I cut out the bolt rope and install slugs. How many out there have slugs at the foot of their mainsail? Are there any drawbacks to using slugs at the foot of the mainsail?

Thanks!
Dave

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post #2 of 15 Old 09-05-2019
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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

I think I need a picture to understand.
Its not typical to use a boltrope main and a stack pack. If you use a boltrope (unless its a smaller boat, say under 25 feet), you typically do so for performance reasons, so its usually a racing sail. A stack pack for ease of cruising, and it implies sail slugs, so that the sail can fall and stack. Again there are reasons on either side to do one versus the other, but generally.

Again unless I am misunderstanding.

My sail is boltrope, but it comes completely out of the mast after every sail and I roll the mainsail to the boom and use a horse blanket and ties to hold it in place. Raising the sail I use a prefeeder directly below the slot works good for getting the sail up quickly and easily. Put the head into the slot, attach halyard, and hoist from the cockpit. I cannot imagine trying to get it to work with a stack pack.

So I'd say go with slugs, and make your life easier, unless you are planning on racing.
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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

Thanks, definitely agree that slugs would be the right thing to use with the stack pack...just wondering if anyone can think of a disadvantage (performance, strength, longevity) to using them as apposed to the bolt rope on the foot of the sail.

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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

I've been back and forth with my favorite sailmaker over the question of bolt rope or slugs for my next main, and read with great interest a few discussions here. My impression is that slugs are the way to go. Sail performance is pretty much the same, bolt rope is harder to remove, slugs afford access to the boom that is usefull in a number of scenarios, and don't trap rainwater.

Maybe some racers can comment on the finer points of performance.
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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

Most mains today are loose footed.
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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

Thank you for the info! A little more comfortable switching to slugs now. Taking the mainsail in tomorrow morning for some repairs / refreshing... and slugs. Stripped the sails in prep for Dorian, thinking since they're off the boat it'd be a good time to get some work done on them! The tough part is missing 2-3 weeks of Summer sailing! ....oddly, the best time to be on the Atlantic in our area (sans hurricanes of course).
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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

Having used slugs and shackles on the luff of the main, I have occasionally experienced the slugs and shackles breaking. Typically one shackle would give out about two thirds the way up the luff and then adjacent ones would pop like a zipper opening. In 25Kn of breeze, it's a mess to clean up and your day of racing is over.

Not withstanding this, I continued to use slugs and shackles. I replaced the u-bolt style shackles that my sailmaker had provided with Aquabatten nylon shackles with a built in anti-jamming feature. These worked worked much better; eliminating broken slugs and dramatically decreasing the frequency of broken shackles. Aquabatten makes screw in shackles are supposed to be stronger but the snap-in style met my needs.

Periodically hose down your mast and the slugs and use a dry lubricant( e.g., McLube).
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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadoo View Post
My mainsail currently slides onto the boom via bolt rope, a good arrangement if you're not using a "Mack Pack" style sail cover. The "Mack Pack" style cover sits on top of the boom and has 2" webbing the slides between the boom and the foot of the sail.



The PO had cut slots into in the foot of my mainsail for the 2" webbing, but did not stitch them...bad, bad, bad.



So the question now is, do I just stitch the slots, button hole style, or do I cut out the bolt rope and install slugs. How many out there have slugs at the foot of their mainsail? Are there any drawbacks to using slugs at the foot of the mainsail?



Thanks!

Dave
It seems a lot of people think you are talking about the luff, not the foot....

The simplest solution is to go loose-footed on the main. You don't need a series of slugs along the foot, you just need a good strong slug for the clew. The rest of the foot does not need to be attached to the boom. You will find that configuration makes outhaul adjustments much easier and more effective than captive foot.

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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

just leave the foot unattached and use a slug or a velcro clew strap on the clew only. the stack pack will keep the foot from flapping. at the end of the season have the sailmaker make the sail into a loose footed sail no reason to fight the bolt rope or slugs.
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Re: Mainsail Bolt Rope or Slugs at Boom

There's heavy duty outhaul car already in the boom, would be fun to try the loose foot, but the mack pack (sail cover) relies partially on the foot of the sail for support (image below). I think it'd sag off the boom unless we left quite a bit of tension on the outhaul.


https://c320.org/mediagallery/popup....2200674&sort=0

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