Report on switching to open footed main this season
After reading quite a bit over the off season about loose footed mains, I talked to my sail guy and rigger about whether or not my clew eyelet was reinforced enough to just pull the sail out of the slot on the boom or not. They gave me the go-ahead, so I did it just before my first sail of the season a couple of weeks ago.
So far it all seems positive. I like the shape of the sail better, and while I'm no great judge of these things, it seems as though she points a little better upwind. I'll keep an eye on everything as the season goes on, but so far I like it.
One other thing, unrelated to going loose footed, since she did this before: on a broad reach today I noticed again her tendency to want to come up into the wind in any wind with a full main and 130 genoa. I mostly singlehand, and so might be guilty of not tending to sail trim as much as I should.
When she did it to me today we were moving pretty good (GPS showed 5.5-6mph over the ground), and out of sheer frustration I just kept letting out the main until the weather helm went away. The boom was over the side pretty far, and the top of the main was resting against the spreaders (but not pressing hard, just lying on them), and the leech was just fine, no flogging or even a sign of it. The telltales on the edge of the main were mostly streaming straight back.
So, judging by the look and behavior of the sail, she was right where she wanted to be. Is that all I should really be concerned with?
One other other thing: the telltales on the main. I can read the jib's, but what should I look for on the main? What does it mean when they curl back around on the other side of the sail, as opposed to streaming straight back? What else can they tell me about the flow of air over it and what I should do?
S/V Free Spirit
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