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Old 05-03-2015, 13:58   #1
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Boltrope in Luff

My sailmaker has recommended a sewn boltrope aft of the luff of my headsail to allow a cleaner reefing set on my 135 genoa with a Harken furler. He said that you can get a clean, efficient sail shape when reefing up to 30% of the sail giving you an effective 100% reefed foretraingle with a clean set. After 30%, the sail will begin to cup and looses efficiency as is always my experience. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Is it worth the money($350.)?
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:05   #2
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Re: Boltrope in Luff

Wow,
A Forum dedicated to sailing and sailboats and no one knows anything about sails and sail construction? I wonder if I should try to post this on RV Forum?
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:43   #3
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Re: Boltrope in Luff

The rope is a filler to take some of the bag out of the sail when it is reefed. Foam is also used but it is subject to deterioration and compression when reefed under tension. Both will work to make for a better setting sail when roller reefed.
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:25   #4
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Re: Boltrope in Luff

If your previous sails have had nothing to improve their furled shape, and you are particular about it, you may find you're quite happy with the rope. I'm hoping this will be a new sail? If it's a dacron sail, and already all stretched, I would not apply it (nothing can help a baggy sail but re-cutting, and then the fabric's still too used to ever hold shape well), but wait till I got the new sail made, and try the rope solution. Ours have the foam padding; fwiw, and it works better than no padding, and we have not tried the rope.

Roverhi's boat's about the size of yours, perhaps he's writing from experience, which would add validation to his opinion.
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:47   #5
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Re: Boltrope in Luff

I assume your sailmaker is talking about adding a fluffer, or padding, or whatever they call it these days, that is widest in the middle of the luff tapering to the foot and head. It makes the furl sort of torpedo shaped, taking up some of the bag of the sail as you furl it.

It works marginally well in a cruising sail. A small improvement in performance, but not a whole lot. If you're close hauled in +20 knots it may help you point a degree or two higher.
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Old 06-03-2015, 14:29   #6
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Re: Boltrope in Luff

I hate rope there.

I like foam foam there.

;-)

I found foam create finer furling and fewer wrinkles in the sail.

Ask your sailmaker what he thinks of a foam pad.

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Old 06-03-2015, 20:12   #7
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Re: Boltrope in Luff

We have had a furling sail with rope padding, but there were three separate ropes involved: longest near the luff, intermediate an inch or so further out and the shortest one yet another inch or so away from the luff. This arrangement is similar to the crescent shaped foam pads used mostly these days, and it worked well enough. It's hard to make meaningful comparisons due to the differences in sail designs other than the type of padding.

But, in my experience the padding, whatever nature it may be, will improve the sail shape when partly rolled up. It does nothing for the additional turbulence generated by the bulk of the rolled sail at the leading edge of the sail.

Jim
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:00   #8
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Re: Boltrope in Luff

Thanks to all of the above respondents for their comments. I had previously requested the foam luff to my sailmaker but he suggested the bolt ropes( as Jim uses). My sailmaker says that he doesn't like the foam unless specifically requested by a customer due to deterioration and compression issues (as Rover said), but prefers the rope for a cleaner/symmetrical set. In lieu of building a smaller genoa, say, 100-110% for heavy air sailing, I thought this would be worth a try for $350. until a smaller sail will be a necessity. I still prefer the hanked on sails of my previous boat that could be finely tuned to the conditons but without a dedicated deck ape to do the sail changing, I won't be crawling on a rolling and pitching deck again. Any further comments or suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:40   #9
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Re: Boltrope in Luff

We have foam and I cannot see any compression nor deterioration issues. This sail is 10 y.o. I think maybe there is a foam and then there is a foam.

I would guess any rope sewn onto the sail in its fore portion may/will affect the flow. Foam is flat.

Beware of building one sail to fit all sizes: many sailmakers will tend then to chose the cloth that will match the mid-size conditions and some may elect to use one grade heavier cloth "just to make sure the sail will last". This is a no and no approach as one ends up with a big and heavy sail and as we know big heavy sails are bad sails. Small sails can be heavy. Big sails should be light. (There are also small light sails that get use when it is very light and rolly/choppy, etc)

Get a relatively small, relatively mid-weight sail that will furl perfectly down to about 50%. Then fly a light wind genoa from the spinnaker halyard on the light days.

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