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Old 08-06-2008, 23:54   #1
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Foam Luff - Good Stuff ?

I would love to hear from people with experience with a foam filled luff on the headsail. I am having sails made and considering this feature. Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:09   #2
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We have a tri-radial cut genoa with a foam luff. It works and would do the same again.

Only downside is they can be prone to grow green algae or mildew if damp and furled unused for long periods. During the winter, for instance, we always remove ours which is not needed as normal practice here for others - no big deal, just something to watch for, in case.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:17   #3
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Not exactly an answer to your question but my sailmaker convinced me to use a rope filled luff rather than foam - it seemed to make sense.
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:02   #4
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I had foam luff pads added to my 110% genoa after a passage to Bermuda from the States. We were in some pretty intense squalls, and the gennie couldn't be rolled up very far at all without creating a baggy shape. Of course, that didn't help at all.

With the pads installed, I've been able to roll it in to any position, and it stays flat. My favorite sail plan for 35-45 kts is triple reefed main, full staysail, and the gennie just overlapping the staysail stay. The gennie adds power to the rig, helping to punch through choppy waves.

Luff pads are great!
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:02   #5
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Hud, I agree with your assessment totally - although, as Wotname points out, some sailmakers are recommending rope instead of foam to accomoplish the same thing. I have no personal experience with the rope luffs, but have used foam luffs for 10 years with terrific results.

The only furling sail that I have that does not use a foam luff is a 9.5 oz. staysail/storm jib that should never require furling more than 20% (and which accordingly, my sailmaker advised would not require the same).

Brad
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:06   #6
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Luff Pads definitely help maintain headsail shape when reefing.

I always had Foam luff pads, which worked well (150% genoa to about 115-120%) , depending upon wind strength.

Were I buying now, I would consider RopeLuff polypropylene pads; which wonít mildew or compress.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:01   #7
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Gord,
I'm glad you said "help" maintain sail shape instead of just maintain sail shape.
The luff pads Are an improvement but if you understand sail-shape, you'll find there is No way to create a smaller sail by making a sail smaller.
Sounds like a load of crap, but the shape of a 150%, furled down to 90% is not a 90% sail. they are a different sail in cut and shape and not just size.
The reasoning in bringing this up is that when having a sail made, determine what sizes carefully when ordering. Compairing a 150% furler to a 135% furler.
The 135% when furled to 100% will have a better shape or closer to the 100% design than the 150% rolled down to 100%. not saying the foam luff isn't a great idea but you have to work within sail deminsions and sizes to get what you want.
On our boat, because its cutter rigged, I've chosen a 135% as the max on the forward furler, this can be rolled down to a 90% or a 100% and still hold a fair shape, and on the stay-sail, I have 3 different and seperate sails from a storm jib to a full 100%.
On the outside, it would be impossible to furl down a 150% to 60% and still have the design and shape of a 60% sail...
My experance comes from over 30 years of racing and as a hobby I build custom sails.....
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
Gord,
I'm glad you said "help" maintain sail shape instead of just maintain sail shape...
...the shape of a 150%, furled down to 90% is not a 90% sail. they are a different sail in cut and shape and not just size.
The reasoning in bringing this up is that when having a sail made, determine what sizes carefully when ordering. Compairing a 150% furler to a 135% furler.
The 135% when furled to 100% will have a better shape or closer to the 100% design than the 150% rolled down to 100%. sails ...
I agree, and note that I only estimated that my 150% genoa would be effective reefed down to about 120% (or 115 at best), which corresponds with your suggested 135% reefed to 100% (both are about 24-30% reduction).

The foam luff 150% replaced a 135% without luff pad, which I blew out in the Storm of the Century (1993). The padless 135% effectively reefed to about 105%, as I recall.

Note: All my reefed size percentages are approximations.
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Old 09-06-2008, 13:02   #9
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Thanks all, I am also meeting with my sailmaker this week and I want to get his opinion as well. Being somewhat new to sailing (<2 years) I like to hear as many sides of the story as I can.

Hud do you have running baskstays?
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Old 09-06-2008, 13:30   #10
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No, my boat doesn't have running backstays.
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Old 09-06-2008, 14:03   #11
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I am tempted to run the staysail/headsail combination but I have read that with that setup a boat should be rigged with running backstays, my boat is, I believe to be, fairly well built but I am concerned about how much stress this puts on my single aft stay. I have a 49' mast thats 7/8 fractional rigged. She is 34 ft with a 24 ft water line and when I reef deeply she won't lean over and I can't get her to windward. I think adding a little head sail in strong winds will help steady the boat and help drive through the chop a little better as well as giving a little heel to lengthen the water line which should also help. Opinions? How much sail combo will a single backstay handle and will adding a little up front help handle chop a little better?
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Old 09-06-2008, 15:20   #12
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I'm not qualified to give you advice on rigging a staysail, but here's some info about my setup.

The Island Packet boats are designed as masthead rigs with staysails, and no runners. My staysail represents about 15% of the total sail area (129 sq ft out of 885 sq ft). This is on a 12 ton boat, 38' LOD, 32' LWL, 54' mast height. The staysail stay attaches to the mast about 4-5' above the spreaders.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:10   #13
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I had foam luff pads added to my 110% genoa after a passage to Bermuda from the States. We were in some pretty intense squalls, and the gennie couldn't be rolled up very far at all without creating a baggy shape. Of course, that didn't help at all.

With the pads installed, I've been able to roll it in to any position, and it stays flat. My favorite sail plan for 35-45 kts is triple reefed main, full staysail, and the gennie just overlapping the staysail stay. The gennie adds power to the rig, helping to punch through choppy waves.

Luff pads are great!
Luff Pads - Technically Speaking - I don't get it.

Does anybody have a picture of these things, I'm in the market for a used jib sail (Luff = 40-41 , Ft.= 12 - 16) and I need one that will furl well.

I've heard of these foam luffs but don't understand the technical aspects.
A. How they work
B. Where exactly is this "foam" located on the sail itself - Leading edge ?etc. etc.

I assume the foam intorduces some amount of stretch (making the sail shape better???) as the sail is rolled up???

Help me understand.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:17   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlefoot View Post
Luff Pads - Technically Speaking - I don't get it.

Does anybody have a picture of these things, I'm in the market for a used jib sail (Luff = 40-41 , Ft.= 12 - 16) and I need one that will furl well.

I've heard of these foam luffs but don't understand the technical aspects.
A. How they work
B. Where exactly is this "foam" located on the sail itself - Leading edge ?etc. etc.

I assume the foam intorduces some amount of stretch (making the sail shape better???) as the sail is rolled up???

Help me understand.
Some sailmakers put about an 8 inch pad of foam, mostly in the mid part on the luff, the pad tapers towards the head and the tack so it is smaller at the ends. This takes up the slack in the middle when you furl to reef. Some others put strips of foam along the luff, more strips in the middle than at the head and the tack. Same result.

Here's the technical explanation.
http://www.neilprydesails.com/pdfs/b...oam%20luff.pdf
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:24   #15
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From North Sails:
Rope Luff is an ingenious solution to old challenge of preserving proper shape in your
roller furling jib when it is partially furled. A tapered bundle of polypropylene ropes are placed inside a sleeve attached just behind the jibís luff tape, progressively reducing depth in the middle of the sail as itís furled.
Compared to foam luff pads, RopeLuff is lighter, does not absorb water, is mildew resistant and is much easier to install.
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