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Old 28-07-2007, 18:05   #1
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New Sail missing lugs

I attempted to raise my new main today and found that the new sail did not have the same barrell lugs (lugs that slid in to a track on top of the boom) that my old sail had. The new main just has a rope sewn in place where the other main had the barrell lugs.

My sailmakers had visited my boat to take measurements; is this just a simple mistake or different method to attach? Am I missing something?
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Old 28-07-2007, 18:54   #2
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Sounds like they have given you a loose footed main. Most sailmakers seem to do this now. Just use your outhaul tension to adjust the foot. The foot does not attach to the boom except at the clew.
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Old 28-07-2007, 22:33   #3
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Some sails do have a rope guide on the foot that slides into the boom track. Normally, it's covered with sail cloth and sown tight.

BTW Loose-footed sails usually only have a cunningham sown into the foot, much like a jib.
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Old 29-07-2007, 07:13   #4
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Your mainsail has a Boltrope, that's fed into the slot in the mast and/or boom. While it provides you with a maximum aerodynamic performance, because the main is attached to the mast and boom along its whole length, it still has minor disadvantages, that might make you choose slugs or slides for your mainsail. One disadvantage is that once the luff is out of the slot (when you lower the sail) it can fly away with the wind. A second disadvantage (and I think a bit more serious) is that the boltrope will wear off after some time of running it up and down the slot.

See also:
Cruising Sails: Mainsails ~ By Carol Hasse
http://www.porttownsendsails.com/pdf/mainsails.pdf
and:
Planning Your Cruising Sail Inventory ~ Quantum Sails
http://www.quantumsails.com/pdf/Crui...0Inventory.pdf
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Old 29-07-2007, 10:40   #5
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The first picture is an example of a sown in boltrope and what happens to them over time, especially if they don't match up to the boom properly. This is only one reason I went to a loose-footed mainsail.

The second picture is an example of an external boltrope with slugs attached.The problem with these is you'll loose a little down wind performance. With a loose-footed mainsail one tightens up the cunningham to create a shelf effect for down wind.
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Old 29-07-2007, 18:43   #6
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Thanks for the replies. The "boltrope" on my new sail that slides into the track on the boom is too small; it pulls out easily. The "barrel" attachment on my old mail was much more secure.

Since my quote was for a replacement of main sail, should I expect that my sailmaker would make this "right" by adding the barrel lugs at N/C?
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Old 29-07-2007, 23:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubpilot
Thanks for the replies. The "boltrope" on my new sail that slides into the track on the boom is too small; it pulls out easily. The "barrel" attachment on my old mail was much more secure.

Since my quote was for a replacement of main sail, should I expect that my sailmaker would make this "right" by adding the barrel lugs at N/C?
I sure would! Or have him/her replace the boltrope to the right size. Every error that a sailmaker makes on a new purchase should be reworked at N/C until he/she gets it right.

They take the measurement$ for the spec'$ of the rigging. They are suppo$e to get it right!.........................._/)
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Old 30-07-2007, 10:47   #8
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As stated by others above, the mainsail foot can attached with a boltrope, slugs, slides (external or internal), or be loose footed – as in attached only at the tack and clew. How your new sail attaches should have been worked out between you and the sailmaker before the sail was built. If you didn’t agree to a different way, then yes the sailmaker should make it right. If they specified a bolt rope (and you missed that detail) it absolutely should be sized right. Changing to slugs from a bolt rope takes a little recutting so as to not misalign the tack ring/tack pin and clew ring/clew pin; and not make the luff length too long.

For what it’s worth each of the types of sail attachment has advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few basic things to think about:

It doesn’t matter if the attachment is boltrope or hardware, they ALL wear. With rope, the Dacron tape wears. Make sure the track/slot is clean and free of burrs. With hardware, plastic degrades in the sun, wears with movement, and breaks under shock load (flogging while taking a reef). Metal hardware can wear/scratch the mast/boom. As for attaching the hardware to luff/foot, webbing and hand sewing is the best. Plastic shackles fail and again, metal shackles really wear/scratch the mast/boom. I’ve seen far more plastic hardware failures then anything else, so it needs more frequent inspection/replacing.

Offshore cruisers with luff/foot hardware should reinforce with sailcloth sewn at each grommet used to attach the hardware. Nothing makes reefing more exciting then tearing the entire luff out midway through. The first slide/slug above each reef point should be heavier duty; and make sure that the luff reef ring (or dog ears) take loads along the foot. If set to far forward the first slide/slug loads up and things get exciting.

With a boltrope foot, be sure that the foot of the sail has webbing reinforced slit(s) (and in the proper place), for each reef point; so that the leech reef line can pass through the main to dead end at the boom.

The purpose of a cunningham is to adjust luff tension, which you generally want less of downwind. A shelf foot is done by two means, either independently of each other or together. One is by putting a shaped seam that runs from the two corners (tack/clew) to the middle, roughly 1’ above the foot. The second way is by adding a lense shaped light weight cloth “panel” sewn to the foot. When the outhaul is eased the panel takes it lense shape and makes like an end plate along the foot.

Of course there are many other considerations: luff hardware helps keep the main on the boom when dropping it, a loose footed main has less wear at the foot, etc. but why be pedantic…
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Old 31-07-2007, 19:20   #9
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Thanks again for the feedback. The sailmaker said that they had made a mistake and used the boltrope instead of slugs. They installed the slugs and I got the sail back in two days.
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