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Old 13-02-2010, 05:45   #1
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Retrofit to a Square-Top Main?

I travel up and down the east coast of the US each year. Got smacked with a storm just south of Hatteras last year. The mast on on my FP Bahia 46 is 67 feet, so it eliminates the option of the intracoastal along North Carolina. So I did what any conservative sailor would do and took 3 feet off the mast My sailmaker wants to take the 3 feet off the foot of the sail, but I would like to take it off the top and make a square top sail to preserve square footage. Anyone have experience with this? Pictures? Thanks
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Old 13-02-2010, 06:51   #2
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There's a photo in the February 2010 Cruising World of just such a rig on a cat or a tri (I forget which).
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Old 13-02-2010, 08:11   #3
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I think you can do this, however you will probably need battens and it will curve a bit. I cannot tell what it will do to the sailing characteristics- ie it will probably move the center of effort aft and may give you more weather helm.
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Old 13-02-2010, 14:59   #4
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It will definately take a diagonal batten. The main is already fully battened
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Old 13-02-2010, 15:27   #5
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Here's the picture of the Lagoon 620 with the square mainsail:
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Old 13-02-2010, 15:45   #6
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Don't do it.

The diagonal batten is a right pain in the proverbial for the cruising sailor.

Every hoist and stow requires one to climb up and remove attachment so it can be stowed flat in sail bag. In any sort of breeze you need lots of leach loading to keep this sail area working. Try for a little more roach, as you will find there is very little difference in total SA going this route, or a slightly bigger heady for those light wind days. Any small shift in CoE will make very little difference to a cat with your underwater profile.
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Old 14-02-2010, 08:11   #7
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The new Lagoon 421 features a square topped main that added some 35 sq ft of sail area for the same mast height and improved the boat's performance significantly , comparing to the predecessor , the 420. It's true that the diagonal batten can be awkward , and you do have to climb and detach the halyard from the head to stow the sail but I don't think that's such a big inconvenience...
If I had reduced mast height I would opt for the square top main to make up for the lost area
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Old 14-02-2010, 09:07   #8
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Bayview: I am only recutting the main, so adding more roach really isn't feasible at this time. Maybe when It is time for a new main. Lagoon has a system where the head of the sail detaches when you bring it down. I saw the same system on a monohull yesterday at the boat show">Miami Boat Show as they were coming into the marina.

Thank you for you input however!
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