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Old 03-11-2008, 20:05   #1
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Slides or rope?

Track or slot? The boom I am using has a track and the mast has a slide channel. I have to change that boom out this winter and find or make a main that is a better fit for the boat. The current sail is canvas, so the replacing is not an option!
If you were making your own rig, what would you have for a main? Loose footed? Boom track? Mast slides or rope? 2 reefing levels. What options would be most wanted in a new sail?
Boom, wide flat light board or a semi round heavier piece? On the boom, is it better to route half of the slot in two pieces and then epoxy them together, or use a solid piece and route the slot in one pass?
Sorry, but I am fixing and building most things myself, so I have lots and lots of questions to ask!
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:12   #2
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You may be interested in our earlier discussions about “Loose footed main sails” at:
Loose footed main sails
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:31   #3
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Aloha Runner,
I've seen booms made many different ways so you just kind of pick whatever way works best for you. I assume you are doing it yourself out of wood. Do you have access to "Complete Amateur Boat Building" by Michael Verney? It shows and explains how to. They use two pieces glued together after the groove is cut. If you want to use a solid piece, I've seen router bits that might just do it for you if your bolt rope is not too thick.
It would be good to know what size boat you are making spars for.

Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 04-11-2008, 23:16   #4
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Mate, loose footed is the way to go. Easier, quicker and better sail shapes.

Mast wise I'd go slugs (slides). A full bolt rope can be trickier to get up and down especially if you have full length battens. Also if you have boltrope you have to pack your main away (roll it up sort of thing) when you drop it. With slugs you can drop the halyard and it will come down but still be attached at on the mast so you only have to pile it up on the boom after.

With slugs it can be packed away 'later' as opposed to boltrope which means if there is any wind the sail is flying around like a mad man attached at the clew and tack only, it's not good. If you need to drop it in a hurry and while short handed believe me when I say slugs are far superior.

I currently have a full batten boltrope main and it's bloody great when in use but a pain to get up and if I have to drop it in a hurry it's even worse. I short handed often, usually only me, and packing it away is a arse and takes time. If I had to drop it in an emergency and do something else fast at the same time i.e a man overboard, I'd have a real issue on my hands.

So I'm strongly voting for slugs/slides and a loose foot.
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Old 05-11-2008, 11:59   #5
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I now realize that you are working on a Puffer and the mainsail would work just as GMac says with loosefooted. It would save you a lot of work when you rebuild your boom.
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Old 05-11-2008, 14:43   #6
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I have a 16 foot aluminum boat with canvas sails that needs sails made for it if I ever get the bottom repaired. I have the Puffer that needs a main. The Puffer was rope and rope. Now it is rope luff and a track with clips sewn to the foot of the sail for the boom track.
Seems like the track provides pretty good support for the boom. Going loose footed might be too much for that kind of track unless the outhaul also had a webbing or something around the boom itself. A wooden slot with a slug for the clew is easiest for me, but I have a boom here where a slug pulled out of the wood slot I wonder if that method is strong enough for a loose footed sail without having the same kind of support around the boom. Admittedly, the Puffer doesn't need super strength parts, but I am trying to learn as I go.
Slides for the mast are not a problem, but if I do that I will sew the rope in anyway and then sew the slides on around it. I guess I should not say that until after I read the Sailmakers Apprentice. I ordered it today. Learning to make 15 foot sails properly would seem to be a good place to start.
The Puffer's purpose is for me to learn on. A boat that is easy to transport, set up, single hand, and to stand back up when it gets knocked down while I am in it single handed. It is a nice little boat that two guys can lift and put in the back of a truck if needed. Rigging it alone with no way to pin the bottom of the mast except a tab and a place it fits in can be a lot of fun. No problem with the pinned mast on the 16 foot boat. It isn't self bailing or going to be easy to stand back up alone tho. I expect it to be my primary fishing weekend boat next summer hopefully, but it isn't the best learner boat. It is for after I stop needing to stand the boat back up every few minutes!
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