OK, I have a stupid question. Or, as you'll see, a series of stupid questions. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm the (hopeful) new owner of an Irwin
25' sailboat (IRWIN 25 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
). The boat is in decent shape, but needs a new main sail. I'm looking to get into sailing on a water budget
(not even a beer budget
on the beer
to champaigne budget rating system), and so I'm trying to find decent used mainsails. According the the Sailboatdata web site, the luff is 29.5', and the foot is 11'. It looks to me like a "standard" Catalina
27 sail should work (CATALINA 27 sailboat on sailboatdata.com
), and that even the tall masted Catalina
should work (CATALINA 27 TM sailboat on sailboatdata.com
). Is that right?
No, that wasn't the stupid question. Here it is: What happens when the foot or the luff is bigger than specified for my boat? For example, if the luff was 28?, and the foot was 12'? Obviously, I'd be able to hoist the 28' luff without a problem, since the mast
is set up for a 29.5' (I assume the sail wouldn't go all the way to the top of the mast
, defeating some of its purpose, but otherwise not really impacting things much). But what about the extra long foot? I mean, it can't exactly stick out the bottom of the boom! So, to phrase my question another way, the specifications are ideals and "not to exceed" dimensions, right? Significantly smaller sails
would reduce the total sail area and slow the boat down, but as far as potentially changing the location of stress points along the boom or mast, it would essentially be the the same as a reefed main, right?
I do understand that I could have bigger sails cut down, assuming things like battens don't get in the way. But that seems counter-productive when looking for an inexpensive sail.