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Old 18-05-2017, 15:16   #16
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Re: Why are headsails generally cut so that the foot abrades on the lifelines?

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Originally Posted by KetoNomad View Post
Out of all the boats I've been on or otherwise seen in action (mostly on YouTube) all but one had a headsail whose foot actually cleared the lifelines. Is that because the sail shape is generally optimized for beating? The one boat I saw with the high foot was RAN Sailing's boat and they seem to do mostly downwind travel.

How much of a diff does it make while beating to have the foot high enough to clear the lifelines?
You actually make the critical connection in your description. It is the RAN vessel that has the sight lines under.
Especially important for sail training vessels, it is critical to keep the sight line open. The instructor has a lot to look out for, so should not be further hindered. They are the ones responsible, even if they posted a lookout who failed to notify them.
Also had to change headsail at dusk to ensure we had improved vision if at all concerned. It really makes a cutter rig valuable.
Whilst a lot of commercial operators are under pressure from their customers, some of these old fashioned but b... obvious safety issues are not observed.
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Old 18-05-2017, 16:07   #17
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Re: Why are headsails generally cut so that the foot abrades on the lifelines?

Maybe the question should be rephrased? Why are lifelines built so that they chafe against the sails?
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Old 18-05-2017, 16:48   #18
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Re: Why are headsails generally cut so that the foot abrades on the lifelines?

Or why have lifelines at all?
The more you close the gap between the foot of the headsail and the deck, the higher the boat can point. Latitude 38 had a good article some time back in Max Ebb: "Minding the Gap."
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Old 19-05-2017, 02:36   #19
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Re: Why are headsails generally cut so that the foot abrades on the lifelines?

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Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
When I converted my boat from racing to cruising I changed from single Genoas to cutter rig with high cut Jib and lower (but not deck level) staysail. The interesting thing was that in all but the lightest air the boat went faster! I think that often we see arrangements on race boats and assume they are 'go faster' but often it is for better handicap ratings. If it slows the boat but gets you a much better rating you win!!! A classic for that is the 150% genoas, in the 70's they where the in thing, sail like a barn door but the rating rule only measured the size of the for etryangle, anything past the mast didn't count.
I had a similar experience.

I added a 95% blade jib, with high cut clew, to my sail inventory for upwind work in stronger conditions.

I was amazed to find that it gives as much (or more) drive than the 120% yankee even in light wind, so long as the wind is ahead of the beam.

I now use the larger headsail only downwind in light conditions, and I could probably do without it altogether, if I had a cruising code zero or some other dedicated light air sail.
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Old 19-05-2017, 04:23   #20
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Re: Why are headsails generally cut so that the foot abrades on the lifelines?

I've done a lot of racing on boats with laminate deck sweepers. One of the bowman's jobs is to be ever vigilant about the need to "skirt" the sail--dash forward and lift the leech up and over the stanchions so it can be sheeted in hard when beating. Have seen a few torn sails when the grinder goes at it, head down, and the skirt didn't happen.

My boat came with a low-cut 135 that was on the furler when I took delivery. It was a fairly new North sail and I left it on for a year. What a PITA it was. Could not see under it, was a b!tch to tack or furl, and couldn't point with it for beans. I ended up taking it off and putting on a yankee that was in the inventory. Lost a bit of speed on a beat off the wind but going hard to windward, with the staysail up, it's a better sail and is certainly easier to manage single-handed in all conditions.
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Old 19-05-2017, 10:49   #21
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Re: Why are headsails generally cut so that the foot abrades on the lifelines?

Why are lifelines built so that they chafe against the sails?

These here aren't:

http://photos.mostsailboats.org/1981...30_30604_5.jpg
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Old 19-05-2017, 15:46   #22
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Re: Why are headsails generally cut so that the foot abrades on the lifelines?

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Why are lifelines built so that they chafe against the sails?

(...)
Bingo. Very well asked.

Cheers,
barnakiel
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