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Old 01-09-2009, 11:11   #1
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Loose-Footed Main for a Cruiser?

I have no experience with them. Will a loose-footed mainsail would blow out the bottom when reefed? Is there any other reason they are unsuitable for cruising (as opposed to racing)?
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:26   #2
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Depends. They're better aerodynamically but in our case I was too creeped out with the idea of a 300 lb., 22' boom over my head just held up by the cringle.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:40   #3
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Dont know any real reason you cant have one. You should have a topping lift anyway. (ref:boom held by cringle) Not sure of any advantage or disadvantage though. Might be a little harder to flatten out well, but in a cruiser, you're not trying to get the last few degrees to weather. Once reefed and tied it would make no difference. There was a movement in cruising sails several years ago to go with Battenless mains to avoid the chafing, sail wear, "caught in stays" issues of battens. Then everyone jumped on the "full batten" bandwagon! People seem to dislike boomed staysails, maybe you should get rid of the boom entirely! ;>)
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:42   #4
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loose footed sail is supposed to be better in light wind conditions, because you can achieve a more aerodynamic shape.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:02   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I have no experience with them. Will a loose-footed mainsail would blow out the bottom when reefed? Is there any other reason they are unsuitable for cruising (as opposed to racing)?
We have used one for 10 years - works just fine.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:09   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Dont know any real reason you cant have one. You should have a topping lift anyway. (ref:boom held by cringle) Not sure of any advantage or disadvantage though. Might be a little harder to flatten out well, but in a cruiser, you're not trying to get the last few degrees to weather. Once reefed and tied it would make no difference. There was a movement in cruising sails several years ago to go with Battenless mains to avoid the chafing, sail wear, "caught in stays" issues of battens. Then everyone jumped on the "full batten" bandwagon! People seem to dislike boomed staysails, maybe you should get rid of the boom entirely! ;>)
Not quite- with the Dutchman system we have, I have to slack the topping lift slightly more than the distance between the boom and my noggin. Your rig may vary.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:20   #7
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Mine is loose footed with no issues.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:32   #8
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was good enough for our 1998 SWAN 48.
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Old 01-09-2009, 15:43   #9
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2ndstar... is that the boat Eric Stone wrote a song about?

"weirdest journey to the second star"

just curious.
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Old 01-09-2009, 16:34   #10
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They work OK but they do have to be built stronger in the clew area (I mean - if you convert, then the clew will have to be reinforced by the sailmaker.

The boom getting free no way - the cringle/grommet is sewn to the clew with webbing too - the boom would only get free if the leech parted (unlikely - there is the leech, the tape and the trimline - too many things to go wrong, and there is either the lift or the kicker in place too).

There are some other benefits, like being able to tie the reef lines round the boom (which on some boats makes it easier to stream the boom with the reefed sail - the boom not being pulled by its side up), or taking the sail off the boom/mast, or avoiding the (stupid) mistake of tying the intermediary reef lines around the boom too tight and then see the sail deform badly or rip the gromet area out.

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Old 02-09-2009, 07:28   #11
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cdennyb,

It's possible, but that would be before I met her.

Carl
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:34   #12
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The main on my boat is loose footed and poses no problem.

Rich

Edit: These are some excerpts from a Q & A on the North Sail site. I recalled having seen it.

Question from reader: What are -

Advantage/disadvantage to slides on boom verses loose footed main. Advantage/disadvantage to regular battons verses 4 full or 2 full battons.
thank you...

Response from North:

28 Jul 2009 01:41 AM Hi,

The advantages of a loose footed main are ease of handling when taking the sail on or off the boom for storage or service and better control of shape in the lower part of the sail. Because the sail is not restricted with attachment to the boom with rope or slides, it may be possible to make the sail deeper with the outhaul control compared to a sail that is attached to the boom with slides.

One advantage of full battens is that the sail will be more durable with no hinge points at the front of shorter leech battens, but having all full battens will increase the weight of the sail. So, if youíre racing in primarily light air, I would suggest a combination of full and short battens as you have mentioned, 1 or 2 full length and 2 or 3 shorter leech battens.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:13   #13
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I agree, my last two new mains were loose-footed and they definitely premit a much better shape in light air (and actually, much more flattening in heavy air, as you do not have to put up with some built-in belly at the foot as the sail ages). The only negative is for cruisers who rely upon collecting rain from the mainsail as part of their water supply (it will not collect at the foot to permit drainage at the gooseneck).

Brad
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:30   #14
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My endeavourcat main is loose footed, when reefed the lower sail is contained in a boom basket and so far has posed no issues. The boom is supported by a fixed boom vang. Manta's use the same rig except they use a rigid boom vang. I'm considering changing to a rigid boom vang to give me better control over sail shape.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:01   #15
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Best of both worlds..Last main I had built, was a loose foot with a shelf.. you get the great adjustments of a loose foot and still dont lose the air out the bottom of the sail.
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