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Old 07-12-2018, 16:19   #1
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Loose footed main or attached

...I just canít pull the trigger...

Weíll be coastal Atlantic, Keys, Tortugas, Cuba, Bahamas... maybe down to VI...3 to 5 day passages max.

Irwin 43 MkII with 120 genny and (currently) attached main - and both need replacing.

Iím stuck - canít decide loose footed main or attached.

Thoughts? Thanks
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Old 07-12-2018, 16:21   #2
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Iíve had both and love the shape of Lf but am worried to change my current setuonfor fear of ripping the single slug out of the boom track. Iíve put it off until it becomes more of a priority.
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Old 07-12-2018, 16:31   #3
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Quote:
Originally Posted by malyea View Post
...I just canít pull the trigger...

Weíll be coastal Atlantic, Keys, Tortugas, Cuba, Bahamas... maybe down to VI...3 to 5 day passages max.

Irwin 43 MkII with 120 genny and (currently) attached main - and both need replacing.

Iím stuck - canít decide loose footed main or attached.

Thoughts? Thanks
We switched years ago. Yes, the clew end of the sail is a failure point. We had a small Harken car there on a track and it failed. I removed the car and tied a piece of spectra through the clew ring and around the boom to hold the clew. It is simple and bullet proof.
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Old 07-12-2018, 16:36   #4
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

You need a serious outhaul set-up for a loose foot. I have 3:1 to a winch on the mast and the whole set-up is at max when trimming the sail.
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Old 07-12-2018, 18:30   #5
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

I like the sail shape from a loose footed main.
Mine is a strong preference, I would not be considering the older sail slug along the foot design.
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Old 07-12-2018, 19:59   #6
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

With modern sail materials loose footed is the way to go. Less things to wear and better shape.
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Old 08-12-2018, 00:20   #7
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Loose-footed.

If the slug/track is a failure point, you can make yourself a dyneema strop for a few bucks. Or just use a sail tie. That's what virtually all race boats do these days and I have never heard of a failure.

As we know from lasers, the less the friction the better.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:24   #8
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

As most here have already suggested loose footed is the way to go. My boat originally came with the mail set in a sail track on the boom. But when it came time to replace the main I was advised by the sail maker, just as you've heard here that a loose foot makes for a much better shape and low wind performance.
When you do this you will abandon the sail track completely, you don't use any cars or slugs in the sail track. As Ecos stated you will install an outhaul system. My boat is only 28 ft. so I don't need a winch but if you lead the outhaul back to the cockpit you can use any winch on your cabin top. Essentially you put an eye strap at the very end of one side of boom, or you may already have an anchor point built into the boom. Your outhaul line starts there and passes through the clew of the sail and then down to a block on the other side of the boom and is lead to subsequent fairleads and blocks to wherever you want to adjust if from. That needs to be either the front of the boom or the cockpit so you can get to it when you want to make the adjustments. Anyway it makes significant sailing difference. It's not hard to do.
Fair winds,
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:32   #9
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Use a clew strap. I've used them on a number of boats with zero problems. VERY reliable and easy to adjust. Heck, TP 40s use a clew strap.


And FWIW, the slides on an attached foot really hold only a tiny portion of the load. It's always been >90% at the clew.



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Old 08-12-2018, 10:42   #10
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Instead of a sail track is there room to get something more substantial in the boom track? This is our slide all be it for inmast reefing.

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Old 08-12-2018, 10:53   #11
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Loose footed for me too!
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:20   #12
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Our Outremer is loose footed, the main load at the clew is taken by a heavy piece of webbing lashed with dyneema. It works well . On our PDQ 36 we have a shelf shaped approximately to the desired sail shape . It is made of a much lighter material. In theory this helps capture drive ,( hard to measure ) in practice it makes lowering the main tidier
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:39   #13
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecos View Post
You need a serious outhaul set-up for a loose foot. I have 3:1 to a winch on the mast and the whole set-up is at max when trimming the sail.
Hmmm, I am not sure this is correct. My experience is that the loads on a clew-only outhaul car and a mainsail with the foot in an extrusion (or using slugs, I don't think it's that different) are highly concentrated on the clew, since that is where the leech tension is focussed. Pulling a series of slugs (or a footrope) along the boom adds friction that the loose footed main doesn't have.

I think the respondents to this question have identified to key attributes: the clew attachment has to be extremely strong since it's opposing the mainsheet and boom vang loads (or I guess you could say that it's opposing the leech load), and it should be low friction so that it can be adjusted under load. Ideally, I suppose, you'd have a compact Harken traveler car with Torlon bearings. In my most recent boat, I had a small Schaefer genoa car on a T-track that used a plastic liner to reduce the load. It was adjustable in all wind conditions using the internal 6:1 tackle in the boom.

The Spectra (HMPE) loop to ensure that the clew and boom stay in close proximity is an excellent idea, and if it's attached with Velcro, you can use it for the first and second reef clews as well. This requires several turns of HMPE webbing and lots of Velcro. Or you can use some 3/8" HMPE and a soft shackle that's sized for your boom.

Cheers,

Chuck
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:12   #14
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

Quote:
Originally Posted by malyea View Post
...I just canít pull the trigger...

Weíll be coastal Atlantic, Keys, Tortugas, Cuba, Bahamas... maybe down to VI...3 to 5 day passages max.

Irwin 43 MkII with 120 genny and (currently) attached main - and both need replacing.

Iím stuck - canít decide loose footed main or attached.

Thoughts? Thanks
When I replaced mine on a Nor'sea 27, I went with loose-footed and fully battened ...love it and is very quiet.
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Old 08-12-2018, 14:07   #15
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Re: Loose footed main or attached

When we bought out boat in Seattle, we took the time and asked Carol Hasse to measure it for a future set of cruising sails. [After having the rig tuned by Brion Toss— who's rigging loft is next door (Brion also performed our pre-purchase rigging survey...) Both of these icons are highly recommended for those of you that have the opportunity...]

Carol convinced me that loose-footed was the only way to go on the main and mizzen sails for many of the reasons others here have already mentioned.

I'm taking her word for it...

FWIW

Cheers! Bill
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