Originally Posted by Canada_Dan
OK, so I need to get a mast track, is there anyway I could buy one and install it on a DIY mast like mine? Also, why does that sail need to be tight to the mast?
The shape of the sail is what makes it propel the boat. Like an airplane wing the "curve of the sail creates lift
Look at some pictures of spinnakers - the spinnaker
has both the luff (windward edge) and leech (leward edge) loose. It is a big bag that catches the wind
going downwind and works good.
Now look at a few pictures af sailboats beating (going to windward - usually indicated by the boat leaning over real good and the sails
trimmed in "tight"
The better and more aerodynamic the shape is the closer towards the wind
you can point the boat effectively.
Big square riggers did not go to windward well. This is important because going to windward is all about tacking back and forth - making zig zags. If I can point to 20 degrees into the wind and you can only point to 45 or 50 I will make way towards the destination
way, way, way faster than you.
So one control you will have to shape the sail is the outhaul
pulling the clew out and making the bottom of the sail flat - for now remember that going upwind flat is fast (there are a lot of nuances) - The second is the main sheet. The main sheet pulls the boom in from the side but as it approaches center it pulls more down on the boom. The flattens the aft end of the sail and takes curve out - (closes the leach) and aerdynamically helps aim the air back or in complex sails
across the boat so I can point ever higher towards the wind.
boats can get to 8 degrees or less. My knockabout does 20-25. You should see similar maybe a bit worse - keel
shape and other things matter too.
So if the luff is loose the only thing that can take the curve out of the front of the sail is halyard tension. No matter how hard you pull the halyard you will not get the luff flat and you will never go to windward easily.
A picture of the luff edge of you main sail would give folks an idea of how the main sail was supposed to be rigged. Someone suggest rings around the mast - I don't disagree but there should be eyelets to tie to along the sail.
You may not necessarily need a sail track because your sail has to be designed to match whatever you get.
It is quite possible the rigger/builder decided that a loose luff can work
and accepted that windward performance would be terrible.
If you are going to fix this up I think we would all like to help you create a rig that makes the sail versatile (a few adjustments to maximize performance) and is easy to rig.
Google dinghies and look at some single
sail dinghies and I think you will not find any with a loose luff.
BTW - I will echo others - the hull looks nice - I assume you have the dagger board?
Also - I may be counter to others - I have seen the gooseneck (how the boom attaches to the mast) arrangement you have on small dinghies - it is not ideal but it can work
fine. In your case it looks like someone let the boom go way too far forward and that twisted and damaged the d-ring.
What I haven't talked about and am curious to see is the mainsheet arrangement. You talked about the ring and hoseclamp arrangement and that is clearly something that is not right and needs to be fixed.
Most (all?) mainsheets usually involve a block and tacke arrangement attached to the centerline of the boat (or a moving "traveller) and the other end to the boom. The block and tackle allows you to overcome the wind forces pushing the boom out. I didn't see that in any of your photos.