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Old 28-11-2015, 21:57   #1
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Loose foot main

Hey lads and lass.s we were thinking of purchaseing a loose foot main for our catalina 34 was wondering if anyone has this type of sail and would like some input whether good or bad thanks folks cheers...rob

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Old 28-11-2015, 22:25   #2
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Re: Loose foot main

Absolutely the way to go. You'll be able to affect trim better by tightening the foot in high winds, or loosening it in light wind. It makes a big difference. The only downside (that I'm aware of) is that you might have to go a little head to wind to relieve pressure on the outhaul when you need to flatten the sail.

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Old 29-11-2015, 01:59   #3
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Re: Loose foot main

You can power up or flatten sail easily if you have the purchase on outhaul. Ask anyone that races, the way to go to get a little extra speed when needed by adjusting sail draft. Downside is another thing to adjust along with down haul, flating reef, leech line control, backstay tension, haylard tension, etc. But hey that's sailing.

Some say it puts all strain on ends of boom basically two point load where footed sail will distribute sail load across length of boom.

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Old 29-11-2015, 04:22   #4
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pirate Re: Loose foot main

I also read that one shouldn't bother converting a footed sail but no mention as to why. Thoughts? We're not talking racing here.
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Old 29-11-2015, 06:56   #5
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Re: Loose foot main

OK I'll take a stab at this but talk to a sail loft if you have more in-depth questions. Footed sails usually have a little extra cloth at bottom of sail, along with a bolt rope that either slides in a slot in boom or slugs or maybe on a sail track. This part is what making a footed sail into a loose footed sail a little counter-productive. You can have a loft recut this to convert but this may be pricey. However you still can benefit somewhat in having some sail shaping .
Another thing to consider is the age of sail not in how old but how blown out it is. The whole purpose again is ability to reshape the sail.
By the way we converted to loose foot on our gulfstar about 5 years ago when we put a sail pak on. Like very much. I also do Wednesday beer can racing on a Catalina 30 with loose footed main built as loose foot and definitely make a difference.

Happy sailing.

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Old 29-11-2015, 10:07   #6
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Re: Loose foot main

I once had a sail maker on board looking at some stuff. I wasn't broke, but I was sort of "unrich" lol.
When discussing my high mileage mainsail I asked if I could fly it loose footed. He thought a minute and said with my main it couldn't hurt.
I did and was pleasantly surprised to find that the sail actually performed better.
No guarantees though.
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Old 29-11-2015, 10:15   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Loose foot main

We went Loose Footed on our new main and love it for the added trim!
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Old 29-11-2015, 10:44   #8
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Re: Loose foot main

All roller furling mainsails are loose footed, and there are plenty of them around.
It is ideal for downwind sailing, where you can ease the outhaul and get a good belly in the sail, the same as you would with a boomed out jib. (Although not as good as a square sail).
The only thing to think about is the bending moment on the boom, which Gulfstar37 rightly pointed out, is much greater than the uniformly distributed load of a hanked on sail. If the boom bends visibly, you need a stronger boom.
You also need to make sure the outhaul sheave or block is strongly attached to the end of the boom.
If you are not roller furling, when reefing you need a secondary block located along the boom to haul the clew outwards after shortening the luff.
I converted my three booms to loose footed with no problems at all.

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