Mainsail Question

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  • December 08, 2014 3:10 PM
    Message # 3166470

    Hi everyone - I just purchased a new loose-footed, full-batten mainsail.  When it was installed I noted that the end of the top batten clips the backstay as it passes through.

      In addition when the outhaul is pulled tight there is about 8" of material that extends below the boom in the middle of the sail.  The sailmaker claims this is normal and will benefit me when I need a fuller sail shape.  

    This is the first time I've seen a mainsail cut like this.  The foot of the mainsail on my previous boat (also loose-footed & full-batten) ran parallel to the boom.

    Thoughts, comments?

    -- Tim

  • December 09, 2014 10:20 AM
    Reply # 3166957 on 3166470

    Hi Tim , my thoughts are , clips the Back stay ? What is the Topping lift doing ? I have sailed on a loose footed mainsail boat , it was a Olson 30 race boat . I think I remember that at the center of the foot  hung a little below the boom . I'm no expert on sail cuts , hopefully someone who is will comment as I'm interested in this .  Mark .

    Last modified: December 09, 2014 6:20 PM | Anonymous member
  • December 09, 2014 4:12 PM
    Reply # 3167145 on 3166470

    Hi Mark -- The mainsail is fully raised so the topping lift is loose.  The roach of this sail is pretty full.  That's why the small protrusion of the batten pocket is clipping the backstay as it swings through.  In the end, I guess I can always put a sacrificial covering on it to reduce the chaffing. 

    The question that remains is what about the excess fabric in the middle of the foot.  Is this normal?

  • December 09, 2014 8:08 PM
    Reply # 3167311 on 3166470

    Tim, who is the sailmaker and does your boat have a boomkin ....?

  • December 10, 2014 10:55 AM
    Reply # 3167856 on 3166470

    Hi Gary - My vessel does have a boomkin, and I purchased this sail from UK Sails in Alameda.

  • December 10, 2014 12:33 PM
    Reply # 3167916 on 3166470

    Since your rig is standard it seems they might have put a bit too much roach in your sail.. if it were me in your position I would be asking the sail maker to please make it so that does not happen....assuming the batten is all the way in and correctly attached...

    Last modified: December 10, 2014 12:35 PM | Anonymous member
  • December 10, 2014 3:50 PM
    Reply # 3168020 on 3166470

    Apparently it is common for racing sails to have a large roach that extends beyond the backstay.  If necessary I can live with that problem.  What I really need advice on is the excess material gathered in the middle of the loose foot.  Does anyone know if this is something I should eliminate or just ignore?

    -- Tim

  • December 11, 2014 10:55 AM
    Reply # 3168490 on 3166470

    Before we go too far - I want to make sure that everyone knows that I'm happy with my sailmaker - UK Sails in Alameda.  The actual sail looks great. Its well made and has all the features I asked for. What's more, I was told they guarantee their work and are willing to recut the sail at any time.

    What I'm looking for is a second opinion from the group on whether the issues I mentioned in the earlier postings are something I should change or if they are beneficial.

    Thanks -- Tim

  • December 12, 2014 7:22 AM
    Reply # 3169140 on 3166470
    Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Is your boat near Alameda - as Pygmalion has a slip in alameda marina.  - maybe some one is close to take a look... 


  • December 13, 2014 6:25 PM
    Reply # 3169896 on 3166470


    I don't think it's good for the roach to clip the backstay. It's too large and should be corrected. This happens on some racing boats, but it's a fine tradeoff for them. On a cruising boat, where you want your sail to last 10+ yrs, that clipping will destroy the upper quadrant. Another consideration here is that that roach will likely work against you with weather helm. Not sure you're going to get much more of a close-haul sail point due to it, which is part of the point of a full roach with a strong top batten.

    As for the loose foot - are you saying that when you have the outhaul hauled taut that the belly of the luff is not pulled taut? This is, to me, the most important aspect of adjusting the outhaul - to be able to flatten the sail. If the sail is loos footed, you should be able to haul the car out with a couple inches to spare and have a pretty flat sail. If your sail has a "pocket" in the loos foot, then there would probably be a fair amount of material remaining. Photos would be helpful.

    We have a loose foot and it's great.


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