Author Topic: loose footed main  (Read 1232 times)

Offline mayrel

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loose footed main
« on: June 22, 2015, 05:20:29 PM »
I've read what I could find on this site about converting to a loose footed main on the CP19; it was suggested somebody open up a new topic for discussion.  One CP23 owner added a slug and beefed up out haul to the stock main and reported significant improvement in sail shape/control.  I'm not an experienced sailor so I'm learning how to sail my CP19.  If converting the existing stock main to a loose foot is worth the effort, I'd like to give it a try.  I was also wondering if a boom vang is needed on this boat?  I have the boom down and tied at the mast base.  But I noticed in heavier winds the boom was trying to raise up on a broad reach.  I think a boom vang would control this, right?
One owner claims a mainsheet travler is the solution.  If any of you have comments/advice and photos of your setup I would appreciate it very much.  For example, if you install a traveler, where exactly is it attached to the boom and in the cockpit?  Same with the loose footed conversion; do you need a main cut specifically for this or can you convert the existing main sail?  Early thanks...John

Offline Lafayette Bruce

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 05:51:11 PM »
I can't speak to converting to a loose footed main but when I got my new main from National I purchased it as loose footed and really like it.  Provides more power in light wind conditions.
I would also recommend a vang to help control the curvature of the main and to keep the boom down when on a broad reach or running.
Lafayette Bruce
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Offline mattman

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2015, 07:58:31 PM »
What problem are you solving by going loose footed? On your boat, use of the vang on an upwind leg holds the leach shape when you sheet out in a puff, effectively creating the same sail shape as a traveler. Best of luck.

Offline Lafayette Bruce

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015, 05:21:18 PM »
If  you have a bolt rope in the boom slot the sail can only get so short along the foot before the sail starts to bunch up and jam in the slot.  With loose footed you can bring the clew in further providing more curve and power to the sail.
Lafayette Bruce
Lafayette Bruce

Offline brackish

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015, 05:56:01 PM »
For the last year I've been using my bolt rope main as a loose footed.  It already had a leech/foot slug and I just left the rope out of the slot and added an adjustment block set.  Seems to work better but that is probably somewhat subjective.  However when I do change mains I'm going loose footed. 

A traveler on a rig that has an end boom sheet attachment doesn't do much in my view and it will not take the place of a vang which is primarily to eliminate the boom lift when on a broad reach or run.  Mid boom sheeting with a bridge deck traveler might be somewhat better but I think you still need the vang.  The boom and sail shape can become pretty unruly in a rolling, following sea which is what you generally have when running.

Offline mattman

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015, 06:26:07 PM »
Bruce, a well designed sail should have no problem moving forward to induce draft for shifting down. I have a loose footed now and see little difference. For those of you considering here is an article from FXsails.
http://www.fxsails.com/article_loosefoot.php
http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/loose-footed-mains-2595.html
the second one discussing larger boats - if you do a search there is a ton written with a host of opinions...again my best advice is to talk with several sailmakers, and have a well known loft build sails for the conditions that you sail in. My best to you all.

Offline mayrel

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2015, 08:10:44 AM »
Seems discussing most any idea when it comes to boats boils down to individual taste, needs and ability, not only of the sailor, but the boat.  I try to stick to the original design and live with the way the boat is outfitted.  I have made some minor changes to genoa sheet cleating, but overall have left our CP19 as produced/designed.  The loose footed sail just seemed to simplify handling, the sail adjustment function doesn't seem to be a marked improvement...again, back to individual opinion/experience/sailing conditions.

Offline skip1930

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2015, 07:24:06 AM »
Loose footed. More curve for the main sail? ... hummm why didn't the boat designer think of that?
Doesn't that kind of take the main and turn it into a down wind shoot type sail? Like another light wind headsail lapper?

I don't know. What are the advantages for tacking the sail to a boom with a rope-in-a-slot? There must be a few.

My penguin was loose footed.

skip.





Offline Craig

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 08:15:00 AM »
From what I have learned, loose footed sails are slightly more efficient because the sail can take a more natural set(like a jib) and the range of adjustment with an efficient set is slightly greater as commented on above. A lot of serious racers have gone loose footed for those reasons. For the cruiser(or those caught in a squall), water is not trapped in the pocket between the sail and the boom. A negative(sort of) is that there is no pocket to furl the sail into so some type of sail retention gear (Lazy jacks, stack pack, etc) is needed. If your boat is a little under-canvassed, the loose foot may help a little. Unfortunately just using your bolt rope main loose footed may not make much difference since the sail is not cut or stressed for that configuration. Still, it is probably worth trying. If you do, you may, and I emphasize MAY, experience some stretching since the sail was designed to be supported along the foot by the slotted bolt rope
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL

Offline Ted

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2016, 04:14:38 PM »
This is an old thread, but...

Yesterday I sailed over at the Indian River by Cocoa - put in at Lee Werner park. Winds were about 15 knots coming out of the north with some gusting. We wanted to sail upwind so that when it was time to come home it would be easy with the wind at our backs. With the full main, there was a little too much sail out, so I loose-footed at the first reef point to try it out. The genoa was about 2/3rds out and I had a full crew (4 of us in the 19).

The loose footed main offers the advantage of being able to spill some wind if you want to. We were able to keep the heel pretty mellow considering the conditions (my crew weren't too excited about life at 30 degrees. Overall, I would say we were sailing slower than I typically would, but we were enjoying the time a bit more.
"Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - The Water Rat

Offline Craig Weis

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2016, 10:15:15 AM »
You can try the loose footed main.
The main is actually pretty small on the CP-19 and in my opinion pushing the hull past calculated hull speed  [5.7 knots? I forget what it actually is]  hardly ever happens unless your surfing down the waves.

Craig.

Offline Damsel19

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2017, 03:55:40 AM »
Just had the main in for repairs and new grommets, and I asked the sail maker about leaving the bolt rope out of the slot. He saw no down side and suggested I try it. He said if the bolt rope seams to cause an odd set to bring it back and they would take it off. That converting was no big deal. But structurally the sail doesn't care. So I haven't been out yet, but on other boats I have sailed, I always liked the loose foot if only because they are easier to handle and reef.

Offline Potcake boy

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Re: loose footed main
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2017, 05:08:49 PM »
Simply stated, a loose foot allows easing the outhaul to achieve any cord depth you desire, whereas the bolt rope foot is limited by it's cut. The skirt will only allow so much depth. Anyone familiar with the "Park Avenue" booms on the J class AC boats? That was their technology for getting a deeper cord because the foot had no skirt. Don't forget one important aspect, full battens. Combined with a loose foot these will provide a more uniform sail shape. As I remember, it also made outhaul adjustment easier. I had Dirk at National build a full batten loose footed main for my 19, and was very pleased with the performance, though I never raced that boat. I did have the sail cut a little flatter than the original as I now had more latitude of adjustment. I'm sure you all know that a baggy sail just doesn't go to windward for stink.

Yes, a mid boom traveler or a vang is also very useful for achieving a good shape, and helps avoiding a nasty jibe in a rough sea going DDW. The traveler is more effective at closer sheeting angles where as a vang works better off the wind, so it's not a bad thing to have both.

My 23 PH just doesn't care. It's a smallish main on a cruising boat so trim and shape just aren't critical, and that's part of the beauty. I pay more attention to the jib trim and shape.

My Corsair trimaran was standard with a lose foot and full battens, so I tend to believe they would be a performance enhancement on most sloop rigs.

I never roll my main, always flake it, easy to do with full battens.
Ron
Pilot House 23 - GladRags
Punta Gorda Florida

A mouse around the house - but much hotter on the water