Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Loose Footed Main"
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Post: "Loose Footed Main"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Aaron Norlund


I've seen mains that were cut with slugs for the foot go loose, but it never seems to make a pretty picture. The shape of the very bottom of a sail usually differs a bit between slugged, laced, roped or loose feet as they all have a slightly different pull on the material. If the outhaul is kept fairly tight, it's not too noticeable, but when you try to bag the main in light air, you get an odd curve at the lower section of the sail near the deepest part of the draft without that foot support. This could likely be adjusted by a sail maker, though it's one of the reasons foot ropes (and all of the modern descendants) are used.

I suggest you fly it loose-footed on a light day and experiment with your outhaul, boom vang and cunningham (if you have one rigged) to see how they affect it. I say light air because an unexpected crease from a loose foot in much wind could tweak, or even tare the sail, much like having too much tension come up on a reefing nettle.

I prefer to have an open foot, but not loose. A foot rope through grommets every 8-12" is my favorite, with slugs second. Closed/laced feet suck.

Best of luck to you and yours,
Aaron N.

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