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Loose footed vs. what?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:24 pm
by hectoretc
Greetings all,
My Daysailer was acquired without sails, and being a newbie and budget not allowing me to be choosey, I bought a generic mainsail and jib set, that are fairly close to the right size, but not exact. Once I get a little water under my keel, I'll cough up some $$$ for the right equipment.

I apologize in advance for not using all of the correct nautical terminology. You probably remember from when you started, how confusing all of these new words are...

Anyway, everything I've read about the DaySailer calls for a slot attachment to the boom (feeding the foot of the sail into the slot). Is that called something other than slot foot attachment?

The mainsail I acquired doesn't have a slot setup (on the foot); just attachment points at the tack and the clew which I've figured out from other posts must be what's referred to as Loose Footed. It also has a number of slugs that go into the mast slot which I think I already prefer over what I had expected to be a continuous slot rope feed. The slugs move very easily and raising/lowering the mainsail is fairly quick. Of course having not actually been in the water yet, I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.

So back to the boom, my questions are, other than how it's attached to the boom, what are the functional differences between a slot (is there another word for that attachment method) and a loose footed foot (is that redundant?).
Is one or the other easier to sail?
I guess I'll wait for answers to this before I expand into additional questions.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:26 am
by K.C. Walker
For a cruising sail as opposed to a racing sail, a loose footed main is a little easier and faster to rig than the bolt rope. In use there is very little difference. I prefer the slugs in the sail track rather than a bolt rope. It really makes raising and lowering the main a snap.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:22 am
A couple years ago I crewed on a C&C 115 that had a loose-footed main, so just out of couriosity one time I rigged the DS that way and took 'er for a spin. With the outhaul tight, I didn't notice much difference, but with it loose, the sail really flogged badly. So, I guess maybe sails are cut a particular way for loose footed or not?

I too use the slugs in the luff and love 'em! :D

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:27 am
by GreenLake
Yep, a loose-footed main doesn't have a "shelf". The material is cut to end at the natural curve between tack and clew. A regular main has additional cloth to fill the "gap" between that curve and the straight line of the boom. When you don't support that extra cloth (by not putting the boltrope in the slot) it will may flog (unless the outhaul is tight. As you wrote.

And, no, hector, I can't think right offhand of a term that denotes the opposite of "loose-footed".

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:52 am
by K.C. Walker
I have a custom-made loose footed sail by Z-sails out of Stamford Connecticut. It has a slug for the sail track of the boom and rigs quickly. It actually has a "shelf" in that it has a foot tensioner in the foot hem that works similarly to the leech tensioner. It also has no bolt ropes. With no tension on the foot, in moderate air, set so that it's about 4 inches from the middle of the boom, the foot would hang down and flop about 4 or 5 inches because of the curve of the foot. With the tensioner on it looks more or less like a normal attached sail.

I hope I don't wear out the sail anytime soon because I do like it. It's slightly oversized and has a full top batten as well.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:11 pm
by seandwyer
GreenLake wrote:And, no, hector, I can't think right offhand of a term that denotes the opposite of "loose-footed".

How about "sure-footed? :D

Re: Loose footed vs. what?

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:40 pm
by chas5131
North Sails on the advantages of a loose footed sail. ... +Container