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Mainsail, Loose / Fixed foot?

Jun 18, 2018
2
1989 Hunter 28 28 Rickey Point Sail Club
Has anyone have sailed a Hunter 28 with a loose footed sail. I'm told it will provide better shape and performance.
Thoughts???
 
Aug 2, 2010
411
J-Boat J/88 Cobourg
You should be able to get more draft in the lower portion of the sail if it is loose footed for sure. When you need more power in light winds this will be great thing.
 
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Likes: jon hansen
Dec 25, 2000
4,871
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Has anyone have sailed a Hunter 28 with a loose footed sail. I'm told it will provide better shape and performance.
Thoughts???
Sort of like, which side of the bed do I like to get up on? Might be worth your while to spend some time over on the, "Sail Trim With Don Guillette", forum. He is pretty knowledgable about your question. Also lots of information about it in the archives.

We enjoyed our H28 for three years. Nice boat, but never tried converting the fix foot to loose. Just enjoyed being out on the water cove hopping.
 
Oct 22, 2014
14,712
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
If more options on main sail trimming is your goal then by all means go Foot Loose

When lowering your MainSail you’ll find a lazy jack system a nice helper.

On the other hand, if you use the foot as a back rest and like the way it captures the MainSail when lowering.
 
Mar 23, 2020
11
Hunter 30G Nanaimo
Go loose footed. I have measured and installed sails on over 100 boats when supporting a large international sailmaker. I think I only installed one footed mainsail and that was only on the insistence of the owner. On large boats the out haul car can be questionable, but this is easily solved with a spectra/Velcro strap through the clew and around the boom. Won’t be an issue on your boat
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,483
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I went to a loose foot on my O’Day 322 and I really like it.

way better sail shape in the lower part of the sail.

Greg
 
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Likes: jssailem
Jun 5, 2010
1,030
Hunter 25 0 Burlington NJ
Go loose footed. I have measured and installed sails on over 100 boats when supporting a large international sailmaker. I think I only installed one footed mainsail and that was only on the insistence of the owner. On large boats the out haul car can be questionable, but this is easily solved with a spectra/Velcro strap through the clew and around the boom. Won’t be an issue on your boat
You would have had two such footed mainsails had I been your other customer ;)
 
Oct 22, 2014
14,712
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
you won't have any other way to keep the sail on the boat!
I think I understand your intentions.

My experience is that you can get up on the cabin and secure the sail to the boom. Such a skill is not easy and has some inherent risks. I was able to point the boat into the wind. Drop the sail, wrangle the sail in folds, secure the sail with sail ties to the boom.

The results were messy but the sail never hit the water and while secured to the boom I covered the sail with the main sail cover.

While this can be done: lazy jacks, Dutchman, sail packs, or in mast Furlers make the task much easier and perhaps safer for the skipper and crew.
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,668
Hunter 26 Charleston
I don’t have a problem dropping my sail. The reef line for the clew is run to the end of the boom and the tack reef line is also run into the cockpit. I always “reef” my sail before I drop it. That keeps the bulk of the sail right at the boom.
 
Jun 5, 2010
1,030
Hunter 25 0 Burlington NJ
i like the idea of reefing it first - actually drawing it down & cinching the reef points, then furling the rest on top - because when singlehanding it is (should be!) easy to do; and when next you set sail it’s already reefed in case you’re leaving in gnarly weather (always sensible to presume). If you don’t need the reef it is (should be!) easier to shake one out once you’re moving again than to hoist a full sail and then at once have to pull it down to put in a reef.

Keeping with my die-hard philosophy of ‘Prudent pessimism is the mark of a responsible yacht skipper’, the best form of weather prediction is to presume it’s always going to be bad. Assuming anything else is illogical and irresponsible - and dangerous. Therefore rig your boat to work well in the worst conditions; in better conditions doing anything will feel like a cakewalk.
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,758
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Wouldn't tightening the outhaul be sufficient for dropping a loose footed main? Do they still work with a Dutchman system? I have a fixed footed main and Dutchman and I like the setup.
 
Jul 26, 2009
241
. . .
Our boat came to us with a fixed footed main in generally good condition. We used those sails for a few seasons and they seemed fine at the time. We finally ordered new sails including a loose footed main and I would not go back to a fixed foot. Unrelated to the benefit of new vs. old sail material re: performance, the loose footed main allows better sail control, it's easier to 'read' the main sail shape/twist and in my experience, both reefing and flaking the sail is better since the loose foot allows one to control the sail material across the boom's length during flaking and tying up a reef.
 
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Likes: rgranger