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Mainsail not reaching top of mast

JAC1

.
Aug 28, 2019
12
Sirius 21 Pioneer Valley Yacht Club
Hi all! I recently purchased a Sirius 21. It has the original sail, and I noticed that even with the boom at the highest position, the main sail does not reach the top of the mast (it's about a foot or two off). Is this normal for this boat, or does it's 40 year old age have something to do with it?

Also, I noticed that sailboatdata.com and the original manual do not have the same sail dimensions. Which is more accurate? I'm attaching both.

Oh, if anyone wants a copy of the manual, I scanned it and can make it available to you!
 

Attachments

Oct 22, 2014
15,722
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
If your boat is sailing to "race regulations" and the Sailboat Data is correct (you may need to check with the original class sail plan rules) then P: 22.00 ft / 6.71 is the length of your luff.

What is the length of the Mainsail's luff? There are many reasons for a short sail on a "new to you" boat.
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Mainsails usually don’t go all the way to the top on boats of that era, particularly when there’s a backstay. On many boats, there’s a 8” - 12” or bigger gap at the top, so that the headboard can pass by the backstay.

The only way to know the “right” dimension for the mainsail luff is to measure the rig. Whatever fits best is the right dimension to use. It really doesn’t matter what it says on paper.

Judy B
 
  • Helpful
Likes: jssailem
May 24, 2004
6,746
CC 30 South Florida
Yes the fact that it is 40 years old could have something to do with it. The older the boat the more modifications it could have endured. Each PO will put his/hers own personal touch to it. Back then also, production standards relied a mostly on what components were available on hand at the time of each boat's build thus the fixtures and components may vary from boat to boat even if they are the same model.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,722
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
The older the boat the more modifications it could have endured. Each PO will put his/hers own personal touch to it.
This can include buying a “slightly used” sail designed for another boat. It mostly fits. It was in my budget. I can take the boat out on the water, go for a Sail, and drink some beer. All is good, I own a boat.
 
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JAC1

.
Aug 28, 2019
12
Sirius 21 Pioneer Valley Yacht Club
If your boat is sailing to "race regulations" and the Sailboat Data is correct (you may need to check with the original class sail plan rules) then P: 22.00 ft / 6.71 is the length of your luff.

What is the length of the Mainsail's luff? There are many reasons for a short sail on a "new to you" boat.
Good to know. Realized I cut off the bottom of the image, here's the full image... (also, I thought P was the mainsail luff length, sorry, new to sailing!)
 

Attachments

JAC1

.
Aug 28, 2019
12
Sirius 21 Pioneer Valley Yacht Club
Mainsails usually don’t go all the way to the top on boats of that era, particularly when there’s a backstay. On many boats, there’s a 8” - 12” or bigger gap at the top, so that the headboard can pass by the backstay.

The only way to know the “right” dimension for the mainsail luff is to measure the rig. Whatever fits best is the right dimension to use. It really doesn’t matter what it says on paper.

Judy B
This is all very helpful, thank-you! So if I were to get a new mainsail, I shouldn't worry about the headboard passing by the backstay if I get one that goes to the top?
 

JAC1

.
Aug 28, 2019
12
Sirius 21 Pioneer Valley Yacht Club
Yes the fact that it is 40 years old could have something to do with it. The older the boat the more modifications it could have endured. Each PO will put his/hers own personal touch to it. Back then also, production standards relied a mostly on what components were available on hand at the time of each boat's build thus the fixtures and components may vary from boat to boat even if they are the same model.
That makes sense, thank-you!
 

JAC1

.
Aug 28, 2019
12
Sirius 21 Pioneer Valley Yacht Club
This can include buying a “slightly used” sail designed for another boat. It mostly fits. It was in my budget. I can take the boat out on the water, go for a Sail, and drink some beer. All is good, I own a boat.
I'm adopting this attitude, thank-you!
 
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Apr 5, 2009
1,548
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
...What is the length of the Mainsail's luff? There are many reasons for a short sail on a "new to you" boat.
On my C30 the original factory mainsail, P is 12" short and E is 6" short. I also noticed that the original reef patch had been removed and two new reefs installed. On closer examination, I found that the two panels adjacent the removed reef patch were narrower than the rest of the panels by a total of 12" :facepalm:
It appears that when the boat (and sail) were still fairly young, one of the PO's forgot to untie the reef points when shaking out a reef and tore the sail in two horizontally at the reef. Rather than replace the sail, he had it sewn back together and recut the bottom few feet, added a new clew and two new reefs.
Moral of the story, I never tie in the mid-sail reef points. More harm than good.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,722
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I'm adopting this attitude, thank-you!
With a "new attitude" comes responsibility... Many years ago, in a place far far away, I went out for a sail. It was a beautiful day. The sun shown on the water, but the wind was weak. So my friend and I sipped a beer.... or two. As we enjoyed the afternoon the clouds started to form and a sea breeze blew in over the sand strip that separated the bay from the ocean. So we drained the beer and set the sails. In the freshening breeze we headed down bay. We sailed first on a reach that was fun. The wind continued to strengthen and we started hiking out on the side. Soon it felt like we were flying. The wind filled sail straining. We looked up. We were running out of room in the bay. We flipped the boat around and now we were reaching in the opposite direction. 2 guys hanging on to the lines leaning out over the water struggling to hold the boat on that edge between out of control and flying... It was magic. Time felt like it stopped.

Only it had not. It was getting dark and we were 5 miles from our dock. No problem we got the wind in our sails...

Till we didn't. Was it fate. I have no idea. I looked at my watch as we neared out marina. Damn if it was not 2 hours after I had scheduled a dinner date with a girl friend.

She would be "pi....un-happy". Oh no... she will understand the perfect wind, the sails, the beer, the sunshine... not!

Be careful. Not everyone understands the experience of sailing with the wind straining the sails.
 
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