New main sail

Dec 2, 2014
36
hunter 23 atwood
I have a 1987 Hunter 23 and I'm replacing the main sail. It currently has a foot that slides in a channel the whole length of the boom. The sailmaker I'm talking to says that an open foot with slides at the front and rear of the boom is the way to go. Will air escape between the foot and the boom and slow me down? Thanks for any information, Ken
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,012
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
If anything, a loose footed main is more tunable than a bolt rope main. The only concern might be that your mainsheet is near the middle of the boom and loose footed attachments are on either end. It might cause undue stress to the boom. I has come up before but I don't know where it got left off.
 
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Oct 29, 2012
289
Catalina 30 TRBS MkII Milwaukee
No more then the air "escapes" under the boom.
However, good question, you could ask your sailmaker.
Most will tell you a loose footed main trims better, and unless you are looking to collect rain water during a look cruise, there is no advantage to a footed main. Even when reefing...
 
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MikeyJ

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Dec 15, 2018
41
Hunter 23.5 Carlyle Lake
If anything, a loose footed main is more tunable than a bolt rope main. The only concern might be that your mainsheet is near the middle of the boom and loose footed attachments are on either end. It might cause undue stress to the boom. I has come up before but I don't know where it got left off.
That was a concern of mine and I asked that question a while back. With the mid-boom sheeting and not having the sail load spread out, just on the ends is it strong enough. I was assured by many that the boom is strong enough. (ended up purchasing a new loose-footed main, Hunter 23.5)
 
May 25, 2012
3,844
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
a loose footed main is way more powerful. why? because a much larger sq area of the sail can be shaped properly. the bottom 2' of the sail can now have the proper foil shape. also, if part of your sail is mis-shaped then that area becomes drag, reducing the sail's power.

you get a free 5%-10% boost in power. sweet, huh?
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,012
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
That was a concern of mine and I asked that question a while back. With the mid-boom sheeting and not having the sail load spread out, just on the ends is it strong enough. I was assured by many that the boom is strong enough. (ended up purchasing a new loose-footed main, Hunter 23.5)
That's good to know. Did anyone mention how it would handle an accidental gybe? I have visions of a boom folding in the middle :yikes:
 
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Jan 19, 2010
10,002
Hunter 26 Charleston
I switched to a loose footed main on my H26. I LOVE!!!! it. The out haul is now actually a sail controll that I use often instead of only now and again. You have so much more control over the shape of the sail with a loose footed main. And because it is so easy you are more prone to take advantage of that control... EVERY time I point off the wind, I fatten up my sail. Look at my main in my Avatar.

And @captcoho already mentioned reefing but here is why... When you reef, you can now get the reef-point ties under the foot and tie up the baggy sail and get it all nicely rolled up and fit.

DO IT!:beer:
 
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Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,451
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Any sailmaker will tell you that the strain on a mainsail is at the corners. That's why the corners are reinforced. Radial constructed sails allow for this extra strength to be designed with stronger panels radiating out from the corners. Don't sweat it... get the loose foot main. Neither will you lose any power.. you'll actually gain it because that poorly shaped section attached to the boom will be free to behave like a sail.
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,250
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
If anything, a loose footed main is more tunable than a bolt rope main. The only concern might be that your mainsheet is near the middle of the boom and loose footed attachments are on either end. It might cause undue stress to the boom. I has come up before but I don't know where it got left off.
That was a concern of mine and I asked that question a while back. With the mid-boom sheeting and not having the sail load spread out, just on the ends is it strong enough. I was assured by many that the boom is strong enough. (ended up purchasing a new loose-footed main, Hunter 23.5)
That's good to know. Did anyone mention how it would handle an accidental gybe? I have visions of a boom folding in the middle :yikes:
On my Beneteau First 235, there is mid boom sheeting and a loose footed main. I use a Velcro strap on the clew. I have accidentally gibed in 20+ and no, my boom did not fold up. Also, I had a crew member one handed hanging from it as it swung across and his foot hit me in the side of the head. Used to have video of it but, I can't seem to find it anywhere..... Anyway, boats, at least my First 235, are a lot stronger then is thought.
 
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Sep 30, 2016
302
Hunter 23.5 Patoka Lake, IN
Oh, to have new sails! Ive had my 23.5 for four years, and she's probably going up for sail (heh) this summer, so no new sails. But I always wonder how much better she would point to wind if I could properly flatten that main.
 
Sep 24, 2018
1,475
O'Day 25 Chicago
a loose footed main is way more powerful. why? because a much larger sq area of the sail can be shaped properly. the bottom 2' of the sail can now have the proper foil shape. also, if part of your sail is mis-shaped then that area becomes drag, reducing the sail's power.

you get a free 5%-10% boost in power. sweet, huh?
Thanks for such an easy to understand answer! :biggrin: