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Sail question

Dil

.
Jul 13, 2020
38
Hunter 30T Neptune
Recently I purchased a new sail Today I noticed near the head of the sail the leach makes contact with the back stay. This seems like an error to me should the leach be able to make contact with the back stay? Seems like over time the leach will fray
20210731_111545.jpg
 
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Likes: jon hansen
Jan 1, 2006
6,088
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Yeah, sailmakers try to give you a little extra leech up high to create a higher aspect ratio sail which is more efficient in terms of lift/drag ratio. The limitation is the backstay. So they try to get a bit extra which will scrape against the backstay, or get hung up on it causing the crew to have to clear it losing way more time than the increase in efficiency gains.
Fractional rigs are in part free of this problem. As is the B&R rig on the much maligned Hunters (I actually think they were ahead of their time, innovative and well designed).
 
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Likes: jon hansen
May 29, 2018
297
Canel 25 foot Shiogama, japan
Seems like over time the leach will fray

Yep. It will rub very time you tack or gybe.
Also, it looks that it is two batten ends that are making contact.
Sorry to say that I think it needs to be rectified now or repaired later.

Gary
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
May 25, 2012
3,844
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
easy there pilgrim, it is not a problem for how you use your boat. all my mains hit the back stay. gives me more sq ft aloft, which i like. will it fray over time, yepper. then take it in and have it fixed.
every wintwer i have my sails looked at. sometimes they need a little something. sometimes they will add a wear patch.

so to the sailors that do not understand that it is just fine, what about your over lapping jibs? they rub on the shrouds every tack, they rub on the mast every tack, then they rub on the other shrouds on the other side, then they flog till the are tightened up. over time you will have your jibs worked on, over time you will have your main worked on.

your main is fine, your main is cut correctly. over time keep an eye on your main just like your jib. have the loft tweek them as needed. like every 500 days of hard sailing.:cool:
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,250
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
Yep, called roach. A flicker may help. Mine is like that, has been for going on 7 years now. All I have to do is replace some tell tales every once in a while.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,840
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Loosen the backstay. The main or perhaps only purpose of the topping lift is to keep the boom out of the cockpit when not sailing. The sail's leach should support the boom when sailing.

If you keep the topping lift tensioned, then it will be difficult to properly trim the sail and the sail will abrade against the topping lift. With the topping lift loose, it will not be much of a problem. You will have to replace the leach tell tales more frequently, but that's an insignificant expense.
 

BarryL

.
May 21, 2004
834
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409 Mt. Sinai, NY
Hello,

As mentioned, its common to have the leach of the main rub against the backstay.
A few points to consider:
In your picture the main is on the wrong side of the backstay. The main will rub against the back stay but should cross the back stay with each tack. If the main doesn’t cross over the back stay then ease the sheet or lower the traveler until the sail crosses the back stay and then trim in. The wear on the sail should be minimal.
The extra sail area does make the boat more efficient and faster.

Barry
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,919
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
My new North Sail main also makes contact with my topping lift. I loosen my topping lift once the sail is up.

Am thinking about a boom kicker or a rigid vang and ditch the topping lift…or boom gallows!

Greg
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,840
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
My new North Sail main also makes contact with my topping lift. I loosen my topping lift once the sail is up.

Am thinking about a boom kicker or a rigid vang and ditch the topping lift…or boom gallows!

Greg
The rigid vang is a nice addition, it will eliminate the need for a topping lift and reduces main halyard slap since the halyard doubles as the topping lift when not sailing.
 
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Likes: FastOlson

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,452
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Funny, but I didn't see any reference to a topping lift on this poster's boat. He specifically said backstay. Loosening the backstay on every tack is not my idea of efficient sailing.

Hard to tell in the picture, but if the top two battens are full length (common feature of mainsails cut with larger roach) you might go with a softer, more flexible version, or even convert back to partial battens. I'd try softer first.

Other than that.... don't worry about it... just being aware of it will cause you to check after each turn to make sure the sail's clear. Lifting the boom momentarily will help clear it also. A sailcloth patch sewn to the area of contact may discourage chafing. Anyhoo.......good luck, have fun.
 
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Jan 7, 2011
2,919
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
@Joe is right…after looking at the original post, the sail is in contact with the backstay, not the topping lift.

Such great comments, but all about the wrong issue!

Sorry @Dil.

Greg
 
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Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,452
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Follow up to my previous comment.... It looks like you have all full length battens on your mainsail... Sorry to tell you this but that feature will magnify the backstay interference problem. Whoever sold you that sail did you no favors. If you have partial battens on the lower two, or three, it will allow the sail to "pop" its "belly" through much easier when you change sides bringing the top battens with them more efficiently. As it is now you have a very stiff shaped mainsail. One thing you can do now is to remove most if not all of the tension on the battens... which will allow them to move more easily in their pockets when the wind flips over... That's what I did on my Nacra 5.2 beach cat...(10 full length battens) Even without a backstay, the sail would often resist popping over if there was a lot of camber forced in with tight battens.

In short. Loosen or shorten the battens .
 

PaulK

.
Dec 1, 2009
802
Sabre 402 Southport, CT
Loosening the backstay may let the battens pass. What about tightening the backstay, so as to make the mast bend more and pull the battens forward? When our battens get hung up on the backstay we give the backstay a whack, and they part company. To be competitive, we need all the sail area we can get, so we don't complain about having a hefty roach. We whack the backstay.
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
Oct 19, 2017
6,941
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
I don't like the battens catching on the backstay. I wouldn't address the problem by loosening the backstay either. I can't tell from your picture if you're a fractional or masthead rig, but loosening the backstay will mean no mast pre-bend. Look at your rake. If you can add a little more rake, tighten the backstay to add more mast bend, and even haul down on a Cunningham, you may be able to find yourself more clearance.

Yes, it is common for the leach of a full batten sail to brush the backstay. It is a problem to catch the battens on it though.

-Will
 
Aug 2, 2010
441
J-Boat J/88 Cobourg
Both of my standard mains will hang up if the backstay is on at all as the top batten will stay inverted. The best techniques we have found are to drop the traveler all the way just prior to the tack or loosen the back stay prior to the tack. We have a flicker as well.
Aggravating at times but the extra roach is great to have.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,840
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Funny, but I didn't see any reference to a topping lift on this poster's boat. He specifically said backstay. Loosening the backstay on every tack is not my idea of efficient sailing.

Hard to tell in the picture, but if the top two battens are full length (common feature of mainsails cut with larger roach) you might go with a softer, more flexible version, or even convert back to partial battens. I'd try softer first.

Other than that.... don't worry about it... just being aware of it will cause you to check after each turn to make sure the sail's clear. Lifting the boom momentarily will help clear it also. A sailcloth patch sewn to the area of contact may discourage chafing. Anyhoo.......good luck, have fun.
Good catch! I did think it was odd to have a split topping lift. :facepalm:
 
Jan 13, 2009
362
J Boat 92 78 Sandusky
I have a flicker, dyneema backstay and double ended backstay controls in the cockpit. My Vangmaster rigid vang keeps the boom up and is infinitely adjustable. No topping lift to hang up on the battens or get in the way.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,115
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Supporting @Joe's observations, the sail was mis-designed for your rig.

Not being there when you ordered it or hearing the discussion with the sail maker, it is hard to say was it the buyer or the maker that Opps'ed.

The boat rig with a backstay does not play well with a full upper leach. The full upper leach is often a part of a High Aspect sail design to optimize the use of the wind in the top third of the sail. Often the wind further away from the water surface is outside the boundary disturbance of the water surface. It is a smoother less disturbed breeze. Optimizing this air is one of the reasons you see what is called a "Fat Head" main. Better at dealing with the drag vortex of the top of the sail when boats do not have a backstay.

That is not the rig design of the OP's boat.

  1. Best action would be to contact the sail maker and get it fixed.
  2. Next best action is to sail it and be prepared to repair the area of chafe where the leach contacts the backstay.
  3. Add chafe protection to the top section of the sail. This also adds weight so a compromise decision.
 
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Likes: Ward H