FB Mainsail

stretch33

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20 Jan 2002
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Essex
The boat l've just bought has a brand new unused FB main, when l took it out of the bag l found it was designed to be loose footed, is this normal. I've never played with FB mains before so how does it all go together. l'm used to the short battens with the foot in a track along the boom. There is also another FB main and this has a more traditional foot. Bamboozled !
 

Chris_Stannard

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11 Jan 2002
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Cowes. Isle of Wight
There was a fashion, a few years back, for Sigma 33s to have loose footed mainsails, and they seemed to give no particular problems. One of the advantages was that they recovered the spinaker through the slot between the main and boom.
If the makers name is still on it, which I guess it is, ask him. He might even be able to put a new foot in if you do not like it like that without it costing a fortune. If not try Ratsey & Lapthorn at Cowes or Kemps at Wareham. They are usually pretty obligin

Chris Stannard
 
S

Skyva_2

Guest
The loose foot just makes it easier to alter the outhaul (assuming you will have one). Ease off when off the wind, flatten the sail when upwind or in strong winds. We have FB main but rarely alter outhaul unless racing seriously, ie not very often. Its a very effective sail but needs control with kicker / traveller rather than mainsheet.

Make sure the battens are not over tight in the pockets, they go 'S' shaped in light airs. Also ensure the batten fastenings are secure, tape them down if necessary, nothing worse than seeing a top batten come loose....

Keith
 

oldsaltoz

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4 Jul 2001
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Australia, East coast.
G’day stretch33.
Just rig the main as normal, you will find a fully battened main has more power in some conditions because it will hold a better shape in light air etc.
Use the outhaul to control the tension on the foot of the main; depending on the cut of the main you may well find it is a big improvement.

Avaniceweekend Old Salt Oz……
 

billmacfarlane

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16 May 2001
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Brighton
I've got the same set up. I was a bit sceptical at first but it's a first class system now I've got the hang of it. Do you have a clew outhaul ? That's the rope that attaches to the clew of the sail and ideally should come back to the cockpit so you can tweak at your leisure. You can control the curve of the mainsail by slackening/tightening the clew outhaul.
 

DoctorD

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21 Feb 2002
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Hertfordshire
These really work well - I too have a Fully battened loose footed main and it enables you to get excellent sail shape.

Graham
 

dave_gibsea

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12 Feb 2002
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SW London
I sail a National 12 dinghy as well as my Gib'sea. National 12's have been using loose foot mains for years - they give you a lot of power off wind when you ease the outhaul, pull it tight upwind to flatten the sail - works a treat! You may want to screw a good load-bearing track on the boom to attach the clew. It needs to be long enough to allow a reasonable level of adjustment. I would suggest 18inches. The track/car must be able to move when under load. I intend to go this way when I replace my main in the near future.
 

claymore

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18 Jun 2001
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In the far North
It's all been said below about setting and powering and all correct. The added dimension of this post is that FB mains are great for dropping into boom attached sailbags or stacpacs.
The only disadvantage I've met with my FB main is a tendency to snag on the lazyjacks if I'm hoisting it and dear heart just takes us to one side of Head to Wind.
This leads to smacked botties so its not all bad!
John S
 

Trevor_swfyc

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19 Jan 2002
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Crouch
Strange to have two different types was the boat used for racing?
I am no sail expert but would imagine that in strong winds upwind that the loose fitting sail would not match the tracked sail. Also in light winds the loose fitted sail would win especially downwind.
Also in strong winds would the loose sail not put all the leverage on the end of the boom rather than spread the load.
What about lowering the sail is the loose sail more difficult than the tracked sail due to more to flap about.
I think in the end you would find by experience which suited your sailing best clearly the previous owner preferred the tracked sail?
All I can say is get it up and try it.
Perhaps we require some input from the racing fraternity.
Interresting Post
All the best
Trevor
 

stretch33

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Joined
20 Jan 2002
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180
Location
Essex
Thanks for the replies, l believe the previous owner had the chance of the sail and snapped it up. Does it all flake down okay, l have lazy jacks and am curious as to how it'll come down. From all the posts it sounds like its ok and l look forward to giving it a whirl. Incidently she is a steady cruising boat MG design.33 LOA and she'll sink nicely in the EC mud
 
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