Main sail in or out of boom track?

Captain Crisp

Active member
Joined
1 Mar 2015
Messages
335
Visit site
Hi, I have an old boom into whose track I slide my main sail and lazy cover. It takes ages to get it in and causes much swearing. I've read that I may get a better sail shape if I leave the main out of the boom track - is that worth trying? The main looks designed to go in the track, so don't know if this is wise or not....
Thanks
Crisp

Only pic I can find...

c1_20240506_16503581.jpeg
 

Fr J Hackett

Well-known member
Joined
26 Dec 2001
Messages
64,621
Location
Saou
Visit site
You will not be able to use your stack pack if you don't slide it in with the foot rope of the main. A loose footed main will be cut differently to your current sail which is not to say it won't work after a fashion.
 

Refueler

Well-known member
Joined
13 Sep 2008
Messages
18,510
Location
Far away from hooray henrys
Visit site
2 things I personally dislike ...

1. Lazy covers that are in the boom track as well ....
2. Loose footed mainsails.

I know and appreciate that many like both and I accept I am in a likely minority for my view on this.

OK - leaving sail out of track ... I would assume then that the sail foot would then be along the side of the boom due to it being cut to be in the boom track. Its not cut correct for loose foot ...
It could actually lose shape when set ...
 

alahol2

Well-known member
Joined
22 Apr 2004
Messages
5,792
Location
Portchester, Solent
www.troppo.co.uk
When I went loose footed main a couple of years ago I had to sew a bolt rope into the stack pack so that it could still run in the boom slot. Much easier to fit now.
A loose footed main needs a slide into the boom at the clew, not sure if you could get away with just lashing it round the boom?
 

Sandy

Well-known member
Joined
31 Aug 2011
Messages
21,066
Location
On the Celtic Fringe
duckduckgo.com
You will not be able to use your stack pack if you don't slide it in with the foot rope of the main. A loose footed main will be cut differently to your current sail which is not to say it won't work after a fashion.
There are other ways of attaching the stack pack.

I've had my sail changed over the winter from a roped foot, and yes the OP is quite correct there is a lot of bad language when you fit it, to just an attachment that runs to the end of the boom slot. I'll be able to use the outhaul properly from now on rather than adjusting it once or twice a year.
 

Captain Crisp

Active member
Joined
1 Mar 2015
Messages
335
Visit site
Looks like I'll be sliding and swearing again then...

Is there any known good technique for getting the main+lazy cover into the boom track? Was thinking I might disattach the goose neck then suspend the boom by the topping lift and spinnaker halyard... Or something...
 

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
19,836
Location
Southminster, essex
Visit site
If you are prepared to go to the bother, then there is a much better way to fit the stack pack cover.
Buy the track that caravan people use for awnings & pop rivet a length each side of the boom . Slit the existing cover down the middle & fit 2 new bolt ropes. Slide these in the awning tracks. The mainsail can now run in the track or be loose fitted as required.
One of my mainsails is 1/3 fitted to the boom. That is best as I can lower it. Take the slides from the mast & whilst it is laying between the 2 sides of the covers I can put sail ties around it. Then I can easily withdraw it into its sausage sailbag, which I lay on the foredeck. I can do this with the covers in place so the sail does not flop all over the deck. I like the !/3 solution as it allows me to free the clew off when saling but still keeps it retained close to the boom unlike a loose foot.
Somebody suggested that one might hit their head & cause an injury but that is b..x as if one is going to hit one's head with the boom then it will hurt anyway. One needs to teach crew to duck & to learn how NOT to do accidental gybes.
awning track
 
Last edited:

MoodySabre

Well-known member
Joined
24 Oct 2006
Messages
16,992
Location
Bradwell and Leigh-on-Sea
Visit site
I have the same Crusader set up. Swearing seems part of the process. It is easier if you get some of the sail in the track first and then feed in the stackpack. If someone takes a bit of the weight of the sale it is easyish to slide the stackpack along.
 

Stemar

Well-known member
Joined
12 Sep 2001
Messages
22,949
Location
Home - Southampton, Boat - Gosport
Visit site
The boom slot on Jissel was too narrow for the usual method of running the stack pack under the bolt rope, so I sewed a small bolt rope into the stack pack and went loose footed. A small webbing strap went through the clew cringle and round the boom to take the strain, and I beefed up the outhaul to keep the foot tensioned. It made no noticeable difference to performance under sail, and may have been better in light airs as I had more control over the shape.
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
41,266
Visit site
Keep up the annual swearing game until you need (or can afford) a new mainsail and stackpack. Things have moved on since that basic design. Photos show the loose footed mainsail.stackpack arrangement from Kemps. Not particularly new - they made similar for my Eventide in 2012!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20220930_140059.jpg
    IMG_20220930_140059.jpg
    1,005.3 KB · Views: 23
  • IMG_20230429_173950_1.jpg
    IMG_20230429_173950_1.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 23
  • IMG_0788.jpg
    IMG_0788.jpg
    16.6 KB · Views: 23
Last edited:

Daverw

Well-known member
Joined
2 Nov 2016
Messages
2,728
Location
Humber
Visit site
We’ve just gone loose footed, run a length of 10mm down the track with a bit of sika to hold it in, could have stitched but did not think of that first
 

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
19,836
Location
Southminster, essex
Visit site
We’ve just gone loose footed, run a length of 10mm down the track with a bit of sika to hold it in, could have stitched but did not think of that first
So how do you intend to get the cover out of the track at the end of each season, or to repair it at any time?
Presumably you do not have the clew fitted with a slider in the track otherwise you would not get the sail off. Or can you detach the slider from the sail easily.
 

Daverw

Well-known member
Joined
2 Nov 2016
Messages
2,728
Location
Humber
Visit site
Slider stays in track with clew on shackle as fitted by sailmaker, stack pack can still slide out just with rope inside.seam. Sika not in boom track just pack seam

We sail all year round so don’t take them off very often
 

mrangry

Active member
Joined
12 Jun 2007
Messages
889
Location
Clyde
Visit site
I have this same dilemma on a beneteau 440 and am just going to try running with the main loose footed to see how it goes. As I understand it the fact that the main is cut to run in the slot the sail shape may be poor
 

LittleSister

Well-known member
Joined
12 Nov 2007
Messages
17,980
Location
Me Norfolk/Suffolk border - Boat Deben & Southwold
Visit site
An idea (I've not done this myself - yet!) - spray or wipe some non-staining silicon lubricant between the track and the lazy pack. This will (at least in theory) reduce the friction you have to overcome to drag the lazy pack and bolt rope together along the track, assuming that is the problem.

This could be done either (or both) by
1) using a rag or some suitable brush to first clean out any debris and salt from inside the track, and then to wipe the inside of the track with lubricant; and/or
2) wiping or spraying the lubricant on the narrow central band of the outside (lower side) of the lazy pack where it sits in the track.

If the problem is feeding the two parts together into the track while their end is is pulled along, then an assistant would probably be the greatest help, but if alone rigging up some contrivance to give both sail and pack a fair lead into the track is probably the best you can do.
 
Last edited:

Daydream believer

Well-known member
Joined
6 Oct 2012
Messages
19,836
Location
Southminster, essex
Visit site
An idea (I've not done this myself - yet!) - spray or wipe some non-staining silicon lubricant between the track and the lazy pack. This will (at least in theory) reduce the friction you have to overcome to drag the lazy pack and bolt rope together along the track, assuming that is the problem.

This could be done either (or both) by
1) using a rag or some suitable brush to first clean out any debris and salt from inside the track, and then to wipe the inside of the track with lubricant; and/or
2) wiping or spraying the lubricant on the narrow central band of the outside (lower side) of the lazy pack where it sits in the track.

If the problem is feeding the two parts together into the track while their end is is pulled along, then an assistant would probably be the greatest help, but if alone rigging up some contrivance to give both sail and pack a fair lead into the track is probably the best you can do.
Surely much of the problem is moving the weight of the mainsail along the boom in line with the stack pack. Also one half of the stack pack is under the sail so difficult to feed in to the boom.
It must be a really difficult job doing cover & sail together if the sail is not loose footed.
With my cover being in separate tracks I fit the cover. Hang it on the lazy jacks then feed the mainsail in from the foredeck out of its bag past the mast & in to the slot, between the 2 halves of the cover untying the main from its flaked form as I go. The cover then prevents the sail dropping all over the deck. I can then fit the sail in the mast.
I can do a 46M2 main on my own with a struggle, but it is much easier with2 of us.
 

LittleSister

Well-known member
Joined
12 Nov 2007
Messages
17,980
Location
Me Norfolk/Suffolk border - Boat Deben & Southwold
Visit site
Surely much of the problem is moving the weight of the mainsail along the boom in line with the stack pack. . .

Bring the mountain to Mohammed?

In some cases it may be easier to manoeuvre the boom rather than the sail and pack. (And to do it all on the ground or pontoon, rather than the boat?) Detach boom from gooseneck. Lay the folded or rolled mainsail down, whole length of foot exposed. Position lazy pack (underside exposed) with centreline wrapped over the length of the main's footrope. Get main and lazy pack combination started in the track. Feed boom along the the pair.

Arrange rope or something (Mole grips, even?) to aid pulling clew and end of pack together along track. A block and tackle from the aft end of the boom could make life easier single-handed, and/or provide extra purchase.

All just ideas. Your situation and tastes may well vary.

If all else fails, console yourself it only has to be done once a season. :)
 
Last edited:

Fr J Hackett

Well-known member
Joined
26 Dec 2001
Messages
64,621
Location
Saou
Visit site
I had a stack pack for a Vancouver 34C the section containing the bolt rope was something like Mylar which was relatively slippy and made sliding the mainsail and pack into the boom relatively trouble free. It was a heavy cruising mainsail of which I removed the Harken batten pockets and fixings to reduce weight and two of us could manage comfortably. The key was the material that contained the foot rope I would imagine anything like cloth would make it very difficult.
 

LittleSister

Well-known member
Joined
12 Nov 2007
Messages
17,980
Location
Me Norfolk/Suffolk border - Boat Deben & Southwold
Visit site
I had a stack pack . . . the section containing the bolt rope was something like Mylar which was relatively slippy and made sliding the mainsail and pack into the boom relatively trouble free. . . .

On mine the central strip that goes in the track is like a thin vinyl. I assumed (having little experience of such things) that was standard.

Another way of making it easier would be a thinner foot boltrope on the main - but likely an expensive mod.
 
Top