Ask SAIL: Loose-footed Main


Q: I was intrigued by your answer about the loose-footed main (“Keep it Loose” Dec. 2013) and thought I could do the same on my boat. I also have a bolt rope foot that fits in a groove on the boom. My question is: can I use the existing sail as is and not put it in the groove? Or do I need to modify the mainsail?
Win Fowler Replies

A: The short answer is, yes, you should be able to use your sail as it is, and simply leave the bolt rope out of the groove. The only caveat is that there may be a tendency for the rope to slap against the boom in an irritating fashion. If that happens, your sailmaker can remove the bolt rope and replace it with an adjustable foot line for a modest sum.


Win Fowler has built sails for America’s Cup boats, coastal cruisers and one-design racers



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