Ask SAIL: Boom Pocket Configuration

I’m planning on replacing the mainsail on our 1994 Catalina 320 with a loose-footed cruising sail, using a two-line Dutchman rig. One loft is recommending that the Dutchman boom pockets be fitted with a bolt rope
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Boom Pocket Configuration

Q: I’m planning on replacing the mainsail on our 1994 Catalina 320 with a loose-footed cruising sail, using a two-line Dutchman rig. One loft is recommending that the Dutchman boom pockets be fitted with a bolt rope and left attached to the boom rather than attached to the foot of the sail. What do you think of this approach?

Warren, via sailmail@sailmagazine.com

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

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

WIN FOWLER REPLIES

There is at least one pro and one con to attaching the Dutchman pockets to the boom rather than the foot of the sail.

Pro: Having the pockets not attached to the sail makes it easy to reverse the direction the sail flakes on the boom. One problem with the Dutchman system is that the exact same parts of the leech are always sitting on top of the boom and tend to get more sun damage than the rest of the sail almost no matter how careful you are to cover the flaked sail. Reversing the flaking direction reduces this problem somewhat.

Con: Having the pockets attached to the boom means they can interfere a little bit with the shape of the foot of the sail when the outhaul is eased, especially if you have some skirt on your loose foot.

That said, the Dutchman will work as intended either way. But if you go with the sail attachment, have your sailmaker switch the pockets to the other side of the sail every two or three years.

Related

furlex2

Know-how: Installing an Electric Furler

Push-Button Reefing Boats have never been easier to sail, and yet, designers and builders still strive for that extra iota or two of convenience. A case in point is the growing acceptance of powered headsail furlers. Roller-furling headsails are ubiquitous not only on cruising ...read more

New-Lead

Know-how: Modify a Blackwater System

My dissatisfaction with the head and holding tank plumbing arrangement on our 1987 Sabre 38 had grown as we cruised the boat away from the comforts of a marina for longer periods of time. When we are tied up at a marina, the use of regular bathrooms generally trumps the ...read more

01-LEAD-Suzuki-55f19d31e297c

Choosing the Right Outboard

Two of the most indispensable items on board a cruising yacht are a dinghy and an outboard motor. At anchor or on a buoy, of course, they are your only means of getting ashore. They also have a thousand other uses. For example, they can allow you to motor across to friends’ ...read more

2019-giftGuide

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Sailing America Rizzoli International Publications has released this striking portrait of American sailing by nautical photography legend Onne van der Wal just in time for the holidays. Featuring 200 stunning photographs spanning the length and breadth of the sailing scene—from ...read more

01-Sailing-La-Vagabonde,-Outremer-48

Cruising: the Vagabonde Life

Once upon a time conquering your dream of sailing off into the sunset was enough, but these days it seems like you have to be popular on social media too. Balancing the stresses of sailing around the world while keeping a successful—not to mention financially lucrative—social ...read more

191114

Video: 11th Hour Racing Arrives in Brazil

Team 11th Hour Racing finished in fourth place this past week among the 29 IMOCA 60s competing in the 4,335-mile doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Aboard were American Charlie Enright and French sailor Pascal Bidégorry, ...read more

Video--Edmond-de-Rothschild-Maxi-tri-Pitstop

Video: Edmond de Rothschild Maxi-tri Pitstop

. On Sunday, after having been first across the equator in the Brest Atlantiques race , Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier aboard the Ultime maxi-tri Maxi Edmond de Rothschild reported they’d be making a pitstop in Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil, after damaging one of their ...read more

T31A4577

Cruising the Eagle Class 53

Sailing at 19 knots in 15 knots of breeze is not an earth-shattering experience anymore. I was thinking about that on a perfect late summer day in Narragansett Bay while we were slicing along on the most technologically advanced cruising catamaran I’ve ever seen—the Eagle Class ...read more