Originally Posted by DONRICARDO
I am replacing the double ply - wrap around sail on a Freedom Cat Ketch made in England, 1985. The new sail will be single ply with a luff rope and grommets every two feet. I plan to string one inch beads on a 3/8" line around the mast (no track) to attach the main. (Old schooners used hoops). Anybody out there ever see this done? or do it? Any thoughts or advice will be welcome. Thanks, Scott
To easily use a method of lacing or hoops on a mast, you can only go up to where the spreaders are (so you can take the sail down the traditional way, dropping it rather than doing something like scandalizing it to the mast) I believe the Freedom Cat Ketch would have no spreaders, but you need to confirm. A boat can have spreaders, but, the sail will only go up to the spreaders. This is fine with a gaff rigged boat.
You can use a simple spiral lacing, a "forth-and-back" method of lacing, parrel beads (this is the method you mention), or mast hoops. The spiral lacing works well on small boats, bigger boats emply the "forth-and-back" method, bigger boats yet parrel beads and mast hoops. If you're going around for day sails, even on a large boat, properly sized parrel beads may be employed but for smooth operation of the sail when reefing and especially for offshore work, you'd want to use mast hoops (properly sized) for your mast.
Resources you might look into include Marino's Sailmaker's Apprentice as well as books on Gaff Rigs.
Why do you wish to forgo the improvement you could make with a mast track? Besides really doing a great job with sail shape, it is the easiest way to raise and lower a Bermuda (shape) sail in a variety of conditions. A gaff sail is a different situation in that the heavy gaff boom (at the top of the sail) is employed to efficiently raise and lower the sail as well as to enhance sail shape.
What is the length and displacement of your ketch? What is the height of your mast and its diameter. Assume that you've got a round mast if you're planning on using hoops or parrels.