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Old 06-19-2008, 02:49 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Hi everyone,

Just wondering if anyone has shortened a mainsail? Can it be done at the head, increasing the roach, or would it have to be done at the foot and thereby decreasing the length of the foot? The lenght of the foot fits very well on my boom, so I would rather cut some of the head if possible.

Thanks and have a great night,


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Old 06-19-2008, 05:26 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Hello Joe

It can shortened at both ends.

First: How long is the luff compared to the P measurement? ie: what is the vertical distance that needs to be cut off, from the head or the foot ?

A couple of issues : When a mainsail's measurements are needed , one of the first requirements will be to determine mast bend. Then the Crane's distance (12) to the mast will determine the mainsail's headboard design.

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Therefore, if the sail is shortened by cutting the top of the sail, it will require a headboard that is wider in order for the hoist holes to a line-up with the top of the sail. If the headboard is significantly wider, then the leach will also have to be cut.

The option that appears to be the best is to cut the bottom of the sail parallel to the existing foot.

However, without measurements difficult to give useful suggestions.

Linear option: drop the Gooseneck on the Mast, sufficient to take up the slack in the luff.

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Old 06-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #3
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We had a mainsail that had to be shortened, and the "sailmaker" who did it was a butcher. Please be sure you get a competent and experienced sailmaker to do the work. A good sailmaker is usually also a good sailor and can well advise you of the best means of shortening your sail for your mast and boom.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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