Mainsail Foot

Discussion forum for the Otter class of sailing dinghy

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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:21 am

Mainsail Foot

Post by springer5 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:19 pm

Hi folks

I know this question..... ... ooted#p730

...has already been asked, but as it was not answered at the time I wonder if anyone would mind giving me their thoughts on it now please.

I have bought the boat in question and I'm wondering if, looking at online photos (as few as they are!) if the sail should indeed normally have a bolt rope along the foot whereas mine is loose footed, rather like a Mirror mainsail.

It's not really a big deal as such, but it would be nice to try to get it as close to the original intention as possible. It will be easy enough to get my local sailmaker to fit a bolt rope if that's what it should have.

Or maybe like so many things with the Otter, they all vary a bit ??


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Location: West Norfolk

Re: Mainsail Foot

Post by albacore43 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:10 pm

Well, I have what appear to be the original spars (and perhaps sails) for 158.
Main has bolt-rope at tack and foot and boom has slot to accomodate the latter.
Sorry for tardy reply!!

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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:21 am

Re: Mainsail Foot

Post by springer5 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:36 am

ok thanks for your reply Albacore. Much appreciated. Not "tardy" at all :)

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Re: Mainsail Foot

Post by yak82 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:11 pm

Hey, my Otter has a bolt rope going along the foot of the sail which feeds into the boom, however I am unaware of the benefits and drawbacks of having it like this or open footed.

hope this helps,
Otter.jpg (87.63 KiB) Viewed 3771 times

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Re: Mainsail Foot

Post by springer5 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:11 pm

Hi Jacob

Thanks for your post.

It does seem from talking to people that both kinds of setup are out there in use on Otters. Mine is loose footed, as in there is no bolt rope. The tack of the mainsail (the rear corner of the foot) slots into the boom and slides to the back of the boom but the foot of the sail between the tack and the clew at the front is just "free".

From what people tell me (not personal experience though) they each have advantages and disadvantages. I gather that a loose foot allows more control over sail shape and reduces wear (no bolt rope sleeving to chafe in the boom track.
BUT having a bolt rope tends to make the sail much quieter in windier weather because the sail can't flap against the boom like an open foot does.

Like I say, that's only what people tell me. I'm no expert. Other boats I've been in have mostly been with a bolt rope fitted, like yours (except for my brother's Mirror which is loose footed like my Otter).

Initially I wondered if there was a "correct" setup, but it seems there's no right or wrong way for the Otter sails. The differences are probably very slight anyway.

Thanks again for sharing info about yours.



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