Does your 14.2 have a "Shelf-Foot" mainsail?

Thread starter #1
By "Shelf-Foot" I mean that the foot of the sail has extra material, below the bolt-rope, that leaves it baggy at the bottom/foot. It actually folds over itself when running into the wind.
The idea, I'm told, is that when sailing downwind in light air, the sail will have more camber and "balloon" out more at the foot, catching the wind. I hear this is a good thing.

I ask this because while my factory Catalina sails did not have this sewn into them, my new (& very expensive) custom sails, do, and I'm not sure it's going to work.

The extra material at the foot means that the head of the sail reaches higher on the mast, and I fear I'm running out of room at the top.
In photos it looks like the shackle is running into the pulley at the top of the mast, keeping me from fully tensioning the luff, without using more downhaul and "worsening" the baggy foot.

Even without the extra material at the foot, the new sails are 8.5" taller than the old sailcloth. I lay my new sail on top of my old sail, with the foot of the sails lined up with each other, and got 8.5" at the top (then you have to add the "shelf").
I've been looking through pictures of 14.2's, but have yet to find one with the Shelf-Foot designed sails, even though SLO says this is a very common race design.

I'm wondering if lowering my gooseneck might help by making more room at the top of the mast, but I'm not sure if this is a recommended, or even possible, procedure or not.

Has anyone run into this when getting new sails?
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
#2
By "Shelf-Foot" I mean that the foot of the sail has extra material, below the bolt-rope, that leaves it baggy at the bottom/foot. It actually folds over itself when running into the wind.
Well, there can't be any material sewn below the bolt rope...? :D But seriously, most mainsails today are designed either with a shelf foot or a loose foot (attached only at the ends, as in the Laser). Think of the shelf foot as a loose foot with the space between the sail and the boom filled with a horizontal piece of sailcloth: the shelf, when it is "open" simply sets a limit for maximum camber. Whether you ever actually use that setting is another matter. Basically you want the foot to be somewhat looser downwind in all wind strengths, while upwind you pull most or all of the shelf out (so it "folds over itself"). For purely recreational sailing, it's more of an aesthetic issue.

The extra material at the foot means that the head of the sail reaches higher on the mast, and I fear I'm running out of room at the top.
Those two things have nothing to do with one another. The way the foot is sewn doesn't affect luff length. If the luff really is longer than the gooseneck-to-head distance, then the sailmaker has made a mistake. Measure the mast and the luff and you'll know more. But looking at your previously posted pictures, I don't think you have much of a (or any) problem. In fact, it's the colourful original main that seems to have an unnecessary short luff.

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Thread starter #3
Sorry, I misspoke. The extra length is between the bottom of the shelf and where the bolt-rope would normally be, or was on my factory sail........ and you're absolutely right. It has no effect on the length of the luff. It just allows more camber when sailing downwind.
I just wasn't familiar with the design, so it looked odd.

Also, I found out the luff length is supposed to be 17'3", and mine, measured from the eyelet at the base of the tack, is 17'0". So it appears my sail is the correct size.

Guess I'll just have to get used to it and pull in more Cunningham. The extra sailcloth at the foot just made it look kind of sloppy.
 
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