Why Designed With Sail Rings??

Thread starter #1
Title says it all.

I did a search and found nothing. I am curious as to why the Sunfish was designed with rings as opposed to a sleeved sail through which you would insert the spars.

I'm no engineer but I would think a sleeved setup would be stronger and less spots for air to "spill out" Also a few less parts to fail.

Anybody know why Sunfish was designed this way?
 
#2
How would it work where both spars cross the mast? There is quite a bit of variation of position for both the top of the halliard and the gooseneck, so you would have to have two big gaps in the sleeve to facilitate that. Originally, in the days of wooden spars the sail was bent on with a continuous line. Someone posted a nice picture of that here recently. The rings evolved from that.
 

LaLi

Active Member
#3
Sleeved sails were really only introduced to the mainstream some 20 years after the Sunfish was designed, by the Laser and the Windsurfer. At that time (1970s) Sunfish copies began to have both luff and foot sleeves, but they never got that popular. They don't make sense in the foot to begin with (unlike a loose, Laser-style foot), and in the luff I understand, as Dickhogg just said, the current setup gives more tuning possibilities as you can easily change the halyard position.*

Also, most class associations tend to be conservative and protect the existing fleet from obsolescence rather than promote innovation. The Optimist class has the exact same technical issue, and although some non-class "optimist" sails have a luff sleeve and a loose foot (which would be much smarter), I don't think the class has ever seriously thought of changing to that.

*Might a combination of a two-part luff sleeve with a couple of loops in between be the best? Just speculating as not-a-class-member... :cool:
 
Thread starter #4
Not sure I understand, but I am a new sailor.

I have a clonefish (AquaFinn) which is sleeved and not clear on the gap you speak of. Looks like my spars cross mast as in the Sunfish. 20171019_095513_resized.jpg
 

LaLi

Active Member
#5
The gap is where your halyard is tied to the gaff, and it should be much longer to facilitate tuning variations. And the foot sleeve is pointless anyway.
 
Thread starter #6
The gap is where your halyard is tied to the gaff, and it should be much longer to facilitate tuning variations. And the foot sleeve is pointless anyway.

Thanks , LaLi . Totally new to this. So ropes are lines except for the line which raises the sail which is called a halyard and the line controlling the main which is the mainsheet. As the jib line would be a jib sheet. Sheets are in the end lines.

I see how I have little room the adjust placement of halyard but this is the craft I would up with. In the end i am learning how to sail.

As far as the sleeve at the foot (base of sail?). I guess my boat was designed so one could just slip the boom (lower spar?) into the sleeve as opposed to clipping to a few rings. Not sure if the sleeve is pointless but rather a diferent design concept.

I feel like kid again when I go sailing. Really having a blast.
 
Thread starter #7
I've been told that in the English language (although there is some debate about this!), a "rope" becomes a "line" when it gets a specific function on a boat. And of course, every line has a specific name that describes that function. (Or several - it's the synonyms that are hard for newbies.)

By "pointless" I meant that the foot only needs to be attached at the ends.
But if you only have attachment at the front and back of the Sail wouldn't you lose a lot of air along the length of the boom being new to this I'm not all that clear on sailing aerodynamics but it would seem the more sail you have attached along the length of the Boom the more air you would catch and your craft would be more efficient what am I missing here
 

LaLi

Active Member
#8
But if you only have attachment at the front and back of the Sail wouldn't you lose a lot of air along the length of the boom
You actually don't. The boom doesn't really work as an effective endplate, and air "leaks" from the high-pressure side around the foot anyway.

Even classes that used to have the foot completely attached to the boom have gone loose-footed later, such as the 505. It's just simpler.
 
#9
An added thought. Most serious Sunfish racers do not use the plastic sail clips as they often jam from tack to tack and crack over time, Instead, they use short lengths of very thin non-stretch line to lash the sail to the boom and gaff. I went this route years ago and will never go back to the clips for my race boat.

I have sailed a few Sunfish clones that had sleeve sails. Their rigs worked fine but, as noted in this string, you can't adjust the gooseneck or halyard attachment positions to tune the rig for different wind conditions. For this reason alone, I would not want to see a sleeved sail for the Sunfish class.

Alan Glos
 

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Webfoot1

Active Member
#10
The Sunfish was designed for first time sailor Recreational use and the Shower Rings fit the
bill perfectly. Snap them on and forget about them for the life of the
sail.
 
#11
You actually don't. The boom doesn't really work as an effective endplate, and air "leaks" from the high-pressure side around the foot anyway.

Even classes that used to have the foot completely attached to the boom have gone loose-footed later, such as the 505. It's just simpler.
All true. About the only semi-effective end plate rig is a deck sweeper jib that sits right down on the foredeck and does not alow (much) air to leak from one side of the sail to the other.
There were a few end plate boom designs that had a wide "deck" of sorts that were supposed to reduce this leakage, but air, like water, will find a way to equalize pressure if given thje chance.

Alan Glos
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#12
The gap is where your halyard is tied to the gaff, and it should be much longer to facilitate tuning variations. And the foot sleeve is pointless anyway.
Except the footed, sleeve'd sail helps keep the mainsheet out of the life jacket ;-D. I agree it is pointless and the sleeves inhibit altering luff and foot tension to some degree.
 
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