Main sail shape E25+

Geoff Steel

Sailorgeoff E25+
I recently bought a 1979 E25+ and am concerned about the shape of the main. When the sail is fully raised and the main sheet tight, the boom slopes down about 12" at the foot. When the boom is in a level position, there is significant bagginess in the leach of the sail. I've attached photos showing the shape.

Please help me understand what's happening. THANKS!
 

Attachments

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Not sure, from the first photo, but does the headboard reach the top black band when you have it fully hoisted?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I'm not sure about the black band, but the luff edge of the main sail is definitely tight.
Turning the crank on my "way back sail shape option speculation" machine.....
This could be a sail specifically cut to take full advantage of the racing rules when the boat was new. The idea was that the longer leach would produce some additional drive due to the added length of the leach. This was for skippers pursuing the last nano-knot of speed. At some point the rules may have been changed to require the boom to be horizontal, but I am not sure of that.
In the real world, many boats that did this also had to equip their crews with helmets. (sigh)
Hopefully, someone with less speculation and better knowledge can check in...... :)

Is the sail number your hull number? It should be. My guess would be bolstered if it had an old USYRU sail number instead. Does the same # appear on your genoa and spinnaker if so equipped?
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi Geoff,
Hmmm..... While you say the luff is tight, it doesn't look like it to me in the pics, unless I'm not seeing it correctly. For the luff to be tight, I would expect to see just the start of a wrinkle/crease/tension coming from the tack at the boom/mast joint up at a 45 degree angle into the mainsail, and I don't see that. I think the sail should be tensioned (with a winch handle) gently until that emerges. If it's a really evident wrinkle when under sail, I ease the halyard very slightly to get rid of it, but it should be there in your pic, I think.

I agree that the leach looks way too loose and the boom should be relatively level, not sagging like your level shows. Is it possible that this sail was bought second hand from another boat, without a sailmaker making the right adjustments for it to fit properly? It also looks quite limp and worn, though I'd like to see it under sail, so you may need to begin to budget for a new sail if possible.

Just for interest, is the headsail similar in age and look? If it looks much better, or different, it would be a clue that the mainsail was a later addition, or is much older than the headsail, and maybe not really doing the boat any favours.

Just a few thoughts for your consideration. I'll be interested in what others think.

Frank
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Geoff,

A couple more thoughts...is the topping lift slackened off, as a sail will not have the right shape when raised if the topping lift is tensioned. Secondly, I'm not familiar with the E27, but on some boats the boom is on a sliding track, rather than having a fixed gooseneck, which allows the boom to be pulled down to tension the leach and help shape the sail. Both ideas are a long shot, but just thinking....
Frank
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Geoff,

A couple more thoughts...is the topping lift slackened off, as a sail will not have the right shape when raised if the topping lift is tensioned. Secondly, I'm not familiar with the E27, but on some boats the boom is on a sliding track, rather than having a fixed gooseneck, which allows the boom to be pulled down to tension the leach and help shape the sail. Both ideas are a long shot, but just thinking....
Frank
Frank's 'way back' machine works better than mine! I forgot that in the 70's a number of boats had sliding goosenecks. By (approx) the end of the decade, fixed goosenecks were common. However, looking intently at the picture, it looks like a fixed version, with fastenings visible. Perhaps.
 

Kevin A Wright

Member III
I agree with Frank, that luff doesn't look tight to me. I had an adjustable gooseneck on my '77 E37 and actually raised it about a foot and recut the main when I added a dodger ( cruising, not racing). So while your halyard may be tight with the headboard all the way up, if you can move your gooseneck down a bit this might help. Although from the looks of things it won't totally solve everything and you might need to have your sail recut or replaced.

Kevin Wright
E35 Hydro Therapy
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
After further review, I agree with Christian. The topping lift (white wire) looks taunt, should be slack with main set. I had first thought white wire was the backstay. You may also have the drooping boom (long leech) mainsail design. Mark
 

RenDe

Member II
The mast rake looks off like it's raked too far back, if that boom is actually level. Also pics of the head of the sail? Either way the luff is really loose and without being able to see what's happening at the mast head its hard to tell what's going on. Also on close up this looks like a fixed gooseneck
 

frick

Member III
My vote is with incorrect sail dimensions. A tape measure should help settle the issue.
I agree with Paul. that sail is not right. It the head board is all the up it is just too long.
also, the topping lift would lift the boom up, and the end of the boom is down.
put a cuningham on the main and pull..

Rick
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Nah. To see the boom in the first photo, click on the words IMG-2528.jpg, which enlarges the full photo.

Here is what the defendant said in his deposition:

When the sail is fully raised and the main sheet tight, the boom slopes down about 12" at the foot. When the boom is in a level position, there is significant bagginess in the leach of the sail.

Defendant states that his boom, when mainsheet tight, slopes down.

Defendant further states that when boom is in a level position, leech is baggy. See Spirit Level photo, Exhibit B.

Prosecution contends that the defendant has altered the position of the boom in his Exhibit A (sail photo) so as to make it level, and that for this purpose he has used the Topping Lift.

And that he has, for some reason not shared in discovery, omitted all mention of said Topping Lift in his deposition.

Prosecution therefore requests a photo of the entire boom and sail unsupported by Topping Lift, backstay hook, or off-camera girlfriend .

The defense contention that the "sail is wrong" or "the dimensions incorrect" is a supposition arising from prejudice against droopy booms and obsolete sail designs, and seeks to impose a moral judgement not justified by changing taste or racing rules. A duck that walks like a goose may yet be a duck, the visual impression twisted by communem opinionem, the common expectation of what a duck-walk should look like. We have come further. We now know, all of us, that the only reliable duck identification is a rigorous anatomical examination which the court can hardly deny, and which can be easily provided by the defendant and owner of the duck, or yacht, in question.

Bailiff is to bring to the court the Original Poster, who was in the courtroom a minute ago and has apparently wandered off down the hall while the taxpayers stomp their feet for justice.
 
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Geoff Steel

Sailorgeoff E25+
Sorry guys... I had to take a break from the forum. Thank you all very much, and to address your feedback...

1. the sail number matches the hull number with E25+ insignia, so it is indeed the right sail
2. goose neck is fixed to the mast and is not movable
3. topping lift was slacked and not supporting the boom while in the sloped position
4. after checking again, the main halyard was indeed not fully raised, but on the day I took the photos, was so tight that I stopped trying to raise it further. After raising it as far as it would go yesterday, some bagginess was eliminated, but the boom still sloped down at the foot.

From these observations and your feedback, I think the problem is a worn sail and possibly seized halyard sheaves. The higher the sail goes, the more resistance there is on the halyard... much more than I would expect the weight of the sail alone would produce as it goes up. Yesterday, the halyard was so tight it was singing a middle C note when I plucked it! o_O

Before going up the mast to inspect the sheaves, does anyone have any further opinions on this matter?

Thank you and I appreciate your efforts to help address this problem!
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
To test the sail shape you can hoist only to the first reef.

(It sure looks in this photo like the topping lift is holding the boom level instead of the leech of the sail. And it looks like the reef cringles are installed to account for a droopy boom. But of course, hard to tell -- much easier to opinionize).

x.jpg
 

Geoff Steel

Sailorgeoff E25+
Hi Christian, in the above photo I tried to show the sail shape when the boom was level... a feat I accomplished by setting the topping lift as you rightly observed.

Any thoughts about the possibility of halyard sheaves being seized??? The halyard is very difficult to raise to its full height.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Once upon a time some mainsails were cut so the boom drooped--to give a little more sail area. Maybe you have a sail cut like that, and the boom isn;t intended to be horizontal, but to angle down when the topping lift is slack. Worth eliminating as a theory. I only suggest considering that because the sail in the photo doesn;t seem to exhibit typical blown-out sail stretch (which is not so obvious), and because the reef cringles also seem to project a "droop" to the boom.

But it may just be the halyard issue, which is common on old boats. The headboard of the sail should reach within an inch or two of the turning block at the truck of the mast, and the luff be tight.

It's always hard to winch the sail up the last few feet. You may have to crank very hard, harder than seems right. Anyhow:

--Check the sail slides/slugs. They can be lubricated with silicon or dish soap. One or more of them may be damaged, and tend to turn under force and cause big drag. Consider each one individually.

--Check the mast track. Often a machine screw backs out high up, stopping everything. Sometimes the track is in two sections, and they no longer meet true. Sometimes the track is just dirty, and I have heard the recommendation of a bar of soap hoisted to lube and clean it (just how, I don't know).

It may be that the sheave at the masthead is worn out and is not turning at all. You can grease the last three feet of the halyard below the shackle so it slides over the stuck sheave. (Grease on a rope or wire sounds awful but was once standard practice where chafing occurred.)

Also: try a straight pull on the halyard without any turning blocks or winch. The blocks create so much friction that sometimes a couple of hefty lads can do better just pulling down on the halyard line.

Anyhow, as I said before: if you can;t get the luff tight, then set the first reef. Tie the luff cringle to the gooseneck and the reef clew cringle to the boom. Now you can winch the luff tight and see what shape the sail takes without the topping lift supporting it.
 

Geoff Steel

Sailorgeoff E25+
Thanks for your thorough reply Christian. By pulling straight down on the halyard, it's impossible for me to get the sail fully raised. The E25+ has the recessed sail track in the mast so alignment isn't an issue. Also, I've cleaned all the slugs. I honestly didn't think of greasing the halyard! :) I think I'll just have to go up there and inspect everything... including the sheaves.
 
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