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 Mainsail question
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archimedes
Deckhand

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4 Posts

Initially Posted - 09/13/2018 :  11:48:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello,
I've got a new to me C25 tall rig and when I hoist the mainsail the boom seems to be hanging too low. Instead of horizontal, it is hanging way below horizontal and is dangerously low in the cockpit.

The mainsail is fully raised and the down haul is down completely so that the luff is taught. So I can't figure out why this is happening.

The sail says "C25" on it and "Catalina sails" long the bottom. So I think it the right sail for the boat.

Am I right in think the boom should be horizontal when the main is raised and should provide enough head clearance in the cockpit for a person 5'11" (in my case) ?

Am I missing something?

keats
1st Mate

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USA
55 Posts

Response Posted - 09/13/2018 :  13:17:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
5'11"? No way. The tall rig boom sits way lower than that.

Do you have a topping lift rigged? That will hold the end of the boom level.
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7943 Posts

Response Posted - 09/13/2018 :  13:54:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From memory, I'm going to guess the tall rig boom, sail hoisted and luff tensioned, sits about 5' above the cockpit sole. The standard rig boom is a foot higher. Your boom not being level with the luff tight suggests to me the sail is severely blown out so the leech is stretched.

There are many historical discussions on this--use the Search function above-right, for "tall rig boom height" in the C-25 forum, including archived posts.

Several folks have suggested the sail for the Capri 25 as having a good luff-length for raising a C-25 TR boom. Wayzata Yacht Club in Minnesota has a large racing fleet of Capri 25s, with people who probably replace mains on a fairly regular basis--that could be a source for a used sail in reasonable condition. (But it might be a Kevlar laminate.)

EDIT: I just checked the specs, and the Capri sail is 14" shorter than the tall C-25's. The foot lengths are the same.

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 09/13/2018 14:09:36
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5145 Posts

Response Posted - 09/13/2018 :  14:07:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a tall rig C25, and it's boom hung just as you described. It's only a problem if you don't keep your head down. I'm 6'-1" and often crew on a Jeanneau 45, and even it can hit me if I'm not constantly mindful of it.

The mast on a tall rig C25 is 2' higher than the standard rig mast and the boom is 1' lower. That increases it's sail area substantially, and makes it a really nice light-to-moderate air boat. My advice is to enjoy it for it's good qualities and learn to tolerate the lower boom.

The fact that the tall rig boom droops aft is perfectly normal. When mine was new (I bought North Sails for mine), many fellow sailors noticed the sag and mentioned it to me. The tall rig was popular among racers because of it's performance. When sails are measured for racing purposes, only the luff and foot are measured. The leech is not measured. Thus, by giving the mainsail a big roach and by lengthening the leech, sailmakers can maximize sail area. The boom sag isn't a flaw. It's normal for the tall rig. At some time after I bought my boat I believe C25 sails were made for Catalina by North. Since my North mainsail was made that way, I would think the sails that North made for Catalina were also made that way.

If, however, you really can't adjust to the low boom, you can do what some folks have done, and buy a mainsail with a shorter luff, such as a Capri 25 mainsail, which has about a one foot shorter luff. If the boom height on your boat is not fixed, you just raise the boom an extra 1' when you raise the sail, and the result will be the same boom height as a standard rig boat. If your boom height is fixed, as it is on some of the newer boats, I think you can modify it to make it adjustable in height.

Alternatively, I see no reason why you couldn't raise your sail to it's full height, and then tuck in the first reef, raising the boom up as you do so. That would also increase your boom height significantly.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore

Edited by - Steve Milby on 09/13/2018 14:24:31
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4094 Posts

Response Posted - 09/13/2018 :  14:30:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did your main come with a roach adjustment? Should be a string to pull to adjust leach tension. Doubt it would snug the sail up that much but might help.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT
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archimedes
Deckhand

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4 Posts

Response Posted - 09/13/2018 :  19:06:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the replies. I don't think I was clear in my OP. I didn't intend to stand under the boom - I knew that wasn't possible. But even when seated it's a pretty low and not horizontal like I expected. The business end of the boom is pretty intrusive in the cockpit - even when seated. But apparently that may be normal on this boat based on the responses here. It's also true that the sail (possible orig. '86 equipment) is blown out. I wasn't the only one on my dock that thought there was something wrong with the sail, and that even stretched out, it didn't seem to account for that much sag.

I'm not sure if there is a topping lift, but I think I did notice a "mystery halyard" the purpose of which I wasn't sure. ;) Mystery solved?

Good info on the Capri sails working on a tall rig boat, if I find one avail. I suppose the standard rig sails would work too?

Thanks again.

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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3303 Posts

Response Posted - 09/14/2018 :  06:51:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You don't say what year boat you have. Is the sail fully going to the top of the mast? Do you have a fixed gooseneck or is it sliding? It could be as simple as the sail isn't going to the top. As far as the angle of the boom, Steve is probably right on the longer leach. As far as a topping lift, Its purpose is to support the boom when you are lowering or raising the sail. Keeps the boom from falling into the cockpit. The sail when fully raised takes over that job and the topping lift will go slack.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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dalelargent
Navigator

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USA
140 Posts

Response Posted - 09/14/2018 :  10:56:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Something certainly seems wrong, and I could only guess the sail is severely blown out (as others suggested). I have a TR and am 5’11” and never, ever worry about the boom hitting me while seated in the cockpit. The sail, when fully hoisted, certainly raises the boom’s aft end to a nearly level position even in light or no winds.

I think if I was in your situation, I would pursue a new mainsail...but one actually made for a TR. The suggestions above about Capri sails were based on the (mistaken) notion that you wish to raise the entire boom. But that’s not your goal, I think.

1989 c25 WK/TR #5838
1983 Vagabond 14
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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
7943 Posts

Response Posted - 09/14/2018 :  11:37:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by archimedes

...But even when seated it's a pretty low and not horizontal like I expected. The business end of the boom is pretty intrusive in the cockpit - even when seated...
As I said, I think 5' is pretty close to the normal boom height on the tall rig, and those I've been on and seen were all level.
quote:
The suggestions above about Capri sails were based on the (mistaken) notion that you wish to raise the entire boom. But that’s not your goal, I think.
The way I read it, he wants the boom to at least be level, and might be interested in it also being more at the height of a standard rig (around 5'10" - 6' at full hoist). That's about what a Capri 25 mainsail would give him, although I'd look into having a sail made before spending much money on a used Capri sail.
quote:
I suppose the standard rig sails would work too?
Maybe, sorta... The SR sail is 3' shorter (rather than 1' for the Capri), so if you hoisted it fully, your boom would be 3' higher than it is now at the gooseneck. I'd call that excessive headroom! And you'd probably lift the gooseneck past the opening in mast slot--a little tricky unless you've installed "gate plates" over the opening. You could also leave the sail a couple of feet below the mast-head, looking like it's reefed... But you would have less of the performance benefits of the tall rig, particularly in light air.

One more question: Do you have your out-haul good and tight, tensioning the foot of the sail? If the clew (aft-most corner) is substantially forward of where it should be, the angle of the leech will allow the boom to hang down more than it should, but I think you're describing a worse case than that.

I'd talk to a sailmaker or two... Then you can decide what's best for you, for dimensions and wind conditions (battens, loose foot, cloth, etc.). Yours apparently is a rag.


Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic, CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage
Now on Eastern 27 Sarge (but still sailing when I can).

Passage, Mystic, and Sarge--click to enlarge.

Edited by - Stinkpotter on 09/14/2018 11:50:07
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dasreboot
Admiral

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731 Posts

Response Posted - 09/17/2018 :  04:19:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
a noticeably sagging boom is caused by a shrunken luff. when the luff is properly tensioned , either with halyard downhaul or cunningham, the leech will pull up on the end of the boom. Unfortunately if the luff is permanently shrunk, you wont be able to tension it. you may have to have the sail luff worked on by a sailmaker. If its an original main, maybe a new one for xmas?

Todd Lewis
Eowyn 87 TR/WK C25 #5656
ARWEN 84 TR/SK C25 #4031
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Steve Milby
Past Commodore

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USA
5145 Posts

Response Posted - 09/17/2018 :  06:04:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We're all trying to help with our thoughts of what could be happening with your sail, but none of us has ever actually seen it. Photos can sometimes help, but even photos can be deceiving. The more info you provide, the better advice we can give. For example, if we knew where you're located, someone might be able to recommend a competent sailmaker local to you who can analyze your sail and advise if it's actually blown out, and if it can be corrected. A sailmaker can take measurements and tell you with certainty if it's blown out.

Another possibility that hasn't been mentioned is if the rig is horribly out of adjustment. If the mast is tilted aft significantly, it could contribute to the drooping boom.

We can only make suggestions and hope one of them points you in the direction of the remedy.

Steve Milby C&C 35 Landfall ("Captiva Wind"); Cal 25 ("Fahrvergnügen")
Past Commodore
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sfsmith
Navigator

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USA
112 Posts

Response Posted - 09/17/2018 :  06:12:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sounds to me like your sail is blown out. That would account for the sagging. I had the same problem. For years I just reefed it and raised the boom. I solved the problem for good when I ordered a new Offshore by Ullman mainsail through Catalina Direct. They were willing to cut the sail to my specs at no extra charge, so I had it made 10" shorter than the standard tall rig mainsail. It's a full batten, loose-footed sail with a jackline and just one set of reef points, and I love it. I'm not a racer, so I don't care about compliance. It's not a cheap solution, but after years of dealing with a baggy main and low boom, it's been worth it. If you choose to go that route, I think Catalina Direct has a fall discount. Good luck.

Solomon Smith
TANGO 89/WK/TR/#5942
Petoskey, Michigan
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