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Thread: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

  1. #1
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    Default Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Finally got around to trying to rig the second sail that came with my used sailing outrigger.

    Almost, but not quite...

    Luff sleeve exceeds mast length by 2" and a mast-tip extension is not going to happen.

    But there is a conveniently-sized 6" piece at the tip of the sail that, if removed, would give me that 2" plus 4" more for downhaul adjustment - giving me a slightly (8") flat-top sail.

    I have read cautions about re-cutting a pointy-top sail to make it flat-top destroying the integrity/shape of the sail.

    But would this small of a change have a significant effect?

    I could fool with the foot, but that seems to open a bigger can of worms sewing/seam-wise.

    viz:
    https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...-FIElzAo96Dgzw

    https://photos.google.com/album/AF1Q...FdbIr7ZXn9Eoon

    https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMlINPNVCZT4g8d3L92zrEseteJv41-qT4rX_a5/photo/AF1QipMvTfNcvkBQFQzZECs8u7jbN-rJ8PsJvQB-70a

    Last edited by PeteCress; 04-13-2018 at 03:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    I can't see the pictures as it requires some google account that I don't use, but cutting the top off is usually not a big deal - but - you will need some way to support the top aft corner of your new square head in order to keep the leech tight. This can be done by making some sort of wide headboard, or possibly by using a rooster batten - a batten angled up and aft from the luff (down and forward from the top aft corner).



    Doing the batten from a luff sleeve is a bit less precise than doing it from a mast track, but as long as you can maintain good luff tension I will probably work. I say probably because full battens push forward at their mast ends and if unrestrained by attachment to the track, they can tend to push around to the side of the mast, taking cloth with them and making distortions in the sail which can take a whole lot of downhaul tension to correct.

    For this reason, and since you are dealing with a pretty small square head, I might opt for a big wide headboard, secured to the sleeve and sail instead. If you have any thin marine ply around, you could do an old, sewn-in style wooden headboard. Cut it to shape, drill some stitching holes through it, varnish or seal it and then hand-sew it into the sail through the stitch holes between the main fabric and a new corner patch. Other materials would also be possible - fiberglass, plastics like Lexan, UHMW polyethylene etc. or anodized aluminum. These would usually be used in pairs, sandwiching the cloth and attached with rivets or tiny bolts and nylock nuts.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    I made a serious omission in my OP: this is a roller-reefing sail and the existing battens are vertical to accomodate that.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_G2s2yBIDE8...0/paddling.jpg

    Sounds like I am back to slicing-and-dicing the foot of the sail...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Yes, that would make it a much bigger problem. What is the objection to just lengthening the mast a few inches? There is usually a fair bit of important shaping stuff going on along the foot of the sail, and this stuff is carefully planned during the very early stages of the sailmaking process. It's not an area that one should mess around with any more than is absolutely necessary. Screwing it up will affect the whole bottom one third to one half of the sail - where much of your power comes from.

    Is there any way you could shorten the sail up top by re-cutting the leech to terminate at a lower spot on the luff, kind of like the blue line here would be? You would probably need to re-patch the head and maybe shorten one of your vertical batten pockets, but if cut straight, or even better with a slight hollow, it should keep the leech firm and shouldn't flap.

    wee-lassie-main-001-copy.jpg

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    What is the objection to just lengthening the mast a few inches?
    Just ignorance on how to accomplish it.

    Base extension is a no-go because the roller furling drum is integrated there.

    OTOH, I recall from my windsurfing days that tip extensions are fairly innocuous.

    I do have a few tips from broken windsurfer masts in my scrap rack; so maybe I will get lucky diameter-wise and be able to cobble something up using a ferrule - even a wooden one. .. .. After all, 3 inches would do the trick.

    It certainly sounds like (Yours Truly + Sail + Sewing Machine) = Trouble in River City...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    For a quick fix you could try sticking a 3" dowel or shaped piece of wood up in the tip of that sails sleeve for the mast to bear against. I don't know the diameter of the top of the mast or stiffness of the top of the sail, but for such a short extension, you could just try it and see if it negatively effects the sail shape, but I assume it may not.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Post your pictures here, it's really easy. Help us out a bit.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Post your pictures here, it's really easy.
    Sometimes it is easy.

    Other times it simply does not work - as in
    • Click the Insert Image icon
    • Select the From Computer tab
    • Click Browse
    • (select the image file)'
    • Click Upload File(s)
    • (observe "Sending request to forum.woodenboat.com" in lower left of browser window)
    • (wait for something to happen, repeat the above process after 20 minutes of nothing happening....maybe five times in a row...)


    "Now you see it, now you don't."

    It was not being seen when I made up the OP.
    Last edited by PeteCress; 04-14-2018 at 07:49 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    I have a google account and the photos still don't come up for me. They may not be in a public folder or something like that. But as said already, adding 6" to the mast is no big deal. Find a piece of dowel that fits and glue it in or use a couple of set screws to make it easily removable.
    -Dave

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stōs View Post
    For a quick fix you could try sticking a 3" dowel or shaped piece of wood up in the tip of that sails sleeve for the mast to bear against. I don't know the diameter of the top of the mast or stiffness of the top of the sail, but for such a short extension, you could just try it and see if it negatively effects the sail shape, but I assume it may not.
    Went the extra mile: searched through my collection of broken windsurfer masts, found a tip that I could cut so that the ID approximated the OD of the problem mast and just slid it over top.

    Even got a little slotted tip thingie to fit with a few wraps of tape.

    Tried it this afternoon, nothing bad happened...

    Of course, it may never come off.... -)

    Thanks to ToddB for saving me from myself and the sewing machine.... I was really ready to go at it....

    https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipMlINPNVCZT4g8d3L92zrEseteJv41-qT4rX_a5/photo/AF1QipPADoPmhTtF29D6I3kvM9OVKmHlLLB27dP6F6C5

    Last edited by PeteCress; 04-14-2018 at 08:08 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    I have a google account and the photos still don't come up for me.
    My Bad: I thought I had Sharing turned on (having been burned before), but it turns out I was just wishing....

    Now Sharing is turned on.

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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Glad it worked out! Watch out for cracking at the bottom of the tip if you like to crank on the downhaul!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stōs View Post
    Glad it worked out! Watch out for cracking at the bottom of the tip if you like to crank on the downhaul!
    Yeah - I figured that and it's becoming stuck on the mast were the worst-case outcomes - both of which I can live with.

    OTOH, putting a ferrule inside the mast, I figured there was at least a possibility of my cracking the mast - especially with a wooden ferrule swelling as it took on water.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Not too bad, by the way I still cant see the pictures, I get a 404 Error....

  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteCress View Post
    My Bad: I thought I had Sharing turned on (having been burned before), but it turns out I was just wishing....

    Now Sharing is turned on.


    Just post here direct from your device.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Making Pointy-Top Sail Very Slightly Flat-Top?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Just post here direct from your device.
    Doesn't work for me in Chrome.

    Got the bright idea that maybe I need IE.... but just tried it in IE and it also failed - albeit in a different way.

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