When we first started to race Odalisque we had trouble not being “DFL”, or dead folking last if we finished at all. We had the old, perhaps original main sail that came with the boat that could be circa 1967 until we got a brand spanking new main sail last summer; loose footed and full battened – woo hoo.
With practice and under the meticulous eye of captain Matt we began to have better finishes, even before we got the new main sail. Now that we have gotten used to our new main we have been finishing races near the front of the pack, regularly.
I am certain that our skill levels have risen over the years but I also do believe that our new main sail has been a major asset in our ascent towards the top of the heap. That and the fact that we have been trying not to miss a single race in a season.
Don’t take my word for it here are some before and after photos of our boat that were kindly provided by the crew of our racecourse nemesis, Aeolus, who sail a beautiful Tartan 30 standard rig. Thanks to Jim and Lee Luce I have photographic evidence of how our boat looked under sail back in 2006:
And this one:
Now some pictures from this year (2012):
Matt adjusting both main and jib on a reach:
You can decide for yourself which main sail looks better.
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Amazing before and after.
We replaced our 15 year old main last year also with an 8.3 dacron high mod challenge cloth one from Quantum. Four full battens and also loose footed ( I had to be convinced)
What a huge dufference it has made. Picked up 1/2 knot.
I also had to be convinced but I now love the loose footed, full battened main we got. We picked up at least 1/2 knot in speed too. What I like about it is that it allows you to really tune the main sail to the jib/genoa.
My only problem is that now my racing partner wants to get a new genoa to go along with our new main. I know he is right but our ‘new’ genoa is only 8 years old Dacron and still giving us 1st place finishes every now and then.
You can see how stretched out the old one was…Personally, I have not used our main much…Maybe twice so far? Although I told myself I need to start using it more so that I can learn to reef when hove to and learn how to manage boat with full sails…I have been able to sail pretty comfortably with jib n jigger on our T27…Partly because it’s a ton easier when single handing like I have been and also because when I have hosts, our boat heels far less without main…We also had the mainsail off the boat for about 2 weeks while I patched it up…There were rips I had not noticed till after we launched…I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing how to maximize the genoa n mizzen at different points of sail…Many times keeping up with full sail counterparts or even passing or gaining leads on full sail boats out in Buzzards…
Your new mainsail looks BEAUTIFUL. Where did you get it made?
Thanks Sue. We got it from thesailwarehouse.com (Rolly Tasker).
It is fabricated in Thailand but we dealt with the office in Monterey, CA. Nice, patient guy.
We are very happy with it so far.