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I am prepping for the Dauphin Island Regatta and I have a puzzling mainsail. It is a second hand J24 main with a flattening reef and 1 slab reef. It is about 12" shy of the top of my mast. When taught on the luff, the boom droops below horizontal and is a real hazard. If I use the flattening reef it is just about right. Would they have made the sail "out of square" or do you think the leech stretched that much? I do have a bendy mast but the boom is in your face without tensioning the backstay. I don't recall having a leech line to tension but I may. I also do not have a topping lift. Thanks.

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  The sail was made for a different boat. It will not fit correctly without modification. If it is loose footed you can secure the tack of the main higher than normal, letting the luff go higher. This will raise the clew. Otherwise, sailmaker time. 2nd hand sails from different boats rarely fit correctly.

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I have a similar sail, cut so the angle between luff and foot is greater than 90°- causing boom droop unless the flattening reef in in. The flattening reef takes it up to about 90°. My assumption was that this was intentional, releasing the flattening reef would allow the sail to be fuller for reaching and running, and that for upwind the flattening reef would pretty much always be in. An older delivery main I have is not cut this way, but is also a couple of feet short of full hoist and made from material with the approximate  flexibility of boiler plate. 

The general foot-to-luff angle would seem to be independent of the fit of the sail to a particular boat, and more related to the way the sail was intended to be used. But I invite correction from the more knowledgeable.

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3 hours ago, longy said:

  If it is loose footed you can secure the tack of the main higher than normal, letting the luff go higher. This will raise the clew. 

I took the foot out of the boom and did exactly that once before. I thought it looked pretty odd. I was looking into installing a track on my gooseneck to lift the whole setup up. I have all of the components. Just need to weld the gooseneck together. I think for the race I will just sail with the flattening reef. Bigger fish to fry.

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