Foam Luff

Soon after roller-furling units were introduced, sailmakers found themselves faced with the problem of a reefed sail having a deep belly at a time when a flat sail was desirable. Basically, as soon as the first roll was taken, the edges of the sail got tight and the body bagged out, a situation that became worse with each turn. To compensate, sailmakers added a foam luff pad that runs the length of the luff of the sail. This pad, made of closed-cell foam, tapers toward the head and tack and is widest in the middle of the sail where there is the most shape. The actual fore-and-aft width of the pad is determined by the size and shape of the sail, and the end result is that as soon as the first roll is taken on the furling unit, the pad bulks up on the foil creating a fatter roll in the middle of the sail. With each successive roll this extra girth removes some of the depth of the sail, effectively flattening the sail where it is most needed.

The foam pad along the luff of this headsail will allow for a better sail shape once the sail is reefed.

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