The recent discussion EdS brought up about reinforcing the ICE spinnaker-pole type booms brings up a topic I've been thinking about lately:
Are slightly bendy booms, like the ICE OK? I used to think not. However, as long as there is sufficient stiffness to give a hard leech in moderate breeze, maybe a little bend is ok.
1. Gust response. When in breeze, and consequently vang-sheeting, a slightly bendy boom will give a little, releasing some leech tension. However, one may argue that this release in leech tension may result in a little less bending of the topmast, so the main wouldn't blade out quite as much.
2. Outhaul tension. A very little bit of outhaul tension is released when the boom flexes. Resulting in a fuller main at the bottom. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If we can blade-out and twist-off the upper main adequately, and power up the lower main at the same time, we shift the effective center of effort lower, resulting in more drive and less healing moment.
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