When we purchased our Columbia 26 MKII 71 in 1990 it also had a short foot and half white coated steel wire on the 110 Genoa on the head of the sail that attached to the halyard shackle. I saw no purpose to it, and when I replaced the sails in 1994, the sail maker did not include it. My only guess is that it was used to make the jib halyard length the same as the 150 when the sail was raised. I haven't seen any attached to the tack of sail to raise it over the puplit. I still have the orignal sails in my attic, but haven't used them on the boat since 94.
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Recently acquired a 69 MKII which came with three
jib..two 110's and a Genoa..One of the jibs and
the Genoa have a 1 1/2 or 2 ft wire lead attached
to the Jib...My question is: Is this because the orig jib was short and this make it the right length
to reach the top of the mast or are the wires intended to be attached to the deck so the sail will
clear the pulpit while sailing?
there also could be there to allow attachment to a basic furler that was popular back then. furler was/is an all or nothing furler mounted on the deck behind the forestay and with a 'spinner' at top and attached to the jib hardware, so it would be raised all rolled up, and stored rolled. well, it could be...
That's called a pennant, and can either be attached to the tack or head of the sail. If you have a furler and a sail that has a luff shorter than the headstay, it's necessary to hoist the halyard all the way to the top of the stay for the top spinner to turn properly, and not twist the halyard around the headstay. Storm jibs usually have a penant on the bottom (and top if used on a furler). The tack pennant serves to keep the foot of the sail clear of green water on deck, and also improves visibility under the sail.