Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-04-2014, 06:07   #1
Registered User
 
Winf's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cairns
Boat: Southcoast 36
Posts: 113
Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

Hi all

We are in the process of ordering a new main and headsail for our Southcoast 36. We have found a sailmaker that we like and are now refining a final design. Would appreciate some thoughts from the hive mind on sail options.

To set the scene on our sail needs, we are new cruisers and are in the process of setting up the boat for an initial trip from Western Australia to Cairns (across the top). After a Cairns layover to top up the bank balance, current plan is to cruise the North Queensland coast from Cairns to Cape York then on to Japan. After that, well, let's get there first!

We are fortunate in that we are not sailing to any sort of specific schedule other than that determined by cyclone/typhoon seasons. The intent is to day sail (where possible and practical of course) and take our time to smell the roses and explore along the way.

Our discussion with the sailmaker during measure up was positive. He inspected our torn genoa and confirmed our suspicion that it was past use by. (Multiple existing patches and more signs of wear) and that the main was essentially the same. Our staysail (which we also got him to initially quote on) however he inspected and advised us that he considered that it was still in perfectly workable condition both as a working staysail and as a storm sail using its reef point. So I guess what I am saying is that he was not trying to up sell us to something we didn't need.

He gave us two fabric options in his preliminary quote - dacron and ACL75 radial cut cruising laminate. After his visit today he has recommended for us to go with a dacron main and the cruising laminate headsail. Headsail is on a roller furler.

His reasoning for the cruising laminate headsail is that it will retain shape for better performance over its lifetime however he noted to us that the overall lifetime of the laminate would probably be less than the dacron. The cost of the cruising laminate fabric is about AU$1,300 more for the headsail.

Ok, some questions:

Any general comments on the proposed sails?
Cruising laminates - is there likely to be a significant and noticeable improvement over dacron performance in the headsail?
Is this performance worth the extra $ given the reduced life?
Anyone with experience of this sort of setup is encouraged to respond!

Thanks to all.
Winf
__________________

__________________
Winf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2014, 19:33   #2
Registered User
 
Kestrahl's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Malaysia
Boat: Laurie Davidson 35
Posts: 262
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winf View Post
Hi all

We are in the process of ordering a new main and headsail for our Southcoast 36. We have found a sailmaker that we like and are now refining a final design. Would appreciate some thoughts from the hive mind on sail options.

To set the scene on our sail needs, we are new cruisers and are in the process of setting up the boat for an initial trip from Western Australia to Cairns (across the top). After a Cairns layover to top up the bank balance, current plan is to cruise the North Queensland coast from Cairns to Cape York then on to Japan. After that, well, let's get there first!

We are fortunate in that we are not sailing to any sort of specific schedule other than that determined by cyclone/typhoon seasons. The intent is to day sail (where possible and practical of course) and take our time to smell the roses and explore along the way.

Our discussion with the sailmaker during measure up was positive. He inspected our torn genoa and confirmed our suspicion that it was past use by. (Multiple existing patches and more signs of wear) and that the main was essentially the same. Our staysail (which we also got him to initially quote on) however he inspected and advised us that he considered that it was still in perfectly workable condition both as a working staysail and as a storm sail using its reef point. So I guess what I am saying is that he was not trying to up sell us to something we didn't need.

He gave us two fabric options in his preliminary quote - dacron and ACL75 radial cut cruising laminate. After his visit today he has recommended for us to go with a dacron main and the cruising laminate headsail. Headsail is on a roller furler.

His reasoning for the cruising laminate headsail is that it will retain shape for better performance over its lifetime however he noted to us that the overall lifetime of the laminate would probably be less than the dacron. The cost of the cruising laminate fabric is about AU$1,300 more for the headsail.

Ok, some questions:

Any general comments on the proposed sails?
Cruising laminates - is there likely to be a significant and noticeable improvement over dacron performance in the headsail?
Is this performance worth the extra $ given the reduced life?
Anyone with experience of this sort of setup is encouraged to respond!

Thanks to all.
Winf
I'm a sailmaker/cruiser
For your size yacht and intended use a polyester cruising laminate shouldn't really be a option. The main question you should be asking is which dacron? There is a huge variation of dacron in quality and cost, the extra money you would spend on a cruising laminate is much better spent on a high quality dacron.
The primary problem with using a cruising laminate in your case is you will be cruising in the tropics where cruise laminates have mold and de lamination issues. I've seen many many examples of this up here in Malaysia/Thailand.
The performance advantage is only upwind and on a 36fter its not going to be very much. The triradial layout doesn't suit using the sail partially furled. A dacron sail purpose designed for furling with foam luff pad will be a much better investment.
__________________

__________________
Kestrahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2014, 21:13   #3
Registered User

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Sydney Australia
Boat: Fisher pilothouse sloop 32'
Posts: 751
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

[QUOTE=Kestrahl;1510553]I'm a sailmaker/cruiser
For your size yacht and intended use a polyester cruising laminate shouldn't really be a option. The main question you should be asking is which dacron? There is a huge variation of dacron in quality and cost, the extra money you would spend on a cruising laminate is much better spent on a high quality dacron.
The primary problem with using a cruising laminate in your case is you will be cruising in the tropics where cruise laminates have mold and de lamination issues. I've seen many many examples of this up here in Malaysia/Thailand.
The performance advantage is only upwind and on a 36fter its not going to be very much. The triradial layout doesn't suit using the sail partially furled. A dacron sail purpose designed for furling with foam luff pad will be a much better investment.[/QUOTE]


Hi this is the same advice given by my sailmaker when the time came to replace the genoa on my 32 ft fisher. The finished product has so far been very good and the savings were appreciated.
All up very happy.
__________________
Rob aka Uncle Bob Sydney Australia.

Life is 10% the cards you are dealt, 90% how you play em
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2014, 23:00   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,963
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

For a 36 foot boat you should be using Dacron for cruising, if good quality you will get the longest life and it can be recut when needed.
__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 07:25   #5
Registered User
 
Winf's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cairns
Boat: Southcoast 36
Posts: 113
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

Thanks for the responses.

Pretty much covers the concerns I have with the laminate - mildew in tropics and overall life and durability with minimal difference in performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestrahl View Post
The main question you should be asking is which dacron? There is a huge variation of dacron in quality and cost, the extra money you would spend on a cruising laminate is much better spent on a high quality dacron.
Dacron option proposed is Contender Pro Low Aspect in a crosscut design. Any comments on this fabric choice?

Sailmaker deals with Contender for his cloth supply and cutting. Is there a higher quality Contender dacron that I should give consideration to? Eg their pro radial or hybrid? (Though if radial cut is not the best partially furled then this may rule these out.)

Regards
Winf
__________________
Winf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 10:26   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southport CT
Boat: J/36
Posts: 377
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

If you have a staysail that you plan to use in a blow, you probably won't be thinking of using a partially-rolled genoa much, if at all: you don't need that feature. If most of your cruising is supposed to be point to point daytime sailing in nice weather windows, it might make sense to have a sail that will perform well and get you to your destination in time for cocktails. Your boat - a Southcoast 36? - may respond very well to a high-performance genoa. The sailmaker may know this; that is one of the advantages of dealing with a local one. It sounds like he listened carefully to what you had to say and offered what he thinks is the best solution for YOU. It is essentially the same work for him to build with either material. The laminate does have issues: cost, mildew... perhaps the dacron is better. He will probably be happy to make either one.
__________________
psk125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 10:48   #7
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestrahl View Post
I'm a sailmaker/cruiser
For your size yacht and intended use a polyester cruising laminate shouldn't really be a option. The main question you should be asking is which dacron? There is a huge variation of dacron in quality and cost, the extra money you would spend on a cruising laminate is much better spent on a high quality dacron.
The primary problem with using a cruising laminate in your case is you will be cruising in the tropics where cruise laminates have mold and de lamination issues. I've seen many many examples of this up here in Malaysia/Thailand.
The performance advantage is only upwind and on a 36fter its not going to be very much. The triradial layout doesn't suit using the sail partially furled. A dacron sail purpose designed for furling with foam luff pad will be a much better investment.
I'm not a sailmaker but My research says Kestrahl is spot on. We've worked with Quantum on our sail suit.

Radial is a poor choice for operating partly furled.

Laminated is un-necessary, undesirable for your vessel size.

If you plan to operate part furled, look at luff pads to help the sail keep shape.

Talk to another sailmaker. If your vessel & rig is well enough known you should be able to get sails quoted & supplied mail-order. Go to the web sites for the regulars. They have tutorials for material & design selection.
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 11:05   #8
Registered User
 
cwyckham's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC
Boat: Niagara 35
Posts: 1,870
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

I'm wondering why people are specifying the size of boat when saying whether a laminate is suitable. Is it because of larger forces and sail areas on larger boats, causing more stretch in Dacron? At what size does it make sense to use a laminate?

I also think that an important factor is personality of the skipper. A skipper who doesn't understand or care how to trim sails and isn't fussed about better speed should stick to Dacron. A skipper who takes pleasure in a well set sail and getting an extra half knot may consider it worth spending more money for the joy of better sails. I'm in this latter group, so I'm very interested in the other disadvantages of laminates and radial construction.
__________________
cwyckham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 14:13   #9
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,574
Images: 14
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
I'm wondering why people are specifying the size of boat when saying whether a laminate is suitable. Is it because of larger forces and sail areas on larger boats, causing more stretch in Dacron?
Yes which would require much heavier sail cloth, but there is also a weight advantage for larger yachts using laminate sails. I can remember as a teenager trying to hoist the main on a 55ft yacht and failing. The main weighed more than I did so it needed two of us and a winch.

On our 31ft yacht I can lift the Dacron genoa with one hand, how much weight advantage would I gain with a laminate? not much.

Winf, here is an article which helps to put a number of different cloths into an order:

Sails, Sailmaking, Sailmakers, Lymington, South Coast, Hampshire, Sanders, Saunders, Yacht, marine upholstery, dinghies, quality, boat, design, standard

There is a similar article on the Mack Sails website.

If you can run to Hydranet then that would ideal but in the UK the price was twice the cost of Dimension Polyant C-Breeze which we ended up with in a cross cut panel layout.

Pete
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 14:27   #10
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

Here are the big 4. You can certainly use membrane sails and these guys will sell them to you.

QUESTIONS:
Will you leave the sail on the furler indefinitely? It is harder to handle a membrane sail on deck. They can't be stuffed, only flaked.

Are you prepared to mend your membrane sails?

Are you racing? Do you need to work close hauled? If no, the benefit of the membrane is diminished. Cost is about 2X.

The maximum service area of good dacron sails is a function of the material properties. Over a certain size, it becomes impractical to use dacron as it would need to be excessively thick & heavy.

Our boat has an 80 foot spar so my #1 must be membrane. Everything else is Dacron or Nylon. The only sail I might consider changing is the main but it is in-mast furling so options are limited. With its negative roach & relatively short foot there is not so much to be gained by changing.

Have you ruled out used? I have several sources for sails traded in after a couple of race seasons.

QUANTUM
Cruising Sails - Quantum Sail Design Group :: Premier Sail Design and Development

NORTH
Home

HOOD
Hood Sails

UK SAILS
The official site of UK Sailmakers Lofts Worldwide - Home
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 14:28   #11
Registered User
 
two fast's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Sydney Australia
Boat: Crowther 15.2m
Posts: 37
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

Hi all I have Hydranet sails radial cut, I find them fantastic on a highly loaded cat, I was advised against laminate sails for the tropics
Areas.
__________________
two fast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2014, 19:30   #12
Registered User

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Currently East Coast USA/Caribbean
Boat: Stevens 47
Posts: 223
Images: 2
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

I am also a sailmaker / cruiser (recovered racer). Kestrahl is right. Quality Dacron will serve much better for the long haul. Cruise laminates in the tropics mold/mildew – a terrible look. A half knot of speed difference between cruise laminate construction and Dacron crosscut construction, equally well designed and on a 36’ foot - is fiction.
Nicholson58, membrane construction isn’t the only option for your #1. Tri-radial construction offers the same array of fiber options, etc. The sail could even be crosscut, beastly heavy, but strong and robust out of Vectran, Spectra, or even plied Dacron. Was on a Nicholson 58 in Sydney – beautiful.
__________________
s/v Totem
www.SailingTotem.com
facebook.com/sailingtotem
svTOTEM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2014, 20:51   #13
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,971
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

While I'm not sure of the situation in Australia, In the US the large sailmakers (North, Doyle, Quantum) commonly push laminate sails and tri-radial cuts on cruisers despite consistently poor outcomes.

Could it be because it is more profitable to sell sails that last two years instead of ten+ years?

The attached pages from the Mack Sails web site is worth the reading. You still can get fast, long-lasting cruising sails - you just have to know what to ask for.

Sail Cloth
Mack Sails - Main, genoa, jib, spinnakers
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-04-2014, 21:05   #14
Registered User
 
Winf's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Cairns
Boat: Southcoast 36
Posts: 113
Re: Cruising Laminates - What are they good for

We ended up going with the Contender dacron crosscut main and the Contender version of the Hydranet in radial cut for the genoa. There was a special offer going on the hybrid material with a 20% discount being offered and it made the difference in cost over the dacron not as significant. Will see how it goes I suppose.

Thanks for all the responses. It helped us wade through the options and now we know a lot more about sails.

Regards
Winf
__________________

__________________
Winf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Najad Hull Shapes: Are They Good for Cruising? Nilus Monohull Sailboats 23 24-02-2015 16:38
Will they or Won't they move on? What would you do? TacomaSailor General Sailing Forum 7 02-11-2013 14:48
Is this what They Mean when They Say to Taper the Hole ? off-the-grid Construction, Maintenance & Refit 11 18-05-2010 16:29
They never got over Herreschoff did they? 44'cruisingcat Multihull Sailboats 7 13-11-2007 19:56



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.