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Old 14-11-2014, 12:46   #1
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Help me pick a new mainsail

My boat is a 1980 Catalina 30 standard rig. Old. Beat-up. Cheap.

The current main is the original sail. Yup, a 35 year old sail. And yup, it has all the shape of a hefty bag. I've had the boat to hull speed plenty with it, but it's old and I'd like to point a bit higher. Time for a new one.

Typical use is daysails or 30-80nm passages. (i.e. going to Catalina/ch islands) Winds are almost always light, 5-15 knots or so. I don't need top performance, and I really want to pinch pennies where I can.

Some quotes from local lofts were pretty scary.

So looking around I find:

1. North Direct. 6oz NorDac. 2 full/2 partial. ~$1450
2. Doyle (from sailboatowners.com) 6-7 oz. Dacron. 2 full/2 partial. ~$1500
3. RollyTasker (from National Sail) 7.3oz dacron, 2 full/2 partial. ~$1400
4. North Direct. 7 oz dacron, all partial. ~$1300
5. RollyTasker - all partial. ~1300

All are single reef. I don't go out in stuff that needs two.

I need to find out if they include luff slides (The RT does)

Anybody have any opinions on what would be the best bet? Should I look at the 2 full battens (current sail has partials). Do I care about 6oz vs 7oz cloth since I predominately sail in lighter air?

I've looked around a bit for a used one - minnies didn't have anything - and really I'd like something new.
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Old 14-11-2014, 13:12   #2
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

If where you like to sail is to the [So Cal] Channel Is., you'll be better served by the 7 oz., assuming all the dacrons to be equal, because the catabatic winds there can be a lot stronger and surprise you at a time when the synoptic flow isn't all that great, and you don't want to stretch your new sail out of shape on its first outing.

I'm assuming here, that you are talking about a cross cut sail, and are disinterested in other sail cloths because of budget restrictions, and that we're talking a balanced weave, not one designed to be stronger in one direction than the other.

Would it work for you to get a used sail, and then save up until you could afford a really good sail for your boat?

Generally speaking, I like the 2 full, 2 partial better than the all partial, the sail flogs less when raising and lowering and when reefing. Flogging helps the cloth wear out.

Anyhow, good luck with it, and I hope you have lots of sailing fun with whichever new sail you get.

Ann
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Old 15-11-2014, 19:47   #3
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

Thanks Ann. That's along the lines I've been thinking.

Anybody have any opinions about National Sail/Rolly Tasker? Doing some research and it appears to be mostly positive.

Anything's going to be better than the rag that's on there now.
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Old 15-11-2014, 21:07   #4
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

I used rolly tanker and loved the results on a small boat I had years ago. My latest main came from Neil pryde. Very good quality. Same deal as tasker, similar prices. However it was a local sailmaker who I ordered it through. He came to the boat and measured it carefully. We got the reefs put in exactly where I wanted them. He made sure the measurements fit the boat precisely and if they don't then he would fix it as he is a local sailmaker. But the sail was made some place like Sri Lanka or Connecticut...

Make sure you measure carefully on the actual boat, don't measure the existing sail which will be stretched etc. your rig may have changed, when I ordered my main I found out someone replaced my boom with a 12" longer one...


Also I second two full and rest partial battens. You will see 1.5-2 knots difference and in high winds you won't need to reef too early with a nice new sail....

Good luck.
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Old 15-11-2014, 22:36   #5
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

Hmmm.....
you main is 35 years old and you still hit hull speed.. and you live in southern cal..
must have been a good sail.. have you thought of going over the factory and getting another.. Been a few years sence I have been there but as I remember they had their own loft upstairs over the factory floor....
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Old 16-11-2014, 11:00   #6
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
Hmmm.....
you main is 35 years old and you still hit hull speed.. and you live in southern cal..
must have been a good sail.. have you thought of going over the factory and getting another.. Been a few years sence I have been there but as I remember they had their own loft upstairs over the factory floor....
Getting to hull speed is greatly helped with a 170% genoa - and reaching. Upwind is too baggy to point well. But yes, it was a pretty good sail. (I've found a picture of my boat in a race about 1990... That's the sail that's on it)

The sail was made by odyssey (newport beach) - they no longer exist.
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Old 17-11-2014, 02:57   #7
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

Nobody can tell you what to do here, we can only help with the experience bits. My advice is to get a decent used sail, and save up for the sail of your dreams. Almost any used sail you buy will be better than a baggy 3 yr. old 170%.

As a side issue, our boat before this, when we bought her, came with both a light and a heavy 165, which was so heavy I had to put the topping lift on it and winch it up from below, then drag it across the deck. You want a good sail.

Ann
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Old 17-11-2014, 19:11   #8
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

If you want longevity, a couple of full battens help. They can extend the roach to increase sail area (nice in light air) and they also help maintain sail shape in light air so your performance might be improved over something else that was flapping around instead of being held in place. Our 25+ year-old dacron main has full battens. We had it repaired when a seam ripped racing upwind into a 35 knot Nor'easter. We continue to use it for cruising to places like Maine and Martha's Vineyard.
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Old 30-11-2014, 16:48   #9
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

When I bought a new main for a sloop, I went to a 15% and a 30% reef. When you need it, they are nice to have, and relatively cheap.

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Old 30-11-2014, 18:02   #10
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

I have purchased Doyle sails for a boat in Mexico and then another boat in The Caribbean. I had great service from them and their sails are excellent. I would suggest contacting Doyle loft in Alameda. They will help you with the price I'm sure. I have nothing to do with them. I was just happy with their sails
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Old 30-11-2014, 21:27   #11
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

I wish you luck on your quest. Every time someone asks about "What new sails should I get?" on this and every other boating forum known to man, pretty much the same responses occur:

1. folks will tell you their success with the sails they bought - which may or may not apply to you. I have experienced the same when asking my friends verbally. Same boat, two different friends with new mainsails, both used the same vendor, one hated it, one was very happy. Go figure.

2. It's a subjective issue, like anchors & guns: there is no right answer.

3. There are all sorts of opportunities, and Google is your friend. Google used sails, you'll find places like Sail Warehouse Store and others, but you get the idea).

4. As one regular respondent wrote here sometime ago, there's no substitute for you to do your own homework and research, since, like I said in #2: Your boat, your choice. Too many variables.

5. Are you aware of the C30 association website and the C30 Yahoo group? They may help you get more specific to your boat.

6. Finally, with ALL sails: you can pay less for a mail-in loft or you can pay more for a local loft with someone who will come to your boat and measure it, and make adjustments if necessary after the sale. If you think your "stock" boat can use stock sails, then do so, and consider the Ullman loft by Catalina Yachts, they've been making good C30 sails for many many years.

Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2014, 13:52   #12
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

Jeepbluetj,

I replaced the sails on my Catalina 30 using the Sail Warehouse (Rolly Tasker) and noticed a big difference not only in performance, but in heeling. I sail in the Channel Islands so opted for the "offshore" option with heavier cloth, full battens and 2 reefs. If you are south of Pt. Mugu you can probably get away with the "coastal" option with a single reef, which will be quite a bit cheaper.
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Old 02-12-2014, 14:03   #13
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

If there ever was a chance to find a nice used sail your boat should be it. The C30 is a popular boat and similar to many others.
Otherwise I would go for a coastal use sail as opposed to a heavily reinforced offshore type. It will set better in light air and not have all the chafing issues with occasional use anyway.
I would go for two reefs though. One thing I've learned about the sea is it is unpredictable. Go for the lighter cloth but two reefs to keep from blowing it out when you have some weather.
"All are single reef. I don't go out in stuff that needs two...."
Yeah... but you may come back in it!
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Old 02-12-2014, 15:24   #14
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

Quote:
"All are single reef. I don't go out in stuff that needs two...."
Yeah... but you may come back in it!
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Well said, Cheech! I'll try to remember that line!

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Old 02-12-2014, 15:53   #15
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Re: Help me pick a new mainsail

I put the same basic question to a guy who has worked for a few of the major sail design and manufacturing companies. He shrugged and said "North, if only because their consistency is better than anyone else's at this point."

I'm going to bet that North Direct provides pretty good value given that they have volume and technology going for them. That said, I have no experience with them.

I'm sure you'll find good and bad stories about pretty much any sail maker, and since you're not in the market for a custom designed sail with attentive customer service after the fact, I think consistency of product is as good a metric as any on which to make a choice.
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