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Old 20-01-2015, 04:47   #31
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

I'd go with dacron. But whatever go with a sailmaker that makes the sails where you are. not offshore like North (skri Lanka I think). I purchased a main from them 5 yrs ago it stays in my sail locker as after a month needs to be re stiched bolt rope was sash cord! a piece of.

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Old 20-01-2015, 13:31   #32
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I had the same question, as oddly the North page doesn't mention mylar. But I'm almost certain it's a mylar laminate -- Carsten could ask them to be sure. Their "500" laminate looks precisely like the Bainbridge cloth I'm using for my sails, and that is certainly mylar laminate. I think it's probably the same cloth altogether.
Hello all,

I am at the same point as Carsten here - and I am leaning towards North's Dyneema laminate tri-radial sails (in-mast furling main and 130% furling jib, for my 43' Hallberg-Rassy sloop).

Technically speaking, the cloth I am considering is called "NorLam Dyneema Gatorback S 195TX", and per NS is made of the following layers:

- Plain weave taffeta 19500 denier per inch UHMWPE warp and 220d Poly fill
- 400d UHMWPE "Gatorback" X
- 2 mils PET film
- Plain weave taffeta 150d Poly

Total weight is 350 g/mē

Question to all: Has anybody actually experienced mildew in such a laminate? There are many strong opinions, but I would like to hear about actual instances of mildew and typical climate conditions where it happened.

Thanks, --Andy

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Old 20-01-2015, 17:16   #33
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Interesting to see such different opinions. The answer is more about money and inconvenience than shape holding characteristics. Sails of quality Dacron, covered when not in use and managed well during the countless squalls ahead will likely make it all the way around. The cloth in question will almost certainly not.
The Dyneema laminate will have better shape and be lighter weight. As the headsail is of reduced size for greater range versatility, those performance benefits don’t really amount to much. You’d be far better off with a cruising code zero for light air sailing, rather than pretend that this sail is going to be so good in all conditions.
And as for shape holding, this cloth is still mostly polyester (Dacron) with some Dyneema yarns. Radial construction reduces bias loading that causes stretch and permanent distorting, but there is still plenty of bias loading while tacking, flogging, poor sail trim (not that that ever happens), and very much so if using the sail partially furled to reduce area. In the tropics, the lamination is more susceptible to failure and likely to grow mildew within the layers. If you have the budget to replace then perhaps the modest benefits are worth it. Do remember that there can be a major hassle factor to repairing or replacing sails in remote places.
There is a point to Dacron versus high modulus fiber sailcloth with respects to size. Stretch characteristics and limitations of yarn density in Dacron necessitate a 2-ply leech for monos starting around 45’ and multis about 40’. This gives the sail enough strength, but makes it very heavy – and it’s still Dacron with stretch. You can certainly build much bigger Dacron sails - I’ve designed/built them for boats to 90’ – they’re super tough and work fine. They get ugly but don’t break. At the point where Dacron needs a ply for strength, high modulus materials (woven or laminated) make more sense to keep weight down and hold better shape (still the shape will change use/time) – if you can afford the premium. Carsten’s headsail is not so big – I’d go high tenacity Dacron, crosscut, with UV cover sewn with PTFE thread - save money for the many other expenses along the way.
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Old 20-01-2015, 18:01   #34
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Here is my 2c.
Dacron, well made and specified will complete a RTW, if looked after. So will Laminate, with the same provisos.
My experience (with Norths laminates) is that after about 40,000 miles, and multiple years in the tropics, they are now in need of replacement. However, during that time they have been lighter, and held their shape better than a Dacron equivalent. That means more efficient sailing, at less heel, with less sail, for the equivalent drive. So they are better, but cost more.
I'll be replacing them with laminates again, and hope/expect to see another 40,000 miles! :-)
Norths have been good to me, and have service centres in most sailing locations. NOT all their sails are made in Sri Lanka.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:05   #35
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

I'm just designing and supplying new dacron sails for a Tayana 55, the sails they are replacing are Gatorback 295 mainsail and 195 headsail from 1999. They have been stored inside the boat for the last 5 years in SE Asia and are totally delaminated, full of mold and throwaways. This is because of being stored in a high heat/humidity environment, not though use. This is nothing against north, I wouldn't trust any laminate in SE Asia for a long period of time. I've come across several cases of cruising laminates coming out of storage on and off the boat here and being throwaway, same applies to PVC dinghies!
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:34   #36
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Storage is not only a problem in SE Asia. A friend had a 3DL main for his 44 footer made in 1999 for the race to Bermuda. He used the sail a total of less than 45 days (it was used for racing only) between 1999 and 2008. By then it had de-laminated in a number of spots and he tossed it. He had carefully stored it in New England when not in use. These are wonderful sails, but they are like tomatos...they go bad whether you use them or not and don't have a long life expectancy.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:43   #37
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

OP , take a look at Kemp Sails. We blew out our mainsail while sailing across the boot of Italy and Kemp gave us a reasonable quote with delivery to Croatia. We opted for Dacron. We have inmast furling.

just our thoughts and opinions
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