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Old 16-01-2015, 02:22   #1
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Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Hej guys,

I'm looking at buying a new genua (North Sails). My old one has pretty well had it. They are suggesting their Premium Paneled 400 (Norlam Dyneema).

So, while I do trust the North sails guys (I konw them personally), I'd like to hear other opinions.

WE plan to start an RTW next spring on the coconut milk run, so this will be our genua for that.

any comments? words to the wise etc?
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Old 16-01-2015, 02:48   #2
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

They've been around for decades. That should mean something. But request a jib-sail with a specific percentage more than 100% if you desire a genoa. Like 120%, 150%, whatever. Consult with the sailmaker and discuss your current sail inventory and the waters/winds you sail.
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Old 16-01-2015, 03:01   #3
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
They've been around for decades. That should mean something. But request a jib-sail with a specific percentage more than 100% if you desire a genoa. Like 120%, 150%, whatever. Consult with the sailmaker and discuss your current sail inventory and the waters/winds you sail.
I know the size I want - it is the material I'm looking for help on. Is the Dyneema the right material for a cruising sail?
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Old 16-01-2015, 04:07   #4
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Is this a Mylar laminated dyneema material? I worry about the longevity of a laminate when spending days on end in the sun or flogging on a furler (bad form I know, but it does happen).


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Old 16-01-2015, 04:31   #5
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Is this a Mylar laminated dyneema material? I worry about the longevity of a laminate when spending days on end in the sun or flogging on a furler (bad form I know, but it does happen).


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This one:

North Sails: Premium Paneled 400 Upwind Sails
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Old 16-01-2015, 08:55   #6
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

its not going to hold up undersun and salt you would be better off with dacron based materials
check out bainbrideg cloths
you may have friends at north but they are trying to sell you something that is not suited for your needs. not surprising but wrong
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Old 16-01-2015, 09:27   #7
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

You can't fault North, they make a great product and I've had their sails last years past other manufacturers' offerings. The only issue I've ever had with a laminated sail is when mildew forms between the layers and can't be cleaned.

If I were going cruising RTW, I'd go for a high-weight Dacron sail, heavily reinforced at the head, tack and clew (and reef points). They're easy handling for folding or furling, and you can clean them. You probably won't return with the same set of sails you started with anyway, so I can't see spending extra for laminates, unless you're trying to win the rally.
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Old 16-01-2015, 09:32   #8
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Chose a material that can be repaired by almost anyone, almost anywhere.
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Old 16-01-2015, 12:50   #9
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Carstenb

I notice your location is Copenhagen. If you are sailing the coconut milk run you will be in the tropics. Sun damage is much more prevalent and for cruising you would be better off with a non laminate genoa. Speaking as one who has just had a main sail replaced due to sun degradation of material on a sail only a few years old yet we covered it religiously when we were not sailing.

Sue to laminate for your needs.
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Old 16-01-2015, 13:23   #10
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Carsten,

I don't know enough to give you specific advice for your genoa. However, our sailmaker here recommends against laminates for cruising boats due to poorer longevity. What I'd suggest is for you to consult with another two or three sailmakers and get their recommendations. They should have the specialized knowledge we lack.

If you're planning a sort of open ended circumnavigation, you may be out for 8 or 10 yrs. Plan for the sail to be used up by then. ;-)

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Old 16-01-2015, 13:33   #11
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

I'd contact Jaimie of svtotem. He's a very experienced sailmaker who has been cruising with his family for years on a boat about your size.

I'm going to guess he'll recommend Dacron, but I'll let him speak for himself. He also hangs out here at times, so you may be able to pm him.

IMHO, laminates will sometimes make sense on a very large cruising boat, even in the tropics, but Dacron is the material of choice up to somewhere between 40-50', depending on the boat. You don't have the large forces and large sail sizes in smaller boats, so you don't need to spend the extra money and deal with mildew that comes from the fancy sails.
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Old 16-01-2015, 14:00   #12
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

This is still a laminate sail. If you are doing an RTW you are going to have lots of UV contact. I think your preferred sail would be good old tried and true dacron.
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Old 16-01-2015, 14:09   #13
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

My own feeling would be to go for a non-laminate sail. Having said that, North make very good sails. I presume your budget is not too tight otherwise you wouldn't be looking at North Sails, so maybe you don't mind replacing sooner than you would have to with a dacron sail? I'd be very interested to hear from someone who has one of these sails and has had it for a year or two. It's presumably a new material though, so does that person even exist?! We shall see!
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Old 16-01-2015, 15:40   #14
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

Looking over the specs from North Sail (which the OP provided a link to) this doesn't appear to be a laminate construction sail as we usually understand it. Layers of kevlar and mylar, for instance, tend not to last under cruising use. This appears to be different, being a layup of woven fabric, using a high-tech, low stretch, very UV tolerant (if you believe North Sail's claims) material.
Unless I'm missing something? There's no mylar in it, as some respondents have assumed. Looks to me like an ideal sail for a circumnavigator if what North says is true. Am I missing something? Of course then there's the old adage "Never try anything new until you see who dies from it..."
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Old 16-01-2015, 15:58   #15
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Re: Is this the right sail for long term cruising

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Disagreeing with some of the other posters, I will say that this is a good choice.

You're going to do a circumnav -- talk to Evans Starzinger about sails, as I did. He really helped me a lot, and in the end he recommended exactly this kind of sail to me.

The best of the new laminates are made in an autoclave and are far more resistant to delamination and mildew than laminate sails were just a few years ago.

Apparently the best of the best is Bainbridge cloth. You should check with North where the cloth comes from, and whether it is glued, or autoclaved.

You could probably get by with Dacron sails on a boat your size (I can't), but laminate holds it shape far better. It won't last as long as good Dacron sails, but even good Dacron sails had lost their shape after a year or two anyway.

Laminate sails are less tolerant of flogging, but you're a good enough sailor to take that into consideration.

As you know, I'm having new sails made this winter (you were present when the old ones were shredded ), and I chose just this kind of sail, but with Bainbridge carbon fiber laminate panels.

I found that a highly touted local sailmaker gives a price nearly 50% lower than the quotes I got from North and two other big name lofts -- about 25,000 pounds (32,000 euros?) plus VAT versus 50,000 pounds plus VAT. I would recommend you get at least a "sanity check" quote from my sailmaker when you get close to pulling the trigger. He's according to everyone really top notch; he even made Tom Cunliffe's sails!

Even a great set of sails may not survive a whole circumnav -- that's a lot of time in the sun. You should keep your old ones if they're serviceable or even buy a used set for long downwind passages in the tropical sun, to save the good laminate ones. The quality of the sails doesn't make much difference when you're going downwind.
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