Probably too late, but let me add my $0.02 ...
The very best main by far that I've ever cruised under was a two ply Hood
main, where the weight of the cloth (each layer) was essentially half the weight of the single
layer cloth: instead of 12 oz, it was 2 layers of 5.5 oz. This was an 80 footer, 100 foot hoist main! The "soft finish" Hood
cloth is really amazing stuff, you can't believe how much easier it is to handle than a single
ply heavier sail, especially when reefing or furling
. I could easily put my arms around the sail when folded. Amazing way to build a main.
The best mains for racing
, or if you just have a fat wallet, are certainly made from Cuben Fiber. That is almost magical stuff, about half the weight of even high tech alternatives, and very tough and resistent to chafe and tear propagation. For example, on Team Adventure during The Race
, a running backstay block exploded and sent the sheave through the middle of the main. They just kept racing
, fixing it only when they had to stop in port to repair structural failures. The dramatically reduced weight of the sail had an enormous performance advantage, and the sail looked virtually as good as new after the circumnavigation