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Old 10-06-2014, 11:09   #16
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Re: Making your own Light-Weather Sail

I'm in touch with the used sail sellers mentioned above. It seems shipping is going to run about 175$. That's a lot, but might still work out. I'll look around a bit more though. Some nice sails can be found on marktplaats or other second hand websites, trouble is that most all light-weather sails found on there are race inspired sails such as gennakers, spinnakers and a stray code zero every now and again. I'm looking for a drifter that can be used on most all points of wind, albeit less effective then a spinnaker dead downwind. This type of sail isn't very popular in the racing or coastal cruising scene, making it highly uncommon to find on the local websites. The fact that it goes by a number of different names doesnt make the search any easier. Considering the shipping cost and the price of some of the used sails I found it seems unlikely I can buy all the sailcloth and yarn for such a big sail any cheaper...
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:21   #17
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Re: Making your own Light-Weather Sail

I am confused. There is a style of headsail called a drifter that goes up in place of a jib but made from spinnaker material. Something like this is going to have to be custom made, only racers use them, and they are typically toast every season. They are becoming incredibly rare since ultra-light laminated sails are close to the same weight, but can handle higher winds.

If you are looking for an asymetric spinnaker type sail then you are probably in the code 1 -Genniker range of sails. These can be used upwind effectively (say 60 degrees off the wind) but also can reach down to 140 pretty reasonably. If you want to point higher than this or lower, then you get into upwind sails like a Code 0, which can point with a jib, but is terrible past a beam reach, or running asymetrics that are good down to 170.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:40   #18
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Re: Making your own Light-Weather Sail

The drifter you and I are talking about is one and the same. The Pardeys used theirs for over a decade, appreciating its versatility, low cost and mostly ease of use.

This last one has more importance then many a sailer might acknowledge. Unless you're racing or really want to make some speed, getting the spinnaker out and hassling with it very quickly seems like a lot of effort. I personally am also not very good at raising/lowering/trimming it, so I don't have a lot of (self)confidence in it either. All this combined would probably mean that 8/10 I would just get the engine running rather then the spinnaker even if I carried one. A nylon, genoa-like drifter would be a whole other story.

Ruining it after a year might be a danger, but is much less prone to happen if you're on a cruisers timeframe rather then a racers. If the wind picks up to keep the regular genoa from constantly falling in, I'd switch back to that rather then pushing the drifter to get the last big of speed out of the breeze.

The laminates used today might be a good/better substitute, but that's where cost comes into play I guess. I'm not sure what a genoa 1 goes for in that material, but I'm pretty sure it'll be quite a bit more then a nylon one, no?
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:19   #19
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Re: Making your own Light-Weather Sail

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Originally Posted by Orchidius View Post
The drifter you and I are talking about is one and the same. The Pardeys used theirs for over a decade, appreciating its versatility, low cost and mostly ease of use.

This last one has more importance then many a sailer might acknowledge. Unless you're racing or really want to make some speed, getting the spinnaker out and hassling with it very quickly seems like a lot of effort. I personally am also not very good at raising/lowering/trimming it, so I don't have a lot of (self)confidence in it either. All this combined would probably mean that 8/10 I would just get the engine running rather then the spinnaker even if I carried one. A nylon, genoa-like drifter would be a whole other story.

Ruining it after a year might be a danger, but is much less prone to happen if you're on a cruisers timeframe rather then a racers. If the wind picks up to keep the regular genoa from constantly falling in, I'd switch back to that rather then pushing the drifter to get the last big of speed out of the breeze.

The laminates used today might be a good/better substitute, but that's where cost comes into play I guess. I'm not sure what a genoa 1 goes for in that material, but I'm pretty sure it'll be quite a bit more then a nylon one, no?
Laminates are very expensive and apparently have mildew problems in tropical climes.

I wouldn't discount an asymmetric spinnaker in a sock. Very quick and easy to set up and use and makes such a huge difference downwind in light wind.

Upwind, the current thinking for those with the money or the room is to go with a code zero on a furler or in a sock.

A drifter will work, though won't have the same area as a typical code zero. They can certainly be a lot cheaper. How are you planning to fly the sail? If you have a typical boat with a genoa on a furler and would need to pull down the genoa to put up the drifter and vice versa, I'm guessing you wouldn't use it as much as you might think. If you use hanks or you can free-fly the drifter inside the headstay, then you would get more use out of it, I think.
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Old 10-06-2014, 13:04   #20
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Re: Making your own Light-Weather Sail

I'm considering putting in a solent stay to fly the drifter off of inside the headstay as you suggest. If I end up buying one with a wire luff this wouldn't be an issue of course .

The code zero is an interesting sail for this purpose, but way too expensive for my wallet I'm affraid.
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Old 10-06-2014, 13:21   #21
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Re: Making your own Light-Weather Sail

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I'm considering putting in a solent stay to fly the drifter off of inside the headstay as you suggest. If I end up buying one with a wire luff this wouldn't be an issue of course .

The code zero is an interesting sail for this purpose, but way too expensive for my wallet I'm affraid.
Good call. Consider also putting your storm jib on the same solent stay.
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Old 10-06-2014, 13:48   #22
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Re: Making your own Light-Weather Sail

If I'm going the solent stay route at all, I'll be using one and the same removable stay with pelican hook to attach near the headstay to act as a solent stay or halfway down the foredeck to act as a cutterstay for the stormsail. Much closer to the mast .

This is an entirely different discussion on its own though, and I've created a topic for it. This topic is for the discussion of the actual sail, a much harder call IMO...
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Old 10-06-2014, 16:28   #23
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Re: Making your own Light-Weather Sail

If that's the plan then go with an internal wire Solent sail on a furler. It won't go upwind quite as well as something in the luff tape, but will be worlds easier to get up and down.

Do the same thing for a storm sail if you want. Just use a different attachment point. The same furler can be used on multiple sails. The storm sail would also need an internal wire luff, but that isn't a big deal.
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