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Old 05-10-2014, 18:47   #46
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Evan, on this particular sail, is it made of a laminate where the amount of reinforcing fibers in between the films is constant throughout the sail, or is there a higher density per area of fibers where the loads are greater?
This is a crappy photo and the sheet lead is wrong (I think we had just turned a corner) . . . however there are generous corner patches but otherwise the fiber DPI is constant (I believe - but it is possible some of the middle panels are lighter). Note: it looks sort of small in this photo, but it is 1200 sq ft. Our A2 is 2000 sq ft.

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BTW . . . . I looked it up and the 'nominal weight' of this fabric is 2.95oz, my A2 is .75 oz and A3 is 1.5 oz. (Note: I don't know how apples to apples these 'nominal ' weights are) So to your point, it IS heavier, but honestly I don't see that practically speaking this effects its low end wind range much, perhaps because the luff is self supporting rather than 'shoulders'. However, it is certainly not a 'wind seeker' or a .5oz 'drifter' chute. You do need to feel some wind for it to set. I do remember sailing in the D'entreaux channel (Hobart) in 2 to 3 kts with it - we were 'racing' a much smaller boat. We beat them but it was interesting and closer than I had hoped because they had a lot less wetted surface than we did and lost a lot less ground on each maneuver. In the southern ocean we needed 6kts because even in the dead calms there was a 2m swell that just rolled the wind out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I don't have a pole at all yet. I put on a track and other gear for it when I had my standing rigging replaced last year.

if I can believe what I read about laminated sails, 20k miles of excellent shape than bang.
Get a carbon pole. My suggestion is a full strength spin one and not a 'whisker one'. We sheared five 10mm machine screws holding the pole track to the mast one windy night when the poled jib backed suddenly. I was glad we had a strong pole. And that was not the only time by any means. But a pole is useful for going deep no matter what sails you have - white sails or zeros or A2's.

Despite what you read, the laminate shape does deteriorate over time. The Mylar actually shrinks in the UV and the leaches will get floppy and there will be distortion around the patches. But the change of shape is more 'graceful' than dacron, and a lot of sailors don't 'see' it because they are looking for the 'dacron bagging out'. When the sails are new and you have them and the rig all tuned up you should take a good set of photos, so you can compare the 'as new' sail shape to them as they age.

By the way, jib battens . . . .we have had them and not had them. For 110/105 jibs I slightly prefer them - better leach shape (the battens themselves should be tapered) and a bit better longevity, but make hoisting and dropping the sail a bit more troublesome. My sense is that some sail makers have more experience than others with these - both making the pockets reliable and making sure they furl really smoothly. This is something North does well.
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Old 05-10-2014, 23:14   #47
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Another squally night in Malaysia!

-On code 0 - luff rope, not the sail, is meant to take the high loads sailing closer to the wind. If the luff is over-tensioned against the rope (adjustable at the tack) the sail can fail catastrophically.

-Agree on carbon pole if you can afford, or aluminum will do.

-Cuban fiber is/was amazing stuff - I ran the test facility for it in '90 to '92.

-As Evans says, even "no stretch" materials change shape. Mylar shrink, taffetas distort, and all yarn bundles (Carbon, Vectran, Aramids, etc) have constructional stretch. The fibers in each yarn bundle are not perfectly strait or under exactly equal tension when laminated. Also, yarn bundles running over or under other bundles travel a slightly greater distance, resulting in shape change us use.

-I've found that jib battens tend to cause more damage then benefit on laminate sails. The battens and their pockets create natural hinges that weaken the surrounding laminations. Battens help shape some and dampen flogging, but flogging hinge points is very tough on the base material.
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Old 05-10-2014, 23:38   #48
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Evan, below are the cloth weight numbers I put into my post MUCH earlier in the day (reply #34 I think), but edited them out due to, as you say, the "apples to apples" thing. However, you'll note that my numbers are within a few % of yours. So more or less we're still on agreeable terms sail functionality & technospeak wise.

If you want something for off the wind sailing that'll work when there's not enough wind to fly a poled out jib, then you're looking at a sail made out of some pretty light cloth, relatively speaking.Like something weight wise on par with a storm kite (2.2oz nylon) or a SUPER light jib (say 3oz cloth).

As with anything made out of a much heavier cloth in those conditions, will be too heavy a cloth for the wind to lift & fill it properly.

That, & like me, you're making mention that it's tough to put up a sail with a pole, & have it be a big help speed wise (bottom line) if there's any kind of sea running in light air. And, like both of us said, more or less - you get a sudden wind shift or change in strength. When that happens, & both the pole, & the running gear aren't nailed down, as you delineated (and I said), "things start to breaking".

I was making reference more to an assymetric or gennaker type sail when I wrote the cloth weights thing. Meaning one not in need of huge luff tension, & not designed for anything closer than about 065 AWA & out to about 130-135'ish AWA. However, on that latter bit (my wind angles included here) the request was for a sail which would cover a broad swath of off the wind angles, which isn't a tough request for a sailmaker. Particularly if one leaves out the necessity for a high luff tension.

I think that the difference between an assymetric plus it's other loose luffed bretheren, and 0's etc., with tensioned luffs, is that the free flying sails with the higher tensioned luffs are able to carry more of a shoulder, & into closer AWA's due to the luff tension creating a more "forgiving" use range.
Basically they can't luff due to the tension, so the whole shape of the sail's different.

On the pole thing, I concur, ESPECIALLY on bigger (40'+) boats, - get a full strength spinnaker pole at a minimum, & go up a size if your wallet + deck apes can manage it. As they get BIG eccentric loadings on them when things go awry.
Also, in terms of setting one's boat up so that they're easier to use short handed, the Dashews have a good clip, on their original video tape on how to do it.
I could explain it more or less, but ain't up for typing another 2/3 of a page.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:46   #49
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

DH, have you considered a parasailor for downwind? Easy to fly, good speed, no pole required and works fro. 70-180 degrees in 8-30k +/- not cheap but maybe an option to consider..
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:21   #50
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
DH, have you considered a parasailor for downwind? Easy to fly, good speed, no pole required and works fro. 70-180 degrees in 8-30k +/- not cheap but maybe an option to consider..
Thanks for reminding me about this option. I had once considered and rejected it because of the tremendous (as it seemed to me at the time) cost, but now that the cost goalposts have moved so much, it might be worth another look. Evan, have you ever tried these?

I was quoted 10,920 euros in 2012 plus VAT, for a parasailor of 2,228 square feet with 310 square foot wing. Made in Ukraine; I wonder if their operations are not affected??

The quote I have for a Code 0 is 2655 pounds in 2 oz nylon, and 3321 pounds in laminate, about 3371 and 4271 euros, respectively, also plus VAT. I realize that these two sails are very different, and can't be compared on price, but since my decision will be likely one or the other, the cost question is not irrelevant.


And concerning the pole -- I am finding this discussion to be extremely interesting. My only experience with poles is racing 420's in college -- obviously totally different scale. You are saying that whisker poles are not worth messing with; just take a stout carbon spin pole at "J" measure or a bit longer -- right? I was suspecting this myself -- I just couldn't imagine how 10 meter telescoping whisker pole could possibly cope with the forces. So as a cruiser, how would you use the stout spin pole? Pole out the regular headsail, for which the spin pole is shorter than optimum, but good enough for government work (so to speak)? Pole out the tack of other sails? I will be grateful for advice on this, too, as will many others reading this thread, I'm sure.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:42   #51
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

I might add:

I'm a little lost. If you are poling out the tack on your genny, where are you fixing it on the boat? Up front so it becoems a bowsprit?

Pics to help me understand please
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:59   #52
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

I think he is referring to poling out the tack of whatever form of A sail is being used. At an angle of 160 AWA or so you can sail more deeply and set the A sail more easily with the pole about 20 degrees to windward of the forestay. Early versions of in hull spinnaker poles were designed to pivot sideways and give this result.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:10   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savoir View Post
I think he is referring to poling out the tack of whatever form of A sail is being used. At an angle of 160 AWA or so you can sail more deeply and set the A sail more easily with the pole about 20 degrees to windward of the forestay. Early versions of in hull spinnaker poles were designed to pivot sideways and give this result.
Exactly. Obviously, the clew of the Yankee.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:28   #54
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Poling out a yankee is a pain in the butt. The simplest method is to clip a whisker pole to the windward sheet about 4 - 5 feet above the deck and call it quits.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:56   #55
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

I would completely agree that if you are getting a pole, get a spin pole. I don't trust whisker poles, and the further you extend them the weaker they get...

One thing to keep in mind is if you are near a big sailing venue you might be able to snag a second hand pole from a defunct big boat program. The Santa Cruise 52' program I worked for (the boat was destroyed in Katrina) sold off the spinnaker poles for a song. Which is why we have an Olson 29 with a 30' carbon whisker pole... I think he paid a grand for it.

They may be getting rarer as these boats have mostly switched to asymmetric only spinnakers, but they are out there.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:01   #56
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Running the sheet of a Yankee out through the end of a pole will give it a bit more projected area, but not much, as that sail doesn't even begin to fill a foretriangle. So given that, you have to run extra deep to gain extra efficiency from said petite headsail. And spin pole lengths start at the "J" measurement & get longer from there.
In racing, there's a penalty for over length poles (due to their added speed advantages), but... if you ain't racing... And by over length, I'm talking like 10-25% of J.

Poles do tend to help genoas a fair bit, but even then, you need to be running semi-deep (beam reaching or so, to DDW). Though I personally would pick a pole up for a cruising boat (and likely a spare), even if I had to scrounge, or build one myself. The gains IMO are big enough to be worth it.
FYI, sometimes you can find pre-loved pole ends for peanuts. They're the expensive parts. And then buy the tubing, or find the right diameter section of pipe (even sometimes agricultural stuff's a perfect fit, & CHEAP - no joke) to make your own.

The nice part about having the pole on a jenny, is that they do stabilize the sail a good bit. Both when it's real light, & when the sea way, or the boat's rolling would cause a non-poled jenny to empty & refill with every wave cycle. Which costs you a good bit of speed.
And they really help to stabilize a big poled out headsail when it's heavy, as between the foreguy, topper (topping lift), & sheet, the clew (and subsequently the sail) are locked in place. Like a main with a preventer cranked on hard... including the perks which go with same. Plus a stabilized sail has well attached air flow (as is also the case when it's light), and that's where it really helps with speed gains. Here's why.

Air flow is constantly detaching & reattaching to sails, as well as changing angles etc. As little in the world exists in a steady state, but especially so with the wind, as it's CONSTANTLY changing. And even tiny changes, like 0.2kt or 2 degrees, alters the whole wind flow & force dynamics on a sail.
Each time this happens, it's akin to tapping the brakes on a car... and then of course you have to use the accelerator to get back up to speed. Doing both of those things burns up a lot of energy, actually it's where most of the gas in your tank winds up going. As something of great mass moving at a constant speed, with little outside forces acting on it needs surprisingly little energy to stay at that speed.
So, the less you do it/it happens, the more fuel (speed) you keep via not decelerating, & then re-accelerating.

So with your sails, everything which you can do to keep the wind flow well attached to them, & in as steady a state as possible is where you make gains. Literally, just how (smoothly & gently) a crew moves around on a racing boat can cost or gain them several miles a day, as the motion of literally 1 man on a 20 ton boat is enough to affect these things. And having your jib poled out & locked in keeps it so that it moves with the same pitch & role of the boat. Where as without a pole, it takes a LOT longer to settle down after each roll, if at all (much more so when it's light).

Not to mention the wear & tear on gear, sails, & the crew's nerves, every time the jib goes bang when it refills. Jerking the boat forward in a stutter stepping, stop start kind of motion.

On poles & kites or other types of headsails, all of the above is true, but one of the biggest perks comes from when the pole is strapped down to the deck & pushed forward of the bow several feet. Or the same is done by attaching it to the mast & projecting it forward of the headstay.
Then, when you put the clew of say an assymetric out at the fore end of the pole, it takes a huge portion of said sail out of the (wind) shadow of the main. Giving you a lot more projected area, in addition to letting a lot of the sail operate in clean, undisturbed air (always a GIANT bonus). And it also gives the main a much cleaner patch of wind to operate in as well. Plus, since the foresail's not blanketed, & it's center of effort is further forward, the boat's trim is a lot more balanced.

When your trim's in good balance, then there's less need to use the rudder (drag), or to depower the main to reduce weather helm. On top of that, the sails (a much greater percentage of them) are operating in cleaner air, so there's even less wind detachment & reattachment with each wave cycle or small change in wind speed or direction (than there would be sans having a pole).

Also, one can attach the tack of other types of downwind sails to the end of the pole and gain the same benefits. The catch being that you have to pay attention, & not fly the sails in too much wind, or crank on the halyard real hard (as you'll destroy the pole).
There are ways to allow you to do such, but they require a much more complicated pole setup. Especially if you want to do things like crank on some serious halyard while having the tip of the pole 20 degrees to weather.

For now, I'm going to leave discussion/explanations of cranking the pole to weather while flying upwindish sails, to someone else, or for another time. But I will say this, in some configurations, doing it is so effective that it's been banned most classes of racing yachts out there (at least to my knowledge). Albeit again, it's more of a specialty, racer'ish type thing to be doing in the first place. And to some degree requires some even more specialized hardware, plus a few magic tricks (to make it work well).

And for everyone who learned something, I'm taking donations. 5kg bricks of gold bullion work just fine ;-).
Seriously, I hope I helped out a bit, even if I did incite a whole 'nother level of questions. But the above is the Cliff Notes version of a good bit of a 2 day, mid level J-world racing class.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:40   #57
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Dockhead,
Not to make you crazy (purposefully anyway), but have you ever considered adding a textile (Dyneema/Spectra) Solent Stay. They you could fly a drifter/reacher or a big genoa (both with hanks) for light air. And since they'd be on hanks, it'd take all of 90sec. to brick them (accordion them down the headstay, & then roll them up from the clew end) & slide them into a sailbag.
Either one done that way would be about the size of a beanbag chair, & fairly easy for one guy to stow or recover from belowdecks. Plus, one can pick up pre-loved headsails from racing boats, & have a sailmaker do any mods to fine tune them to your yacht, as well as installing a set of hanks, fairly inexpensively.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:57   #58
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Dock,

I don't know anything about the para-sails. They look odd to me, and essentially no racing program uses them, so I have my doubts. Last time I had dinner with jimmy (Cornell) we chatted about them. He has used them and seemed positive, but only in a mild way, not a fanatical advocate. I am still "open minded", but have enough doubts I have not sprung the $'s to try one.

Nylon and "zero" don't go together. You pretty much loose the close reaching capability with nylon's stretch, except perhaps in super light drifter conditions. That is more a "flat and small reaching gennaker" (I guess an "a5" in north speak). We had one of those for a couple years, got it "pre-owned but unused". Not a bad sail, but in our experience the low stretch zero has greater range/usability (of course more expensive).

Does your zero pricing include the furling hardware or only the sail? You need some pretty dear hardware to make it work well. I have two other sails ("blast reachers") that also share the same furling hardware which helps a bit absorbing the cost.

Perhaps you should pick up 3 or 4 different used light sails, even if they are not exact size fits, and give them all a spin before you buy a custom one? It is hard to know what might be best for your sailing style - have you set 200sqm of sail before? It can be a lovely experience, but is a lot of canvas and can also get real ugly real fast.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:13   #59
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

Dockhead, just curious about what indicated to you the that the old sails were too bagged out to be acceptable? Did they appear bagged or did you detect substantial performance loss before they started to look bad? In any case I envy new sails. Please keep us advised on the project going forward.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:22   #60
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Re: New Sails! Advice Needed.

I wanted to come back to something Estar mentioned because the more I thought about it the more important it became (at least in my mind).

The angles sails are rated based on have to do with aparent wind, not true wind angles. And one of the major benefits of either a Code or asym is that due to the effectiveness of the sails, particularly in light wind they help to pull the aparent wind really far forward. With symmetric spinnakers this can actually be a problem since past a beam reach pulling the wind any more forward makes the sail very hard to trim and keep full, while a flatter cut asym just keeps building speed as aparent wind speed climbs.

There is a trade off in DDW sailing since symmetrics are much better at going deep, however the flip side is you are going faster over the ground. This generally means that while an asym has to sail further, it does so at a higher vmg. And because reaching is a more stable point of sail than running the boat tends to be more controllable and steadier. In a real sense I think this makes a boat safer because you no longer have to worry about catching yourself by the lee, or crash jibing.

Every boat is of course different, but generally an asym should be designed to sail higher than the symmetric it replaces because of this.


Something like a G3 may allow you to dig much deeper compared to TWA than you might imagine, particularly in light air. Simply because of the shift in AWA that occurs as the boat speeds up.
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