I'm finally going to order new sails
. Oh, happy day!
of the size required for my boat don't work all that well in Dacron because of the big forces exerted on the large areas. So I have more or less settled on a carbon/vectran membrane with taffeta on on both sides -- basically a string sail with taffeta.
Due to a great tip received offline from a CF member
, I have found a local sailmaker
who can supply this at about half the cost of what has been quoted to me by North and Doyle. The sailmaker
-- owner of the loft -- will come over on Monday to discuss the details and measure my boat.
Now I need to be sure to ask the right questions, and to ask for a quote for the right details. Here is what I have in mind:
1. For the mainsail
-- I have Selden in-mast furling
-- I figure short vertical battens not sufficient for positive roach, but enough to avoid a hollow leech. The longer battens seem to be too risky -- jamming risk.
3. UV protection of the clew area.
4. For the yankee -- what about battens? Does it make any sense to have battens in the main headsail?
5. Am I wrong to not order a staysail with the new main and yankee? The existing staysail is made of extra-heavy Dacron so that it can be used as a storm jib
, and it's in fine shape. I guess it will look somewhat odd flying with the gorgeous carbon sails, but other than aesthetics, why should I replace it? Is there any good reason?
6. Leech and foot lines in the yankee.
7. Sun protection -- UV strip -- on both
sides of the leech area. From Sunbrella? What's the best material for this?
8. Luff pads and reef marks.
And the hardest question: I want to order a good downwind sail at the same time, from the same maker. What do I want? A Code 0? An assymetrical? The purpose being light wind
and downwind work -- and I realize I will need some kind of sprit and other gear
This is what the sailmaker wrote to me, in response to a number of queries:
" Every one of our Membrane sails is custom made and the process starts with our designer
1) Information about the yacht is loaded into the computer. This detail includes rig height, spreader position and length, shroud
bases, track positions, mast
bend, forestay sag, deck
height above the water
etc. With this information our designer
is able to create the required sail by "building it" on the screen
. This is achieved by previously acquired knowledge of the optimum: camber, twist, camber position, entry angle, exit angle etc.
2) Once the sail has been designed it is transported into another section of the computer which calculates the loads within the sail. Once the loads (and the direction of them) are known the designer can then specify the yarn to be used and knowledge of the modular strength of this particular yarn will dictate the denier required to counter the loads. Therefore a sail made from Dacron will need a much higher denier of yarns than that made of Carbon fibre making it far heavier. The selected yarn will then be laid onto the design in the correct formation to align them with the loads in the sail.
3) This sail design plus the "yarn map" is then sent to a laminator.
Unfortunately there are no laminators in the UK therefore we have to use companies either in Italy
, USA or South Africa
; as we are totally independent we can use however does the best job. There are companies in China
and the Philippines
but we never use these.
4) Once the panels
have been laminated they are sent back to us to be joined and the sail completed. Grand Prix race
sails are made from laminates without taffeta to make them as light as possible; these sails are glued together. When more durability is required we add taffeta to the outside of the panels
(either one side or both sides) gluing alone is not strong enough to join these panels therefore they are stitched as well.
5) A lot of other sailmakers get their sails made in their entirety in other countries; we do not do this. All of our sails are designed in house and the only process that is carried out abroad is the laminating of the panels; this gives us total control over our product."
I thought this sounded fairly logical.
What else should I be thinking about???