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Old 12-09-2015, 11:34   #1
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New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Members of the Hylas List Serve:

We are in the process of selecting new sails for our Hylas 54 with in mast furling. I am soliciting your help if you have any knowledge or personal experience with this. We have talked to UK, North, and Quantum. We are leaning towards a radial main because we are told that they stretch less. Our current main has some trouble when coming out of the slot in the mast due to its stretch. We don't know how old our current main is -- we have owned her for 5 years, and we assume that the sails are about 8 years old.

We are interested in the multi-layered cloths, but have been told by one maker who wants to sell us a straight 10.5 oz poly cloth that multi-level cloths mildew.

Any thoughts on cloth, cut, or sail-makers would be much appreciated.
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Old 12-09-2015, 13:04   #2
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Two different couples we know on 54ft Oysters and one on a 56 recently had delamination issues and subsequent tearing on their fancy multi layer cloth sails. Our Doyle Dacron sails are still going strong with maybe 4-5 years of actual use. The sails are probably 13 years old.

I'd stick with basic stuff on a cruising boat, easy to repair, somewhat bullet proof, less than half the cost and won't delaminate.
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Old 12-09-2015, 13:04   #3
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Yep. Not specifically Hylas ;-) but laminates seem to hold more moisture and if they are furled wet and left like that then mold sets in sooner. Plain cloth seems to suffer less and later.

You do want minimum stretch (everybody does) but it is not only in the cut. All other things equal, less stretchy cloth gives a less stretchy sail.

One neat way to sort out the good from the talk is to walk up to a specific boat where you see a sail you like and ask who made it and in what material. Then go to this sailmaker and ask for one.

I love buying new sails. I wish I could buy more often.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 12-09-2015, 13:16   #4
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Thanks. This is very helpful. You boat and other Oysters are fairly similar to us in size and weight. Do you currently have in mast furling?
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Old 12-09-2015, 13:38   #5
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Yes, the three of us with Oyster 53s have in mast furling, and the Oyster 56 has a slap reef main. Dhillen and I have dacron sail cloth, while the other two Oysters chose a more high performance sailcloth. The 56 had some sort of racing sail made, and not sure about the higher grade fabric on the other Oyster 53. But I do know that his set (main and genoa) cost nearly twice as much the basic cloth at around 15,000 pounds ($24,000) which he thought was a great price from Dolphin Sails in the UK. The main sail for the same boat can be pruchased from a US sailmaker, imported from China for $7,000 delivered.

So, it's Chinese under US supervision for around $12,000. Dolphin Sails in the UK basic sailcloth for $15,000, or the sky seems to be the limit with the multi layer stuff.

Personally, we dont race, so when the time comes to replace ours, I'll stick with basic and easy to repair from a quality sailmaker.
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Old 12-09-2015, 14:07   #6
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Gary,
Your question of sail choice / cloth choice / etc., unfortunately comes up often...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garyrubin View Post
We are in the process of selecting new sails for our Hylas 54 with in mast furling. I am soliciting your help if you have any knowledge or personal experience with this. We have talked to UK, North, and Quantum. We are leaning towards a radial main because we are told that they stretch less. Our current main has some trouble when coming out of the slot in the mast due to its stretch. We don't know how old our current main is -- we have owned her for 5 years, and we assume that the sails are about 8 years old.

We are interested in the multi-layered cloths, but have been told by one maker who wants to sell us a straight 10.5 oz poly cloth that multi-level cloths mildew.

Any thoughts on cloth, cut, or sail-makers would be much appreciated.
And, even for large mainsails like yours, the answer is usually "high end Dacron, such as Challenge Marblehead"....
(have a look here: Sail Cloth )

I will add some more details later, but 'til then I will recommend that you:
a) read a brief comment I sent to a friend just a couple weeks ago...
b) read some relevant posts here...
c) contact Travis at Mack Sails, tell him what boat you have/what rig you have, what you planned cruising will be, etc. and listen carefully to his learned advice...

Mack Sails is owned/operated by the Mack brothers, who are sailmakers, and sailors themselves!!
772-283-2306
www.macksails.com
http://macksails.com/sailclth.htm
Quote:

A few things you'll notice about Mack Sails...
1) Travis and his brother Colin Mack (who jointly own Mack Sails, and whose Dad owned Mack-Shaw Sails in Ft. Lauderdale in the 70's), are both sailors and sailmakers, not just sail salesmen!!

When I write "sailmaker" I mean they understand the intricacies of sails, sail shape, aerodynamics, etc. etc. as well as cloths, sail construction, etc.....they are NOT like almost every other sailmaker you'll meet, as most of them are sail salesmen / reps, not the actual sailmakers...

And, when I write sailors, understand that they both grew up sailing and cruising in S. FL and Bahamas....and both continue to sail regularly...(as well as most of their employees)

These qualities combine to give you the information you need to buy the right sail for your boat and application....


2) Mack Sails designs and builds (CAD systems, cutting, sewing, stitching, etc.) their own sails, right in their own loft in Stuart, FL.....using only hi-quality US-made cloths / materials...


3) I've been doing business with them for quiet some time....and my brother before me....and my parents before that (and actually my parents did business with their Dad as well, back in the 70's at Mack-Shaw Sails)....and I've never been disappointed!!

Here are some recent discussions on this..

Good Old Boat - I've got the new sail blues article

Dacron Sailcloth

New Sails

North's Nordac Radian sailcloth?

Mack or Doyle ?

North Sails: Your Opinion, Please . . .

Which Are the Best High-Production Sail Lofts ?




I hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 12-09-2015, 14:12   #7
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

You might investigate if a radial main, with the added seaming etc will fatten the rollup causing more sticking problems in the mast when furling.... just throwin that out there....
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Old 13-09-2015, 04:30   #8
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Where sailcloth and design are concerned, everything is a compromise, so there's no right answer.

If you sail in moderate latitudes, moderate distances, don't care too much about upwind performance, then straight Dacron (the best quality you can find) might be ok. It has lots of virtues -- durable, easy to fix, less expensive.

When I faced this question, however, for a boat similar to yours in size and displacement, I went with carbon/vectran laminate. Cruising type with taffeta on both sides.

In my opinion, when sails get to be this size, you're fighting a losing battle trying to keep the shape, with Dacron.

Furthermore, Dacron sails depend a lot on the resin which is impregnated in the cloth, and this goes away with use.

I sail at higher latitudes, in stronger wind, and sail a lot of long distances where it's vital to be able to sail upwind. That's why I made this choice.

It's more expensive and these sails will not likely last as long as good Dacron ones, but I love to sail, so what else do I have to spend my money on?

Laminate works a lot better with in-mast furling, too, because it's thinner and more flexible, and so rolls up easier.

As to mildew -- I haven't had these long enough to know whether this is going to be a problem, but what I understand is that the newer types of laminate are much less susceptible to this. The laminate panels are formed in an autoclave.
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Old 13-09-2015, 09:29   #9
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

MY OPINION IS THIS:

LOOK AT HYDRA NET CLOTH AND GO SIMPLE CROSS CUT CONSTRUCTION.

THE HYDRANET IS NOT A LAMINATE BUT A DYNEEMA (INSANELY LOW STRETCH AND BULLET PROOF) AND IT MIGHT BE BLENDED WITH POLYESTER OR NOT.

SINCE DYNEEMA IS VERY STRONG YOU SHOULD RARELY HAVE PROBLEMS FURLING.

I WOULD NOT WORRY ABOUT DETERIORATION DUE TO UV AS THE SAIL WHEN FURLED IS PROTECTED.

I JUST HAD A INNER STAY JIB MADE FOR EXTREMELY HIGH WINDS 30 - 50 KNOTS. IT IS CROSSCUT BUILT. THE SAIL MAKER SAID RADIAL CUT WAS UNNECESSARY DUE TO SUCH LOW STRETCH. I HAVE PLAYED WITH THIS JIB IN LOW WINDS TO UP TO 22 KNOTS. IT SHAPES NICELY DESPITE A RATHER FLAT CUT.

SEE WHAT THE SAILMAKERS THINK OF IT. THEY SHOULD ALL BE CARRYING THE CLOTH AS I BELIEVE IS IS CONTENDER CLOTH.

GOOD LUCK

CAPTAIN RON
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Old 13-09-2015, 09:37   #10
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Hello,

Well, we seem to be in the minority here, but I have gone with the Quantum fusion sails (carbon fiber/technora/mylar laminate with a Dacron taffeta)

These sails are, plainly, awesome. We have about 8000 miles on them now, including some very windy conditions, and Dacron just can't hold a candle to them.

Our boat is 55', 24,000 lbs. The main is about 900 square feet, the jib 600.

We have zero issues with these, and the shape holding is rock solid. I believe that the newer laminates have a lot less issues with delamination.

Anyway, I certainly would not go back to Dacron in any form. Just our two cents.

Happy shopping.

TJ
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Old 13-09-2015, 11:11   #11
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

i don't have the data for your particular sail size and material, but you might consider the lower weight of mylar compared to the higher weight of dacron if the boat is tender at anchor.

the lighter materials are easier to handle, easier to furl and bend, less weight aloft especially on a tall stick. You're more likely to sail with high performance - easy to handle material.
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Old 13-09-2015, 11:28   #12
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

I would seriously look at Hood sails. They are made to last and last and last. The Challenge Marblehead sailcloth is the same as the original Hood sailcloth (I believe they are using Hood's patent). I have used Hood sails for at least 40 years and never had any problems. My current main sail is a "in the mast" sail.

Contact Joe Cooper at Hood. He one of the most knowledgeable sailors you will ever meet (Was on the Australian AC team for 2 campaigns).
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Old 13-09-2015, 11:44   #13
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

Yep, it is a maze of choices. Lucky for us. So let me add another one. More specifically another experienced sail maker. The persons name is Tom Braistad and he has been at Hood Sails for a very long time. Hood sails are a very top notch company and product. And surprisingly not crazy expensive.
Well okay. I have purchased sails from Quantum, and they were great racing sails. Loved the Pentax cloth, and the quality. Same with UK. Then we bought a heavy cruising boat and I started shopping around. Long story short, I purchased Hood 10 years ago and they have been perfect. A real quality product for full time cruising.
Good luck!
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Old 13-09-2015, 16:43   #14
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

If you are considering Hood, look at their Vektron cloth. This is a Dacron / Vectran blend and in my experience it holds up better and is lighter than an equivalent Dacron cloth. I've got Vektron cross-cut sails on an boom-furler (full-batten main) and furling headsails, and they still had good shape after 10K miles.

Mast furling and the batten issue may lead to a different solution though.
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Old 13-09-2015, 18:57   #15
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Re: New Sails for Hylas 54 - a maze of chioces!

We sail/cruise a Taswell 43, at approx. 32,000lbs, with in-mast furling. We've had the boat since 1999, and have had issues/problems with the in-mast furling since we bought her. In 2012, we ordered our 3rd new M/S, a UK(Marmaris, Turkey) synthetic tri-radial cut M/S...and have not had a problem since! We're now in the Caribbean, and have had no issues with the M/S-goes in/comes out easily and realiably, and trims well.....with minimal stretch to date! Without a doubt the best money we ever spent on a sail!
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