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Old 13-09-2014, 19:12   #16
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Dave thanks for that concise reply. So if we left out the Carbon Cruise laminate because of the mildew problem in the tropics (which would really get up my nose) then we have the two Dyneema choices.
Would you opt for the Fibrecon due to the the dyneema being used in the fill as well. Is there any advantage in this construction over the HydraNet?
I don't quite understand why the Fibrecon is cheaper if it uses more dyneema in its weave though???
Is the feel in the hand when handling the woven sails the same or similar?

For me I feel the potential long term loss of some upwind capability is definitely worth the tradeoff from having mouldy sails to contend with.
And of course most of us try and limit the slog to windward as much as we can anyhow.
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Old 13-09-2014, 19:29   #17
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Yes, the Fibercon Pro, with Dyneema on the fill, is very interesting. I only hesitate as this is a new material with no track record. But, Contender is a good company and I would guess this to be a great long lasting fabric. Also, the slightly lower price is a plus. I would guess this is because the material is new and they are competing against the Dimension Polyant's Hydra Net.
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Old 13-09-2014, 21:00   #18
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

FWIW, our new main is radial, and made from Hydranet Radial cloth. A thing of beauty, holds it's shape very well, and should last well. It's drawback,other than cost, is that it is very stiff, and after about 6 months of moderate usage, still is a bitch to flake, even with lazy jacks. Getting the boom bag zipped is a struggle some times. Our sailmaker swears that it will eventually become civilized, and I believe him. But too, eventually I'll be dead and not care! I'm wondering which will come first? This "feature" is a worry for short handed and aging cruisers.

So, for Dave, is the Fibercon equally rigid?

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Old 16-09-2014, 12:49   #19
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Hi Jim,
The Contender Fibercon Pro Hybrid cloth is simular to Hydra Net in the "hand"
This is the feel of the cloth. Both have a finish that I would call medium. But, some may find this firm. Sounds like you may have a fairly heavy weight of Hydra Net? Both will soften up in time with use though.
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Old 17-09-2014, 20:05   #20
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

This thread couldn't be more timely for me. I've just started considering a new suit of sails and have a lot to learn. This is my first big boat and first time I care about the canvas. For a newbie the choices in sails and providers is bewildering.

The good news is that I spent two days at the big Newport, Rhode Island, annual boat show last week with the express mission of talking with sail makers. I'm lucky that being in Newport that many major providers have lofts nearby and are well represented at the show. I spent time with North, Hood, Quantum, Doyle and a couple small guys. It was interesting to see most of them not only had fabric samples, but the same samples. The names were different, but the material wasn't, with some exceptions of course.

I'm also lucky that the older local guys know my boat (it was designed, built and owned by Ted Hood) and knew Ted's philosophy about sails and the rig- at least back then. Three offered to come out for a sail with me to really understand the boat and my needs. That will happen in the next two weeks.

So I feel like I'm drinking from a fire-hose on this subject and enjoying it so far. The threads on CF are hugely valuable - especially the fairly universal feeling of uncertainty in making a choice. Thanks for all the shared wisdom.

JR
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Old 22-10-2014, 23:34   #21
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Definitely a timely thread!

A question I have is with regard to which fabric to use with an old hood in mast furling system (1990). I have been told that they HydraNet will remain slick (or possibly get slicker) with wear and roll well.

This is definitely a heavy cruising boat (Oyster 55) at about 60klbs with vertical battens. From memory about 58' on hoist and 21' on the foot for the main.

The original sails are made by Hood (BiRadial cut) and are 24 years old. Definitely time for moving up but the choice of fabrics is definitely somewhat broad!

I wonder what the old fabric is?

I am still getting better than expected performance, even on the wind, having built performance polars from observed sailing performance the last few years. This boat does like to go to weather!

Planning on a circumnavigation but with a need for great local (light/med air [8 - 14 knts true]) sailing performance which is predominantly forward of the beam.
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Old 23-10-2014, 07:50   #22
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Hydra-net is slippery because dyneema is slippery as a fiber. It won't become more slippery with time but the fabric will lose its stiffness and possibly furl better.

The old Hood sails will be dacron for sure. Hood made some very high quality dacron back in the day and many are still going strong.

Your options are either the same "dacron" or one of the woven exotics - Hydra-net, fibercon pro or woven vectran. This really depends on budget, the price between dacron and exotics is a big jump.

There have been some reports of chafe problems with radial cut sails and in mast furling, chafe on the radial seams. But if your existing sail is bi-radial and okay then it might not be a problem with your mast.
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Old 08-09-2015, 20:02   #23
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Dave, found your website Multihull Sails For Catamarans And Trimarans
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:17   #24
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

In case anyone is interested, I now have 3000 miles on my new sails, which are carbon/technora laminate with taffeta on both sides.

The laminate is thinner (even with taffeta on both sides) and rolls up easier, so works really well with the in-mast furling.

The vertical battens have caused no issue at all so far with the in-mast furling; you don’t even notice them going in and out.

The shape holding is dramatically better than Dacron. It’s possible now to get the mainsail so flat that it is almost completely depowered – “put to sleep” as the racers say. So that means that I now have control of the shape from very flat to as deep as I like and everything in between. All the controls now have a big effect so sail trim is a completely different universe.

I had expected to see a big improvement in sailing upwind, and not much on other points of sail, but this is not the case. The difference is dramatic practically across the wind range. One bizarre (to me) effect of the new sails is that no longer is a beam reach the most efficient point of sail. I don’t understand this, and maybe someone can explain it. All of a sudden, and for the first time I’ve ever experienced in a lifetime of sailing – the boat is fastest on a close reach, actually just off of close hauled, where I sometimes see boat speed of 80% of the true wind speed. That’s at 40 to 45 degrees AWA.

Highest VMG to windward is a little pinched (as it seems to me) now. In moderate wind and calm sea about 27 or 28 degrees AWA and the traveler pulled well up above the centerline and the leech and foot a bit looser than I would have used with the old sails. Whereas before I did much better well cracked off (usually about 37 degrees AWA) and moving faster. The only explanation for this I can think of is that the new sails have much less drag, and so produce much less leeway, so I don’t need as much speed to make progress upwind, as I did before. I’m getting 5 knots VMG to windward out of about 7.5 knots of boat speed when pinching a little. Cracking off and accelerating to 8 or 8.5 knots does not improve VMG to windward, surprisingly. With any sea running it’s different, however.

I have not had any issues with water soaking into the panels via the carbon fiber ends which hang out of the seams. The sailmaker told me that the new laminates are far less susceptible to mildew than the old ones were. Time will tell, but so far so good.
I am having problems with the clew angle when furling either new headsail – sail wrinkling as it furls. I think this is an issue with the cut of the sail and will be talking to the sailmaker now that I’m back in the UK.

I also have a problem with the luff going slack at the bottom when I have a lot of vang on. I think the mast is cranking back due to insufficient forestay tension and will be working on that. Or perhaps the luff is slightly too long.

So far laminate looks like the right solution for larger performance cruising boats. YMMV.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:31   #25
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In case anyone is interested, I now have 3000 miles on my new sails, which are carbon/technora laminate with taffeta on both sides.

The laminate is thinner (even with taffeta on both sides) and rolls up easier, so works really well with the in-mast furling.

The vertical battens have caused no issue at all so far with the in-mast furling; you donít even notice them going in and out.

The shape holding is dramatically better than Dacron. Itís possible now to get the mainsail so flat that it is almost completely depowered Ė ďput to sleepĒ as the racers say. So that means that I now have control of the shape from very flat to as deep as I like and everything in between. All the controls now have a big effect so sail trim is a completely different universe.

I had expected to see a big improvement in sailing upwind, and not much on other points of sail, but this is not the case. The difference is dramatic practically across the wind range. One bizarre (to me) effect of the new sails is that no longer is a beam reach the most efficient point of sail. I donít understand this, and maybe someone can explain it. All of a sudden, and for the first time Iíve ever experienced in a lifetime of sailing Ė the boat is fastest on a close reach, actually just off of close hauled, where I sometimes see boat speed of 80% of the true wind speed. Thatís at 40 to 45 degrees AWA.

Highest VMG to windward is a little pinched (as it seems to me) now. In moderate wind and calm sea about 27 or 28 degrees AWA and the traveler pulled well up above the centerline and the leech and foot a bit looser than I would have used with the old sails. Whereas before I did much better well cracked off (usually about 37 degrees AWA) and moving faster. The only explanation for this I can think of is that the new sails have much less drag, and so produce much less leeway, so I donít need as much speed to make progress upwind, as I did before. Iím getting 5 knots VMG to windward out of about 7.5 knots of boat speed when pinching a little. Cracking off and accelerating to 8 or 8.5 knots does not improve VMG to windward, surprisingly. With any sea running itís different, however.

I have not had any issues with water soaking into the panels via the carbon fiber ends which hang out of the seams. The sailmaker told me that the new laminates are far less susceptible to mildew than the old ones were. Time will tell, but so far so good.
I am having problems with the clew angle when furling either new headsail Ė sail wrinkling as it furls. I think this is an issue with the cut of the sail and will be talking to the sailmaker now that Iím back in the UK.

I also have a problem with the luff going slack at the bottom when I have a lot of vang on. I think the mast is cranking back due to insufficient forestay tension and will be working on that. Or perhaps the luff is slightly too long.

So far laminate looks like the right solution for larger performance cruising boats. YMMV.
Thanks for the great information Dock. I have a fairly large cutter as well and have been looking at sails. Though I think for this next season I'll grav a Bacon sail for the main. I have a similar main to a few popular boats(Oceanis 43, J42, Beneteau 40.1) so I think I'll get by with a newer used main as I need other items first. I just know my dacron main now is shot, like hoisting a bedsheet. I've been looking at all the different materials and fibers but I'm glad to hear of your so far, success with your new sails.

Keep us updated every few thousand miles if you can or remember.

Keep sailing brother.

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:01   #26
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Dock Thankyou. With a smaller boat with 3DL 140 genoa our favorite point of sail was close reach, hitting 7.3 -7.5 sometimes with clean bottom and good wind. Well over hull speed, but speedo probably not calibrated. I agree the folds when furling are not good particularly with carbon.
We need new genoa and I want a slightly longer lasting sail, 3DL is 12 yrs now, and less mildew, with same shape holding, and hopefully less cost than 3DL. We are low aspect with less loads so a triradial laminate with vectran might work. Do you have any suggestions? Luff is only 37' and our J is only 14.08'.
Looking for sail material and cut that would last 15 years, with good shape holding for at least 7 years (3DL still has good shape) and is good against mildew and is unlikely to delaminate. I cannot determine if never 3DL are better insofar as glues/delam and mildew. They are also expensive but I really got spoiled by shape holding. The two sailcote treatments put this sail cost over the top. Any suggestions?
-Maybe just buy the best reasonable cost woven dacron+something twice after 8 years, since that might be cheaper and then get advantage of better sailcloth in 8 years? Specific suggestions are welcome.
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:03   #27
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

I cannot determine if NEWER 3DL....
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:27   #28
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

I cannot determine if NEWER never 3DL are better insofar as glues/delam and mildew.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:04   #29
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

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I cannot determine if NEWER never 3DL are better insofar as glues/delam and mildew.
Newer 3Di's are much much better than older 3DL's in those regards. 3Di is a fundamentally different process.

New 3DL's are only marginally better than older - it's still essentially the same thing it has always been with very slightly better glue.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:10   #30
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Re: Optimum Sail Material for Large Performance Cruiser, Chapter 12

Thanks Evans, Do you think the newer 3Di are Ok for UV? Evidently they have a paint that is applied to the exposed area and it washes/wears off over time and can be reapplied. There is not much history with these sails, and they are a little more expensive than the 3DL.
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