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Old 30-01-2011, 00:53   #1
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Pressed vs Hand-Sewn Rings

I'm comparing sailmakers and trying to evaluate the claims about ring installation methods.

Anyone out there ever lost a pressed tack, clew or reef ring in an otherwise perfectly good sail?

The hand-sewers make it sound like it's pretty common, but yet I never hear anyone mention it.

Thanks,
-p
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Old 30-01-2011, 01:15   #2
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We have never lost pressed rings from sails. We have lost pressed tacks from covers and canopies, though - usually as a result of the fabric fraying. I don't think sewing in rings would stop this - although I would be inclined to reinforce the fabric around these rings in future.
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Old 30-01-2011, 03:02   #3
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You shouldn't pay too much attention to the handsewn folks in the pacific northwest. If they didn't argue they were better than modern technology then they wouldn't have a business, but saying so doesn't make it so.

Designs for pressed-in cringles have evolved. Thirty years ago there were aluminum plates on each side of the fabric, with little spikes that pierced the sail, and the stainless ring held them together. Of course aluminum is prone to corrosion, particularly in tropical conditions, so I don't doubt the aluminum spikes could corrode and lose the grip on the cloth after many years, although I didn't experience that. At least some of the modern cringles are all stainless. And if they are pressed in to spec on an hydraulic press they are stronger and more durable than sewn-on cringles. Of course there should always be tabling (reinforcing layers of sailcloth) added in way of the cringle.

Holding out for handsewn cringles is like insisting on cotton sails - very authentic but rather silly. Modern sails work just fine, are very durable, and will need replacing all too soon due to the sun weakening the fabric rather than rings pulling out, etc.
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Old 30-01-2011, 04:12   #4
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I agree with the above - whichever way you go it's unlikely the cringle will be a problem. It's an aesthetic decision, and so it depends on the vessel. Sewn cringles will look pretty daft on a shiny Beneteau, while pressed ones will jolt on a more traditional vessel. Sort of a 'this goes with that' judgement.
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Old 30-01-2011, 18:08   #5
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FWIW,

I've had both types, and have had zero failures of pressed stainless cringles. The older style with aluninium spacers were deadly -- no isolation between the alu and the s/s, and the usual corrosion was rapid and often fatal to the cringle.

Also have had sewn rings. Most sailmakers that employ them use the traditional brass rings as a base, and I've had them distort so badly that they lost the inner ferrule. Once that happens, the sewing quickly chafes through and the whole lot goes away. I guess that if one was to use beefy s/s rings this issue would go away, but have never seen it done.

We always now specify pressed stainless... works for us, and we use our sails a lot (averaging 6500 miles/year for the past 24 years).

Hope this helps your decision.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Church Point, NSW, Oz
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Old 30-01-2011, 18:30   #6
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I've had little long term experience with pressed in fittings. The ones I have have only done several thousand miles over a couple of year period including a solo TransPac. None have given me any problem.

I like the handsewn kind because I'm basically a retro-grouch and appreciate hand finishing. I have had one of these fail on a clew from wear. This was after many many thousands of miles and years of service, however. Even though I like handwork, don't appreciate it enough to pay for it. I priced sails from a Port Townsend sail maker and required resuscitation after fainting at the price.
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Old 30-01-2011, 19:09   #7
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Agree with all above. I was a sail maker/designer - SS pressed in rings are more robust, no question. There are a two other choices, depending on the sail. An external (not pressed) SS ring strapped on is the strongest and best at distributing load. A webbing loop is often the best choicefor furler tack/head because it is less stiff, rolls easier.
-Mainsail tack/clew: external SS rings strapped on
-Mainsail cringles: SS pressed in rings
-Furling headsail tack/head: webbing loop
-Non-furling headsail tack/head: external SS rings straped on
-Headsail clew: SS pressed in or external SS ring
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Old 31-01-2011, 12:15   #8
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Thanks for the input everyone. I am a little surprised there was not one person who was vehemently on the side of hand sewn rings. Usually these things tend to be faith based... ;-)

Thanks!
-p
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Old 31-01-2011, 13:07   #9
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Can't think of any other reason to go by hand than aesthetics or an emergency repair.

Pressed rings here throughout.

Never seen a pressed ring ripped out of a sail. I have seen the whole clew patch go though.

My fave are pressed rings with plastic 'sleeves'. They are cream.

barnie
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Old 31-01-2011, 13:36   #10
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Wow. This is the kind of in-put I look to this site for. I am going to be building my sails for the boat I am building. Since I am hand making the sails [perforce - like roverhi, above, the price of buying them made is overwhelming] I will probably have to hand sew the cringles. I will avoid the brass inserts now. Thanks.
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Old 31-01-2011, 17:25   #11
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Some pressed in rings have no teeth, just two smooth plastic surfaces trying to hold onto smooth sailcloth. Had one of those pull out . Make sure you sew some webbing thru them, just to make sure.
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Old 31-01-2011, 18:18   #12
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Rutgerson press-in SS rings are the best RUTGERSON MARIN
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