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Old 15-02-2016, 09:39   #1
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Radial Main Sailcloth Material

Researching on which sailcloth material to use for my main sail. I want a radial, full batten, NON-LAMINATED sail. I was looking at Challenge Warp Drive...Any comments?

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Old 15-02-2016, 10:17   #2
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

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Originally Posted by avazquez View Post
Researching on which sailcloth material to use for my main sail. I want a radial, full batten, NON-LAMINATED sail. I was looking at Challenge Warp Drive...Any comments?

Thanks
Dimension Polyant Hydranet


Had Tri-radial full bsttened main and tr-radial roller genoa from it on our then Jeanneau Sun Legende 41 , superb. Now old and wrinklie, living in the USA and have in-mast reefing on a Beneteau Oceanis 36Cc but my sailmaker, same one for 30 years, Crusader Sails from Poole in the UK, made me a new in-mast sail from Hydranet without being asked as he knows how muchI like it even if the lighter sail loads on this boat probably do not really justify it. Super sail, great sailmaker, excellent cloth.( no relationship other than a very happy customer of many years.
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Old 15-02-2016, 10:31   #3
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

You'll pay a premium for HyrdaNet, but it is worth it
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Old 15-02-2016, 12:57   #4
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

Our Hydranet Radial main is approaching two years and 10,000 miles use now, and still looks new, save for chafe on the batten pockets. Only drawback to Hydranet save the price is that it is quite stiff, and flaking our biggish main, even with a boom bag, is difficult. It is slowly getting more flexible (wearing out??), but still a bugger to deal with.

Our new genoa, due t his friday (!!) will be made of Hydranet too. Being on a furler, the flaking issue is no problem, but I bet that folding it on deck will (when required) be a bitch! But I can't wait to go sailing with it!

Contender now makes a cloth similar to Hydranet, called Pro Hybrid. Even dearer than the original, it apparently has a bit less spectra content, and our sailmaker didn't reckon it to be an improvement, so we used Hydranet again.

Life in the sail loft is sure getting complicated!

Jim
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Old 15-02-2016, 13:32   #5
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

I did a fair bit of research before getting a full wardrobe for my sloop. I liked HydraNet, but the loads on the cloth would have been too high for my high-aspect headsails and HydraNet is more difficult to justify in a mainsail. The boat has a deep bulb keel and is quite demanding.

I ended up using top of the line Challenge 9.62 High-Aspect Dacron, double ply leech (mainsails always eventually go at the leech where the loads are by far the highest), full battens. I am impressed with the material.

In my view, cutting a radial main is a bit of a waste of time and money, unless you aim for an ultralight sail that is not going to last anyway. The distribution of the loadings doesn't warrant it. I have Spectra webbing running across at each reef to relieve the foot loads when reefed.

There is a brilliant book about sailmaking and modern materials available as a free PDF (at the moment anyway) from the author here.
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Old 15-02-2016, 15:38   #6
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

OceanSS, thanks for that link. I've downloaded it and begun to read, and it seems like a good reference manual.

Jim
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Old 15-02-2016, 17:31   #7
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

Jim,

Based on what I have seen in your posts, I think you are going to enjoy that book a lot.

I remember staying anchored in Port Cygnet for quite a long time years ago. I was in Tasmania until June; the snow reached a bit lower in the end.

Eric
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Old 16-02-2016, 09:06   #8
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

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Originally Posted by avazquez View Post
Researching on which sailcloth material to use for my main sail. I want a radial, full batten, NON-LAMINATED sail. I was looking at Challenge Warp Drive...Any comments?

Thanks
There are several good warp dacron options now available. Dimension Polyant, the makers of Hydra Net, have the Pro Radial. This has been reduced in price to make it more attractive. It is a very good warp dacron.
The Challenge Warp Drive is now offered in two styles, a Race and a Cruise. The Race version has more warp fibers but smaller fill yarns. This has less stretch but the small fill fibers will break down with UV exposure sooner than the Cruise versions with heavier fill yarns.
Contender has the Fibercon Radial, a quality warp dacron. Contender also offers the Fibercon Pro Hybrid. This is a warp dacron with inserted Dyneema fibers. The Dyneema fibers are used in both the warp and fill unlike Hydra Net where the Dyneema fibers are in the warp only.
If going with Challenge, on cruising boat sails, ask for the Warp Drive Cruise for better life in the sun.
We have used this Warp Drive cruise successfully on several mid size cruising cats. I don't feel the need for a two ply leech, with this option, compared to a cross cut catamaran mainsail.
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Old 16-02-2016, 10:29   #9
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

Ocean Sea Spray - thank you for posting the link. i too have downloaded the book to my technical library.

All - recently went from flaking to in-mast furling as a result of changing boats. question is regarding tell-tales on the mainsail leach (i) can they be installed without problems such as jamming the sail, etc? and (ii) if yes, are they installed parallel to the horizon or perpendicular to the leach?

Thanks - Alan
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:35   #10
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

My personal experience with Dacron cruising mainsails is that they fail at the leech upwind in strong winds due to the very high loads in this area as they get weakened by UV exposure.

Even though a second ply may seem unnecessary from a design point of view on the new sail, it does become very valuable down the track; otherwise the cloth begins to fail in high winds with small tears forming perpendicularly to the leech just outside the clew and reefing point patches.

This is how I retired a fully battened main because it couldn't be trusted in high winds any more. I added a second ply myself on the next one and it also kept the leech area much straighter right from the start.
Different boat, new sail again now, but still with the 2-ply leech. Mainsails seem to age quite differently than headsails and the second ply seems to be an excellent investment...
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Old 16-02-2016, 17:43   #11
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

My last cross-cut main (on an old IOR one-tonner) had a plied leech, and it lasted far better than any previous sails had. In its old age there was a suspicious change in shape at the interface between plied and un-plied areas, and i'm sure there had already been a performance hit, but it lasted a very long time in cruising usage.

jim
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Old 16-02-2016, 17:45   #12
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

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Originally Posted by OceanSeaSpray View Post
Jim,

Based on what I have seen in your posts, I think you are going to enjoy that book a lot.

I remember staying anchored in Port Cygnet for quite a long time years ago. I was in Tasmania until June; the snow reached a bit lower in the end.

Eric
Well, it got cold enough for us to light the heater, but no visible snow and no local hail. It's getting better today, and the weekend is supposed to be summer once more. Yippee!

Jim
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Old 16-02-2016, 18:43   #13
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

I have a Hydranet radial main from Quantum Thurston in RI. Its now 8 years old and in like-new shape. Full battened and used with a Leisurefurl boom, the battens keep it from flogging and the hydranet give it good performance without the "measles" that come from mildew forming in laminate cloths.

Hydranet is the way to go. My Genoa and Staysail are also HYDRANET and they look great too.

Rick
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Old 17-02-2016, 05:50   #14
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

50cm of snow fell yesterday ..... a bit of sympathy please
Bill

I remember staying anchored in Port Cygnet for quite a long time years ago. I was in Tasmania until June; the snow reached a bit lower in the end.
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Old 19-02-2016, 18:12   #15
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Re: Radial Main Sailcloth Material

Not wanting to hijack but another thread on the same subject would not help. . . .

Anyone using the Contender Fibercon Pro Hybrid currently?
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