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Old 16-11-2008, 11:51   #1
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Sail Material to Stay Away From...

Hello,

I have been looking at used cruising sails for a little while and up until now I was only considering dacron.

But I started looking up other materials such as UK Sails Tape Drive Laminates. From what I gather, it seems to be as durable or more than dacron but with better performance.

I'm looking for durability over performance. Durability and performance would be perfect but I'm sure it comes at a price.

I always thought that those high tech materials were big on performance, but week on durability. Are there some that I should consider for a cruising sail? And which ones do I want to stay away from?

going to post this on sailnet as well

Thanks
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Old 16-11-2008, 12:25   #2
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Dacron gives the longest age but gets out of shape quicker

laminates stay in shape longer, but dont last as long

For me the best cruising compromise is spectre reinforced dacron (such as Hoods Hydranet)
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Old 16-11-2008, 13:01   #3
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Talbot is right. Many sailmakers will tell you that 3 years out of a laminate sail is good (one year if you sail it really hard). That's probably the same amount of time that a woven dacron sail has really good shape but the woven dacron sail can go on for many more years if you don't need great shape. And the laminate sail's shape is much better than dacron in the first place.

The other big challenge with laminate sails is mildew. The sailmakers have made great strides in this area but I've never found one that will offer any guarrentee about mildew. The mildew doesn't really hurt the sails but can make huge black splotches all over it that can't be gotten out. It happens more often than anyone wants to talk about.

The Hood woven cloth Talbot is thinking of is Vektron which is a mix of Dacron and Vectron. Hydranet is a newer product from Dimension that is a weave of Dacron-Spectra. A few years ago they introduced a version of Hydranet for radial cut sails that seems to have great potential. Both of these woven cloths are supposed to last much longer than laminates and avoid the mildew problems.

I'm thinking about Hydra-net for future sails. Does anyone have experience with it?

Carl
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Old 16-11-2008, 13:20   #4
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So how long of a life can I expect out of a laminate sail without regard to the shape? The main sail on my boat is over 20 years old and still works, but obviously has no shape.

I found a new sail made with Tape Drive Laminate that would fit my boat very well and has all the specifications that I would want in a mainsail.

Even though I could get it for a fantastic price, I don't want to have to replace too soon.

Also, is it bad for these sails to be flaked and stored on the boom?
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Old 16-11-2008, 13:44   #5
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Laminate sails don't stretch more with age. Instead they tear. delaminate, or just fall apart. If you are a "20 year" sail guy I don't think you're going to be happy with laminates.

On the other hand, you may be astonished by the improvement in upwind sailing performance from a new sail (especially a laminate sail). The boat will heel less and you could pick up a noticeable amount of speed. You might feel that the improvement justifies the higher annual cost of laminate sails.

Or get most of the improvement from a new woven dacron sail - especially if you use a top-end dacron that is more tightly woven. Also consider a biradial cut as this will keep the draft forward better as the wind increases. This is not a good time for sailmakers. You can probably find a great price.

Carl
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Old 17-11-2008, 16:22   #6
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Thanks for the help, I think I will keep my eyes open for good old dacron.
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Old 17-11-2008, 20:50   #7
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How is old style heavy UV treated tight weave canvas for lifespan?
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Old 17-11-2008, 23:21   #8
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If you value durability, then a High Modulus Dacron (Challenge Marblehead) or Dimension Hydranet in radial cut would be good choices. Laminate sails - 3 or 4 years and then they are done; literally starting to fall apart if used lots.

The Hydranet I was looking at for a new genoa has slightly better laminate material properties compared to North "Norlam" mylar/dacron cruising laminate; (~25% better than the HM Modulus dacron), but because it's a woven fabric, it will be lots more durable.
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Old 18-11-2008, 03:54   #9
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Modern Sails:
All sail makers know that sail performance is directly related to the sail fabrics from which sails are made. So whether you are seeking new or used sails, the following information should you to decide. The characteristics of fibres (Modulus, Tenacity, Flex Life, UV-resistance, Elongation, Flutter Stability) and how those fibres are incorporated in a laminate or a woven material, influence how the finished sail cloth will perform. With many types of sail fibre and sail fabric to choose from and with new products being introduced annually, purchasing the right sail can be a confusing process...

Goto: Sail makers uk sail fabric sailcloth sail material

See also Sailmaking Materials from
“Sailmaker's Apprentice” ~ By Emiliano Marino
http://books.google.ca/books?id=axf0...um=3&ct=result
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Old 18-11-2008, 08:18   #10
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I just got the book and have not had time to study it yet! Should have known there would be a discussion about materials in the book.
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Old 17-10-2009, 14:43   #11
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Hi all, looking for some advice was thinking of buying a new sail,the rig is one large lug sail used on tradtional 26 foot timber boat.The sail im currently using is made from dacron its 5 years old its allright but i compete in races eatch summer and some of the other boats have started using fully battened cruise laminate sails with large roachs etc.I was thinking of bainbridge sailcloth CL-DIAX-P radial cut and battened but dont have any experience with it was also wondering about a good sail maker/loft technology and after sales service etc considered in the uk.Would appreciate any comments knowledge etc.Thanks.
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Old 17-10-2009, 15:55   #12
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Hydranet is the ultimate sail cloth for cruising sails, we love it! Remember that a baggy sail is just as shot as a delaminated one. We sailed some time with laminates that were falling apart but they still had great shape and were fast. I just got tired of first making repairs to the sails before hoisting them ;-) I changed to tri-radial cut hydranet and it's perfect. Handles like woven dacron with the shape of a laminate and lasts like dacron without loosing shape.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 18-10-2009, 10:30   #13
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How long have ya had them Nick?
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Old 18-10-2009, 17:12   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
How long have ya had them Nick?
I have them close to 5 years now. The hydranet material is like new. I have a little mildew at the luff (where the control line runs through) but that's made of regular dacron tape.

cheers,
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Old 18-10-2009, 18:00   #15
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Nick, that fabric sounds like a good choice for a staysail on my boat. I will have to look into it further. . .

One point to consider for sails is the size of the boat. Anything past 45-50ft starts to make hydranet or other high tech fabric a must due to loads, and weight of the sail.
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