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Old 28-11-2011, 11:55   #1
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Location: Langkawi, Malaysia
Boat: Herreshoff cat Ketch 40'
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What Material for New Jib ?

I'm going to put a new Jib on the Boat. I'm getting a Profurl roller and looking for some info on what might be considered the best sort of material for the sail. Being new to sailing I'm thinking that a lighter material will respond better in lighter winds than a heavier material. Does that compute!!
If money was no object what would be the esteemed teams thoughts on the best materials to use??
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Old 28-11-2011, 12:12   #2
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Re: What Material for New Jib ?

I myself would stick with a heavier Dacron sail. The advanced materials are great but they can be harder to repair and do not last as long. They also don't perform as well especially in lighter air.
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Old 28-11-2011, 12:20   #3
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Re: What Material for New Jib ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SY Pollen Path View Post
I'm going to put a new Jib on the Boat. I'm getting a Profurl roller and looking for some info on what might be considered the best sort of material for the sail.

Herreshoff cat Ketch 40' = pretty straightforward, unless you are a really finicky racer who just loves to trim the sails full time, get a high quality (tight weave) dacron sail. It will be long lasting, economical with decent shape.

Being new to sailing I'm thinking that a lighter material will respond better in lighter winds than a heavier material. Does that compute!!

At first, but then too light a sail cloth will blow out its shape and not respond well in any wind. You need to get the right weight, not too heavy and not too light.

If money was no object what would be the esteemed teams thoughts on the best materials to use??

Well we have a spectrum - in order of performance:
cross cut dacron
radial cut dacron
Dacron laminate
DP hydranet radial
Spectra laminate
Vectran Membrane/string
3DI

The 'money no objective' sweet spot for most 40' cruising boats is usually in the two underlined items (hydranet and spectra laminates) - although these are usually used on bigger boats than yours. These are decently reliable while offering some noticeable improvement over plain jane dacron. The membrane sails have terrific shape but most 40' cruisers will not actually see any performance gain and 3DI is still a bit experimental for the cruising market.
we knew what I presume were the previous owners of your boat - lovely vessel!
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Old 28-11-2011, 13:18   #4
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Re: What Material for New Jib ?

S/Y PollenPath,

We have a bit more experience with cat ketches than most sailmakers as I used to own one myself - a Freedom 39 Express cat ketch (Ron Holland design). We just completed a Freedom main for a client in Panama.

Most cat ketches don't carry much in the way of headsails. Have you switched boats and perhaps not updated your profile? Frog Kiss, the very successfully campaigned Freedom 44 cat ketch used a staysail deployed from a sprit for light air upwind use. Off the wind a variety of other sails can be employed. Cat ketches usually don't carry a headsail upwind in heavy air.

There is a 48' cat ketch named Blue Jay which I think is a Lexcen design that does a lot of racing in SE Asia. If you can get in touch with the owner (I don't have his contact info), he may be able to share some tips.

How and how far up the foremast will your forestay be attached? Are the spars carbon or alloy? Do you have running backs?

If you're based in Langkawi, I'd probably stick with Dacron. Talk to your local and very talented sailmaker Erja for her perspective on owning and maintaining sails for a boat like yours. I sailed to Langkawi with a friend of mine and really enjoy it there. You're fortunate to be there, especially this time of year as the season will just get better and better.

Feel free to contact me directly to discuss. I have always enjoyed cat ketches and we would have bought another one if we could have found one on the west coast when we were in the market.
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Old 28-11-2011, 14:12   #5
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Re: What Material for New Jib ?

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Originally Posted by islandplanet View Post
Most cat ketches don't carry much in the way of headsails. Have you switched boats and perhaps not updated your profile?
Island, I believe this is the boat in question.


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Old 28-11-2011, 14:47   #6
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Re: What Material for New Jib ?

Yes that's Pollen Path. Thought a little 'hello' treat like a new Jib might take the sting out of having a new inexperienced owner. treat her like the lady she is.
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Old 28-11-2011, 14:55   #7
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Re: What Material for New Jib ?

My first bit of advice for a new owner is to sail the boat a bit before making any decisions about changes to the sailplan. The jib looks pretty small in the photo. Since it's probably primarily a light air sail, I'd think twice about the furler.

I'd be cautious about taking advice from anyone who does not have experience with cat ketches. They are quite a bit different than a typical sloop, cutter, or conventional ketch. It's an interesting boat to be certain. You don't see too many cat ketches with a gaff mizzen.
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Old 28-11-2011, 15:24   #8
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Re: What Material for New Jib ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SY Pollen Path View Post
Being new to sailing I'm thinking that a lighter material will respond better in lighter winds than a heavier material. Does that compute!!
On a rig like that, the jib isn't always the light-air sail. Sometimes when it blows you'll want to go "jig and jigger" using only the jib and mizzen without the main. My guess is that your boat will balance out pretty well in that combination.
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Old 28-11-2011, 15:55   #9
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Re: What Material for New Jib ?

Bash,

A cat ketch is a different animal than a conventional ketch.
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