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Old 09-09-2011, 04:11   #1
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What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

My SO40 has the original sails which are 9 yo and ready to be changed. They still have good shape but they are in constant need of repair, partly due to ham fisted handling and partly due to i guess brittle aged thread and draycon.

Originally (before i even had my first sail) i was looking at performance cruising laminates and getting full battons. Now i am thinking of sticking to draycon and standard battons and the same 3 reefs, so basically the same as i have now.

So aside from material weight to suit where i sail, which is in greece and a strong meltemi blowing all summer requiring a heavier material, what else should i consider/ask when getting prices?
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:07   #2
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Re: New cruising sails, what to look for

Some of the features you might look for, in an excellent cruising mainsail:
- radial corner patch reinforcements
- extra wide seams, triple stitched & adhesive bonded
- double luff tapes,
- leach telltales
- batten reinforcements & tapered battens
- cunningham luff grommet
- trimming stripes
As always, talk to your sailmaker.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:55   #3
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Thanks for the suggestions Gord
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Old 09-09-2011, 18:35   #4
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Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

i did what gord said - i would add the observations

- get the third reef as deep as you can - I only rigged it when offshore but it was very good to be able to reef the main down almost to the size of a storm sail when I needed to

- ask them to throw in an extra batten. Good to have and far cheaper if you can get it as part of the overall deal to buy a new main. a broken batten can ruin your day and there are lots of places you would have a hard time finding a new one

- now is the time to think about adding battcars or stackpack or dutchman or whatever. I got a strong track and a dutchman system three years ago when I got a new main and am very happy I did
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:57   #5
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Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

I would have the sail built with two deep reefs equivalent in reduced area to three. The extra rigging for the third reef is cumbersome and heavy. Triple stitched with heavy clew, head and tack reinforcements.

Install a good batten/car system like Harken's Battcars with full battens. I like the Dutchman system for furling.

David
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:04   #6
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Re: New cruising sails, what to look for

Maximise UV protection - UV strip along the leech and foot of the fore sail (if on the roller). UV sail protection (lazy bag or whatever) over the main to cover the whole sail with a margin. Make sure the UV strips / protection are stitched with thick UV stable thread. Avoid sun-exposed plastic zippers. Avoid metal zippers.

For the main sail - re-think what reefing system you like best.

Invest into a genoa sleeve - YES, even if your genoa has the UV strips.

Try to get sails from quality dacron, not a no-name 'equivalent'.

Think about what you DO NOT like in the set of sails you have had and what you DID like in sails you have used on other boats, then ask the sail maker to make the sail you want.

Cross-cut quality dacron from a major loft may be a good point to start with.

You may ask for the sails to be stitched with contrast-color thread - makes looking for and spotting chafe damage much faster/easier. (e.g. white thread over colored UV patches, colored thread over white canvas).

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Old 10-09-2011, 09:26   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions, lots to think about.

I like the idea of the two deep reefs. I have the z-spars single line reefing which works well for the first two reefs with the blocks built into the sail but the 3rd reef just uses normal blocks connected to the reefing eye and it just does not work so well. Maybe i should get a deep no.2 for the sailing i do around greece with the meltemi and have the third reef eyelets set in storm sail position for the rare occasion i will need it (stay in port if i know it will be that windy)
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Old 12-09-2011, 20:49   #8
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Angry Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

We just purchased some new dacron 8.3 ounce sails (main & genoa) made by Rolly Tasker and there seems to be a problem that I would appreciate some advice on.
It is quite strange. On one side of the new sail are haphazard
small creases with black marks on them and they extrude, while on the other
side there are valleys. What bothers us the most is that the folding creases for shipping not only appear permanent but every few inches there are pin sized holes as if the material could not handle the creasing load and exploded. Any ideas what could be occuring here???
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Old 12-09-2011, 21:21   #9
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Your Rolly-Tasker sail is telling you to ship it back to the sailmaker. It should be perfect. No permanent creases. No extra holes or broken cloth.
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Old 13-09-2011, 04:49   #10
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Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Sophia1.
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Old 13-09-2011, 09:41   #11
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Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

You are right about sending the sails back. However, this is Rolly Tasker's response was:

Mike Tasker, the loft manager, sent the following:

------------------------------------------
Dear Dirk,

We haven't had anyone else get back to us on any similar instances. I assume it is something to do with the cloth manufacturing process during the finishing.

I would suggest he uses both sails and tell him to return to you if there are any problems with them. We will make him another set at a special price if there is a problem.

Kind regards,

Mike
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Old 13-09-2011, 09:49   #12
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Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
So aside from material weight to suit where i sail, which is in greece and a strong meltemi blowing all summer requiring a heavier material, what else should i consider/ask when getting prices?
Specifying the weight is going to be far less productive than specifying the cut. If your home waters are windy, you want a flat cut.

I'd much rather spend money on better fabric than heavier fabric. Regardless, if there's one thing I spec when ordering a sail, it' the thread. Sailmakers love to use cheap thread because it's easier to sew with. Don't let them get away with this. Specify the exact thread you want used, as well as the cut.

Pay a bit more for the sail up front and it will last twice as long.
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Old 13-09-2011, 10:36   #13
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Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
(...) Specify the exact thread you want used (...)
... or buy from a loft that uses the right spec thread as a standard!

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Old 13-09-2011, 10:51   #14
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Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

Sophia1,

no way... send them back and send them back now and dont accept any 'special pricing'. IF you wait (as he suggests), they may claim 'end user error' and refuse to warranty the sails. i think you will have to dig in your heels and stick to your guns on this one.

gl.
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Old 13-09-2011, 10:53   #15
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Re: What to Look for in New Cruising Sails

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Sophia1,

no way... send them back and send them back now and dont accept any 'special pricing'. IF you wait (as he suggests), they may claim 'end user error' and refuse to warranty the sails. i think you will have to dig in your heels and stick to your guns on this one.

gl.
-steve
at a minimum, i would take many high res photos with a time / date stamp and / or bring them back to the local rep for visual inspection / verification of the current state.
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