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Old 12-04-2011, 16:04   #1
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Question How Old Does a Boat Need to be for Tanbark Sails?

My boat, a 1965 Cal-40, will be getting new sails in the next couple years. I have always thought tanbark sails looked sharp but have seen them predominantly on wooden vessels as opposed to classic plastic. How old does a boat need to be before tanbark sails are acceptable? Does it have to be a wooden boat? I realize I could make them polka-dotted if I wanted but I was wondering what the common consensus is?
(She is a currently in rehab, cruiser that does Wet Wednesday beer-cans very well when she's in the water)
Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:07   #2
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

tanbark sails look good on almost every boat i have seen them on. gooodluck and smooth sailing.
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:10   #3
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

I think tanbark sails can only add to the appeal of your Cal-40. Support the idea 100%
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:11   #4
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pirate Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

If your not a poseur.... go for the tanback sails...
Its your boat... dya really care what we think...
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:15   #5
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

It is strictly an easthetic choice anymore.

As I understand it tanbark was used to extend the life of COTTON sails. A side-effect of the precess was the coloring of the cloth changed. Since the takeover of the sailcloth market by polyester/dacron/terylene most "tanbark" sails are dyed synthetic. I don't even know if anyone is making cotton sailcloth in Europe or NAmerica anymore.

If you like the color who cares what others think.
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:32   #6
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

Not a poseur. I currently work as Ship's engineer aboard an 85' Gaff-rigged ketch. Let's just say that I sail so that I can support my sailing habit. As for what others think? It matters. That's why we paint them purty isn't it?
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:38   #7
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pirate Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

If I'd cared what all the head shakers and tut tutters thought I would not have painted my Tiki 21 black....
Endless series of old guys walk by... stop... noisy sucking of breath tween decaying teeth... a shake of the head and...
"Ee lad... ahh'd not be doing that if I were thee..."
Funny thing...
come launch day they all lined up to say how good she looked...
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:44   #8
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

As a past and current owner of vessels with tanbark sail be advised they don't last as long as white sails.
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Old 12-04-2011, 16:52   #9
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

Minor thread drift...
Is tan bark the same cost as white?
Do they have the same life?
How do they compare in the UV damage stakes?
Would they show signs of fading anytime soon?
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Old 12-04-2011, 17:00   #10
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

It was the topless gals in the Wharram study plans that nearly had me daftly considering building a Tiki 46 until I figured that by the time I finished building it, I would be too old to sail it, or the girls! The Tiki is a fine boat. Tsk,tsk'ers be damned! :-)
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Old 12-04-2011, 17:00   #11
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

My vauge recollection is the Tanbark is more costly
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Old 12-04-2011, 17:02   #12
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
As a past and current owner of vessels with tanbark sail be advised they don't last as long as white sails.
Thanks for the info! I was under the impression that tanbark actually lasted longer. How much shorter of a lifespan would you estimate?
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Old 12-04-2011, 17:07   #13
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

I won't comment on the aesthetics of tanbark sails... that's personal! But it is interesting to note that the tanning process on cotton sails was done to increase lifetime in use, and that dyeing dacron cloth is reliably reported to decrease lifetime in use. Seems incongruous to do so these days -- for me, maximising the life span trumps the visual impact, but as I said, such ideas are personal.

Cheers,

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Old 12-04-2011, 17:07   #14
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cburger View Post
My vauge recollection is the Tanbark is more costly
At sailmakersupply.com, 8 oz Tanbark dacron is $27.3/yd and 8 oz white dacron is $19.90/yd. An $8/yd difference. That does make a difference...
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Old 12-04-2011, 17:09   #15
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Re: How old does a boat need to be for Tanbark Sails?

When I owned a gaff rigged smack I had an excellent book covering the history of gaff rigged traditional type boats and as posted here Tanbarking was origionally a meathod for trying to preserve cotton sails by fisherman and the like. Their formulas varied from family to family. Modern dacron polyester sails in tanbark take significantly more damage from UV due to the dark color.
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