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Old 21-02-2012, 20:37   #1
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Sun Resistant Sail Fabric (UV protected)

Larry and I have had very good luck with UV protected sail fabric we bought for our last suit of sails in Ireland. We actually went to the mills and learned the protection was put on the thread before the cloth was woven. Probably tripled the life of the polyester (dacron type)woven sail cloth. Sails cost us about 7 percent extra at that time. Since then many folks have asked where they could find protected fabrics. I a doing research and would appreciate any input as to sources. So far the only fabric maker who states their cloth is UV treated to enhance longevity is Bainbridge International. There must be others.

thanks in advance for any input on this. Our mainsails (two of them) are both showing signs of extreme wear so this research is not just for friends and others, but for us too.
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Old 21-02-2012, 20:53   #2
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Re: Sun resistant sail fabric (UV protected)

I had a main sail on order when you spoke at Annapolis and, as a result of your comments, I had the sail treated.

I bought the sail through Bacon in Annapolis. The gentleman there (Gay) said that there was some treatment that was applied once the sail was manufactured. He had to send it out to another shop for treatment.

Cost was about 10% of overall sail price.

FWIW, hope it helps.
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Old 21-02-2012, 21:54   #3
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Re: Sun resistant sail fabric (UV protected)

In a boat your size, I don't think you can currently beat Dacron Type 52 from Challenge Sailcloth. Unfortunately, it only comes in 220, 350 and 440 deniers, so it wouldn't work for larger boats. Most lofts that use Challenge sailcloths will offer UV treatments. Regardless, spec a thread that is highly UV resistant.
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Old 23-02-2012, 06:21   #4
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Re: Sun resistant sail fabric (UV protected)

Lin,

I saw you asking a question about UV treated Dacron. The head of North Cloth and chief technical guy at Dimension Polyant both friends of mine, so I asked them.

1. No-one is aware of any sailcloth woven today from specially pre-UV treated polyester yarn (eg where the treatment is directly on the yarn before weaving).

If you visited weaving looms in Ireland, you were almost surely looking at Hood fabric. They have terrific looms – very slow and old fashion but weaving tighter than more modern faster looms.

2. Pretty much all the woven Dacron suppliers offer a UV treatment after weaving as an option. By far the most widely sold UV coated cloth is DP's "All Purpose Dacron with UV"

3. Below is DP’s pricing for the same AP cloth with and without UV coating. You will see that the cloth cost up charge is about 33% (not that’s just a percent on the cloth cost and NOT the whole constructed sail cost. The percent upcharge on the whole sail cost will obviously be lower).

AP without UV coating
Style Weight Construction $/yd
200-AP 4.7 125 x 250 10.10
250-AP 5.8 250 x 300 14.90
280-AP 6.5 250 x 410 14.95
320-AP 7.3 300 x 500 16.40
360-AP 8.4 300 x 800 17.05
410-AP 9.6 500 x 800 17.95
450-AP 10.5 500 x 1000 18.75
480-AP 11.2 500 x 1000 20.60

AP with UV Coating
Style Weight Construction $/yd
280-AP-UV 6.5 250 x 410 20.10 +34%
320-AP-UV 7.3 300 x 500 22.25 +36%
360-AP-UV 8.4 300 x 800 22.70 +33%
410-AP-UV 9.4 500 x 800 23.90 +33%
450-AP-UV 10.5 500 x 1000 25.90 +38%

4. There has been UV testing of these treatments and the results are sort of interesting. After 500 hours of UV exposure, the untreated cloth has only 30% of its strength left in the warp and 40% left in the weft. After those 500 hours of UV, the UV coated has twice the strength of the uncoated cloth in the warp but only 21% more strength in the weft.

So, if you were making a radial cut sail, where the warp is most important, the UV treatment is a clear winner 100% extra strength for 33% extra cloth cost. For a cross cut sail, where both the warp and weft are important, it’s probably still beneficial but less so, because you are paying 33% more for the cloth (lets just say 15% more for the whole sail) but getting only 20% more strength in the weft.
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Old 25-02-2012, 18:01   #5
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Re: Sun Resistant Sail Fabric (UV protected)

Thanks Evans. Yes we did visit the Hood fabric mills. Our sailmaker, Des MacWilliam had a brother working there at the time. Excellent fabric. In fact we are still using the genoa we had made from Hood cloth 15 years ago.

Have you had any experience with Bainbridge's Ocean Premium fabric? They claim it is UV protected. But so far have not provided test data. I am trying to compile details on this.
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