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Old 10-08-2012, 15:18   #1
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Selecting a New Performance Main Sail

I'm looking for a new main for my Hanse 370. I do weekly Club races, distance races (65nm +) along with lots of cruising. So, I'm looking for a performance main that I can cruise with.

Suggestions needed for:
1. Fabric (everything from dacron to laminates to carbon to string to mylar has been suggested by sal makers).
2. Cut (cross cut vs triradial vs molded).
3. Fabric (dacron vs specific laminate vs string, etc).
4. Battens (1-2 full w/2-3 full; 4 full; 5 full)
5. Sailmaker
6. Anything else.


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Old 10-08-2012, 17:04   #2
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Re: Selecting a New Performance Main Sail

A couple of additional items for you to think about with a race vs cruise main.
7. How much roach. Race sails have more roach for more area. The extra roach can get hung on the back stays if you have a long boom in light air. Not an issue racing, just have the crew shake it out. A pain while cruising.
8. How many reef points. Less if you race, perhaps more if you cruise.

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Old 10-08-2012, 17:37   #3
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You could cruise with the sail you have and buy a racing sail. No matter what I would go with full battens. What type of sails to the more successful racers use in your area? I'd consider a laminate for an all purpose sail. I'd want a loft with a local presence.
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Old 19-08-2012, 22:29   #4
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Re: Selecting a New Performance Main Sail

I have a "tape drive" main which is probably the most beautifully setting sail I've ever seen. It sails like a jib! Loose footed and in-mast furling. I think one would call it a tri-radial cut.
But Butch Ulmer (UK) built it of some weird cloth covered with a plastic coating which is coming off, now. W/o the plastic, there is no binding to the threads so it's going to have to be replaced soon.
My point (other than it's a shame to have a sail that's been used about 200 times & falling apart), is that it's a great cut, but probably very expensive as there are a lot of seams. Stick to Dacron unless you have tons of cash for new sails often.
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Old 19-08-2012, 23:05   #5
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Re: Selecting a New Performance Main Sail

Take a look at this brochure from Quantum Racing - It sort of gives you a 1,000 foot level overview of the choices (and $$$) you are about to make.

I have a Quantum (Dacron) 150 furling Gennie. 3-4 years in it is a still a great looking sail although I must admit it has bagged a bit. A friend recently bought a 140 gennie from someone else. I must say for what he paid he did not get near the quality I got. Three foam pads, "reefing" marks, shape (roach) stripes, luff and foot tensioners, excellent UV wrap etc. I just felt they paid attention to details. Initial cut was done in Oz, finally assembly in Asia and final "trim" at the local loft. Seems strange to distribute the manufacturing but it works.

My main is "due." I will probably go with Quantum again. I plan to loose the foot (current bolt rope), increase the roach and go full batten. I have seen my boat with square head sails and it's too ugly for me but I do want a bit more sail area.

You probably will end up deciding not to go "full race" - Your usage is a lot of cruising so you'll want reefs and other stuff and you'll want it to hold shape for as long as possible and have resistance to fiber breakage and damage.

OTOH - How big is your wallet? - the sky is the limit here...
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Old 19-08-2012, 23:39   #6
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Re: Selecting a New Performance Main Sail

There's no question that a fully battened, loose foot main with as much roach as you can handle will give you better performance whether cruising or racing. Big roached mains give less heel, and more speed. Full battens alloew the roach to be supported...soemthing that's difficult to do with iun mast furling..those sails generally have hollow leechs, whoich means they under perform.
Cruising, if you want the main to last, sail should be dacron..the new laminates don;t wear as well.
pay attention also to the luff attachement...if you can a setup like batslide or batcar is the best, otherwise you'll need some reasonably heavy duty hardware on the luff end of the batten pockets...when cruising long distances theres a constant force from the leech end of the batten to the luff that can destroy attachment hardware..I know, its happened to me.
Depends where you want to cruise i guess..if you're only coastal most of what I've sadi probably doesn;t matter that much...

See you out there ....... Alan S.V. Elyse
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