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Old 26-08-2015, 11:25   #1
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Sail type issues

I'm planning to replace my Prout 50 Quasars by now 35 years old furling stay sail and furling genoa. Also the plan is at the same to replace the main sail, even though that one is only 10 years old.
I have at this point not decided if I should choose crosscut or radal cut sails.

So my question would then be what your knowledge or experience is, of these two types of sail cutting on a catamaran? What would your advice be...and why?
Radial is more expensive I know, due to the cutting technique with more cloth waste and more working labour, but besides that?

I'm obviously not looking for racing sails, but I want good ocean cruising sails with more performance than the simpliest standard polyester sails.
I'm looking forward to some good advice from you about this.
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Old 26-08-2015, 14:10   #2
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Re: Sail type issues

G'day Tolly,

You're talking a good investment there, man. If you have friends who can recommend one, this is the sort of issue we talk over with an independent sailmaker. It is the sailmakers who know the properties of the different sailcloths, and the independents will work with you to get what's best for your type of boat and your type of sailing. The big name lofts often try to sell you what they want to sell you and have seemed less open to integrating our use of the boat into the blend of ideas. Plus, if you deal with someone local, they take the responsibility for the measurements, and you have someone to help resolve any issues locally, if need be.

Maybe some of the catamaran owners will pitch in with their experiences.

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Old 26-08-2015, 16:10   #3
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Re: Sail type issues

You are over all right, Ann.
I have been talking to about ten different sail makers, all of them buying their sail cloth from the big name lofts, and I have got various suggestions , various cloths...and then the decision about radial or crosscut sails.
I have tried to read as much as possible about the different lofts cloths and their pros and cons, and I do have a fairly good idea about in what cloth region I will end up...but then again there is the question about the cutting.
My hope here was to get some input from people who have used the two different cut sails under longer periods and under various conditions, to get an idea if the crosscut sails for example, easier are "blown out", loosing their shape, if the radail cut ones are in the long term better and so forth.
Of course the cloth quality is of major importance in this, but still any input will give something.
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Old 26-08-2015, 17:01   #4
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Re: Sail type issues

Sounds great.... Sails (and mast (as biggest investment)) on multihulls are the power behind you can have a sportive sailing... and if its not your target to see a higher number on the log (close to 20 knots) at least let us be clear about, that Multihulls do have much higher loads on sails (roughly the double). Which require some other tool kits beside the sails.

And you need a different sails plan, e.g. 50% main sail + 50% jib (while monohulls have smaller main sails and bigger jib). I suppose you have something around 47-49 m2 each (~ 490-520 square feet).

First I would analyse the specialists as you are out of this business since 10 years. e.g nowadays it is typical to have a square head mainsail which didnt exist the time you let make your sails. Its no more for racing boats only, meanwhile it is adapted to cruising multihulls.

For my understanding there are only some few sail makers around the globe who have built up a deep knowledge about Multihulls... and own departements.
Naturally as everywhere the knowledge comes from extreme sailing, e.g. racing cats and trimarans... which slowly swaps into the marketing segment of cruising one can buy it at an affordable prize.

So I would ask first (and lurk around at) the top 3 sailmakers for multihulls; I like to addresss following names as all have own departements for multihull sails (cruising/racing cats + tris):


All three are represented world wide with a big network of lofts (up to 80 around the globe).

Quantum I would count as the most "fresh company" which demonstrates a very customer oriented service as you already can see by all the helpfully advices you find on their website.
UK Sailmakers are conservative as we know sail making companies since the 90th... and Doyle can be counted with a deep high-tech knowledge as they service big racing yachts. Profound deep knowledge.

If somebody have another name, feel free to share and give critical feedback.

If you expect a good consulting, probably all three will advice you with first question: What kind of sailing ? (and not talking about cuts) - Is it just (A) cruising, is it (B) cruising and little bit racing or is it (C) racing + some cruising or (D) racing ?

I suppose you probably will think about (A) or (B) :-) Right ?

2nd question is about "weight" and "performance". E.g. Quantum uses "woven polyester" and - as they call it - as own registrated trademark/product "Fusion M" which has lower weight (roughly 15-20%).

Doyle likes to believe in Dacron sails for long-term durability and relative affordability beside some high tech products. Doyle is only talking about "Cross cut" produced with woven Dacron (or laminated ) under the aspect of durability, with the negative side effect to have less shape (eventually relevant on ambitiously racing boats).

TriRadial is suggested by Doyle only under the size of 40 Foot boats in different materials (e.g. Carbon, Pentex, Polyester, Spectra, Technora, Twaron and Vectran).

The difference between cross cut and triradial is clear ? Here to read. Simple the formula: High Tech material (e.g. laminates) have TriRadial...



Naturally the TriRadial (2nd picture) has a higher performance, as the "warps" can be designed exactly along the biggest forces. So its reducing material = reducing weight. But these sails are more sensitive. For a cruising sailor not required, as they are more expensive.

On a Multihull you need to turn it around. Not the jib will be Triradial, because of the bigger work load on the main sail it will be triradial. A very expensive and complicated sail.


-------
My own background: Having started sailing in the 70ths on my own I am searching now for buying a speedy cruising Trimaran (with living on it); actually I got an option to take a closer look at a 40 Footer (with 60 foot mast)... with a 42 m2 main sail and 35m2 genoa (upwind: 77 / reaching: 170 m2 with a 128 m2 gennaker).

As it looks I can take these sails for some more years, so far I will buy it. If I should decide for new sails in couple of years, for now I would request a proposal by all upper named three.... to get a more clear picture about what the experts would like to suggest for such a boat. And I would always contact the headquarter first (easily done nowadays via email + skype) as there is the whole knowledge bundled.

In tendency I like the way how Quantum works and their philosophy... as I wont race (probably then I would decide for Doyle). UK Sailmakers is too conservative for me, just boring :-) ... and I never would go to a giant like North Sails... they are over-dominating the market. Mass production... one of many. - I would feel very bad to have a sailmaker which feels like a big concern as North Sails is. But that is just my personal opinion.

Good luck with your new wardrobe ! ;-)
----
P.S.: Have you thought about another light wind sail ??? Check out Screecher if you think you like to have higher performances in light wind. Great sail with top down furling. I would have to invest into as the 40 foot trimaran misses one. Most multis have weak sailing abilities in light winds.
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Old 27-08-2015, 02:08   #5
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Re: Sail type issues

Thank you for that extensive answer.
I will sit down and go through it in detail.
One thing though, this Prout has a 32m2 mainsail, an 18m2 staysail and a 55m2 genoa, so it's three sails cooperating here.
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Old 30-08-2015, 06:50   #6
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Re: Sail type issues

We have been a member of a couple of the large sailmaker groups and returned to being independent. A lot of the large group members are not up to speed on what multihulls need for sails.
I always tell clients there are two "life's" of sails, the life of the cloth and the length of time a sail will retail it's designed shape.
Cross cut Dacron is the most basic cut and material, if building a cross cut Dacron mainsail for a 50 ft catamaran, I would select a high modulus cloth in the higher weights and include a wide leech ply from head to clew. This second layer ply of Dacron will help to keep the high loaded leech from stretching out too soon.
There are several good warp dacrons available now. These include Warp Drive from Challenge Sailcloth, Pro Radial from Dimension Polyant Sailcloth, and Fibercon, from Contender Sailcloth.
By using numerous radial panels, with warp Dacron, much better fiber alignment can be achieved. This will eliminate the need for the second leech ply and result in a lighter, lower stretch, better performing sail with a longer performance life.



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Old 31-08-2015, 17:22   #7
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Re: Sail type issues

[QUOTE=
There are several good warp dacrons available now. These include Warp Drive from Challenge Sailcloth, Pro Radial from Dimension Polyant Sailcloth, and Fibercon, from Contender Sailcloth.
By using numerous radial panels, with warp Dacron, much better fiber alignment can be achieved. This will eliminate the need for the second leech ply and result in a lighter, lower stretch, better performing sail with a longer performance life.[/QUOTE]

The more I think about it, the closer I get to the tri radial type. I have been in contact with quite a few sail makers from various parts in the world and they all use cloths from the large suppliers.
I have been looking in to the Contender cloths, the Fibercon Pro Radial and the Pro Hybrid. The initial price tag will be higher, but I believe the sail will last longer and best of all keep its shape longer than a cross-cut sail.
The thing I'm most concerned about is the risk of mildew in laminated sails. Then the question is if there is any non laminated cloth to use for radial sails, performancewise comparable to the laminates? North Sails say they have their own patented woved cloth...but..?
Hmmm....
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Old 08-09-2015, 19:22   #8
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Re: Sail type issues

Tolly,

Our triradial main is made of hydranet radial cloth. The sailmaker was able to access "seconds" [cloth with visible blemishes], and cut around the blems. It made the sail much less expensive. I have no idea if your sailmaker will work that way with you, or have the access. Just a thought.

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Old 08-09-2015, 19:37   #9
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Re: Sail type issues

Lots of good advice above. We replaced headsails with Quantum. Nice stuff but there are many good sail makers. Its very helpful if you can get them to sail with you and get a feel for possibilities.

My own personal preferences:

Have an extra layer added to the leech so it resists stretch and tear.

Cut the genoa clew high if necessary so that the car location need not move for beating or reaching. This will also place the car so that furling angle is also facilitated. We rarely move our cars. This may elevate your clew significantly but will also make room for water to clear below the foot and provide clear vision below. Fringe benefit is that stresses on the leech are lessened.

Start with the cut a bit flat. They will stretch as we all know.

Select good materials. Seems like a given but small quality difference on the front end adds up to longer life with good shape.
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Old 08-09-2015, 21:32   #10
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Re: Sail type issues

I honestly couldn't make a specific recommendation, but the first thing I would do is call Glaser Sails and talk to Jay or Pease and beg them for suggestions. I don't think they make sails for a boat your size, but there isn't likely to be a sailmaker anywhere who understands catamaran sails better than those two. A five minute conversation with them would cut through all the marketing hype and nonsense.
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