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Old 04-07-2014, 20:35   #46
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Re: Sail life

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Jd:

FWIW, The sailmaker who built our mainsail makes sails for racing boats and cruising boats. He told us that with the Dacron cloth available to him these days, dacron sails are "good" for about 4 yrs. That might be enough for you????

Ann
Before commenting on this one should know how the sailmaker defines "good".
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Old 04-07-2014, 21:40   #47
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Re: Sail life

tomfl,

At the time, I felt somewhat surprised, so his point of view may be what was suggested above, for the yarn tempered dacron. Or, he may have meant 4 yrs. continuous use. But honestly, I have never seen a 20 yr. old dacron sail in good condition. Yellow, stretched, feeling fragile, even what started out as 8 oz. or more.

If one sails say, three weekends a month, 8 months of the year, and doesn't "baby" the sails, I bet you can make them "finished" in 4 yrs. Even unintentional abuse is still going to damage the sail. The intent is not relevant to the wear, the flogging, and the stretching that occurs with a long lasting overpowered and on the wind situation. Once it's baggy, it's unlikely to have good shape again for long, even if re-cut. Still, can help someone eke out the life of the sail. Having tippy-top sails is a luxury, IMO, not for everyone at all.

Ann
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Old 04-07-2014, 21:48   #48
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Re: Sail life

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
If one sails say, three weekends a month, 8 months of the year, and doesn't "baby" the sails, I bet you can make them "finished" in 4 yrs.
Let's see, that is probably in the neighborhood of $6k for my 36 footer or $1500/year. All of a sudden a trawler doesn't look too bad Add on the fact that wind is a precious commodity in the PNW during the summer with lots of motoring required and one starts to wonder ....
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Old 04-07-2014, 21:59   #49
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Re: Sail life

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
Let's see, that is probably in the neighborhood of $6k for my 36 footer or $1500/year. All of a sudden a trawler doesn't look too bad Add on the fact that wind is a precious commodity in the PNW during the summer with lots of motoring required and one starts to wonder ....
C'mon - Man up! You are a sailor now - Pay no attention to the cost of things...

Boat finance 101...

Beer B4 Boat
Boat B4 Bros
Bros B4 Hoes

Seriously - I can tell you from a detailed accounting I did on my boat for 4 years that all in - mooring, maintenance and upgrades my 26 footer cost $500 a month.

After my refit I will update the "7-year" cost and post it. I think it will be useful for those in the 25-30 foot keelbaot class.
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Old 04-07-2014, 22:04   #50
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Re: Sail life

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Seriously - I can tell you from a detailed accounting I did on my boat for 4 years that all in - mooring, maintenance and upgrades my 26 footer cost $500 a month.
That would just cover my moorage
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Old 04-07-2014, 22:05   #51
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Re: Sail life

Uh-oh... I'm about to disagree with my Admiral! I hope that there is internet available in the brig!

Anyhow, JD, I'll relate the history of the mainsail that the subject sailmaker was replacing. It was dacron and radial cut. The dacron was of several weights, and even plied along the high load areas. We used the sail for 10 years and about 44,000 miles. At about 8 years there was some wear along the leach (that's where mainsails show wear first IME) and we had some professional repair done. By that time, the shape had deteriorated somewhat, and draft control was difficult in stronger winds. Our budget allowed us to replace the sail two years later rather than eeking out a bit longer life... but when we bought the new sail, the sailmaker took the old one, tidied it up and recently sold it to someone for 400 bucks, so after all those years and miles, it is still out there, sailing away somewhere!

So, tomfl's point that how one defines a usable sail is critical to determining a sail's lifespan. Most cruisers are not too picky about sail shape, especially since they tend to shun windward sailing, which is where the shape is most important, and you will find some pretty old sails out here, successfully racking up the miles.

It is a matter of priorities!

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Old 04-07-2014, 22:13   #52
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Re: Sail life

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
Let's see, that is probably in the neighborhood of $6k for my 36 footer or $1500/year. All of a sudden a trawler doesn't look too bad Add on the fact that wind is a precious commodity in the PNW during the summer with lots of motoring required and one starts to wonder ....
If you stay at the dock almost all the time a trawler looks even better. On the other hand if you are a full time cruiser who spends lots of time sailing, especially in areas where clean fuel is not assured a trawler probably does look too bad.

As Ann noted we may not all have the same standard for judging what a 'good' sail is. There are plenty of folks who get much more than four years out of a sail, just as there are folks who change their sails every season.

There have been several threads about the sail vs motor economic analysis. While it is probably possible to do some type of analysis to determine just how many miles you have to travel at a given price per gallon of fuel for me it would be a waste of time. I can't stand a motor boat. The noise and vibration give me a headache and the stench nauseates me. I would be sailing even if it cost more than motoring.
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Old 04-07-2014, 22:26   #53
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Re: Sail life

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There have been several threads about the sail vs motor economic analysis. While it is probably possible to do some type of analysis to determine just how many miles you have to travel at a given price per gallon of fuel for me it would be a waste of time. I can't stand a motor boat. The noise and vibration give me a headache and the stench nauseates me. I would be sailing even if it cost more than motoring.
Yeah ... nothing beats gliding along in silence

but then being inside nice and warm while the rain is coming down sideways outside has it's points too
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Old 04-07-2014, 22:44   #54
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Re: Sail life

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Yeah ... nothing beats gliding along in silence

but then being inside nice and warm while the rain is coming down sideways outside has it's points too
You been in the cold too long.

When the rain comes down we grab the soap and head to the foredeck for a shower...

As far as what to do with the old sails - There are cruisers that only buy used sails. One man's junk and all that...

I have the old genny in a bag downstairs. I talked to our sail lady and gonna see if I can make a cockpit awning, some tool bags and some gear bags out of it.

I am not a fan of the dark canvas cocpkpit covers and wanna try something that will let light through but diffuse the sun. I just don't know if we can get a piece big enough that won't look goofy...
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Old 04-07-2014, 22:58   #55
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Re: Sail life

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When the rain comes down we grab the soap and head to the foredeck for a shower...
The other day it was 28C on land and I had a jacket on in the boat. With the water being cold (frigid is more appropriate), the wind can really chill you down to the bones.
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Old 04-07-2014, 23:05   #56
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Re: Sail life

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The other day it was 28C on land and I had a jacket on in the boat. With the water being cold (frigid is more appropriate), the wind can really chill you down to the bones.
We had a bowman turning blue in a race from cold - See we were in a thunderstorm and the rain from 30,000 feet was cold! We sat him on the rail where the warm sea water would splash him and warm him up - LOL...

Never travel north or south of 30 degrees. I hear tell there be snow dragons about...
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Old 04-07-2014, 23:19   #57
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Re: Sail life

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You been in the cold too long.

When the rain comes down we grab the soap and head to the foredeck for a shower...


SNIP
I just grab the soap and head to the sugar scoop

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Old 05-07-2014, 00:19   #58
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Re: Sail life

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I don't think what you said is controversial at all. The furling Genoa is a compromise of performance vs. convenience and I agree with everything you said.

I think if one were setting up a boat for serious off shore work one would want a storm jib on a baby stay as you suggest and not rely on the genoa. I've looked at how that can be done on my boat but I probably won't get motivated to do it. I just won't be out in those conditions long enough to make it worth the effort.

For the weekend sailor coastal cruiser who encounters the occasional thunderstorm I think you can live with the single sail and run for home when the hurricane comes.

Single or short handed I don't rig the spinnaker and I don't even rig the asym. living with the relatively poor performance of the genny downwind. A code zero on a furler would get a lot more use (for me) as a next sail than a storm jib.
A genoa and a storm jib on an inner stay is a bit short for serious offshore work, unless it is Trade Wind downwind, and then it is not serious offshore work.

It is important to have something suitable to carry throughout the whole wind range. I have two jibs between the working genoa and storm jib.
In windy regions, or even punching against Trades at 25 knots or so, you need jibs and you end up using them for days in a row at times. The inner stay is the enabler, if you haven't got one and you take a proper hit, you are in serious trouble. For weekend sailing, I am sure you can pick the good days and mitigate, but it is still bad for the sail.
Here in New Zealand we see the boats coming down from the Tropics and then returning up. It is not so settled weather-wise and it is the summit of foolishness to pretend crossing with a single sail forward and no other options. Many go ahead anyway, and when they get caught it tends to make a hell of a mess.

I fly kites even single-handed because they are fantastic cruising sails, but I only use them as boosters in very light winds. They make the difference between rolling around going nowhere with a faint breathe of wind, and a steady boat making a few knots in silence.
If I can get decent progress with a genoa, I certainly don't bother. I found asymmetrics next to useless downwind, even on a boat that can shift the wind forward a lot, there is nothing like a big full kite and the pole from 135deg back in extra-light conditions.
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Old 05-07-2014, 00:39   #59
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Re: Sail life

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A genoa and a storm jib on an inner stay is a bit short for serious offshore work, unless it is Trade Wind downwind, and then it is not serious offshore work.
<snip>

I fly kites even single-handed because they are fantastic cruising sails, but I only use them as boosters in very light winds. They make the difference between rolling around going nowhere with a faint breathe of wind, and a steady boat making a few knots in silence.
If I can get decent progress with a genoa, I certainly don't bother. I found asymmetrics next to useless downwind, even on a boat that can shift the wind forward a lot, there is nothing like a big full kite and the pole from 135deg back in extra-light conditions.
fair point - "serious" off shore work was probably a misnomer. Particularly considering high latitudes.

It's very difficult to keep these threads in context and there is "always" something better. That's why, "What's the best XXX..." threads are always so much fun...

Quite frankly what works on 40+ foot boats is usually overkill for smaller boats. Maybe CF needs a forum for "Up to 35 foot monos"

Everything you say about jibs is valid but I have a 26 foot boat. No way can I carry 4 jibs on board for a 5 day cruise.
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Old 05-07-2014, 00:42   #60
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Re: Sail life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
At the time, I felt somewhat surprised, so his point of view may be what was suggested above, for the yarn tempered dacron. Or, he may have meant 4 yrs. continuous use. But honestly, I have never seen a 20 yr. old dacron sail in good condition. Yellow, stretched, feeling fragile, even what started out as 8 oz. or more.

If one sails say, three weekends a month, 8 months of the year, and doesn't "baby" the sails, I bet you can make them "finished" in 4 yrs. Even unintentional abuse is still going to damage the sail. The intent is not relevant to the wear, the flogging, and the stretching that occurs with a long lasting overpowered and on the wind situation. Once it's baggy, it's unlikely to have good shape again for long, even if re-cut. Still, can help someone eke out the life of the sail. Having tippy-top sails is a luxury, IMO, not for everyone at all.

Ann
I get 5 years out of a mainsail/working genoa ocean cruising and going hard. On my old boat this was about 50,000NM. High latitudes, lots of wind, then cooked through the tropics, and high latitudes again etc, until they fail.
After that they reach retirement stage. I put them back on for Trade Wind passages. I crossed most of the Indian Ocean with sails that were shot, but broad-reaching... I changed back to good sails at sea south of Madagascar due to the possibility of taking a hit in the Mozambique Channel.

More recently I went through the whole exercise of choosing between laminates or a good Dacron and made a full set in Dacron. The life expectancy just doesn't compare in spite of what some sail lofts want to say.
Also when a laminated sail fails, it falls apart completely in a very short time and you can't do anything about it. Some laminated sails reach a decent age, but when they spend their life in a bag.

With Dacron, it is very important to use a top quality cloth and build the sail for the conditions. I selected Challenge Marbleheads and my sails are not exactly light, but... it is the best value for cruising. Two plies on the leech of a mainsail can add years to its effective life, because that is where they fail.
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