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Old 13-10-2019, 17:35   #1
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6 never used 34years old performance sails,are they useable/reliable and how to check

HI all,


I made an offer on a X-boat 402, a 40ft regatta offshore race cruiser being his whole live=34 years on a countryside pleasure lake where speed is limited to 10kn as a swimming bathing platform for the family once a month...has all options incl. performance rigging and even a T-race keel=1,50m draft
Will do a slow world circum. Finally use it for what its contructed purposes Ok not regatta but offshore and a fast hull+regatta equiped makes long passages signifcantly shorter...

The boat was delivered with 10 performance sails and not surprising for the above purpose 6 of the sails are never used in 34 years:
2 spinnackers, one is assymetrical
3 different size genua
1 main sail

2 others sails are used only 2 times (to test them) in 34years:
1 Storm genua
1 Strom main
All 8 sails are lying the whole time dry in the dark cellar in his house, good place to use them....

Visual checks of all are perfect. Seams are fine, main and genuas are stiff like a new sample of a comparable material.

What else can I check and how?
What can I expect from them regarding livespan/relaibility...I am cruising so if a performance sail is a bit worn and 1kn less I don't care.

Cannot go to a sail maker as all around this lake area know this boat and its not public for sale And that should be like that till its 100% mine.
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Old 13-10-2019, 18:35   #2
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Re: 6 never used 34years old performance sails,are they useable/reliable and how to c

Spinnaker and anything woven will be ok. Anything laminate or mylar will be junk
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Old 13-10-2019, 18:44   #3
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Re: 6 never used 34years old performance sails,are they useable/reliable and how to c

Ask a sailmaker from somewhere else about what to expect. Durability will depend a lot on the material and construction of the sails. Are they Dacron? Kevlar? Mylar? Nylon? 34 year-old laminated sails may have problems with the glue becoming unstable or brittle after such a long time. Kevlar does not hold up well to sunlight (UV). Dacron stretches more (which for cruising isn’t a huge deal, as you suggest) but lasts a long time. Often the stitching wears out before the cloth does. Nylon, usual in spinnakers, can stretch a good bit, but also lasts.
We purchased lightly used sails for our boat from someone whose hull was destroyed in a hurricane. The racing main & genoa sails held up through three seasons of fairly heavy use racing and cruising. The smaller #3 jib and the spinnakers are still being used ten years later - we don’t use them as much. Good luck. The X 402 is a nice boat.
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Old 14-10-2019, 05:52   #4
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Re: 6 never used 34years old performance sails,are they useable/reliable and how to c

Really need to know what the mainsail and genoa are made from to really know of they are good or not. The laminates from that era weren't very good, woven kevlar or polyester laminated to a mylar film that was prone to de-laminate. But some of the wovens were quite good, better than a lot of today's dacron's !

And regatta mainsail and genoa are not going to decrease your passage times when cruising, unless you plan on to windward a lot.
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Old 14-10-2019, 10:39   #5
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Re: 6 never used 34years old performance sails,are they useable/reliable and how to c

Carol Hasse a sailmaker in Port Townsend told me to stick a needle in the fabric and try to push it sideways. If it rips thru the fabric it was time to replace the sail.
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Old 14-10-2019, 12:19   #6
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Re: 6 never used 34years old performance sails,are they useable/reliable and how to c

Quote:
Originally Posted by somanyboats View Post
Carol Hasse a sailmaker in Port Townsend told me to stick a needle in the fabric and try to push it sideways. If it rips thru the fabric it was time to replace the sail.
Yes, this method, or using the #2 pencil to poke through works well for old dacron, or UV damaged dacron, and damaged spinnaker cloth will actually tear. Obviously, it is finished if you can hand tear it. However, for delamination, you'll see bubbling, black mold, or actual separation, and that sail is history.

I'll bet both of the OP's spinnakers are in good nick. Curious to learn what the other sails are made of. If any are dacron, they will probably do for 3 to 5 yrs. cruising. The last year, their drafts shall have moved aft and they won't really be worth re-cutting to get more service out of. I'd be very much inclined to leave with the existing sails, and replace in civilized places as needed. Plenty of sail makers in NZ and Australia, and then in SA and Europe.

Ann

On edit. In case you didn't know, the sails will last longer and perform better if not used hard on the wind in greater than designed-for wind strengths. Not over stressing them really helps.
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