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Old 15-02-2024, 18:23   #1
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I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Hi all,

I’m in the middle of specifying sails for the new boat, a Kelly Peterson 44.

Most of the way through the process and suddenly the recommended weight of sailcloth for the jib and staysail have been increased from 9.88 to 10.88 Oz.

This was after I REDUCED the sail sizes by specifying a lower overlap and a much higher clew.

Jib went from 43 square meters DOWN to 38 square meters, staysail went from 19 square meters DOWN to 17 square meters.

When I queried it the sailmaker stated that smaller sails use heavier sail cloth.

What? How does that work? Surely the strains on smaller sails are less than larger sails?

Help!

Matt
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Old 15-02-2024, 18:32   #2
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Odd, ask another sail maker.

What sailmaker is this?




But I would think 9.5-9.77 would be fine
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Old 15-02-2024, 18:39   #3
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

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Originally Posted by Jimbo2010 View Post
Odd, ask another sail maker.

What sailmaker is this?




But I would think 9.5-9.77 would be fine
I’m running out of sailmakers right now. I won’t name the loft because I don’t want to be seen to be bagging them and they’ve been by far the best to work with so far.

But I’m going insane trying to get these guys to understand the concept of a high clewed sail. It’s clear they are working to some kind of modern boat formula because each of them comes back to me with deck sweeping jibs no matter what I do. I’ve sent them photos of what I want, I’ve told them I want the clew 2 meters above the deck. But they come back with deck sweepers every time.

And yes, the weights have been the same between all the sailmakers, right up to this point when I finally gave them a full set of dimensions rather than using their proscribed measurement systems which don’t allow you to specify leech length. At this point the sail area shrank a lot and the cloth weight went up.
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Old 15-02-2024, 18:50   #4
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

You might find that there is an underlying presumption that smaller sails are used in heavier weather.
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Old 15-02-2024, 19:29   #5
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Matt, talk to Steve Walker (Launceston)* about it. He's smart and he would probably be willing to work with you to get you what you want. He will understand the age of the boat's design and a proper cutter rig for her. A couple of pictures would help. He will also talk sensibly about sail cloth. Does your sail plan include a light air forestay sail, of ~ 165%? a drifter?



*I like him personally. He has been quite helpful with Jim and me, spent a lot of time measuring the boat and chatting with us one day in Hobart town. You could even sail it up the Tamar R. for him to work on...... It's a mellow summer here in Cygnet, today, anyway.

Ann
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Old 15-02-2024, 19:31   #6
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Iím running out of sailmakers right now. I wonít name the loft because I donít want to be seen to be bagging them and theyíve been by far the best to work with so far.

But Iím going insane trying to get these guys to understand the concept of a high clewed sail. Itís clear they are working to some kind of modern boat formula because each of them comes back to me with deck sweeping jibs no matter what I do. Iíve sent them photos of what I want, Iíve told them I want the clew 2 meters above the deck. But they come back with deck sweepers every time.

And yes, the weights have been the same between all the sailmakers, right up to this point when I finally gave them a full set of dimensions rather than using their proscribed measurement systems which donít allow you to specify leech length. At this point the sail area shrank a lot and the cloth weight went up.
That would make me leery of what I might get. Like Jammer said, there might be a presumption of heavier wind with a smaller sail. But that heavier wind also changes the required shape/draft of the sail. If the sailmaker doesn't understand that you want a high clew, and you apparently are not on the same page about the conditions you intend to sail in, then the sail won't be designed optimally. FWIW, the higher clew might also be a factor of them thinking you will be in higher wind.
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Old 15-02-2024, 21:19   #7
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

The cloth weight specification you are quoting is a Challenge cloth which mean the sail is being made offshore which is OK if you are dealing with an experienced sailmaker who has done the miles and not some online IT salemaker!
Beyond comprehension that anyone with any sailmaking acumen would struggle with the term high cut!
Sailmaker of 40+ years!
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Old 15-02-2024, 21:50   #8
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
You might find that there is an underlying presumption that smaller sails are used in heavier weather.
Yes, I think you may be correct.
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Old 15-02-2024, 21:51   #9
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Matt, talk to Steve Walker (Launceston)* about it. He's smart and he would probably be willing to work with you to get you what you want. He will understand the age of the boat's design and a proper cutter rig for her. A couple of pictures would help. He will also talk sensibly about sail cloth. Does your sail plan include a light air forestay sail, of ~ 165%? a drifter?



*I like him personally. He has been quite helpful with Jim and me, spent a lot of time measuring the boat and chatting with us one day in Hobart town. You could even sail it up the Tamar R. for him to work on...... It's a mellow summer here in Cygnet, today, anyway.

Ann
Donít get me started on Steve. I wasted ages talking to him, sending him specs, waiting on responses, phoning his office, phoning again, emailing againÖ

Nothing.

I honestly think that what Iím wanting is so boring that nobody wants to make it.
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Old 15-02-2024, 21:56   #10
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bully View Post
The cloth weight specification you are quoting is a Challenge cloth which mean the sail is being made offshore which is OK if you are dealing with an experienced sailmaker who has done the miles and not some online IT salemaker!
Beyond comprehension that anyone with any sailmaking acumen would struggle with the term high cut!
Sailmaker of 40+ years!
Yes, very big loft. Lots and lots of experience. I trust them.

I suspect the problem is they are so big that Iím dealing with sales guys, not sails guys.

They admitted that they couldnít give me the dimensions I was after until theyíd sent them off to be drawn up.

Welcome to the new business model.
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Old 15-02-2024, 23:45   #11
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

I’ve always had a good experience with John Hooper at Hooper Sails (Melbourne)
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Old 16-02-2024, 01:46   #12
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bully View Post
The cloth weight specification you are quoting is a Challenge cloth which mean the sail is being made offshore
Not sure how you can make that statement, I know of several that use it and make them here.


Bottom line from reading this is GILow is talking to a loft that will not meet his needs.

He says he spoke to others, well maybe you need to speak to more.

But hard to help you when you secret the name of the loft
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Old 16-02-2024, 02:04   #13
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Speak to Col Anderson or his pup at Doyles in Melbourne, they have been making sails for me since the late 80's.
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Old 16-02-2024, 04:23   #14
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

FWIW

First point, which may be mute. There are at least English and American cloth measures. The same cloth may be quoted as 1oz different between the two systems. When I found my designers original specs they were in the English system from 1987. Not real easy to find the conversion or even mention of the difference.


Second point, I feel your pain. I have had trouble with sailmakers also. It is a very long story I do not want to get into.

I’m in the USA and found Rolly Tasker would make the sails I needed. I had to provide measurements and take all responsibility for dimensions. It sounds like you are at this point already.

I found the sails a wee bit long but usable. If I ordered again I would knock off 6”. But overall happy with the sails.

When I ran down the previous sail maker (whose sails were well constructed but not suitable for this older design) I hit a brick wall. “This is the type sail we always provide for this area.” Absolutely zero recognition of boat design variation. And this a very well respected outfit.
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Old 16-02-2024, 04:45   #15
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Re: I donít understand sail cloth weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Hi all,

I’m in the middle of specifying sails for the new boat, a Kelly Peterson 44.

Most of the way through the process and suddenly the recommended weight of sailcloth for the jib and staysail have been increased from 9.88 to 10.88 Oz.

This was after I REDUCED the sail sizes by specifying a lower overlap and a much higher clew.

Jib went from 43 square meters DOWN to 38 square meters, staysail went from 19 square meters DOWN to 17 square meters.

When I queried it the sailmaker stated that smaller sails use heavier sail cloth.

What? How does that work? Surely the strains on smaller sails are less than larger sails?

Help!

Matt

The sailmakers logic is sound here. When do you typically want smaller sails on your boat, when the wind is stronger. Means more force on the sails, so your want a heavier cloth and a tougher sail.

If all you want to do is drop sail area, you need to articulate that to the loft so that they know they aren't building heavy air sails for you, you just want to depower your boat.

Not sure why you are having problems with getting the clew where you want. When I had new sails built. The loft (Precision) suggested moving the clew up a bit from where it was on my previous sail (they wanted pictures of the old sails deployed on the boat. My clews ended up right around 6ft off the deck, a few of feet higher than the old sails. Was all your quoting done by email alone?
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