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Old 07-05-2013
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Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

We will soon be in need of a new main sail and I would like to discuss options in design for a roller furling main on a 53' ketch.
Our present sail is a radial design sail of some esoteric fabric called a "tape drive" by HR in NY. Though it is a fantastic sail design wise, the material is failing after only a few hundred days of sailing. However, it seems this is a very labor intensive cut, probably much more expensive than we can afford. I have been toying with the idea of a miter cut sail, as a compromise, giving more strength in the direction of pull on the outhaul, but probably more susceptible to stretching when reefed. At any rate, it may need many small panels rather than several larger ones.
This sail sets much more like a jib than a boomed sail, being loose footed, using the outhaul more than the sheet to obtain a good sail shape. Since most of our sailing is in 20 to 30 knots of wind (usually hard to weather) we often have the sail rolled in to the second spreaders, a DEEP reef, way beyond the reinforced reef points presently on the sail.
I am not a sail designer and would really appreciate some input as to what might work or not. Looking at a sail and sailing with one leads to many ideas, most of which are probably unworkable in reality.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.

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