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Old 09-18-2002
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Question for sailmaker: Leech strength

I recently had the pleasure of beating (had to) in force 8-9 conditions for several hours. Due to lots of required / needed tacking (and the subsequent sail flogging during each tack) the panel joint stitching near the leech of the dacron main finally gave out. I ultimately totaly ''zippered'' two panel seams and many of the other upper panel joints showed the beginnings of stitching breakage just in front of the leech for about 6-8 inches. I should have deeper reefed but for saftey of the boat I needed to keep driving it hard.

The Questions is: how can these seams be reinforced to help strengthen against unavoidable flogging, etc.? SA @ approx 400 ft. sq. The
Sail is already triple stitched ... and the present thread has the same or greater apparent tensile strength as V69 and doesnt appear to be UV
degraded.

1. Small reinforcement 4X4" triangular patches over the panel seams at the leech?
2. Additional rows of stitching ? - already have 3 rows.
3. Longer and/or more battens on the upper panels?
4. Is there any seam "glue" that wont turn BLACK after several years? I know some spinnaker builders are joining panels without stitching by use of a two sided glue tape (not basting tape) .... but a mainsail would need much stronger joints, etc.

I dont want to consider full battens as the boat is a cutter rig with backstays opposing the staysail stay and Im concerned with full
battens that I''ll be breaking them all the time with boom is max-ed out from the centerline and the battens are laying across the shrouds, etc.

(BTW... one of the DISADVANTAGES of a full keeled boat: it tacks toooooo slooooooow. )

Or, maybe I should give up and build a bullet proof large Trysail.

Thanks for any advice
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