Join Date: Mar 2004
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New main Radial or tape drive...?
The best way to get "a few years" from a racing main is to have 2 mains, one for cruising and one for racing.
The Farr I sail on has a North dacron main for cruising and a 3DL for racing. We are a very active program (50 races per season) and even with all the changing out, we get 2 seasons out of the racing main at most before stretch becomes a factor. We are now on the second racing main and use the first racing main for club racing on weekday evenings and the new one for events. I use the dacron main for delivery to regattas that are some distance away and cruising. I also have one 90% cruising/delivery jib for this purpose. In short, we use the racing sails strictly for racing in order to gain longevity.
I would suggest you poll other owners of Elans about the effectiveness of using mixed upwind sail plans(different manufacturers for jib and main).