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Old 11-12-2005
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Racing sails

The question becomes: how much sailing do you do? If a new, technologically superior sail is built to last 200 hours in the sun, how many seasons will that last you? We typcially race Wednesday evenings, with finishes predicated prior to sunset. Starts are at 6:00 PM, and finishes due by roughly 0800. Two to three hours per week, for a ten week season, and we''ve used up 30 hours of our 200, before getting to any weekends. Ten Saturdays at 5 hours of sailing each, and then perhaps ten similar Sundays makes for 100 more hours of usage in a season. To take a week''s cruise add five more 5-hour days: 25 hours. So far this totals about 155 hours without much effort. Take another week''s cruise, and the fabric starts to delaminate and tear at chafe points. Top-end racing materials are not durable. You''re supposed to buy new ones, frequently. "Low-end" Dacron sails may lose their optimum shape, but will still hold together and function, albiet inefficiently, for years and years. The route you take depends upon your needs.
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