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Old 09-12-2010
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Genoa Delam Wooes

Late last fall, I purchased a used North bi-radial genoa that was ironically built for another Sabre 38. The sail is about a 1990 vintage sail and looked to be really clean and virtually unused, judging by the lack of wear on the luff tape and other fittings. The sail has a "North Cruising Sails" label on it and was marked as "Nordac" fabric.

This spring, while removing the old sail numbers, I noticed that the taffeta backing on the sail was pulling up in a few isolate places. Since then, we sailed MD Gov cup and other daysails, etc. The max wind was 15 kts. The sail is large and light and I know that 15 kts is about the max for this sail, so I've been careful. I've had it on the roller furler for only a month, the rest of the time, it's been in the bag.

In the last couple of weeks, I noticed vertical gray streaks resembling dirt that runs from the head to the foot and about half the width of the sail. yesterday, I also noticed that all the taffeta was separated from the 2 panels near the head (the taffeta is only only on one side and looks like a giant blister). Otherwise, the sail shape looks good and is pretty flat. From what I can see and have read, the taffeta is only used as a protective cover and has no structural purpose. I plan to call Sailcare to see if anything can be done, but am eliciting recommendations from the SailNet crew.....

It seems to me that I have 4 options:

1. Toss the sail and chalk up the cost to experience. I'd rather not do that for obvious reasons especially since the sail still has a good shape.
2. Have Sailcare clean and try to refurb it. I've used them in the past and know that they can work miracles, but don't think that the taffeta can be rebonded.
3. Cut out the taffeta and use the sail for a couple more years. Does anyone have experience with this fabric? Do I really need the taffeta? I suspect that the sail is really Norlam, but don't know for sure. A North loft is not nearby.
4. Have Sailcare insert 2 new panels. I worry that more panels will delam so I hesitate to use this option. I could end up rebuilding the sail panel by panel.

Before the whole community jumps on me and tells me that I need a new sail, I'll admit that I know that a new sail is imminent. My question pertains to what happened to the bonding (was it just old?) and how to proceed with this particular.

Thanks for any help. BTW - the sail is the one shown in my avatar.
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Sabre 38 "Victoria"
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