You should probably be looking at coastal sails, which are usually a bit lighter than offshore sails. The main reason that offshore sails are heavier and more durable than coastal sails are many.
First, coastal sailors will often be able to get out of heavy weather or reduce their exposure to heavy weather far better than someone who is in the middle of a transoceanic passage. So the total exposure to heavy weather is often less.
Second, offshore sailboats are usually of a heavier design and displacement than coastal cruisers of the same size. They are also more heavily loaded in terms of food, water, equipment and other supplies as a general rule.
Third, offshore sailboats often have no choice but to sail through heavy weather. A coastal cruiser often has the option of motoring through it, as the destination they have is close enough to motor to, which is often not the case for an offshore boat. Fuel is a scarce resource on a bluewater boat, which has must be conserved—which may not be the case on a coastal cruiser, which often has ready access to fuel sources.
Fourth, Offshore sails will often have a heavier material, flatter cut, and deeper, and in some cases more, reef points than a coastal cruising sail. Light air performance is often better with a coastal design sail than it is with an offshore designed sail for these reasons. The heavier material is due to being further from resources to repair the sails and the greater wear and tear the sails will receive in use. Coastal sailors don't leave their sails up 24x7 like most offshore boats do.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 08-31-2006 at 11:08 AM.