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post #10 of Old 09-12-2012
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Re: Another new sail question/rant

Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I don't know where you hear that. My boat came with a nearly 20 year old kevlar, heavy air #3 that I used for several years extensively during the winters. It was flogged for decades before I got it and flogged for 3 or so years afterward and was fine, good shape, holding together okay, before ultimately failing, being flogged in what I estimate was a 50 knot gust. May it rest in peace, or should I say pieces as its now recycled into dozens of dufflebags.

Having never owned a Kevlar sail, I can't provide any personal experience to the discussion. Just from scuttlebutt, my understanding has been that Kevlar sails are good for a year or two. According to Sailpower: Trim and Techniques for Cruisers by Peter Nielsen (p.27), "Sails made from (Kevlar) are very light but far from durable in a cruising context. Kevlar is brittle and does not stand up well to flogging and flexing" Further in the text he states "It's not unusual for a woven sail to last 10 years or more, while the lifespan of a laminate sail is closer to five years," but he's talking Mylar here as opposed to Kelvar.

[/B]S/V Wind Orchid
Catalina 350 (hull# 273)
Annapolis, MD

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