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Old 11-06-2012
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

We have a tape drive main made by Ulmer in the early 90's. It is certainly one of the best designed sails I've ever had and it sets beautifully reefed or not. Problem is that the plastic (mylar?) coating is coming off and without woven cloth, this is a real pain. Sad thing is that this sail has not been flown more than 200 times and more likely less than 150. Every winter before I owned the boat it was kept in a sail maker's heated loft and when on the boat in a stowaway mast.
When I queried Ulmer for a way to extend the life of the sail or repair it, he replied "give the thing a decent burial", pretty cavalier I thought, for such a lightly used sail.
Depending on your use (racing is another story), for cruising I would think a dacron sail would be wisest, but you might want to consider a radical cut like the tape drive (radial cut I believe it's called) which might extend the sail's life because of more seams and smaller panels.
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