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Old 07-11-2004
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sail type?

I have recently bought a used sailboat (5 differnet sizes of headsail - non furling) All are the normal dacron material except for one which has a plastic type (mylar maybe?) coating on one side and a rougher brown material on the other side. I know this is poor description but does anyone have any ideas what type of material this may be and what are the advantages etc? The boat is a 23 year old 32 ft.
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Old 07-11-2004
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sail type?

The brown material may be kevlar or some other super-stuff. Look for it to degrage and delaminate from the mylar due to UV after several seasons.
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Old 07-12-2004
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sail type?

I doubt it''s straight Kevlar, as that would also be covered with a mylar film. Some years ago sailmakers experimented with a kevlar/dacron blend that was beige, but it would have been the same on both sides. Perhaps the rough stuff is simply the UV cover from what may have been a furling sail? Take the sail to your local sailmaker and ask. As for Kevlar delaminating after a few seasons, I would disagree. It depends a lot on frequency and type of use, but you should get 5 years out of an older mylar/kevlar sail, and much more out of a newer one.
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Old 07-12-2004
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sail type?

This whole Kevlar delaminating in some magical period of time is hog wash. It all depends on the cloth and how the sails were handled. My boat has a number of 20 year old kevlar sails. Some have some delamination, but others are like new in terms of no signs of delamination. The sail that I use in the dense air and high winds of the winter is a 20 year old kevlar blade and while it has definite delamination issues, it still has a great shape and even last winter has held together in winds approaching 40 knots.

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Old 07-13-2004
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sail type?

One of my "Secret Weapons" is my Light #1. It is a 15+ year old Mylar and Kevlar scrim sail. Which is probably what you have there. I treat it with tender loving care, and it is absolutley one of the nicest setting sails I have ever seen. It had some delam at the tack, which I had my loft put a reinforcing patch on.

Life expectancy of a sail is directly related to its care and handling. If you don''t keep a sail up beyond it''s wind range, keep it clean and nicely flaked, making sure you don''t always fold on the same crease, a sail will last a long time.
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