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post #1 of 4 Old 07-01-2013 Thread Starter
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Unhappy Determining sail size area

Just gotback from a transat crossing and my sails need to be replaced.
I'm looking to buy a new set of sails for my Elan Impression 514 and have been getting many quotes from different suppliers.
While I'm finally getting to grips with the differences in materials used and related performances and prices, I still can't understand why there are such discrepencies in the square meteres that I got from each sailmaker. These range from 63m2 to 71m2. That's a huge difference so far as I'm concerned.
Same thing for vertical battens: Some propose 5 full + 4 short; others 3 full only; others 5 short ones; etc...
It seems to me like more sail area = more performance.
Can someone explain to me why there can be such differences or if size is determined by the design, number of battens, etc. -- assuming the same material and cut? These were given for laminate radial cut inmast furling main (I= 18.99m; J= 5.48m; P = 18m; E= 6.65m) . Tks

Last edited by Waldoh; 07-01-2013 at 09:07 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Determining sail size area

I would suggest you have a sail maker actually come out an measure your boat. As one could be using the non furling mast footage to come up with a how big a sail. ALong with which battens etc.

Roach is another factor that can get you more SA too. Which is why some with full battens may have more sail area too.

9sq M of sail area different, that is a bunch. Then again, with my 30ft boat, there was upwards of 2-3 sq M depending upon the roach and a few other factors, so reality is, it is possible that one can come up with that much on a bigger boat like yours.


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post #3 of 4 Old 07-01-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Determining sail size area

All the quotes that I got were from major sail makers and were specifically for furling mains. The Elan Impression 514 is at least 20 tons and any extra sail surface would be greatly appreciated. The problem is that the one sailmaker who can deliver the sails in time and at a good price is proposing 64 mē with 5 short vertical battens, whereas the boat was originally delivered with a 68 mē mainsail and five full vertical battens. I feel like I'm going to be losing performance.

If I understand correctly, then, the length and number of battens is what determines how much more roach the sail can have? Is there anything else that can impact the surface area of the sail? (everything else being equal, of course, i.e. same measurements, same fabric, same cut...). If I ask for longer battens, would this allow the sailmaker to increase the roach?


Last edited by Waldoh; 07-01-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: Determining sail size area

The downside with too much roach is getting the main sail past the backstay during tacks. If you are primarily using the boat for ocean crossings then this doesn't matter, if you are short tacking out of harbors or racing around the buoys it could really annoy you.

I have no experience with roller furling mains or vertical battens. I've only sailed on much smaller boats than yours with traditional mains.

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