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post #11 of 20 Old 11-19-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

I tried the used sails route via all the usual suspects.. in the end decided it wasn't worth the risk and had UK build me a new headsail last spring.. Quite happy with the result, and with the service. I've already forgotten about the extra bucks
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Used sail testing

I really haven't decided if I will go with new or used. But, I guess what my post should have said was, "Wouldn't it be nice if there was some way to objectively get an idea of some basic measurements like depth and position of draft under consistent testing conditions." This is data that would help a lot in purchasing a used sail. I'm guessing the used sailing outfits wouldn't really want to know how bad their sails are... and nobody has come up with any nifty way of testing this.

Bristol 27
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-22-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

barquito-
Having objective measurements on a used sail would be meaningless--unless you also knew the same measurements on a new sail. And there the problem is that every loft may be cutting "the same" sails differently, using a different model and of course you know that every loft claims they do a better job and make a physically different and better sail.

So measuring a used sail? That's like measuring a used pair of blue jeans, taken at random. Are they a size 32? So was that a 32 waist when new? Or maybe it was "slim" 30 or "full" 34? All of them are sold as "32". Flat in the butt? Extra roomy? All of them are "size 32" jeans.

Good idea, but given that it is still the rag trade, only rubber rulers can be applied.

Go by the condition of the cloth, if it is still undistorted, unworn, undamaged, then it is still close to what is was when new. Whether that particular cut is optimum, what it was optimized for, even whether it really was for your boat, are all still going to be a guess, unless you've got some kind of documents with it.

(More reasons to take hostages, rob a 7-11, find some other way to just buy a new sail from a reputable source.)
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-22-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

Try having a sail loft look for you. At times the loft can encourage a prospect to purchase a new sail if they have a market for a trade in. I concur with Sabreman used sails don't strike me as a good deal. From what I've seen you 60% of new for a sail that has 50% of its life left.
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-22-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

Given the choice between sailing and not sailing, I would go with the used sail and get out there...

When I got my boat the head sail(s) were in good shape, but the main had seen better days (30 some years ago)... But I wanted to get out there so I bought a HD sewing machine and patched up the holes, relined the leach and resewed most of the seams...First time I took it out I blew the one seam I didn't restich...sailed on headsail alone that weekend...Brought it home ran some more thread thru it and it worked for me all that season...

Last year I bought another main off e-bay...$100 free shipping... It too needed some repair and reinforcement, but was a grade newer (crisper) than my original...I kept it for back up.

2nd or 3rd time out this year I was caught in my first Lake Superior "Squall"... Sure wish I started reefing 20 minutes before the 30-40 knot winds came up...I didn't have my main fully secure and during the squall the head started working it's way up the pole....needless to say the top 4'-6' of the top was shredded beyond repair...

Once the winds calmed down I was able to replace the sail with my "spare" and finish the weekend and the rest of the season for that matter on the "used" e-bay sail...

Does it point as high or run as fast as a new sail would...? doubt full but I don't race so I don't care too much at this point...I was still out there having fun.

Having said all that I don't think I'll be in the market for a $300-$400 "used" sail this winter, but hope to save up the $600 needed for a new sail in my size...

I might be cheap, but I'm sure glad I didn't miss the last two seasons holding out for new rags...

"Might as well take 'er out...If anything is gonna happen...It's gonna happen out there..."
"Captin Ron"
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

buying used sails is time consuming but very rewarding...when cruising we had swaps and stuff and we once got a donated sail that we cut at a canvas loft(not a sail loft) and that worked fine for the rest of that particular trip

look for in addition to crispy yet pliable fabric

"stitching" and quality of stiitching by that I mean what kind of sewing pattern did they use on the panels, leech and luff lines etc...

does the nylon look dry and brittle? if so walk away

clew and tacks?

rust anywhere if using metal?

hanks look good?

etc...many things to look at!

I also try to broaden my searches and not be so specific, look for max luff length and maybe foot but if you serach really specifically you end up short in results sometimes...
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post #17 of 20 Old 11-23-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

oh if you have clubs nearby racers are known to give away sails at very cheap prices...youd be surprised how many cruiser racers go cruising with mylar and kevlar sails...I always ask and the answer is always oh some racer had 20 bags of sails and practically gave this one away to me!
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

Forget crisp! You can make an old sock rigid by coating it with sizing.
For evaluation, lay it flat on the floor. You can immediately tell if it's blown out by the degree of curl inside the periphery.

Dick
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post #19 of 20 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

Dick, have you ever met a scoundrel who has bothered to use spray sizing on something the size of a sail?

I suppose it certainly could be done, but anything you can spray on, or iron on, can and will just as easily wash off. The crispness of new fiber, before it has broken down, and before the resin calendaring has worn off, can't be replicated with a can of spray starch. Not for long.
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post #20 of 20 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: Used sail testing

You may want to look and see if you can find a retired Cal 25 sail. The main is slightly smaller, but retired racing sails will have a lot more life than some random sail on the internet.

CAL 25. P25.00 E11.00
Bristol 27 P25.5 E12.2
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