Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
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Sail Cloth AF NS UK
Sailing World and other magazines periodically cover what''s up with sails & sailcloth. For cruising, Dacron and Pentex seem to be the most prevalent. We have a tape drive genoa from UK and it it pretty beat after four/five seasons. Our Pentex main is three seasons old, and people ask us if it is new. Dacron is nicer to handle, reefing or furling, than the newer stuff. What suits you best will depend a good bit upon how your boat is set up and the type of sailing you do. If you''re slogging away across oceans, you may want one thing. If you cruise port to port each day with roller furling, something else thing might be better for you. Price and performance requirements also have to be considered. We needed racing performance from our main, so went with Pentex. We expect it to hold up about five or six seasons, for racing. Our working jib is a heavy dacron sail. It probably takes a different, less efficient shape now than when it was first cut, but the cloth and stitching is still in ok condition, about 10 or 12 years since it was built. For cruising, it''s fine, and will probably hold up another four or five years. You pays your money and takes your choice.