Join Date: Jul 2000
Thanked 171 Times in 160 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Re: Sail cloth weights
Stability of the weave which lessens the amount of permanent stretch is probably THE most important consideration. Suggest you discuss with your chosen sailmaker the selection of a 'prime' dacron sail cloth such as Contender™ or Challenge™ ... even at a lower weight.
AND .... with most dacron mainsails the as-raised shape is very dependent on the luff boltrope. Boltropes shrink over time and such is the PRIMARY cause of 'bagginess' and 'blown out' mainsails. Discuss with your sailmaker a means of providing an extra-length of boltrope rope that extends past the luff sleeve and is sewn ('stored') to the headboard --- so when you eventually need to adjust (ease) that boltrope all YOU (or your sailmaker) have to do is cut the sail twine binding, slide the 'stored' boltrope into the sleeve (to restore the luff dimension) and resew (twine, sail needle and palm). Otherwise if extra-length of boltrope isnt already 'stored' and ready to go, a boltrope adjustment/replacement can be quite costly. If already stored, its a one hour job.
On any sailboat that has a woven dacron main that boltrope 'should' be readjusted probably every 200-300 hours of HARD sailing. Just be sure to keep the exact as-lofted OEM luff dimension handy so you can exactly 'restore' to the proper as-lofted luff dimension.
Once a boltrope shrinks, the sail will be draft-aft, excess draft, ... the boat will be SLOW and will aggressively heel-over. A simple 'easing' of that boltrope will usually 95% restore that as-designed shape back to OEM.
Other. On my cruising boats I always apply 'over-the-top' leech purse lines - the leech line extends to a cheek block mounted on the headboard ... and the line continues in a sleeve down along the LUFF; at each reef position along the luff the line is exposed and has its own jam cleat. This enables the leech tension to be controlled from the base of the Mast (or run back to the cockpit) - instead of hanging overboard with one hand hanging onto 'something', the other hand 'futzing' with a damn leech line while one leg is 'dangling' over the water.
Other #2. I also like small permanent installed 'intermediate' battens between the top, 2nd, and third battens --- helps to keep the leech shape longer in a sail with big roach.
hope this helps.