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FritzN 02-21-2007 01:51 AM

Sails on a Boat That I'm Looking At
I’m going out to the west coast the weekend after next to look a late model Valiant 42 that has non-standard-Valiant sails. I asked for more information about them, and the broker replied with the following:

"The local Quantum loft has been making Valiant sails for years; in fact my 1990 Valiant 40’ had Quantum sails. There simply isn’t a better cruising sail made by anyone (in my opinion) and the owner of [BOAT NAME] had used the best material."

The broker went on to relay the following e-mail from a representative of the local Quantum loft that had supplied the sailes:

"These are all heavily built sails, absolutely top of the line, ready for serious passage sailing with wide seams, triple and quadruple three-throw stitching, extra reinforcing, belting, spectra webbing, night time draft stripes, etc., with hull number and insignia on the main, leech and foot lines, tell tales, sail ties etc. plus specified accessories as indicated.

“Main 9.62 Dacron luff 48 x foot 13.58 with four tapered RBS full length epoxy battens, Sailman 4000 receptacles for the inboard end of each full length batten and Dutchman 50-3-B flaking system. Replacement about $5,700

“The boat has a very expensive Antal batten traveler system that was sold by Valiant Yachts. The Antal sail hardware (headboard and slides) was supplied to us by Valiant, for installation on the main. We supplied the receptacles for the inboard end of each full length batten, to which Antal batten slides were attached. I cannot tell you how much the customer paid for the Antal hardware. Probably about $4,500.

“110% Lp Rollerfurling Genoa 563 sq ft 8.62HA Dacron for use on a Profurl rollerfurling system with #6 foil tape on the luff, Acrilan UV protection leech and foot and foam along the luff for shape preservation when reefed. Replacement about $4,000.

“Rollerfurling Staysail 9.62HA Dacron 187.87 sq ft optimized for the staysail triangle to be used on a Profurl system with #6 foil tape and Acrilan UV protection on leech and foot. Replacement about $1,500.

“With respect to Genoa size, we make lots of 120's for boats going elsewhere and 110's for a boat home ported on San Francisco Bay. It’s a reflection of [DEALERSHIP OWNER’S] sail advice to George and I think he's right. It’s plenty of area except for very light air when the boat really needs the asymmetrical.

“The staysail has a high clew because that's where it has to be to sheet to the staysail track. We always have to leave some room forward on the track to adjust the fairlead when the sail is reefed so the clew has to be high enough to sheet far enough aft on that track to allow the adjustment, like when it is reduced to be used as a true storm jib. Most people don't realize that clew height is really a function of the size of the sail and the location of the track to sheet to.

“The 110 is a nice size for the boat because the clew can be high enough for good visibility yet low enough to reach the leech line or re-tie a Genoa sheet. When it’s fully extended where it sheets to leaves plenty of room for fairlead adjustment forward as the sail is reefed, or to reduce twist when reaching. There is also room for or adjustment aft if there is need to de-power without reducing area.

“As you know, the Lp is expressed as a percent of J, the base of the foretriangle. A Valiant 42 has a BIG foretriangle with a big J so a 110% sail is much bigger on a V42 than it would be on another 42ft boat with a shorter J. (V42 J= 19.71 x 110% = 21.68ft.) (Passport 42 J=17ft so 17 x 110% = 18.7ft)”


I intend to head south to Mexico and beyond in November. I'm familiar with the conditions as far south as Acapulco, and there’s a lot of light air along the way during the cruising season. My questions are:

1) How would you generally rate the quality of Quantum sails?

2) What are your comments on the described sail production techniques and deck equipment?

3) Does anyone have a problem with the smaller 110 genoa for my stated purpose, or does the rep's comment about the larger Valiant foretriangle make sense? (This is one on which I'd love to hear from JeffH.)

You folks will really be helping me with your input' and I appreciate it.


Giulietta 02-21-2007 06:06 AM

1) Are you joking??? Quantum is one of the best in the World...just check some of the TP52's, ACC's, Volvo etc... THE BEST...

2) No problems

3) Absolutely not the answer provided was good

If I were in your shoes I'd be asking rather how old are the sails, and how much abuse have they that is an important question.

I sail 110% sails by choice, didn't stop me yet!!!:D :D

paulk 02-21-2007 06:55 AM

If you're that concerned about light-air performance, shouldn't you be looking at a new NYYC 42 instead of a used Valiant 42? The sails on this boat were customized for the current owner. Based on the remarks, it sounds like he and his sailmaker knew what they wanted and what they were doing. As Giulietta suggests, the condition of the sails should probably be the big concern. It blows hard in SFO, and the current owner might have sailed a LOT. SFO bay isn't really that big. If that's been his main stomping ground, he's made lots and lots of tacks, meaning lots of wear & tear on his sails. A bigger jib is going to be a hassle on this boat, which sounds like it's rigged with a staysail that will already interfere with each tack. For cruising in light air and long tacks, pick up a blooper or reacher - there are plenty around. Quantum would probably be happy to sell you one too, and even with a new light-air reaching sail, it should be cheaper than a NYYC 42.

soul searcher 02-21-2007 09:44 AM

The valiant has a larger fore triangle becaus its rigged as a true cutter the mast is steped further aft in the boat than a boat that is sloop rigged with a removeable inner fore stay. I shopped sails real hard looking for a 110 for my boat last sping and quantum was the what I considered the best of all the different quotes That I got. go to their web sight and read If nothing else its very informative about cloth and constuction techniqes. they are very blunt and not affraid to name names. Like the folks above the condition is more important. Sounds to me that the boat is set up well and if the sails are seviceable and you added a asymetric the boat would be ready for any thing.


Valiente 02-21-2007 10:00 AM

Quantum is fine, and I concur with the statements made above. I would say that the age and condition should be evaluated by a sailmaker at your expense. Those sound like bullet-proof, all weathers sails, the sort I would pick. But if you envision mostly light air sailing, you either have the wrong sails, or the wrong boat. What you have is an oceanic passagemaker with passagemaker sails. Now, if you can stand doing 4 knots all the way south, there's no problem, and you and the boat can certainly do 7 when the wind pipes up to the point that a lesser, more lightly canvassed boat would be over-pressed. But if you want to make 6 knots in 9 knots of wind, get a J boat.

The Valiant 42 is proven, comfortable in a seaway, and when properly handled, is an excellent choice for a liveaboard. But she's not fast and she's not particularly modern or built like a Beneteau or a bigger Hunter below. The sails aren't really at issue.

FritzN 02-21-2007 12:17 PM

Thanks/Regarding the Condition of the Sails
Thanks for the input.

Regarding the state of the sails, the boat is a 2004 model, and has been lightly used (day sailing, never cruised). The boat is like new, according to Valiant's National Sales Manager, Wally Wells. (It was the show boat for last year's local boat show, so Wally was on it for several days.) The owner loaded it up with a lot of high-quality equipment, and then, due to personal problems, had to put it up for sale. The engine has fewer than 250 hours on it.

I will be sailing it the weekend after next. I would have done so this weekend, but the death of an in-law requires that I be available to go to Southern California for the service.

Thanks again for your reassuring comments.


svsirius 02-21-2007 03:58 PM

I also agree the sails sound just fine.. I have been using Quantum as a loft for over 10yrs[since they were founded]. Never had any issues that they did not address. If you are concerned about light air performance then add either a Code '0' or an asymetrical.

On the Moody we have both a 140 and a 110 and now that we are cruising full time the 140 stays in the bag with the 110 rigged. It's a much more versatile sail.

Faster 02-21-2007 04:48 PM

We have also had only good results and experiences with our local Quantum loft - from new sail purchases to repairs, canvas work etc.

FritzN 02-21-2007 05:19 PM

My plan is to spend the first cruising season on the west coast (staying south of the Pacific hurricane belt for the summer) and then transiting the cannel. I want to spend the second season in the Caribbean, with its stronger trade winds.

Also, on the Pacific side, my first leg will take me outside of Guadalupe Island to pick up the fairly strong prevailing northwesterly winds. I'll also have to contend with the Gulf of Tehuanapec (southern Mexico) and the Papagallo winds (mostly off Nigeragua).

My last boat was a Mason 33, which was a heavy displacement boat, and it did fine on the Pacific Coast (Southern California and into Baja). The Valiant 42 is a moderate displacement vessel that should perform better in light winds than the Mason.

I've come to the conclusion, after a lot of boat shopping over the last twelve months, that the Valiant 42 is a good compromise that can be expected to do reasonably well in light air, and still be suited for the more challenging parts of the trip.


Valiente 02-22-2007 11:42 AM

If they pass muster by a sailmaker, then, you might as well keep the sails that came with the boat. 2004 is practically new, and while it's easy to find a light air sail you can yank or patch into some sort of service, a full suit of heavy weather sails is a real boon.

Good luck with it.

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