Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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If you're only going to be beer-can racing, then it doesn't really matter what sails you get... full batten sails are not allowed in some class rules, but many racers/cruisers prefer them. A fully battened sail is often easier to flake, reef, lower, and will generally resist flogging itself to death better than a partial batten sail. It can also support a greater amount of roach and give you more sail area than a non-fully battened sail. However, it is harder to hoist, since the sail is heavier, and the battens can cause problems at the mast track, and also can have problems with chafe.
Buying used can be economical, if the sail is usable without any expensive modifications. If your boat is a completely stock Catalina 30, then getting a slightly used sail from another Catalina 30 would make sense. However, if the sail needs any modifications, like the luff modified for different slugs, or if it needs to be reinforced or shortened at all.. it may not be economically any advantage to going the used route.
Also, be aware that you can't always be sure of the quality of the used sails that you will be getting... after all, technically, the boat had "used" sails that were good for a few more years... and look how they turned out.
New sails, from a good loft, will give you much better performance and will be a completely known quantity. Also, if you want to have the sails customized to any degree, like adding a third reef point, you can do so at minimal cost, relative to modifying an existing sail.
Making your own, especially on a fairly well-known design like a Catalina 30, isn't a bad option if you have the time, space and equipment to do so. You need to have a lot of space to lay out the sail and a very heavy sewing machine to sew the material with. Sailrite sells kits for sails if you're so inclined... but most people don't have the time, space or equipment to do such a job properly.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 05-14-2007 at 10:27 AM.