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  #1  
Old 12-17-2008
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Sail cloth weight, important?

I am about to buy my first new mainsail. I was wondering do I need a 6.5 oz dacron sail cloth or can you go with 5.5oz? What is the difference, does it have to do with durability?
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Old 12-17-2008
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saurav16,
I can't give you a real definitive answer on this, but with a little more information, I'll bet you will get some good advice. The lighter fabric is for lighter wind and likewise heavier fabric for heavier wind. It also depends on the size of the sail and the boat it goes on. 5.5 sounds a bit light for a main. I have a genoa that weight and it is great for wind up to about 12 knots. Over 15 really want to go to a heavier and smaller sail. I only have one main, so it is considerably heavier.
Richard
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Old 12-17-2008
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Originally Posted by saurav16 View Post
I am about to buy my first new mainsail. I was wondering do I need a 6.5 oz dacron sail cloth or can you go with 5.5oz? What is the difference, does it have to do with durability?
Surav please update your profile to include your boat model and length!!! It's very tough to answer questions about sail weight without knowing your sailing grounds, intended use and your boat model and size... It only takes a few minutes heck create a signature and include it in that... Please help us help you...
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Old 12-17-2008
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Sure thing, here you go, my info:
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Old 12-17-2008
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Ask the sailmaker how strong of a wind the cloths with handle. Also, some, not all cloths, the lighter may be stronger than the heavier. Altho comparing Dac. the heavier should be stronger. But if you do not plan on being out in anything stronger than 20-25knts, 5.5 oz may work for you boat.

You might also contact artbyjody, as he has new kevlar sails to a C27T that he may want to dispose of, as his C27 is pretty much junk. I have his genoa, he has the main. May be a good way to get better than dac for less.

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Old 12-17-2008
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This depends very much on your intentions. Fair-weather (under 20 knots in your case) sailing would be enhanced by a lighter weight of main, but you would have to reef a little earlier and be conscious of chafe a little more than if you had the heavier weight of sail. This is why in the old days before furling, racers would have a light No. 1 Genoa good on a 30 footer, say, to 12 knots and a heavy No. 1 (same dimensions, heavier cloth) good to possibly 20 knots. From such distinctions were races won. Having exploded a light No. 1 on my own boat, I can say that there are definite limits to the ability of certain weights of sail cloth to sustain wind pressures.
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This sail is used and has no reefs. But I am sure reefs can be put in by a sail loft?
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Old 12-17-2008
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Sure, reefing points can be put in by a loft. But IMHO if the wind is strong enough that you have to reef, 5.5 oz dacron seems a bit light!
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Surav

Before you buy a used sail that may require some tweaking at added expense by a local loft you shoud consider buying new from National Sail Supply. Dirk specializes in Catalina sails and has the best quality to price ratio I know of.

A brand new 6.5 oz main sail for your tall rig from Dirk is only $639.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hell Sail Care would charge nearly that much just to clean an old one!!

National Sail Supply Catalina 27 Tall Rig Sails (LINK)
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Have to admit, for that, ie 639 plus 50 or so ea for a 2nd reef, cunningham, logo. Not a bad price, almost too cheap to even think about a used sail! My new main was $3000, but I went with a UK tape drive. An equal dac sail could have been had for 1000-1500 for my rig.

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