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  #1  
Old 10-12-2011
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Sail shape?

My sail is older, no identifying labels, tanbark & feels kind of stiff. The lines in the sail edges are heavier than I've seen and it's like the sail cloth has "molded" to the rope, you see the twists. The sail is puckered along the luff line. Is this a design or is the sail flawed?
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Old 10-12-2011
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debsails,

From the information you gave in the chat room, I don't think this is the original sail to the Catalina 30. If the sail is "molded" to the rope and is stiff, it sounds like a sail that was not taken care of.

The Catalina sails came with the diamond with the C 30 inside.

It is possible that you can send it away for reconditioning if it isn't too far gone.
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A tanbark sail is not going to be an original Catalina sail, that's for sure. sounds like a bargain basement cruising sail from an offshore loft. Doesn't make it a bad sail but without seeing it properly hoisted it will be hard to say from here!

If the boat is new-to-you, try it out for a while, be sure you have enough luff tension when hoisted (some of the crinkles should come out). It is possible, though, that the boltrope has shrunk and is distorting the luff... if that's all the problem is a sailmaker may be able to correct it - just be sure that the sail is worth spending more money on first.
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Old 10-12-2011
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Found this thread with some good info on Tanbark sails.

Red/Brown sails

I learned something today
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Old 10-13-2011
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Main sail

I'm going to assume you're talking about your main and advise you to assure that it's properly tensioned when raised. The rule of thumb is raise it until all of the slack is gone and then crank in two feet more for each 10 feet of mast height. That is, if your mast is 40 feet high from the boom then crank in another 8 feet AFTER you've raised it initially. That will put the correct tension on the bolt rope and help with sail shape as well.
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Old 10-13-2011
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Doesn't anyone set halyard tension by looking at the draft position?
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You say old sail and the sail area at the luff has puckered.
That means that the luff rope has shrunk.
Not at all uncommon.

Dick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debsails View Post
My sail is older, no identifying labels, tanbark & feels kind of stiff. The lines in the sail edges are heavier than I've seen and it's like the sail cloth has "molded" to the rope, you see the twists. The sail is puckered along the luff line. Is this a design or is the sail flawed?
Your description is of a very old or very expensive 'off-shore' sail if of recent manufacture.
The 'molding' is because of the massive amount of 'hand-sewing' the 'rope' directly to the sail with stout 'sail twine' which is pulled very tight per stitch ... thus the 'little twists'. Nowadays such rope is cheaply inserted into a machine sewn sleeve .... or instead of luff-rope, several overlays of 'sail tape' with no 'rope' at all.

What you describe is a 'work of art' and super-expensive ... if its still in 'good' shape. The sail you have should be VERY stable in its dimensions and usually doesnt suffer the the normal 'shrinkages' of modern sails. Such 'heavy' sails are usually seen on boats that make long distance ocean passages or that circumnavigate.
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