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post #11 of 18 Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Sail buying question???

Laminates need to be inspected before buying used. age means nothing, # of times used is everything. the kevlar tends to last way longer then the mylar film. and when the film is done the sail starts to fall apart at the high stress points. every time it is used the flim gets folded in another place until the flim is week and the becomes shreaded. the kevlar is only strong if the film is there to hold it all together. on a jib the clue and tack go first repairs can be as much as they are worth and many times do not last long

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post #12 of 18 Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Sail buying question???

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I would say it was already delaminated when you got it! It is not something that happens all of a sudden! careful inspection can spot the delam.
Yes, I've thought often of exactly that scenario. I'm just lucky that Bacon Sails in Annapolis was honorable about it and made the situation right without any hassle. I had spread out the sail and checked the whole thing before buying. I think that my inexperience with this cloth and that the sail hadn't been used in some time were contributors.

My personal takeaway is that laminates are a different beast and the buyer of a used sail needs to be extra careful. Traditional dacron is pretty much "what you see is what you get". Not so with a laminate.

My second takeaway is that acquiring used sails should be done with eyes wide open. I acquired a storm sail and symmetrical spinnaker this way and only did it because the price was right ($200). Many old sails have just lost so much shape that they can easily become a waste of time and money.

With that said, the sails described by the OP could be great. Just do a careful inspection before handing over money.

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post #13 of 18 Old 07-21-2012
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Re: Sail buying question???

A friend bought a used laminated sail cheap. It was just delaminting "a little" but already looked like orange peel all over as the laminates were coming apart. So we patched a little here, patched a little there, glueda little....and after a couple of months of this weekly nonsense he broke down and just ordered a new sail.

Once laminate starts to go, it gets ugly fast. UV breaks them down, so if a boat went out for daysails regularly for 3 years? I'd make very sure the laminate was still very nicely bonded all over, no orange peel, no little blisters.
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Sail buying question???

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
Laminates need to be inspected before buying used. age means nothing, # of times used is everything. the kevlar tends to last way longer then the mylar film. and when the film is done the sail starts to fall apart at the high stress points. every time it is used the flim gets folded in another place until the flim is week and the becomes shreaded. the kevlar is only strong if the film is there to hold it all together. on a jib the clue and tack go first repairs can be as much as they are worth and many times do not last long
This is true. Laminate sails that have been raced hard for 3 years are going to be worse off than sails that were used for tourist daysailing! Keep in mind that the fatigued and damaged laminate that you might get at the clew patch, foot etc is not the same as delamination. It could very well be that the cloth integrity is still good outside of those wear points. I have seen laminate sails that have many years of use on them and there is no delamination.

The bottom line is that racing sails are disposable. They are not intended to last many years. You WILL have to replace them much sooner than a similar aged dacron sail.

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post #15 of 18 Old 07-22-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Sail buying question???

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on a jib the clue and tack go first
Hmmmmm! That's concerning as that is where there is already some damage on the genoa. The owner did say the sail was wrinkly but smoothed out once layed out.... Wonder if that suggests the membrane is starting to go.

I can't inspect the sail in person unfortunately.... They can ship to me and if I find issues ship back but that would represent about $300 in freight back and forth (main has full battens)

Maybe I need to rethink this purchase.
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Re: Sail buying question???

$300 in freight. Nothing wrong, but they didn't think to send you digital pictures? Yet?
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-22-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Sail buying question???

I have some pics but it is difficult to tell defects as the laminate is clear and small reflections can look like delamination. Grossly, it looks good except for the cringle on the genoa clew which is pulling out.
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post #18 of 18 Old 07-23-2012
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Sail buying question???

My mom always said that there will always be another sale (I.e., bargain). Some of the best advice that she's given me. Perhaps time to move on. Maybe try Bacon Sails in Annapolis.

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