Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Vancouver, BC
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Re: Sail buying question???
The main thing you are looking for is delamination. In severe cases the kevlar strands between the mylar layers can move around freely. Old North 3DL sails were notorious for this and it became known as the 3DL Death Rattle!
It is not uncommon for an older kevlar sail to have tears in the clear mylar particularly near the clew patch where sail tends to kink in the same place repeatedly. As long as the kevlar is still intact it is easily repaired with sail repair tape, AKA Insignia Cloth. The strength is in the kevlar, the mylar is just there to hold the strands in position.
What brand of sail are they? Are they paneled sails? (meaning are they made of many panels stitched together) Or are they a seamless sail like a North 3DL or a Sobstad Genesis? The latter two sails do have a limited lifespan. On the other hand, I have a fairly old paneled kevlar sail that still has plenty of life left.
Whether they are worth the asking price really depends on whether they still have decent shape, and how much life is left in the cloth. If you are not sure, you could take them to a local sailmaker to be checked out. The price doesn't sound completely out of line; I paid $800 for a used kevlar genoa for my boat.
1979 Santana 30 Tall Rig