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  #1  
Old 07-05-2013
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Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

We will soon be in need of a new main sail and I would like to discuss options in design for a roller furling main on a 53' ketch.
Our present sail is a radial design sail of some esoteric fabric called a "tape drive" by HR in NY. Though it is a fantastic sail design wise, the material is failing after only a few hundred days of sailing. However, it seems this is a very labor intensive cut, probably much more expensive than we can afford. I have been toying with the idea of a miter cut sail, as a compromise, giving more strength in the direction of pull on the outhaul, but probably more susceptible to stretching when reefed. At any rate, it may need many small panels rather than several larger ones.
This sail sets much more like a jib than a boomed sail, being loose footed, using the outhaul more than the sheet to obtain a good sail shape. Since most of our sailing is in 20 to 30 knots of wind (usually hard to weather) we often have the sail rolled in to the second spreaders, a DEEP reef, way beyond the reinforced reef points presently on the sail.
I am not a sail designer and would really appreciate some input as to what might work or not. Looking at a sail and sailing with one leads to many ideas, most of which are probably unworkable in reality.
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Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

in your avatar you have the main rolled in but no mizzen. a lot of ketch rigged boats sail with a foresail and mizzen when the wind is up. should give the boat a better balanced helm feel and less wear on the mainsail.
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Old 07-06-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

...and the outhaul controls draft depth, not sail shape. It's not a substitute for the mainsheet. This might contribute to your premature mainsail delamination if the sail has been flogging a lot. The clew should be sliding close along your boom on a slug or track.
I suspect you might need a little help with sail trim.
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

Gee, in over 50 years of sailing I guess I never learned about sail trim.
I'll get on that right now. I keep seeing ads for that sail trim guide.
The sail never flogs when set as we have infinite reefing with the roller set up and sail to the conditions. See the picture above sailing in 30 knots of wind with a very deep reef.
What I was trying to get at was that I don't think sail design for roller furling boomed sails has quite caught up with the realities of the systems. With infinite reefing, stresses on the sail are not along a reinforced seam as they are in slab reefing and with a loose footed sail the out haul pressure is not directly along the boom, but more like the pull of a high cut Yankee (the boom raises as we reef). Obviously, a high cut Yankee design would cost too much sail area, so I'm looking for ideas on a compromise.
As for the delamination of the tape drive, it was a stupid idea to build a sail of laminated material for a roller furling sail. There is too much chafe along the mast opening and rolling it up is probably not too good for it either. You couldn't give me a sail built of any of the esoteric cloths for cruising, roller furling or not. I like Dacron and it has held up well over many, many thousands miles of sailing on vessels from gaffers built before 1900 to the Maxi racers of the seventies, for me.
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Last edited by capta; 07-07-2013 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

Sorry if I misunderstand your question, Capta- but why not just a plain old heavy dacron sail from someone like Rolly Tasker? I'm sure they make sails for rolling furlers. I frequently use Quantum, and they can be competitive if you give them quotes from other sailmakers, and I know for sure Quantum can make a main for your boat. I could not imagine using a tape drive main for a cruising ketch.. just makes no sense.
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

Don't know that I can provide any info beyond what you know, but spent some time talking to sail makers at the strictly sail show in Oakland recently. I'm having Lee Sails do a jib and stay for my furlings. I spoke with all the big makers and these guys at Lee knew my boat as well, or better. Their quote was half of what Doyle and Quantum quoted me, and still less than Hong Kong Sail after shipping. I've always used North Sails in the past, but price wise, they were a couple thousand more as well for same material and stitching.
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irunbird View Post
Sorry if I misunderstand your question, Capta- but why not just a plain old heavy dacron sail from someone like Rolly Tasker? I'm sure they make sails for rolling furlers. I frequently use Quantum, and they can be competitive if you give them quotes from other sailmakers, and I know for sure Quantum can make a main for your boat. I could not imagine using a tape drive main for a cruising ketch.. just makes no sense.
I'm not a sail maker but spend a lot of time sailing on a variety of boats with inmast furling mains. One issue that I've witnessed was an owner whose request was similar to your comment, "give me really heavy dacron sail that won't fall apart in a blow". The sail was made and upon trying to install the sail a problem appeared immediately.... the new sail material was much thicker and there wasn't quite enough room left in the mast to roll it all the way in!!! The sail had also been ordered with vertical battens. Once the battens were pulled out, it would just roll in, barely. Many errors were made in the process, I hope nobody else makes the same ones in the future...
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

Yeah, I would *think* a decent sailmaker wouldn't make that mistake... I'm sure you can't assume too much these days, but dacron comes in a multitude of thicknesses, and the main thing I would expect a boat owner to furnish the sailmaker with would be brand/model of furler so they know how to make the thing fit.
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

Sailrite has a sailmaking forum that might be another forum to ask your question.

Sailrite Forum
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Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Is there a professional sailmaker on this forum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquorice View Post
...and the outhaul controls draft depth, not sail shape. It's not a substitute for the mainsheet. This might contribute to your premature mainsail delamination if the sail has been flogging a lot. The clew should be sliding close along your boom on a slug or track.
I suspect you might need a little help with sail trim.
Aren't sail chord depth and draft what sail shape is?

On many modern Bene, Jeanneaus and Hunters, the track on the boom doesn't extend all the way to the mast. When heavily reefed, there is a pretty big gap between the boom and the clew. I do not know why they are engineered that way.
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