Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-10-2014 Thread Starter
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Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

So here is what i am looking for. Good value, long lasting, and great performance.

Good value: hopefully under $2k for a 135 Genoa for a 30 ft boat.

Long lasting: I wanna keep it on a curler, under a sock so not UV exposed except when sailing, would like 8-10 years of life. My sails on the boat are literally 20-30 years old.

Performance: Not looking for all out race sails, BUT would like a nice boost of performance over my old Dacron sails, while even new Dacron is gonna be better than old Dacron, I'd like a nice little boost.

Anyone have experience with NEWISH cruising laminates? I know 10 years ago they were brittle and suffered from mildew issues, but I hear that the new laminates have very few downsides...

S/V Cuajota - 1975 WD Schock Santana 30

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post #2 of 14 Old 05-10-2014
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Re: Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

Hard to beat dacron...
Fx Sails are inexpensive, and the quality is good.
Better brands will be more pricey... North, Quantum, Doyle.

If you can't get FX to get you a good price, another option is Rolly Tasker.

I've ordered D4 Loadpaths from epsails the last 2 seasons, and I have to say I am extremely impressed (but then this is my first experience with new sails). Regardless, they are not furler sails, nor are they a long term sail, they are instead great racing sails. So maybe I am not the best one to say where to find sails for furlers.

I paid roughly $1500 for a 155 loadpath, so getting under $2000 should be doable for you.

1983 WD Schock Wavelength 24. Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-10-2014
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Re: Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

Yep, you cant beat Dacron for a long lasting cruising sail,at a great price.

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post #4 of 14 Old 05-10-2014
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Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

Definitely Dacron

Check Bacon Sails Annapolis for used or almost new sails

They have an easy search tool on their site

I have bought three sails there

I don't work for them or have any association with them
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-11-2014
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Re: Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

I have a new cruising laminate main on the way. I talked to a few lofts about them and did a lot of research and couldn't find anything majorly bad about CAL (the cruising laminate technology that I chose) compared to Dacron. I don't race my boat, but I do value having it perform well.

I don't like how Dacron sails stretch and deform over time. They may have a long ultimate lifetime, but it didn't seem like a long functional lifetime. I'm hoping that my CAL sail will provide good performance longer than a high end Dacron sail. It might not last as long, but I don't want to sail with a Dacron sail that was used weekly for 10-15 years either.

I have a new Dacron genoa to compare against. In 3-5 years maybe I'll have some idea of how the CAL and Dacron are comparing over the long term. I expect that I'll be uphappy with the shape of my Dacron genoa by that point, and I'll know how well my CAL main is holding up.

I wonder if those who jump straight to recommending Dacron have ever sailed on a boat with good laminate sails, or even brand new Dacron sails, and understand had badly stretched and worn the average Dacron sail is. CAL is still a compromise compared to a loadpath sail, but it should have much better durability.

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post #6 of 14 Old 05-11-2014
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Re: Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

My laminate sails (I have a 155, 135, and main, in Loadpath):


One can "shape" dacron if you have all the controls. Yes they stretch, and lose shape faster than laminate. But Newport was hoping for a LONG LASTING sail, that he'd be satisfied with.

The laminate sails keep their shape longer than dacron for sure, but their longevity just isn't there.

On top of that he wanted to put it on a furler. I don't think laminate is as good a choice for that, even with a furler cover.

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post #7 of 14 Old 05-11-2014
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Re: Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

Long lasting, excellent wearing, but not cheap: Hydranet.

Hydra NetŪ - Sailcloth Technology by DIMENSION-POLYANT - Sailcloth and laminates for high performance sailing and polyestersailcloth for surf


But honestly you should be having this discussion with your sailmaker, not us hacks
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Re: Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

I have the controls (cunningham, backstay adjuster that does curve the mast, vang strong enough to curve the boom, high purchase outhaul) to shape my dacron sails, but they do get to a point where you just can't get them as flat as you need to for a strong breeze. If you could then there would be no market for laminate sails. On my current main the bottom can be made quite flat and the draft moved as far forward as you want, but the top half to 2/3rds of the sail always has a pretty deep belly.

This results in earlier than ideal reefing.

The OP is talking about cruising laminates, not racing laminates. They have some compromises from racing laminates to make them more appropriate to cruising and durable for roller furling use. There is more in this advertising bit (note that it is written by China Sail Factory, many "lofts" sell these sails):
http://islandplanetsails.com/resources/cal.pdf

I'd agree, talk to your sail maker. When I described what I wanted out of a sail all but one of the lofts that I and a friend talked to recommended a cruising laminate. I had ignored them when purchasing my genoa because I assumed they were too expensive, but now regret having made that choice and wish I had bought a cruising laminate there too.

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post #9 of 14 Old 05-11-2014
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Re: Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

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Originally Posted by Multihullgirl View Post
Long lasting, excellent wearing, but not cheap: Hydranet.

Hydra NetŪ - Sailcloth Technology by DIMENSION-POLYANT - Sailcloth and laminates for high performance sailing and polyestersailcloth for surf


But honestly you should be having this discussion with your sailmaker, not us hacks
Have been thinking of sewing a new 120% headsail to go between the 160 genny and working jib and have been considering whether to try using one of these newer fabrics. The Dyneema fabric idea sounds good BUT Dyneema does stretch over time. I have Dyneema lifelines and runners. The stuff is very strong and has almost no stretch in the short term but definitely stretches out considerably over time. Would hate to pay a premium price for some new tech that fails the time test.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-11-2014
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Re: Looking for a new headsail...cruising laminate? Dacron?

Hydra Net has been out for 10 years. Is your rigging made of Dynex? It is my experience that Dynex only experienced constructional stretch

Last edited by Multihullgirl; 05-11-2014 at 05:54 PM.
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