Originally Posted by Jeff_H
I would say that traditional watercraft need higher quality, low stretch cloth than performance sailors. With heavy cruiser's typically higher drag to stability, having low stretch sail cloth can mean significantly less heeling and weather helm.
I respectfully disagree with Dewey on the durability issue. When this topic came up a few years back I spoke to quite a few sailmakers about its durability. There was universal agreement that tanbark cloth was a novelty cloth that has significantly less of a lifespan that an equal weight white dacron.
thats kind of funny! Need higher quality? The concern for asthetics is the primary goal of Tanbark sails. It would be nice to enhance the windward abilitys of say, a Sea Witch ketch (a typical candidate round here for the stuff) but it aint gonna happen short of redisigning the vessel which would then no longer be a Sea Witch Ketch.
Durability can be expressed in a couple of ways, Longevity, or brute strenth.
I cannot speak too much of the longevity as I have not experienced owning Tanbark sails personally for a period of time (or any period whatsoever).
The cloth is only available in the heaviest of weights, damn near the same as a storm jibs. Pretty crappy set in winds of less than 3 knots. I can attest personally to the brute strenth. Fairwinds Marine Northeaster 30 Between San Nicholaus Island and San Miguiel Island. Force 10 (mid 50's) gusting to 11. The tanbark working sails ( high probability of low useage from previous owner) not only performed nicly but upon later examination where not in the least bit "blown out".
Sure it ain't for you. But there is a loyal cadre of woodie guy's who spit on fiberglass and aren't interested in your uberlight sails.
There is nothing wrong with either opinion.
By the by, a funny little vignette associated with that little blow. "Pugnatious" the Northeaster 30 sailing out of Santa Barbra had her vhf scanning during that time and picked up a coast guard cutter comunicating with the shore base. "Theres only one idiot on our radar out here and we are heading over to check him out" the cutter opined. Mike the owner of "Pug" shot back "coast guard cutter I'm that idiot, and unless you need some assitance you needent bother". LOL!