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post #1 of 29 Old 11-29-2006 Thread Starter
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New Sails

While checking into new sails I find that I can replace with Mylar laminate (MNX4) for the same price as Dacron.

What are the pros and cons of each apart from the life span difference ???

They are going on a Tartan 34C Yawl. I am planning to replace Genoa this year and Main and Mizzen next year.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 29 Old 11-30-2006
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Laminate sails can have some serious issues with mildewing, this may not be the case with newer laminates, but it was a serious problem with older designs. Does the Mylar have fibers reinforcing it to help prevent it from being stretched out of shape—Mylar has a tendency to stretch if under load for extended periods of time as I recall.

Laminate sails are often lighter than the comparable Dacron sails, so may be easier to raise and lower. Some laminates are stiffer, and may be more difficult to reef, flake, etc. Some laminates are more sensitive to UV or mildew damage than Dacron sails. Laminates will generally hold their shape better and longer than Dacron sails. Some laminates are fairly dark in color and as such aren't as visible as white Dacron sails, especially at night or in low visibility conditions.

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post #3 of 29 Old 11-30-2006 Thread Starter
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I was aware of the mildew issue. I will check into that. The Mylar has fibers criss crossing each other at 90 degree angles as well as larger fibers that cross each other at 90 degrees to each other and at 45 degrees to the smaller fibers. It is mostly translucent with a white (ish) look with sun hitting it.

My understanding is the Mylar will hold its shape w/o stretch for its life span. However, its life span is approx. half of Dacron.
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post #4 of 29 Old 11-30-2006
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Getting mylar laminate sails that will last half as long as dacron sails for a Tartan 34 is like getting Pirelli racing tires for the family minivan. The yawl rig makes it like a minivan towing a trailer. Even if the Pirellis were free, would you even consider doing that to your minivan, given the possibility of a blowout in the highly specialized tires NOT designed to deal with potholes? Glues that hold laminated sails together have improved, but when the mylar sails are done, delamination sets in and they are DONE.
You will then need a new suit of sails, because they will be disintegrating - whipping themselves into shreds with each tack. Dacron sails may stretch a bit, but they hold together, even if the shape isn't optimum. Dacron sails 20 or 25 years old can still catch wind and move the boat. You may also want to ask about Pentex, if you're looking for lighter sails to handle.
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post #5 of 29 Old 11-30-2006
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I'd vote for the dacron for cruising as well. Dacron sails will last longer, and are more"tweakable" as they age compared to laminate sails.

We loved our pentex jib on our last boat; doubt you'd get them at a dacron price - but check it out if you're looking for light weight.
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post #6 of 29 Old 11-30-2006 Thread Starter
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Any comparison to a minivan is coming it a bit high. A comparison to a touring car I might be able to stomach. And yes, I would buy whatever tire, Pirellis, Good Year, or any other if the performance under the conditions I drive were significantly better throughout their life span. Even if their life span were less. As originally stated I Know the Life Span Issue. I'm interested in the QUALITY.

Thanks Faster, more like what I was needing.
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post #7 of 29 Old 12-01-2006
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Dacron if fine

The newer dacron material is much less prone to streching and for cruising I can see really no need for a laminate. They take much more care folding etc. and the small performace improvement is gone within two years, depending on how much you use them of course.
The big difference is that once you get them set when the wind picks up a little they do not stretch and require constant adjustment for optimum shape.

I am a pretty seriuos racer but with a limited budget and I just ordered a new dacron main. I believe I can still be competative in a very competative fleet.

Headsails for racing do have to be a laminate and are very expensive. I would trade my first born but then I would need a new fore deck man.

Gary
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post #8 of 29 Old 12-01-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks Gary. I hadn't considered that the lack of stretch would require more trimming than Dacron. Right now I am leaning toward doing the Genoa in a laminate and Main/mizzen next year in Dacron.

I had originally considered laminate sails too cost prohibitive, but during the 100+ conversations w/the sailmaker I find that the laminate material is actually cheaper do to lower production costs. Factor in a little more labor in building the sail and prices work out to be the same.
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post #9 of 29 Old 12-01-2006
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Sorry I did not word that very clearly but I understood exactly what I meant.

It is the laminate sails that do not stretch as much and therefore do not require constant adjustment. They will hold their shape better so do not need as much attention.

The newer Dacrons (which by the way is a dated name since Dupont does not make it anymore so they should be referred to as polyester) have much improved weaves that reduce stretch. check out any sail makers web site and they will expalin it pretty well.

A Dacron #1 in particular stretches due to it's lighter material and a laminate is much better. The race sails I am looking would have a lot of Kevlar which run about 30% more than a race Dacron. Carbon fiber or better yet 3D is better than Kevlar but about double the price.

Gary

Last edited by Gary M; 12-01-2006 at 09:33 AM.
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post #10 of 29 Old 12-01-2006 Thread Starter
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Sorry Gary, I had misunderstod. That makes more sense. The material in question is called MNX4. Anyone know anything about it?
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