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fiatracer163 12-02-2011 10:04 PM

New boat, Need new sails, Have new questions.
How much of a difference will there be between 7oz and 6oz sail fabric?
Is there that much of a difference between sail fabric from different makers?

Challenge Cloth
Dimensions Polyant Fabric?

Is there really a difference between them???

Anything else I should ask about when shopping for new sails?

This is for a catalina 27 tall out of milwaukee


Donna_F 12-03-2011 09:23 AM

I don't have an answer but these questions might help others who want to respond.

Do you race? In most cases differences like that are of more concern to racers who want to squeeze every bit of speed out of the boat.

I don't race but if I was making the decision, I'd ask which one would be better in the conditions in which I usually sail? In my case on the Chesapeake, that would be light air.

Good luck.

chef2sail 12-03-2011 09:57 AM

Like everything depends.

It depends as DFerron says what the boat is used for
It depends on the prevailing wind conditions
Not sure about the dimension, but we dont feel the need for the laminate sails so we have the challenge without

We have two headsails ( furler) for instance

135- 7 oz challenge sailcloth for March, April, October, Nov, Dec sailing- as the wind is heavier(denser) (cold air), and the average wind speeds often exceed 15 knots as fronts are moving through quite frequently

155- 6 oz challenge sailcloth for May, June July and most of September as the winds tend to stay in the 5-15 range, (Hot, less dense air) and it is easier to fill and move 6 oz vs 7 oz sailcloth.

Both sails have foam luffs on our Harken furler. If we have larger winds in nthe summer months we find it easier to furl the 155 down to 135 or 120.


Jeff_H 12-03-2011 01:10 PM

There are huge differences in sail cloth even of the same weight. Fiber orientation can make a huge difference in the life of the cloth and its wind range. But also the heavier the cloth the less stretchy it will be, but the poorer its shape holding in light air.

This is the reason that dacron sail cloth makes less than zero sense for a Cat 27 that is mostly cruised or daysail. If you go with a lower stretch fiber (ideally an aramid), then you can have a sail made with a lighter fabric and still have good shape holding capabilities. Because the cloth can be lighter, it may also cost less, and since aramids hold their shape much longer than dacron and so have a much lower cycle cost as well.

These days buying dacron is a very short sighted and costly decision.


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