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  #1  
Old 11-06-2012
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sailcloth: laminated or woven?

Hello

After many years my laminated genoa 2 roller furling sail has delaminated partially.
One of the main problems is mold.
The shape of my old laminated sail is still ecellent but it looks horrible due to mold stains.
I am thinking in a new sail and look with interest woven alternatives.
We all know that the shape holding time of dacron sails is quite short.
I am thinking in premium dacron or other alternatives.
I would verey much appreciate some ideas about the subject.

Saludos

Ulfrilas
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Old 11-06-2012
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

We have a tape drive main made by Ulmer in the early 90's. It is certainly one of the best designed sails I've ever had and it sets beautifully reefed or not. Problem is that the plastic (mylar?) coating is coming off and without woven cloth, this is a real pain. Sad thing is that this sail has not been flown more than 200 times and more likely less than 150. Every winter before I owned the boat it was kept in a sail maker's heated loft and when on the boat in a stowaway mast.
When I queried Ulmer for a way to extend the life of the sail or repair it, he replied "give the thing a decent burial", pretty cavalier I thought, for such a lightly used sail.
Depending on your use (racing is another story), for cruising I would think a dacron sail would be wisest, but you might want to consider a radical cut like the tape drive (radial cut I believe it's called) which might extend the sail's life because of more seams and smaller panels.
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Old 11-06-2012
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

I had a molded North cruising genoa that I finally replaced after 10 years of fairly light use--only raced it once, when it was brand new. It had the traditional mold issues and got to the point where it started to delaminate in places. I replaced it with a premium dacron sail from Evolution that I've had for 2 seasons with impressive performance.

My premium dacron North main was purchased the same year and has held up reasonably well, but was getting tired. I have recently ordered a new premium dacron main from Evolution.

Bottom line. I won't go back to a molded sail, which might do well at first, but won't hold up for the longer haul. Nor have I been particularly impressed with the North sails, which is one of the reasons I went to Evolution for the new sails, which are made locally.
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Old 11-06-2012
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

If you don't race you don't need a laminate sail. Modern dacrons are light years beyond what they had 30 years ago. You will get plenty of life out of it, and it will hold it's shape for a long time.

As for mold, I don't know what to tell you as I have never experienced the problem, however I am one of those people who believes a headsail should not be stored on the furling. It exposes it to the elements far too much. It really isn't very hard to drop the sail and flake it as part of the routine when returning to the dock after a sail. Take care of your sails and they will take care of you!
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Old 11-07-2012
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

Look at you intended use.

Simple ussually means less compliactions. If you are just cruising and beer can racing a good dacron would be sufficient.

davei
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallard View Post
I had a molded North cruising genoa that I finally replaced after 10 years of fairly light use--only raced it once, when it was brand new. It had the traditional mold issues and got to the point where it started to delaminate in places. I replaced it with a premium dacron sail from Evolution that I've had for 2 seasons with impressive performance.

My premium dacron North main was purchased the same year and has held up reasonably well, but was getting tired. I have recently ordered a new premium dacron main from Evolution.

Bottom line. I won't go back to a molded sail, which might do well at first, but won't hold up for the longer haul. Nor have I been particularly impressed with the North sails, which is one of the reasons I went to Evolution for the new sails, which are made locally.
Hello Fallard
I had the same sad experience like you with my laminated genoa. Increasing horrible mold problems disseminitating between the laminate nd partial delamination. I share your decission of switching to premium dacron. I had a quotation from our local north shop. They offered two cuts: the traditional Ccut or a triradial cut. I dont know if radial cuts make sense with dacron sails.

Saludos

Ulfilas
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

I don't think you can fault a laminated sail for coming unglued after 20+ years. Used or not used, it is still a flexible adhesive joining two flexible plastics, none of which really takes well to adhesives in the first place. And every time you bend or roll the cloth, each layer bends to a different radius and that pulls laminates apart as well.

After 20 years? The glue is probably coming undone, and the glues they had 20 years ago probably had nevr been tested, or intended for use, for that long.

No sail is really designed to be used that long.

Get a dacron sail, get good cloth with a heavy resin calendering, and HAVE IT RECOATED from time to time, before the original resin can wear off. Or, ignore that and put the money towards a new sail in ten years. Honestly, 20 years? As the man said, give it a good burial.
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
If you don't race you don't need a laminate sail. Modern dacrons are light years beyond what they had 30 years ago. You will get plenty of life out of it, and it will hold it's shape for a long time.

As for mold, I don't know what to tell you as I have never experienced the problem, however I am one of those people who believes a headsail should not be stored on the furling. It exposes it to the elements far too much. It really isn't very hard to drop the sail and flake it as part of the routine when returning to the dock after a sail. Take care of your sails and they will take care of you!
I agree completely that it is better that a headsail should not be stored on a furling.
But laminated sails should be rolled and not flanked.
It is complicated to store a 37 sqm rolled genoa in a cruising boat.
Non of my dacron sails had mold problems.
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulfilas View Post
I agree completely that it is better that a headsail should not be stored on a furling.
But laminated sails should be rolled and not flanked.
It is complicated to store a 37 sqm rolled genoa in a cruising boat.
Non of my dacron sails had mold problems.
Well I have been racing with a sailmaker for years, and we always flake and brick the kevlar headsails. The mainsail gets rolled, but all headsails get bricked. Even on bigger boats we would flake the headsails into their respective deck bags or "sausages" fold them in 3 and stow them.

That is one more reason to get dacron sails for cruising. they aren't nearly as fussy about how you fold, flake or roll them. (Although I still cringe when I see people stuff them!)
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Re: sailcloth: laminated or woven?

Kevlar, like most other fibers, will snap when folded to too small a radius. Which is why synthetic lines will be rated for a minimum size sheive or turning block. Same thing.

So every time you fold a Kevlar sail, you're snapping some fibers in it. Which is a good thing if you're a sailmaker and can easily replace it, and make more sails by encouraging the practice. And as a practical matter that may be necessary in order to store the damned thing, and not make any difference to the first owner if you're going to replace it in a year or two anyhow.

But when you fold it, you do break fibers. The only question is how much, how quickly, and whether it matters to the owner.
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