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FishDragon 12-14-2011 11:00 PM

Need advice on buying new sails for my Venture 21
I bought my first real sailboat last August - a ver clean and well-maintained 1972 Venture 21. I want to buy new sails for it by springtime, but I'm unsure what's best, and would appreciate any advice I can get.

We'll be sailing it in Barnagat Bay on the central New Jersey coast, and probably (but not definitely) won't be doing any racing. Still, I want to get decent sails for it - while having a modest budget (~$1,500.00).

I've looked at the following;
- Mauri Sails 5.75oz Cruise Dacron
- North Sails Marathon Series 100 6oz 4800 Dacron

I know nothing about manufacturers, materials or other details.



jameswilson29 12-15-2011 07:07 AM

Buy used sails from Bacon's in Annapolis, MD.

zz4gta 12-15-2011 10:33 AM

+1 good advice above. They have a great return policy.

Keep talking to sailmakers, North, Quantum, UK, Ullman, Evolution, etc. Learn about them, then you'll have the right tools to buy sails in the future.

FishDragon 12-15-2011 04:12 PM

Thanks for the info! I'm looking in to these things. Curious - what's the difference between cruising sails and racing sails? Shouldn't all sails deliver the best performance?

zz4gta 12-15-2011 04:55 PM

Nope, b/c racing sails hold their design shape better for the first 5 years, then grenade in spectacular fashion, and you throw them away.

Cruising sails slowly lose their shape as soon as you use them, but they don't grenade or fall apart until 15+ years later. This is long after they've lost their 'foil' shape.

IMHO, dacron sails should be replaced anywhere in the 5-10 year range. 10 is the extreme, but people don't b/c they're expensive and not worried about pointing 5* higher and going .3 knots faster in every direction. In racing, that's huge, and people are willing to pay more for better performance.

Dacron stretches, quite a lot actually, and that's not good on a racing boat.

FishDragon 12-15-2011 05:04 PM

that's very helpful info. my thinking is this - my boat's relatively small (21') so the sails aren't terribly expensive. and even though i don't anticipate racing (at least not my first year), your info has me thinking i might be best off getting racing sails, so as to get better performance. IF i even own the boat ~5 years, buying new sails at that point would be worth it. what fabric is typically used for racing sails?

zz4gta 12-16-2011 09:00 AM

Materials is a better question for a sailmaker. Also, you need to ask yourself realistically how much racing you plan on doing, and what your budget is for sails. You also need to realize that racing sails need to be flaked (or rolled in your case) and cared for a little better than dacron.

For a small boat, a lot of people chose dacron b/c the weight savings of hi-tech sails on a small boat is little to none. Also, the loads aren't nearly as high, therefore you may not NEED race sails. If this is a new to you boat, it's going to take a couple years for you to learn the boat, learn how to race, and develope crew who are competative. IMHO no sense in dropping coin on a set of kevlar/carbon/technora sails until you have the boat prep (running rigging, layout, bottom, foils) done, the crew is up to speed and boat handling is second to none, and finally you understand tactics and stategy and can implament them on the course. Then you drop the money on sails. Long story short, you're not going to win races b/c you have great sails and are going up the left side when the right is favored.

FishDragon 12-16-2011 09:22 AM

Outstanding advice and information! Thank you!! Here's another question - as I've been submitting quote requests with sailmakers, they ask for basic dimensional info (I, J, P and E). How do I best determine that? There's info at (VENTURE 21 sailboat on, or should I measure my old sails (which I just happen to have here at home :)?

Again, thank you for taking the time to write responses to my questions, it is very much appreciated!

zz4gta 12-16-2011 09:36 AM

You can give them the IJPE info from the site for NOW. But when it comes time to order anything, make sure the sailmaker steps on the boat and measures for themself. If you do it and something doesn't fit, it's your loss. If they do it, they fix it for free. Measuring is not hard, but if it's your first time, let a pro do it, it's not something you want to learn through trial and error.

Off topic - The Venture 21 is a fun boat, I learned how to sail on one. Just inspect the pivot bolt and washers that the keel swings on. They leak and sink a boat rather quickly.

FishDragon 12-16-2011 11:52 AM

Again, I thank you for your very helpful info. Do you have any knowledge regarding Mauri Sails? While I have quote requests submitted to about 6 sailmakers so far, Mauri prices seem best so far (Mauri Sails: Sails for Venture 21).

Really glad to hear of your experience with the Venture. I'm really looking forward to spring sailing. I didn't get the boat until late August, so my wife and I only got to take it out once, but it sailed very nicely! Also, thanks for the info on the keel bolt. The boat's on its trailer for the winter, and I intended to replace the bolt and washers anyway, and am even more determined to do so now. Hopefully, that won't be too difficult.

The only other significant issue with the boat is the outboard. It came with an old Gamefisher 7.5 2-stroke (Sears product, I believe) of very questionable reliability. Being a former dirt-biker from way back, I have plenty of knowledge and experience working on 2-strokes, and was thinking about rebuilding it, but was also considering buying a new outboard. I was considering a new Honda 5HP 4-stroke. That should be sufficient power for this boat, don't you think?

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