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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2 Weeks Ago 04:22 PM
Jeff_H
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

Please be my guest....

Jeff
3 Weeks Ago 03:26 PM
jblumhorst
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Judy,

Thank you for the kind words above. I cannot agree with you more about the need for a skilled sail designer at the controls of the design process. There seems to be a belief in the public at large that somehow computer software can somehow design things. It reminds me of a story of an interview with Olin Stephens back in the 1960's after an America's cup win. S&S were pioneers in advancing the science of using towing tanks. The reporter asked Olin whether we would get to the time when towing tanks will make yacht designers obsolete and Olin replied, that would not happen since someone needs to figure out what to put into the towing tank.

While sophisticated software can help validate and tweak design decisions, at least at this point in time the software can't determine the correct parameters for that shape in terms of correlating sails to the characteristics of the boat and its sailing environment.

Where people also get confused is that many lofts use the same basic software programs, but each loft has optimized the shapes produced by software based on their own proprietary research. It's a bit like I may use the same word processing program as many a great modern author, but I'll never write like a Hemmingway, or a Joseph Conrad.

The art of sail design still remains an art. I usually attend SNAME's Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium. The first day is in depth presentations on bleeding edge work. Most of those presentations have to do with refining software, validating current software, refining and validating wind and towing tank data. It is clear that faster, more powerful computer technologies and cumulative research has greatly advanced the ability accurately analyze alternative design decisions. It seems clear that this capability allows a skilled designer to produce a sail that for any given windspeed produces less heel and leeway, and which is more or less forgiving, and which is more durable. But it is also clear, that we are a long way from having the computer make these determinations on its own.

Jeff



Extremely well said. May I quote you?
3 Weeks Ago 01:51 PM
Jeff_H
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

Judy,

Thank you for the kind words above. I cannot agree with you more about the need for a skilled sail designer at the controls of the design process. There seems to be a belief in the public at large that somehow computer software can somehow design things. It reminds me of a story of an interview with Olin Stephens back in the 1960's after an America's cup win. S&S were pioneers in advancing the science of using towing tanks. The reporter asked Olin whether we would get to the time when towing tanks will make yacht designers obsolete and Olin replied, that would not happen since someone needs to figure out what to put into the towing tank.

While sophisticated software can help validate and tweak design decisions, at least at this point in time the software can't determine the correct parameters for that shape in terms of correlating sails to the characteristics of the boat and its sailing environment.

Where people also get confused is that many lofts use the same basic software programs, but each loft has optimized the shapes produced by software based on their own proprietary research. It's a bit like I may use the same word processing program as many a great modern author, but I'll never write like a Hemmingway, or a Joseph Conrad.

The art of sail design still remains an art. I usually attend SNAME's Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium. The first day is in depth presentations on bleeding edge work. Most of those presentations have to do with refining software, validating current software, refining and validating wind and towing tank data. It is clear that faster, more powerful computer technologies and cumulative research has greatly advanced the ability accurately analyze alternative design decisions. It seems clear that this capability allows a skilled designer to produce a sail that for any given windspeed produces less heel and leeway, and which is more or less forgiving, and which is more durable. But it is also clear, that we are a long way from having the computer make these determinations on its own.

Jeff
3 Weeks Ago 01:03 PM
jblumhorst
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmontondo View Post
I agree Judy, although I would suspect the software was created by aeronautical engineers, and it calculates the panel sizes needed to create a foil. There measurements needed for items like my roller, and where I wanted the sail to trim. Also mast bend and specifying the amount of roach, where I wanted it etc. I could have told the local sail designer who is at our club once a month to make a me a good club racing sail and not have to worry about it. As for the rig dimensions, they should always be measured. I think my H30 has had 3 mast-head rigs and the new ones are fractional. I measured everything and when I got the design details back I measured again out of fear that if it was wrong I would be pretty much out of luck.
Actually the software was not written by practicing Aeronautic Engineers.

The software used by Hyde Sails LLC (SailPack) was written by a team of sail design specialists whose leaders consist of a brilliant former America's Cup sail designer, a brilliant and groundbreaking PhD in Fluid Dynamics and Computational Geometry, and a brilliant computer scientist. Each of them has participated in every America's Cup for the last 20 years.

The person who wrote the AeroElastic Finite Element Anaysis module has over 20 years of experience in AC sail development.

The other leading sail design software, Smar Azure, has been developed over the past 10 years by a similar team, chock full of brilliant sail specialists who have PhDs in similar disciplines and similar backgrounds exclusively in sail design. The owner of the company wrote her PhD thesis in sail design.

To go from rig dimensions to cutting panels requires numerous inputs from a real sail designer if you want a sail that matches the boat and the sailor's intended use. A sail designer chooses things that most buyers don't even consider: Amount of twist, draft position (fine for pointing but fussy? or rounded for a wide groove?), leech openess (relatively closed for pointing? relatively open for wider trimming groove, depending on the tenderness of the boat and the stall profile of the rudder), panel alignment, etc..... and much more.

There's a lot more to designing a sail than figuring out the luff, leech, foot and girth dimensions. All you need for that is rig and hardware dimensions, high school geometry and a copy of the handicap rules.

My company, www.HydeSailsDirect.com, guarantees that the sail will fit when we accept a job, or we fix it or we replace the sail or we give you your money back. If for any reason you are not satisfied, we refund 100% . (see note 2 below) Our measuring software is draws out the measurements we get from the customer, and can quickly find any significant errors the customer might have made. I can train any clever person with basic high school geometry skills and a very little high school trig to fit a sail to a boat using our software. But I wouldn't let that person design a sail that I sell to my customers!

To reiterate: I stand by my previous statement that it takes an experienced sail designer produce a decent sail that is easy to trim and fast. That's a far more complicated task than sizing a triangle and roach to fit a triangle defined by a backstay, boom, and mast (with or without bend and rake)

Hyde Sails' head sail designer, Richard Lovering, is a competitive racer who holds a multitude of UK national and world titles in several classes. He won the 2015 UK Flying 15 National Title and is helming a Quarter Tonner racing in Cowes Week as I write this. The quarter tonner, a 1988 J Faroux design, is the test boat for Hyde's ongoing commitment to developing "excellent racing sails that can deliver the performance needed to win at prices that are sane and sensible" and affordable by the non-professional racer. That expertise trickles down into every cruising sail Hyde builds as well.

Respectfully,
Judy
Hyde Sails Direct, a strategic partner to Hyde Sails LLC
Independently owned and operated

Note 1: To make it easy on the customer to take the measurements, we provide instructions and a measuring kit for a refundable $50 deposit. The kit includes an engineer's tape, an engineer's folding rule, a caliper, and an assortment of labelled luff slides and luff tapes. These are the same tools used by a professional sail consultant.

Note 2: We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who can't or won't fill out our measurement form.

Note 3: If a customer isn't comfortable measuring a boat, we recommend that they hire a local rigger to do it. Riggers usually charge for 1-2 hours to do the job including travel time. A good rigger can do the job in less than an hour for a bout under 40 feet, including removing and refitting the existing head sails to do the measurements. Bigger boats take longer because it's more work to handle a large sail.
3 Weeks Ago 04:53 PM
rmontondo
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

I agree Judy, although I would suspect the software was created by aeronautical engineers, and it calculates the panel sizes needed to create a foil. There measurements needed for items like my roller, and where I wanted the sail to trim. Also mast bend and specifying the amount of roach, where I wanted it etc. I could have told the local sail designer who is at our club once a month to make a me a good club racing sail and not have to worry about it. As for the rig dimensions, they should always be measured. I think my H30 has had 3 mast-head rigs and the new ones are fractional. I measured everything and when I got the design details back I measured again out of fear that if it was wrong I would be pretty much out of luck.
3 Weeks Ago 02:27 AM
jblumhorst
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

You're more than welcome, Jeff. And thank you for your contribution. You did a very nice job describing the benefits of working very closely with a sailmaker to develop exactly the sails you wanted. Your posts were a valuable contribution to the depth and breadth of the discussion

Judy.
3 Weeks Ago 12:01 PM
Jeff_H
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

Thank you Judy for the detailed explanation. It should prove helpful to those exploring a decision on a sail purchase.
3 Weeks Ago 11:41 AM
mstern
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

When I bought new sails a few years ago for my humble boat, I had read many horror stories about using internet lofts. Nevertheless, I priced out a new main and 135 genoa from several of them, as well as from a local loft (recommended by my dockmate). Unsurprisingly, the local loft was about 50% more. I decided to go with the local guy, not because I'm swimming in cash (I wish), or because the local guy would come out to my boat and measure (I had no qualms about doing the measuring myself), but mostly because he was a half hour away. My sails were going to be made at a place I could sneak out to during my lunch hour if need be; my sailmaker was a local phone call away, not in China or Colorado, or someplace else where he could ignore me if the job was taking too long or if there were a problem. His coming out to measure and hoist the sails for the first time were bonuses. In the end, I just couldn't bring myself to risk getting crappy sails that I wouldn't be able to do anything about.
3 Weeks Ago 10:39 AM
jblumhorst
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmontondo View Post
Thought I would add my experience for all you other captains thinking about buying from overseas. I recently bought a FarEastSails mainsail and Peak 155% for my 1977 Hunter 30. Both are radial cut Dacron, and both are beautiful sails. Far East is much better at communicating and I felt like I had a bit more control of the design. That said, you are the designer. Both places are sail stichers - not sail lofts. They put the numbers you provide into the same program the high end lofts use, the program cuts the panels and they are stitched together to your specifications. It was not hard to take the needed measurements but you are pretty much taking all responsibility for the final size and shape. The program will cut thousands of panels without a mistake, and the workers will probably line them up correctly on the floor and stitch them together correctly. You might save $1000 but if you make a mistake you might loose more than that. I would but from either again, but am a 35 year sailboat racer, and a mechanical engineer with a lot of design experience. Last weekend my 189 perf boat went by a 135 perf boat. I'm grinnin'.
Rig measurements define the geometry of the rig, not a flying foil shape. If software could design foils, we wouldn't need aeronautical engineers to design planes.

I have have professional experience with the software you're talking about. It takes a sail engineer (aka designer) to produce a foil that flies well. The foil (sail) is only as good as the person who designed it and the materials from which is is assembled.

Experienced designer + high quality sailcloth + meticulous craftsmanship = good sail that holds its shape for a long time, is responsive to good trimming technique and forgives errors committed by the sailors.

Respectfully,
Judy B
Sailmaking professional
4 Weeks Ago 03:36 PM
rmontondo
Re: My Peak Sails Experience

Thought I would add my experience for all you other captains thinking about buying from overseas. I recently bought a FarEastSails mainsail and Peak 155% for my 1977 Hunter 30. Both are radial cut Dacron, and both are beautiful sails. Far East is much better at communicating and I felt like I had a bit more control of the design. That said, you are the designer. Both places are sail stichers - not sail lofts. They put the numbers you provide into the same program the high end lofts use, the program cuts the panels and they are stitched together to your specifications. It was not hard to take the needed measurements but you are pretty much taking all responsibility for the final size and shape. The program will cut thousands of panels without a mistake, and the workers will probably line them up correctly on the floor and stitch them together correctly. You might save $1000 but if you make a mistake you might loose more than that. I would but from either again, but am a 35 year sailboat racer, and a mechanical engineer with a lot of design experience. Last weekend my 189 perf boat went by a 135 perf boat. I'm grinnin'.
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