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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-30-2010 08:11 AM
Sabreman As with anything else, all dacrons are not the same. But the good news is that there are very few manufacturers other than the house brands. Contender, Bainbridge, and Challenger are the main manufacturers. Stay away from anything other than these and the house brands like North due to the potential for poor quality control.

As with selecting sheets for your bed, a higher thread count is one thing that you are looking for. Check out Halsey's encyclopedia Sail Cloth - UK-Halsey's Encyclopedia Of Sails

Most dacrons for non-race applications are fill oriented. That is, their strength is in the width of the panel. This is why a crosscut pattern is used so often with dacrons and why you can not normally use a dacron for a tri-radial sail. Stay away from a mitre cut. They are difficult to cut properly and are no longer needed (developed in the 60s and 70s to counteract stretch effects of dacron). North has a new Radian cloth that is dacron but can be oriented in a tri-radial fashion. But it is an expensive cloth.

Laminates are another story. But since you asked about cruising sails, I won't discuss them.
12-27-2010 05:42 PM
AlanGSYS Interesting posts. Is all dacron created equally? North indicates their 4800 is proprietary. I am in the market for a cruising main for my Sabre 34 and the more research I do the more confused I am becoming with the many different and variety of fabrics on the market.
11-11-2010 03:37 PM
PCP I don't know about the more inexpensive Dracon sails but if you are looking to quality and good design, North Sails is one of the good sailmakers on the market.

If you want the best price, China is the place, if you want better quality at a fair price, North sails is one of the places you can get it

Take a look at the movie, it's an interesting one:

YouTube - North Sails - Better by Design


11-11-2010 09:45 AM
blt2ski Personally, I would not buy another dacron sail, You can get a panel laminate from Ullman "CAL" that is with in 10% of the cost of dacron, this is a GOOD qulity dacron, triple stitched etc, not the inshore equal from say an FX. Les stretch in higher winds, better speed in lighter airs, not sure why to bother with dacron frankly.

11-11-2010 07:25 AM
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
As much as I am not a fan of North Sails, ...
I am curious as to why not, Jeff?

I don't believe any of Abracadabra's current sail inventory are North Sails sails, but, by luck or happenstance or whatever you want to call it, we've ended-up getting all our repairs, improvements, modifications and cleaning done at a local NS sail loft. They treat us well and, near as I can tell from talking to the other sailors in our club, charge us fairly.

I realize you wrote "not a fan of North Sails," not "not a fan of NS sail lofts," but were we in the market for a new sail, the local NS loft would be my first stop. Thus my question.

11-11-2010 01:45 AM
klubko Thanks all for your comments. We have also asked Neil Pryde in Hong Kong for a quote and consult.
11-09-2010 09:03 AM

Having been to the BIG north loft in Milford CT and seeing the looms make the cloth i think going cheep is the last thing on there mind

And regardless of wear your north sail may get sewn its cut in Milford on the laser tables and shipped to the assembly point
11-09-2010 08:17 AM
Jeff_H All premium sail cloths are not made alike or tested alike. The major quality lofts have cloth woven to their own proprietary specifications and do their own testing. The better lofts inspect each peice separately and the rejected pices are often sold to less expensive prices to the cheaper lofts. By being able to set precise specifications for the material, the bigger better quality lofts can more precisely engineer fiber orientation, cut patterns and stress mapping to take the best advantage of thier fabric's characteristics and this results in better flying shapes and greater durability.

The key with buying any new sail is to precisely communicate your objectives for the sail in terms of;
  • how you sail (heavy air or light vs only moderate conditions, sail changes vs partial furling, club racing vs solely cruising vs high level racing and so) ,
  • how much use the sail gets (out sailing every day vs five times a year) ,
  • how it will be stored, and
  • how important performance is to you vs durability vs price.
As much as I am not a fan of North Sails, I will say that it is a mistake to say that North produces their own cloth to save on costs. I would sooner say that producing their own cloth allows them to more precisely control thier ultimate product which should be a good thing for the quality of the sail, but not for the price of the sail. My experience with Rolly Tasker, while quite a few years ago now, was not a very good one. The initial sail shape was not bad in moderate winds but the engineering and materials were not very good and the sail seemed to blow out (lose shape) much faster than expected.

11-09-2010 07:32 AM
Sabreman Yup. I understand that they are different. I suspect that the sail was from the early 90's and could have been made from a NorLam and mislabeled. I'm dismayed that they would label it a cruising sail, yet it molds after 2 months on the mast. I know that North's cruising laminates need a cover other than Sunbrella, sort of like a mainsail cover over the roller furler. I've seen a few of these and they look like such a pain to use for a cruising sail.

Basically, I think that there are much better alternatives to all this confusion. I know that North uses proprietary cloth to keep their costs down, but the result is confusion in the marketplace since there is no direct comparison. This discussion is a great example of that confusion.
11-09-2010 06:44 AM
JimsCAL NorDac and NorLam are two different cloths. The second is the laminated one.
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