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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Racing > Another new sail question/rant
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-14-2012 02:02 PM
SchockT
Re: Another new sail question/rant

It is not just about stretch. Even a traditional paneled kevlar sail has very low stretch characteristics. The big advantage of the 3DL type sails is the weight savings. Not only do they not have the weight of all the thread and seam allowances, they can also control exactly how many strands of kevlar they use, so they only use as much as needed. Even a few pound of weight savings is significant when you multiply those few pounds buy a 50' mast. One piece laminate sails are MUCH lighter than their paneled equivalents.
09-14-2012 11:14 AM
zz4gta
Re: Another new sail question/rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonosail View Post
My real question is, do we (the performance/racing sailer) need do give up durability to get continuous fibers.
A this point, we don't have a choice.

Quote:
And what real advantage is there over horizontal, glued/sewn seams (non-continuous fibers). Is there really that much stretch or 'energy loss'.
There is an advantage. On my 25 footer, probably not noticable. On an R/P 66 definitely. Bigger boats require things that stretch less. 1% on a laser is a lot less than 1% on a 2:1 halyard on a 60 footer. Most small boats don't need continuous fiber load path sails. But an R/P 66 has more than a few Pro's on board, and they're used to working with good stuff.
09-13-2012 05:20 PM
SchockT
Re: Partial thread Hijack

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrB View Post
I often get a kick out of folks that are basically club/weekend racers and spend oodles of $$ new sails every few years and think it makes a huge difference on how they place.

I raced over the winter on a J24 out of a sailing club/school. They had about 15 boats and each week you got assigned a different boat. Some boats had better sails than others. In the end, it came down to the skipper and crew, not the sails. I was fortunate enough to be with a world champion skipper who had more knowledege about the boat and sailing in his thumb than I did in my entire body. Consequently, we won or came in second out of 15 boats almost 45% of the time and I learned more about racing tactics from talking with him and watching what we did over the 4 months of w/e sailing, then I had over the 20 years previous sailing years.

Same with beer can/club racing. If folks want to do well in these races, find competent crew, practice, and become a better helmsman. If you don't want to do that, getting a new Hi Zoot sail isn't going to give you any advantage over the guy/gal in the old boat with the "blown" sails that has competent crew and knows how to eek every microknot of speed from his vessel and has better tactical skills.

DrB
While what you say might be true in some fleets where there is wide ranging skill levels, I have found that even at the upper range of club racing sail quality is a factor. In any established one design fleet there are different tiers. There is always the same group of boats at the front of the pack. Those boats are usually all pretty equal when it comes to skill level, but you will notice that the other thing they have in common is that they all have good sails. Assuming boat handling and tactics are comparable there is no way a boat with worn out sails is going to win consistently.
09-13-2012 01:15 PM
sonosail
Re: Another new sail question/rant

I think it's easy to make sweeping statements, about the properties of a fiber or method of construction. (I'm guilty of doing the same thing).
My real question is, do we (the performance/racing sailer) need do give up durability to get continuous fibers. And what real advantage is there over horizontal, glued/sewn seams (non-continuous fibers). Is there really that much stretch or 'energy loss'. I certainly don't know the answer.
At the same time, I have to step back and face the fact that those of us who engage in such hair/fiber splitting belong in the loony bin. But it's all in good fun.
09-13-2012 10:14 AM
zz4gta
Re: Another new sail question/rant

lol, never heard it put that way, but I like it!

Another question I ask owners who have pin stop jib car adjustments.
"if you haven't drilled 2 additional holes between each factory hole on your jib tracks, you don't need laminate sails".

Unfortunately the majority I talk to give me the speach "my sails are 15 years old and are still in great shape!" And they couldn't be more wrong, but have convinced themselves that their boat just "likes more wind" to be competitive. Or they have "too much stuff" onboard, it couldn't possibly be that they aren't good enough, or their sails are junk.

Bubble, check you emailz.
09-12-2012 12:47 PM
BubbleheadMd
Re: Another new sail question/rant

ZZgta is one of those guys who can sail a blown-out boat and win. Because he is now a "Skilled Indian", now he invests in "Good Arrows".

Like you say, buying Good Arrows for crappy Indians is what a lot of people do.
09-12-2012 12:45 PM
zz4gta
Re: Another new sail question/rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 View Post
"Sails made from (Kevlar) are very light but far from durable in a cruising context.
Cruising and Kevlar shouldn't even be in the same sentence. That's like taking the Maserati to the corner store to get a gallon of milk. In a "cruising context" Kevlar is a complete waste of money.

Quote:
Kevlar is brittle and does not stand up well to flogging and flexing"
Yup. When you compare it to polyester, it sucks. Carbon is worse.

Quote:
Further in the text he states "It's not unusual for a woven sail to last 10 years or more, while the lifespan of a laminate sail is closer to five years," but he's talking Mylar here as opposed to Kelvar.
Couple things here.
1. Woven sails will retain a triangle shape longer than string sails. However, their aerodynamic shape is long gone before the triangle explodes. This was discussed in the other thread. For racing, I want a sail that's going to hold it's shape in a wider wind range for a full 5 years of hard service. Lightweight is a nice plus. Dacron will stretch a lot over a 155% between 6-8 kts and 15 kts true. This is not good on the course. Not only that, but it will gradually stretch out over the next 5 years losing performance every year. Until at the end of 5 years, the laminate is pulling and pointing much better than the dacron. This is huge on the racecourse. Not so much for the cruiser who just wants to close reach around the harbor.

2. Mylar is a scrim that is applied to each side of the sail. The aramid strings/threads are sandwiched between these two layers. Mylar can't carry the load of any decent size sail. Small boats and wind surfers have plain mylar sails w/ no strings, their loads are much much lower.

Racing Laminates - Sailcloth Technology by DIMENSION-POLYANT - Sailcloth and laminates for high performance sailing and polyestersailcloth for surf
Scroll down to Flex line and hover over the cross hairs. A graphic pops up that shows the film (mylar) on either side with the string fibers inside the sandwich. Glue, heat, and preassure keep it all together.
09-12-2012 12:25 PM
DrB
Partial thread Hijack

I often get a kick out of folks that are basically club/weekend racers and spend oodles of $$ new sails every few years and think it makes a huge difference on how they place.

I raced over the winter on a J24 out of a sailing club/school. They had about 15 boats and each week you got assigned a different boat. Some boats had better sails than others. In the end, it came down to the skipper and crew, not the sails. I was fortunate enough to be with a world champion skipper who had more knowledege about the boat and sailing in his thumb than I did in my entire body. Consequently, we won or came in second out of 15 boats almost 45% of the time and I learned more about racing tactics from talking with him and watching what we did over the 4 months of w/e sailing, then I had over the 20 years previous sailing years.

Same with beer can/club racing. If folks want to do well in these races, find competent crew, practice, and become a better helmsman. If you don't want to do that, getting a new Hi Zoot sail isn't going to give you any advantage over the guy/gal in the old boat with the "blown" sails that has competent crew and knows how to eek every microknot of speed from his vessel and has better tactical skills.

DrB
09-12-2012 12:07 PM
overbored
Re: Another new sail question/rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post

Laminate sails require more care, which means no "late breaks" when tacking overlapping headsails, flake or roll them, put them away dry, and don't let them sit in the sun when not in use. NEVER furl them. I don't care if it's a "furling" J105 class jib. Furling is bad. The sport boats guys know this, accept it, and just replace the jib on a more frequent basis.
why is furling them a bad thing? if you are referring to sailing with a partially furled sail i would agree. the fact that they are rolled a little tighter then when hand rolled may have an effect on some types of fibers like carbon but my laminate panel sails have held up much better since being furled. can't see how the abuse of sails being handled on the foredeck to be raised and lowered is better for them then keeping them rolled on a furler with a cover over them.
09-12-2012 12:01 PM
johnnyquest37
Re: Another new sail question/rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I don't know where you hear that. My boat came with a nearly 20 year old kevlar, heavy air #3 that I used for several years extensively during the winters. It was flogged for decades before I got it and flogged for 3 or so years afterward and was fine, good shape, holding together okay, before ultimately failing, being flogged in what I estimate was a 50 knot gust. May it rest in peace, or should I say pieces as its now recycled into dozens of dufflebags.

Jeff
Having never owned a Kevlar sail, I can't provide any personal experience to the discussion. Just from scuttlebutt, my understanding has been that Kevlar sails are good for a year or two. According to Sailpower: Trim and Techniques for Cruisers by Peter Nielsen (p.27), "Sails made from (Kevlar) are very light but far from durable in a cruising context. Kevlar is brittle and does not stand up well to flogging and flexing" Further in the text he states "It's not unusual for a woven sail to last 10 years or more, while the lifespan of a laminate sail is closer to five years," but he's talking Mylar here as opposed to Kelvar.
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