da versus high tech - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-08-2004
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da versus high tech

Hi folks, I talked to a Quantum sales rep yesterday. He says I should seriously consider using dacron versus high tech sails on anything less than a 27 footer. I own a Farr 727 (24'') fractional rig (Bruce''s first design (1976) in case you are unfamiliar).) I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the best for very serious racers.
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Old 09-08-2004
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da versus high tech

A sales rep told you to consider DACRON... Thats fine if you wanted to curise or even do some club racing but a serious racer.. You better talk to someone who actually races and get thier input. I cruise but I know that dacron will be to heavy to hard to handle quickly. You''ll never be able to keep up with the high tech kevlar boys. Stick to your own knowledge you seem to know the right way to go you don''t need me or some other "slow poke" telling you what sails you need to fly...You already know.
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Old 09-08-2004
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da versus high tech

I am quite familiar with the 727. I really love these boats. They are a miniature version of my last two boats (a Laser 28 and a Farr 11.6). Just for the record the 727 is actually design number 37 and the numbering of designs apparently began after a number of Bruce Farr''s early racing skiffs had been designed. That takes nothing away from the boats which were real ground breakers in their day, albeit (like my 11.6) a little sticky in light air compared to the newer designs.

I bacically agree with Quantum on using polyester for the 727 (except perhaps for a light air #1 genoa). The thing about boats like the 727 is that they need to shift gears pretty quickly and because of the limited nature of the fabrics available for a boat that size, dacron will generally allow performance over a wider windspeed range. I would consider a very light weight laminated genoa to improve light air performance. The other thing is that many areas give a credit for all dacron sails. This credit can vary from 3 to 6 seconds a mile and is really worth it on most small boats. I would look into a radial sail cut to minimize stretch but again I am not sure that is worth it for a mainsail on a boat that size. I successfully raced my Laser 28 with a dacron main and blade and a mylar #1 genoa.

There were a number of Laser 28''s that went to all Kevlar (Main, Jib and Genoa), but they did not seem to have an advantage except at the highest wind ranges and even there the advantage was not significant enough for them to win at the Laser 28 North Americans. Most of the Laser 28''s were using extremely light weight Kevlar #1''s.

Just out of curiosity, where do you keep your boat and have you had much success racing her?

Regards,
Jeff
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Old 09-10-2004
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da versus high tech

Well....if you are a very serious racer then you must have already made peace with the budgeting aspect of the sport. The high tech stuff is popular for a reason; there are definitely performance gains to be realized using sails that are light and low stretch.
You can increase the longevity of the sails somewhat by taking care to put them away correctly after racing. It is good to avoid
stepping on the jibs and rolling the sails instead of flaking.

I am the boat captain on a Farr frac.(395).
We average around 50 races a season and use the equipment hard. We replace the main every 2 years on average and the jibs at around 18 months. We could probably get more use out of them but they start to get harder to trim well and our boatspeed starts to suffer.
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Old 09-10-2004
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da versus high tech

Hi Jeff, we talked on this forum a few years back when I first got the Farr. You were very helpful in my refit projects. We have raced with some success (2s, 3s, and a couple of bullets) but the light winds in combination with the short stick hurt us terribly, especially in the downwind. We got to the point where we would back off the shrouds to about 10lbs on the outside and 5 on the inside on anything less than a 5-7 knot night. That seemed to help alot in the upwind and while reaching. We also hook the jib halyard to the tack horn of the jib and whinch the mast forward on the run to create a little seperation between sails but I don''t think that works all that well. I bought an oversized Haarstick spinnaker for this season. It helped a little but trying to get wind into the sail on anything other than a hot angle is next to impossible. I thought about raising the spin. to the top of the mast but PHRF-LO calls it a modified boat if I do that and will spank me real hard. I just got the idea to put the boom on a track of some sort so I could move the main to the top of the cabin on the run. There does not seem to be any PHRF stuff about that but man that might prove to be a pain.
As far as the main goes I have a North Pentex but it needs a rest after 3 years at about 50 races a year. This year was real hard on it. The winds up here were high all summer--which the Farr likes alot but the sails and my wife do not.
All that said, I really love the boat. She responds real quick and you can tack her on a dime with little or no speed drop and, when the wind and waves are right she''ll pop up out of the water and far exceed her hull speed on the run. Just the thought of the sound of it keeps me going in the winter.
Brian
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Old 10-05-2004
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da versus high tech

Hi J. The ultimate setup is 2 mains. No. I''m not a sailmaker but a former yacht broker quite familiar with the 727. By current standards the boat is underpowered and composite mains tend to be too flat in light air. I owned a Kirby 25 and decided on a light Dacron main in the light stuff-I maxed the roach and full batten up top. It allowed me to shift gears quickly and was very fast in all but blade conditions. Can''t beat carbon in the heavy stuff though, the dialed in shape (as long as its fast out of the bag)is more stable. I''ve learned that winning isn''t cheap. If budgets a concern evaluate your average windspeed over the race season and canvas to the average.
Good luck on the course.
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