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  #1  
Old 10-01-2004
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recommendation for racing/cruising sails

I am currently considering replacing the sails on my Sweden 38 tall rig (sail on LI sound). I currently have UK tape drive sails and will purchase a full battened main with large roach (Harken battcars) and a 145% genoa (roller furling). I am currently considering the following manufacturers:

(a) North 3DL Marathon 600 series - Kevlar.
(b) UK tape drive sails (Kevlar skins carbon tapes)
(c) Quantum Fusion sails.

Anybody have opions/recommendations on the different manufacturers.
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2004
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recommendation for racing/cruising sails

I have been looking into a replacement sail for my Farr 38 which has smaller jibs than your Sweden but has a similar set of needs. There seems to be a problem keeping the weight down on headsails for boats the size of our. The sail that I am replacing was a tri-radially cut mylar faced genoa. We weighed it at 38 pounds (in the bag). The new sail clothes all seem to be heavier in weight than the sail cloth that I am replacing. I ended up leaning towards a North 3DL since it was best able to stay down near the weight of the sail that I had been using. My concern with increased weight is physically moving the sail around the boat short-handed and also with maintaining sail shape in light going.

Jeff
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Old 10-02-2004
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recommendation for racing/cruising sails

We went with UK tape-drive to replace the #1 genoa on our J/36 five seasons ago. We liked the theory of the tapes locking in the optimal shape for a particular wind range, but being strong enough to hold the shape even when the wind went over the optimal range. (The shape wouldn''t be optimal, but the sail would still hold up.) Five seasons later, the shape has not held up that well, (We''ve had it up, reaching with with chute at the same time in 30kts of wind - maybe that''s what did it.) We were also not overly pleased with UK''s overall service. Instead of actually measuring the luff on our boat, it seemed they looked up what it was "supposed" to be, and we ended up having to take it back to get the luff shortened several inches. (They weren''t really interested in picking it up or delivering it themselves, either.) When I questioned the size of the tack snapshackle fitting, I was advised it was "more than strong enough". Despite the fact that we don''t have a hydraulic backstay, the pin on the snapshackle they used now binds because it bent under the load. Perhaps they''ve improved since then. We don''t know.

To replace our mainsail, four seasons ago, we decided to try someone else, and went to a Pentex sail from Z sails in Stamford after balancing cost/weight/ and longevity considerations. They thoroughly discussed with us how we use the boat and what our expectations were. We have continued to win races with the new main ( though not all of them- we got a third in a recent Cross-Sound race out of Black Rock, incidentally beating a J/42 boat for boat) and despite it''s four seasons of constant use, people still ask us if the sail is new, because it sets so well and looks so good. Every time we see or talk to any one from Z, they want to know when they can come out sailing with us. If you''re on LIS, I''d suggest giving them a call.
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Old 10-06-2004
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recommendation for racing/cruising sails

Jeff,

What type of 3DL sail did you purchase? was is the 600 series (kevlar), 800 series (Carbon fiber) or 860 series (Kevlar/Carbon) and why? Did you get a taffeta film added or were you totally driven by weight.

Did you look at the Quantum FusionM sails - any opinions?
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Old 10-28-2005
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recommendation for racing/cruising sails

I work for an indepentant sailmaker and race professionally in the San Francisco area of California. I find it interesting that the average expected life span of a laminated sail seems to be 4 years. I have to say that from most sailmakers this is really unrealistic. If North or Quantum are telling you that 3DL or FusionM will last that long, remember, your talking to a salesman. Most of the boats I sail on professionally use North 3DL 860 series, we would never expect any headsail to be competitive longer than 50-60 hours of use. Thats right...HOURS. Now, we were sailing at a very high level, but still, the sails were significatly slower after 1-1.5 seasons of racing. People buying sails need to try and remember that the larger companies are spending 90% of their efforts in the Grand Prix or higher fields, were repeat business is the way its played, but at a club level, their service and products are usually not durable enough. Try looking into the smaller companies, they should be running thier business with one thing in mind...YOU. Customer service and support should be A number ONE.

For instance, I had a customer who just started sailing, bought an Express 37 and I helped him outfit with new Carbon Main, #3, and #1. Remember that this was his first year sailing, not to mention racing, I coached him all through the summer, and our efforts were realized at this years Big Boat Series when he finished 2nd in an 11 boat very tough fleet. Show me a North rep who would do that WITHOUT charging a per day fee above and beyond.

Not only that, but his sails WILL last at least 3 seasons, due to the fact that we use great cloth and we don''t build sails to be as light as possible, we build them to be strong, fast, AND durable, just what our customers want.

Remember the independant sail lofts, you won''t be disappointed!
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Old 10-28-2005
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recommendation for racing/cruising sails

I really think that it is too general to say that small lofts are good and big lofts bad. Actually, I don''t know how it is on the west coast but here in Annapolis, I find that the bigger, higher quality sail lofts sails generally come out of the box more competative and stay competitive for a longer time. Over the years the North loft guys have routinely come aboard to sail with ''Ma and Pop'' racing efforts who bought sails from them to help them dial in the boat with the new sail and coach the crew without fees. I have yet to find a North rep around here charging for coming aboard and coaching.

In my experience small lofts rarely have as sophisticated cutting patterns or access to the more sophisticated sail materials, material testing procedures, and methods. Boats that I have raced on that were serviced by local smaller lofts were often very disappointed in what came out of the bag and how it ultimately held up. Frankly the only guys who think that small lofts produce equal quality sails to the the larger lofts are the salemen at smaller lofts, but then again they are salesmen. ;^)

All of that said, the best service that I had ever had gotten was out of a local Haarstick loft that later became Banks and then still later was absorbed by North.

With regards to the question above I went with kevlar with a tafata scrim. This was not intended as a racing sail. At this point I have close to 120 hours on it.

Jeff
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Old 10-28-2005
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recommendation for racing/cruising sails

I guess then that that is the difference between east coast and west coast sailing. Don''t get me wrong, I don''t believe I said that big lofts are bad, What was said or I guess what was meant to be said was that large lofts have a different focus than indepentants. I guess I am sad hearing that small lofts that you are familiar with can''t build a good product the first time, thats just not my experience.

To say that small lofts don''t have access to software, materials or methods just isnt true. If they choose not to use it thats another matter.

Oh, I am not a "salesman" I am a poduction manager that has had hands on sailmaking experience for over 15 years, At least on the west coast,I have seen everything that everyone has to offer and I can honestly say, The better small lofts, the smart ones, can easily compete with North, Quantum, UK, any of them.
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Old 02-18-2006
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There is a guy out here on the west coast that we have been UNABLE to catch or beat upwind for over two years. Kevlar sails that he had for a while. Was talking with him, and asked who made his sails. Answer was the local Ullman Ventura loft XX (double digit years) ago!

We talked to that loft along with a bunch of others. Based on the answers, and his feedback on the exisitng sails, we used that small Ullman Venturaloft for our new main.

Results have been good in some of the winter races. I'm looking forward to this WWed season!

Last edited by paulmcquillan; 04-14-2006 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 02-19-2006
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Victory

anybody heard anything about VICTORY sails from Europe? (or are they too unknown?)
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Old 05-01-2006
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Race/Cruising

Pound for pound, considering performance, longevity and price-Pentex with tri-radial design and full battens is the way to go. Omar Sails in Beaufort N.C. qualilty and price can't be beat. 800-533-3082. bob
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