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noscreenname 09-06-2005 06:02 AM

Racing sails
In my ongoing quest to bring my Columbia Sabre up to speed I''m going to have a new 155 Genoa built. Does anyone have recommendations for a sailmaker? In the past I''ve used Doyle but I''m open to suggestions. I''ve had prices from Doyle,North,Ullman,Quantum and JSI.All are within a few hundred bucks of each other.
Is it worth getting 3DL or Pentex for an older boat or should I stick with straight Dacron?

mcagney 09-08-2005 09:56 AM

Racing sails

I purchased North 3DL sails for my Sweden 38 and took delivery this year. While the cost of the sails were about 220% the cost of Dacron I felt it was worth it since I race. I went with Marathon 3DL (Vectran) for the genoa and full racing 3DL (full batten, Kevlar) for the main. Very happy with sails - only downside is weight since I had taffata put on both sides. My choice in order of sail makers were North (3DL), Quantum (Fusion M), UK (tape drive).

If you are serious about racing I suggest you by the "best" sails you can aford that also meets your other requirements (durability, furling, UV protection etc).


Sailormon6 09-09-2005 08:54 AM

Racing sails
Mike said, "While the cost of the sails were about 220% the cost of Dacron I felt it was worth it...."

I''ve raced very competitively for almost 30 years using good quality (North) dacron sails, more-often-than-not beating boats with the high-priced sails (HPS). In club racing, the skill of the sailor means more than the quality of the sails. In more competitive racing, all the sailors are good, and you won''t be able to keep up with them if you don''t have good sails.

The HPS certainly outperform dacron. They give the greatest advantage in strong winds and in light air, because they are lighter in weight and less prone to stretch. You won''t see much difference in performance in "average" winds, when weight aloft and stretchiness is not much of an issue.

Most races are run in average winds. The question, as I see it, is whether it''s worth the expense, to you, to buy sails that perform significantly better in strong winds and light air.

Teakell 10-25-2005 04:09 PM

Racing sails

I hope that this doesnt come to late. In your quest for the right sail from the perfect sailmaker it''s right to shop around. But try not to limit yourself with the large sailmakers. You would''nt go wrong to at least call a local small sailmaker like Pineapple Sails in the San Francisco bay area. Sailmaking these days really has two facets, sails and support. Most large sailmakers don''t have the time to support the little guy. They talk a good game and have a lot of fluff in their advertisments but after you buy their product its see ya later. Technology can be very even between the two ends of the industry if everyone is paying attention, so don''t think that just because they are a small company they are not as smart.

One last comment. Dacron verses Carbon/Kevlar/Pentex. If you want the sail to be competitive for as long as possible I would go with Carbon. Its by far the most durable yarn. Stretches less, UV doesnt hurt it, and its flex is the same as Kevlar. Its 10% more expensive than Kevlar which is twice that of dacron. But Dacron will tire out at least twice as fast.

And that comment about club racing and sails matter less that skill...Baaaah. I have coached many club sailors who have only seen their result sky rocket with the addition of a new sail or two.

Good Luck with you search.

mcagney 11-09-2005 10:48 AM

Racing sails
An update. I purchased North 3DL sails, Racing main with Kevlar, Cruising Genoa with Vectran. Both sails have taffata on both sides.

My only compaint after a full season is the weight of the sails - but I did insist on taffata. I found North sails very responsive (yes they did screw up, not adding draft stripes etc and had to take the sails off the boat and bring them back, but this was their busy season in May). The North Rep came racing with me etc. I found the Milford, CT loft to be very good

I have no regrets with going with North 3DL. the sails are superb and hold their shape very well. I probably have between 100-150 hours on them.

mpc51335 11-11-2005 04:34 AM

Racing sails
I bought a North 3DL for local club racing. The sail lasted one & one half seasons in New England. 3DL''s are fantastic 1 season sails. My pockets are not that deep! The North salesman told me at the time of purchase I would get 3 to 5 seasons out of the sail.

mpc51335 11-11-2005 04:35 AM

Racing sails

paulk 11-12-2005 06:39 PM

Racing sails
The question becomes: how much sailing do you do? If a new, technologically superior sail is built to last 200 hours in the sun, how many seasons will that last you? We typcially race Wednesday evenings, with finishes predicated prior to sunset. Starts are at 6:00 PM, and finishes due by roughly 0800. Two to three hours per week, for a ten week season, and we''ve used up 30 hours of our 200, before getting to any weekends. Ten Saturdays at 5 hours of sailing each, and then perhaps ten similar Sundays makes for 100 more hours of usage in a season. To take a week''s cruise add five more 5-hour days: 25 hours. So far this totals about 155 hours without much effort. Take another week''s cruise, and the fabric starts to delaminate and tear at chafe points. Top-end racing materials are not durable. You''re supposed to buy new ones, frequently. "Low-end" Dacron sails may lose their optimum shape, but will still hold together and function, albiet inefficiently, for years and years. The route you take depends upon your needs.

noscreenname 12-06-2005 12:40 PM

Racing sails
we race in New England Thurs Eve''s and at least one race every weekend plus the PHRF New Englands. Last year we had a few seconds and some thirds but we were always just a few seconds out. Since this gap is so small I contribute it to the lack of quality sails rather than lack of talent or experience.
My view on racing is to do what you need to do, and spend what you need to spend in order to win.
That beeing said I have a budget and I''m actively looking for a different boat that is more phrf friendly, before I spend another penny on the Sabre.

razorseal 01-19-2006 08:58 AM

Racing sails
can you guys tell me the diffrence between 3DL sails and decron sails? why is the cost over double? are they lightweight and durable? (aluminium compared to titanium sort of hehe)

and what are the prices of decron sails and 3DLs?

I just got a boat and the sails look in good condition, but I wouldnt mind changing them soon... I''m also shocked how big the 170% genoa is!

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