Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I look at this very differently than the rest of the you. The big difference between Mylar/linear polyester sails like Pentex is that they stretch less in a gust than dacron. If you have an expert crew constantly and agressively trimming and adjusting halyards then there is very little difference in pointing ability and speed, but with a typical amatuer crew or for cruising then the retained sail shape means big gains over a long course. Also, the mylar sails have a much longer useful lifespan than dacron if you are concerned with performance. With J-22's we get 1 to 2 years max of racing out of dacron sails before they are too blown out to be competitive. That class does not permit linear polyester/mylar, but in the classes that do they easily get 2-3 years out of the mylar sails. In those same classes, the kevlar sails typically have 3 to 5 years of useful life.
The misconception that dacron lasts longer than kevlar or mylar laminates comes from the fact that Kevlar or polyester laminates need to be handled more carefully, and Dacron will remain a white triangle longer than the laminates.