Mylar vs. Dacron - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-26-2007 Thread Starter
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Mylar vs. Dacron

Along a similar line to the "Kevlar vs. Carbon" thread...

I'm no longer in the big league but am wondering if Mylar laminates are a better option than ordinary Dacron sails for racing. Anyone have any opinions on wear, performance, flaking, etc.??
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-26-2007
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They are indeed faster sails, otherwise there would be no market for them as you could feed a small country for the price of a large laminate mainsail. However, they are not as durable as Dacron sails and are prone to mildew.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-26-2007
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assuming your a better than average sailor, then the laminates will help. but just like golf eqpt - great golf clubs won't make for a better golf score...;> i see great sailors with older dacrons beat less experiences sailors with laminates.

how serious do you sail/race and what is your intended goal and budget? that should be your guide in deciding i think.

for sure, dacrons will last much longer...with laminates - they won't get baggy - when they are stressed they will blow up.. BOOM..
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-26-2007
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Well said Rperret. It's very much like when I sold camera equipment in college, and people would buy a top-of-the-line Nikon or Canon and get all pissed off that their photography didn't improve... a lot of times it isn't the equipment... it's the sailor.

That's where one-design racing makes a lot of sense...since the boats are almost identically setup, the skill of the sailor makes much more of a difference.

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post #5 of 19 Old 09-27-2007
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Along the lines of rperret and SD's theme but in the ski world.

People think high end skis are better cause they cost more, go out and buy full race alpine skis with accompanying race tune, and get taken for a ride. The skis are too stiff, too sharp, and transfer too much energy from one turn to the next for the average skier to handle. A race ski can blow a knee to shreds if you make a mistake on one, and I don't mean by crashing. Just not being properly stacked up on the ski when it rebounds can really ruin your whole day, think Joe Theismann. They'd be much better off on some rec skis.

Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with mylar sails.......
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-27-2007
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Also, nowadays there's Dacron and then there's Dacron. Ask your sailmaker about "hard racing Dacron". It makes for a much more stable sail without the attendant problems (or cost) of the laminates.

We have had a couple of mainsails made from this stiffer material, and they've been great sails - but a bit of a bear to flake (much better to roll them up and store in a tube bag off the boom)

They provide a middle ground between standard Dacron cruising sails and the more expensive laminates - in costs, durability, stability and longevity.
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-27-2007
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Hartley18

Not sure the size of your boat or which sail you are thinking of .... but on our 26 we went to Kevlar for 150 because it is not much more expensive than Mylar and has a huge wind range (6-22knots). Mylar a much narrower range at the time from the loft we chose - and therefore more prone to damage. Our choice became Dacron vs Kevlar in the end...

We have had the Kevlar sail for 5 seasons now and it has held up well. We flake after each race and then roll up in the sausage bag. The Dacron main we bought the year previously and the dacron #3 have also held up well. Of the three I would imagine the main has taken the worst beating and the #3 is in the best condition.

as for skis ... I just purchased a pair of Head Race Dept 155cm slalom skis for my 16 year old daughter for upcoming race season. I do agree most skiers do overbuy on skis and in this case the cap SL would have likely been just as good for her but from a Dad perspective I will get more appreciation for the Race Stick which she can handle IF she gets in proper shape prior to the season. On the other Hand Bodie Miller is skiing on Super Shape Speed rather than Race GS from what I have heard ...

I hate it when Ski season starts up while I am still in sail mode ... is always at that time of year when we are contemplating boat or sail upgrades and then it is time to spend on skiing ... yuck! could ruin your entire day!

Later

Mike
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-27-2007
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Unless you are racing at basically the National level then I would suggest that you can get by with the newer style Dacron every where except the #1 and there Kevlar or Carbon allow light weight and very little stretch over a wide wind range. I particular think a Dacron main works well and certainly lasts longer then Kevlar. I would not buy a sail that was just Mylar, did not know they still sold them.

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post #9 of 19 Old 09-27-2007
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Yeah- my trusty old Pentax took great pictures when I was in high school. But I really liked the Rolleiflex TLR's. A friend had a Yashica. They were cool cameras back in the 70's...

But back to sails - i am lucky in that I have both Dacron and Laminate (Carbon and Kevar) as the previous owner had purchased the laminates that were lightly used.


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Well said Rperret. It's very much like when I sold camera equipment in college, and people would buy a top-of-the-line Nikon or Canon and get all pissed off that their photography didn't improve... a lot of times it isn't the equipment... it's the sailor.

That's where one-design racing makes a lot of sense...since the boats are almost identically setup, the skill of the sailor makes much more of a difference.
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-30-2007 Thread Starter
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Dock
Thanks all for the interesting comments.

I'm going to see the sailmaker today and will ask him about "racing dacron" and see what he can offer - unfortunately Kevlar is banned by class rules

--Cameron
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