Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Thanked 54 Times in 49 Posts
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IMHO, if you are serious about getting new sails for your boat, you should speak to a number of sailmakers in your area. Tell them what you are looking for, the type of boat you have, sailing you do, etc. They will make suggestions on type of sail.
When I was looking to buy new sails for my Newport 28, the sailmaker I ended up with (UK in City Island) suggested a laminate headsail and a dacron main. For that boat, the headsail provides most of the power, the main does not. The laminate headsail would work better in light air and be strong enough to handle heavy wind (especially when rolled up from a 140 to a 110). There are many different kinds of laminated sails, some that can be rolled, furled, reefed, etc. and others that can't. UK makes 'cruising' and 'racing' laminates. They use different material for them.
Regarding lifetime, my understanding is that while a Dacron sail has a longer lifetime than a laminate sail, the laminate sail will hold it's shape much longer than a dacron sail, so in reality, the laminate sail may provide a longer life instead of letting you sail around with a sail that is all blown out and baggy.
FYI, on my current boat, an O'day 35, the same UK loft that sold me the laminate sail for my Newport did not suggest a laminate headsail for the O'day. For the type of sailing I plan on doing, the type of boat I have, and the cost, the salesman said that a dacron headsail would be a better choice.
All I can say at this time, is that the new headsail (dacron), combined with a fresh boat bottom, has made my boat work like a totally new boat.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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