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  #1  
Old 09-21-2003
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

May 2004 - We found a nice fix after doing much homework and talking to others who had recent sail changes. Posted details at the end of this thread...
-----
I find my self with a dilemma as to which sail to replace first and with what type:
-- want to replace the main sail which is of indeterminate age;
-- but I''m beginning to think my best dacron jib is under sized at 112%.

Questions:
1. Does anyone have any experience with Hood''s woven Vektran sails? Hood says performance is on a par with large laminate sails. Hood also claims to have never replaced one yet since they started shipping in 1992 (all still in service). Construction is woven, with low stretch Vectran threads buried for UV protection in Dacron? They are suggesting 7.7 oz material for main or jib on N41 (or 9 oz if straight Dacron). Hood uses 9 oz Vektan on the BT Global Challenge boats.

2. Whose sails/construction/cloth weight are other N41 owners using?

3. If you had to pick one of the two sails to replace, which would you do first?

4. Anyone shifted from a high cut yankee (clew 7'' off deck) to a lower cut sail of the similar size? What performance differential did you get?

Goals: club racing, durability, and manageable performance for family on roller furler. (Yeah, I know it''s heavily conflicted). Maybe put a new jib up for the bigger crew/lighter winds during summer racing, and put the 112% back up for winter. Boat is a Newport 41

Thanks
Paul
s/v Walkabout
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Old 09-23-2003
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

Paul,

You ask, “If you had to pick one of the two sails [mainsail or jib] to replace, which would you do first?”

You say that your mainsail is “of indeterminate age,” but you don’t describe its general condition. Does it show significant signs of wear or damage or patching? I suggest you ask your sailmaker if repairs or reinforcements can be made that will help you get another 2-4 years of service out of it. If you reef early and avoid unintentional or hard jibes, you will reduce the likelihood of damaging it. If so, then I suggest you buy a 130% jib. Your 112% jib is too small to be reasonably competitive in most club racing in light to moderate winds, and replacing it will give you the most improvement in performance. A 130% roller furler will be useful in a wide range of winds, and will maintain reasonably good shape when partially furled. In light air, if other boats are flying 150% genoas, the 130 will be powerful enough to keep you competitive, and within striking range of them, if you can find a little stronger wind or sail a little smarter race or just get a little lucky.

If your sailmaker says the useful life of your mainsail can’t be extended, then you have to replace it first. Take your mainsail to your local sailmaker and show it to him. He can look at your sail and give you better guidance than we can.

I like your idea of using your smaller jib in the stronger winter winds. Depending on your local conditions, it might provide better shape and performance on average than the bigger headsail.

You say your goals are “club racing, durability, and manageable performance for family on roller furler.” I’m no expert on sail design and construction, but I’ve bought a few sails and have raced with the best racing sails as well as the cheapest sails. I don’t believe you need top-of-the-line, hi-tech racing sails to meet your objectives. In most club racing, the skill of the sailor has much more to do with the outcome than the construction of the sails. You can win a lot of club races with a clean bottom and keel and plain dacron sails if you know how to get the most out of them. When the skill level of the competing sailors becomes higher than the norm, then you need the fastest sails to remain competitive. I suggest you buy the best sails that fit your budget. Plain dacron sails made by one of the most reputable sailmakers will be made of excellent quality sailcloth, and will hold their shape and provide good service for a long time. If you can afford to step up a level in quality, you won’t regret it over the long run. Racing sails help you the most in light air and in high winds. They are least important in “average” conditions, in which most races take place.
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Old 09-23-2003
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

Paul,

You do need to clarify the condition of the main first. If you''re not comfortable eye-balling it yourself (the shape when flying in different conditions tells you what you need to know) have a sailmaker do so, and then accept his advice with a grain of salt. If your main is judged as blown out, given your interests above, I would go with an all Dacron main and put your money into a performance jib.

The jib provides most of your drive, so should be the better sail if forced to chose.

You haven''t said the winds experienced in you area. The 110% is too small for light to moderate winds. If you don''t sail in a extemely light or heavy air region, go with a 135% as your primary jib. Again talk with a region sailmaker about these considerations. A 150% is too big for a family to trim or haul around.

You can leave a 135% up most of the time as you can reef it to 110% when daysailing in a breeze. Keep the 112% on for the winter. Also use it when racing in a breeze as it will point better than a reefed jib.

Good luck (I''m a big fan of UK tape drive sails - check then out).
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Old 09-23-2003
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

Tape drive is nice, but not as long-lived as some other options. We have a tape drive #1 that is FAST! For a mainsail that''s used/abused all the time, the abilty to hold its shape long-term is important. We went with a local sailmaker''s pentex because of this. We continue to do well racing, and don''t worry as much about UV degradation when we cruise.
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Old 09-26-2003
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

Condition of the main...

ProspectiveSailmaker asked for digital photos taken from under the boom. In the meantime, here''s what we saw.

When viewed from below, the deepest part of the curve, going upwind in 9kts TWS, appears to run from the head of the sail to a point 48 to 50% of the sail''s foot length.

Viewd from below on the leward side, the main shows a fairly broad full area at least 1.5x the boom width. That area extends up to about one crosscut pannel above the second reef diamond. (It would be the third reef point if you counted the luff reef point at the mast).

Physical condition.
I had a local loft repair two holes (UV damage or flex damage?) just behind the leach. The patches are about 3" on a side. Also repaired the bottm leach cover where the topping lift rubbed through. That local loft was non-committal when I asked about remaining life.

The rest of the cover has somewhat deteriorated fibers at the places where the leach of the sail folds (stored on the boom).
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Old 10-07-2003
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

Paul,

I don''t think any of us can judge the condition of your sails from the above description.

If you can absolutely only buy one new sail, and if the old mainsail is likely to fail, it seems to me that you have to replace the mainsail first. It''s no fun to sail a boat with a new 130% jib and no mainsail.

If you are only doing coastal cruising (so that, if the sail fails, you aren''t far from shelter), and, if you could afford to buy a second sail if absolutely necessary, then I would buy the jib and hope the mainsail holds up until Santa brings me a new mainsail.

At the moment, I''m a retiree putting a big chunk of my income into my son''s college expenses, and when I needed new sails, I bought inexpensive Rolly Tasker dacron sails, and she''s as fast as she was when my old North sails were new. We''re crossing the finish line ahead of boats that have to give us lots of handicap time. I don''t expect the Rolly Taskers will hold up as long as the Norths, but they''ll last at least until my son graduates, and probably a good deal longer.

You have lots of options, but you have to decide what works for you, considering all your circumstances.
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Old 01-27-2004
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

Hi:
I''m thinking of buying a Rolly Tasker 140 % genoa to replace a worn out sail on my Truant 37. I would be curious to hear more about anyone''s experience in dealing with them and the apparent quality of their product.
Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2004
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

A couple of years ago I replaced the OEM sails on a Catalina 30 I had with Rolly Taskers, went thru Dirk Sharland, National Sails out of Florida (even though at the time I lived in Washington State). We very much special ordered everything, and they made the sails to our specs. The boat I''ve got now has an older set of Rolly Taskers that I use as delivery sails, and they are still in very good shape. As long as you know all the dimensions of the sails and any patches you want, mail order seems to be the least expensive way to go. If you want customer service, you''ll have to pay a local loft a bit of a premium for their time and effort. But overall I''ve been very happy with the product Rolly Tasker turns out, and Dirk was able to get me my new sails in just over 30 days, which is not bad for mail order, and quicker than most lofts I''ve dealt with.
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Old 01-29-2004
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

I have just purchased at 150% genoa Rolly Tasker Headsail for the sailwarehouse in CA. the prices were better than ANY other sail loft, and the sail fits my new CDI FF2 roller furler perfectly. The sail came quick and as soon as I put the boat back in the water, I''ll see how she does. I too am doing only coastal cruising and Sunday afternoon club racing. Worth a look at...

My girlfriend has had a Rolly Tasker 130% on her Islander Bahama for over 3 years and it had been and excellant sail. Still as crisp as when it was installed

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Old 05-15-2004
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Replacement sails - Hood''''s Vektran

Thanks to all who provided ideas. We ultimately determined that the biggest immediate gain would be from replacing the jib with one about 140 to 145%.

Had two local sailmakers look at the main (and underway photos of both sails). Consenus is that the main could be recut, resulting in an additional three - four years of club racing life.

Through Castaways we found another owner who had an oversized genoa that had seen almost no use at all. That fit in the immediate budget,. Had the local loft recut it to 140%, add UV cover and luff tape. Found Castaway''s assesment of the great condition to be right on the mark.

The result is a wonderful increase in performance and balance. Helm is more neutral (perfectly slight wx helm) over a much broader... range 4 to 18 kts. Pointing abilty increased. Last race we were heading upwind at 23 degrees off the apparent wind (16 kts. aws).

In order to meet the "managable by family" requirment we added two types of rollers on the shrouds. Just above the lower spreaders we installed the wide Forespar delrin rollers.

Down at deck level, I hijacked a great idea from someone else. (I''d love to have come up with it first.) Turns out that small gray electrical conduit is both UV stable and blends in with the shroud color. Used 3/4 inch, labels cleaned off with little rubbing with acetone & a fast water rinse. We cut a slot with a table saw to slide a 10'' length over each outer rod. Can''t hardly notice the lower rollers. Best of all the sail comes around like greased lightning.

Results first time out....
TWA***TWS** Boat speed
060****** 8.5****** 5.80
071*******8.5****** 6.32* new jib
*
043******11.0******5.20
038***** 11.0***** 6.24* new jib
*
080********7.1******5.32
078********7.4***** 6.60 new jib

The boat also seems to heel less, and I''m just guessing that is due to the lower foot (instead of the yankee cut on the smaller existing jib).

10-2005 BTW we bought a brand new main sail in 2005, with the max roach allowed before penalty. That's given us the biggest speed improvement yet from any sail change we've made on the boat. The new main also lets the boat point 10 degrees higher at the same boat speed as before. My top three choices on sailcloth have changed over the course of this thread.

Last edited by paulmcquillan; 02-17-2006 at 04:13 PM.
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