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uri 04-06-2004 01:26 PM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
I am going to buy a new mainsail for my Elan 40, mainly for club racing, solo races, and some more important races ocasionally. I had withthe boat the original sails 2002. I Switch my head sail already for the regatas by a UK tapedrive Pentex base, and kept the original for cruising. Now after mesuring the main I saw that the sail is I decided to switch it and I have two questions.
1- I am checking basically between Quantum radial Pentex sail and UK Tape drive Pentex sail. The design will be 1 full batten...maybe two. For what I read the radial sails loose their shape much faster than the Tape drive sails...Is that true ? Are the sails similar or there is an advantage from one construction type over the other ? UK claims that the sails will keep their shape longer...? Quantum uses different Pentex weights? I guess to coorect the strech problem but does it really work ?
2- The second question is about the E for the main, The E that is marked on the boon is about 7 cm smaller than what the actual sail strectches when flattened. My question is ? Shoul I increase the E on the new sail and get more penalization but a bigger sail , or should I kept the original E and make the sailmaker work in the new E....
Good sailing !

Silmaril 04-07-2004 04:46 AM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
I have a tape drive main. It is an older sail, from when UK first started with the design. (One of 4 mains that came with my older race boat).

I think it''s like 14 - 15 years old. Funny thing is, it looks like hell, but still sets ok. Not race worthy, but a fast sail none the less. Nice workmanship, and I''m suprised at the durability of the sail. How can mylar and kevlar tapes do that?

A friend of mine likes Doyle''s the best, says that they are excellent in the post delivery tuning of your sail. I have found my local UK loft to be quite helpful as well.

I saw a very nice Neil Pryde sail recently. You can get a very high performance construction for the price of a dacron cruiser. But I''m only 1/2 hour from their hdqtrs in CT so that might work for me but not for you.

Price no object, North 3DL''s for my money. Don''t know how long they last but they are FAST!!!

Silmaril 04-07-2004 04:59 AM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
Oh, forgot about question 2.

I always avoid any deviations from the designed sail shapes. The modern yacht designer has a very sophisticated tool set to use while designing a boat. They can usually very acurately predict and compensate for balance in a vessel. Once you begin to deviate, a little longer in the foot, bigger roach in the main, all these things will change the centers of effort on the boat.

You should not make major changes in your sails without consulting the designer of your boat. If they cannot be reached, a qualified naval archetect should be retained. I know of folks who have chased their boats balance after making seemingly minor adjustments. Mess with your CE and you may end up with lee helm.

Have your sails made to the deigned specs, but if you make changes, make sure you look at the boat as a system and make sure you are aware of all the effects of your changes. Changes should be made to correct a problem or effect a positive result in vessal handling. In the need to "Just go faster" many un unwitting sailor has made the wrong move.

uri 04-07-2004 11:43 AM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
Thank you for your information, I will look also at North 3Dl. I know need some information on the radial sails...since it looks that the tape drive do their workand the price is reasonable. The idea is to use the sail mainly for my aficionado races....but who knows ! Well what about radial sails !
On the E question that was my concern....not to play with designs , for that reason I send my questions to the designers Rob Humpreys and wait for their answer. When I asked for the polars it took .....about 3 hours , great ! letīs see if they are as helpful as before.
Well thank you for your help.

Silmaril 04-08-2004 03:12 AM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
The Radial design seems better suited for a loose footed set-up. You can set a great profile with a loose footed sail and the radial design would seem to maximize it''s benefits.

As a matter of fact, if you are looking for a hot shape in a mainsail for racing, loose footed is almost always the way to go. Of course once you reef, it''s advantages are lost. Up ''til then, you can set a wonderful shape loose footed.

I would also think that the radial design might be less effective if you will have your foot attached. Then you would want a more traditional "shelf" designed foot.

But I''m not a sailmaker, and they ALWAYS seem to have the

uri 04-09-2004 12:20 AM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
Ok for the loose foot and may be a better shape, that I am not really sure, but what about keeping the shape for afew years if the ideal shape of the sail is loose to quick then those benefits are loose to quick also......

39512 04-15-2004 01:37 AM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
The best way to get "a few years" from a racing main is to have 2 mains, one for cruising and one for racing.

The Farr I sail on has a North dacron main for cruising and a 3DL for racing. We are a very active program (50 races per season) and even with all the changing out, we get 2 seasons out of the racing main at most before stretch becomes a factor. We are now on the second racing main and use the first racing main for club racing on weekday evenings and the new one for events. I use the dacron main for delivery to regattas that are some distance away and cruising. I also have one 90% cruising/delivery jib for this purpose. In short, we use the racing sails strictly for racing in order to gain longevity.

I would suggest you poll other owners of Elans about the effectiveness of using mixed upwind sail plans(different manufacturers for jib and main).

uri 04-17-2004 10:58 PM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
Well it seems that more than the sailmaker...itīs the use ,that is obius...I will use my old dacron sails also for cruising. And I will chek other manufacturers....I asked Quantum aand waiting for NorthSails 3DL. and Investigatig....What do you think one top full batten ? Two will decrese performance alot?

39512 04-19-2004 03:36 AM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
I''m not sure about 2 full battens. I know some sails use two or more but I can''t remember seeing any in the fleets we race in recently. We change the tension on the top batten regularly between races if the wind speed changes, and I can see a certain amount of difficulty getting two set up correctly.

Do you use a hydraulic backstay? If so, I think the second batten would work against you.

uri 04-19-2004 12:42 PM

New main Radial or tape drive...?
No I am not using an hydraulic backsay, is mechanical...Well i belive1 batten will be better also but less durability to the sail.
Need to learn !

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