sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages - SailNet Community
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sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

I am considering buying new main and #4 jib for my 18 foot T-craft. The boat is sloop rigged with a swing keel. I sail on an inland lake north of Pittsburgh (Lake Authur) and sometimes trailer up to Erie. I have the choice of 3.8 or 4.93 sailcloth and both are the same price with Precision Sails. I am assuming 3.8 is a lighter material than 4.93. Precision Sails is recommending the 3.8 because they say it will set/trim better and is more appropriate for lake sailing. Are there any other factors I should consider in making the decision on what sailcloth to choose?
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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

Maybe what type of sailcloth is available.

I would think the lightest sailcloth would be appropriate for the lake sailing as i assume they winds are light. Lake Erie I would think can give some pretty sporty winds. Also does this boat have main and jib?

Wind speed is one consideration, Air temp another. Cooler temp = heavier air. You have to figure out what wind range you will be doing most of your sailing in.

We have a larger 35 the main is 7.5 oz and the two jibs 155- 5.8 oz , 135- 6.8 oz.

Course on you smaller boat weight will make a big difference in the overall equation.


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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

I think the problem with heavier sail cloth is that it takes more wind to fill and therefor doesn't sail as well in light air.

I would go with your sailmakers recomendation.

My 175 sq ft main on my 21 foot boat is still okay after 33 years, its about 3.8. A few patches, shape could be better, but not bad.
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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

Challenge Newport 3.8 vs Challenge 4.93 High Modulus Low Aspect vs Challenge 4.93 Atlantic Low Aspect

I strongly recommend you choose the 4.93. It's a much superior cloth compared to the 3.8 for your 18 footer. The 4.93 is more tightly woven, requires less resin, and is made with lower stretch yarns. It has much lower stretch. (4.93 costs more than 3.8 too)

The 4.93 is excellent cloth for small boats, and will hold its shape longer than the 3.8. The 4.93 will be fine in light winds under 5 knots and better than 3.8 in enough wind to heel the boat or when reefed. (over 12 kts)

The 3.8 is an excellent choice for dinghies with bendy masts, IMO, and it comes in lots of colors. It's the cloth of choice for Optimists, etc. It's not a great choice for an 18 foot trailerable however.

The image below is a magnified picture I took of 4.93 on the left, and 3.8 on the right.
You can see how the 4.93 (on the left) has a much tighter weave and a much higher thread count than 3.8.
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Image77.jpg  

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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

I don't know much about sail cloth, but I once lived in your area... Have you tried sailing on Pymatuning? I never had much luck on lake Arthur, too many hills blocking the wind.
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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcb View Post

My 175 sq ft main on my 21 foot boat is still okay after 33 years, its about 3.8. A few patches, shape could be better, but not bad.
Something isn’t right worth this . 175 square feet of mainsail on a 21 foot boat makes no sense. That’s a bigger mainsail than you’d find on a much bigger boat, like a Catalina 27, that weighs around 7000 pounds.


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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by jblumhorst View Post
Something isn’t right worth this . 175 square feet of mainsail on a 21 foot boat makes no sense. That’s a bigger mainsail than you’d find on a much bigger boat, like a Catalina 27, that weighs around 7000 pounds.

Yes, she moves in light air. Gets tricky to sail over 20 knots of wind speed

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/bay-hen-21
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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
Yes, she moves in light air. Gets tricky to sail over 20 knots of wind speed

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/bay-hen-21
Now it makes more sense! A gaff rigged catboat.
Thanks!

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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

jblumehorst - Judy B - Thank you for your insight into fabric selection. I think I will choose the stronger 4.93 fabric for the reasons you have listed.

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Re: sailcloth 3.8 vs 4.93 - advantages

Thank everyone for your replies to this post. I think I will choose the stronger 4.93 fabric for the reasons you have listed. There is not much information on the web when it comes to sail fabric.

Last edited by rkinross; 6 Days Ago at 12:18 PM.
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3.8 , 4.93 , new sails , sailcloth , selection criteria

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