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post #11 of 15 Old 02-01-2018
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Re: A question about sail shape and non dacron sails

Invest $5.00 in "Sail Trim and Rig Tuning: A Captain's Quick Guide" Aug 5, 2005 by Bill Gladstone. This modest investment will provide the guidance you need to shape your sails.

Get a ride on a boat with good sails and carefully heed the shape and what the crew is doing to shape the sails.

It's not rocket science but it's hard to get better without a structure approach on a boat with bagged out sails.
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-02-2018
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Re: A question about sail shape and non dacron sails

Hey,

The sail adjustments are NOT to compensate for stretchy or worn out sails. The sail adjustments are to make sure the sail is working as efficiently as possible for the wind and point of sail at that exact moment. If the wind changes by 5 kts, adjustments should be made to halyard, outhaul, travelor, etc.

If you are racing this is extremely important. If you are not constantly adjusting the sails you will not win. Besides, most boats racing have a full crew and the guys need something to do besides sitting on the rail. So making small change to backstay, jib cars, outhaul, can be fun.

If you are cruising this is probably not so important - does it matter if you arrive at your destination one minute faster? However, knowing how to trim and adjust sails for windy conditions will make the boat more comfortable and safer for everyone aboard.

Good luck,
Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #13 of 15 Old 02-02-2018
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Re: A question about sail shape and non dacron sails

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Originally Posted by scott_lampe View Post
Thanks guys, I guess my questions have been answered. Cunningham's, outhaul's etc are still important on exotic materials, but not as much adjustment available due to less stretch. That aligns with what I thought.

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You have it a bit backwards, the sail with less stretch is going to respond better to the adjustments of the rig. there is more adjustment available. when you set an adjustment the sail responds and resists the forces of the wind. with a stretchy sail cloth you will have to make a larger adjustment to get the same result because the wind is forcing the sail out of shape easier . the sail is made to a designed shape, you do not make adjustments to stretch the sail, you make adjustments to compensate for the sail stretch to keep the sail with in the designed shape. as the wind builds and you want to flatten the sail a bit the high tech materials will respond better than the stretchy material to an adjustment. if dacron sails worked as good as the new materials then there would be no reason for the new materials. if we consider sail shape as the most important aspect of a sail, a dacron sail is good for about 20 days of sailing and a high tech sail is good for 100 days of sailing before the sail starts to loose the designed shape.

you can not compare the high tech sail materials of today to the high tech sails of ten years ago. there has been a lot of good development in the last ten years. all the delam stories no longer apply to many of the new materials used today.
there are many of the new materials that will wear better then dacron and hold the shape better for longer. the draw back is the initial cost is higher but not in the long run.

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post #14 of 15 Old 02-02-2018
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Re: A question about sail shape and non dacron sails

On your friend’s sail, the resin surrounding the kevlar yarns is beginning to break down. This is ultimately how Arimids die. This happens before the sail is all bagged out. Good old Dacron starts stretching the first time you use it and goes down from there. They are bagged out way before the fabric breaks down. So, you can potentially use them much longer than an Aramid or composite albeit with a greater degradation in performance. The Arimids and composites also have a benefit if being much lighter and weight aloft is important if you sail in windy conditions like San Francisco Bay. Being stiffer and “flatter”, main sails can be constricted with full battens on top and partials on the bottom allowing you to have a loose foot which greatly enhances the outhaul adjustments. On the race boat we run carbon all the way. On the family cruiser our main is a UK Spectra Tape Drive and our jibs are Quantum Pentax. If I was looking into something with more performance than Dacron, I’d look at Quantum’s Fuson or Doyle’s Stratus sail cloth.

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post #15 of 15 Old 02-02-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: A question about sail shape and non dacron sails

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
You have it a bit backwards, the sail with less stretch is going to respond better to the adjustments of the rig. there is more adjustment available. when you set an adjustment the sail responds and resists the forces of the wind. with a stretchy sail cloth you will have to make a larger adjustment to get the same result because the wind is forcing the sail out of shape easier . the sail is made to a designed shape, you do not make adjustments to stretch the sail, you make adjustments to compensate for the sail stretch to keep the sail with in the designed shape. as the wind builds and you want to flatten the sail a bit the high tech materials will respond better than the stretchy material to an adjustment. if dacron sails worked as good as the new materials then there would be no reason for the new materials. if we consider sail shape as the most important aspect of a sail, a dacron sail is good for about 20 days of sailing and a high tech sail is good for 100 days of sailing before the sail starts to loose the designed shape.

you can not compare the high tech sail materials of today to the high tech sails of ten years ago. there has been a lot of good development in the last ten years. all the delam stories no longer apply to many of the new materials used today.
there are many of the new materials that will wear better then dacron and hold the shape better for longer. the draw back is the initial cost is higher but not in the long run.
Ok. So the sail that stretches less will be able to be shaped better to suit the wind speed. That does make more sense. I only really get out for at max 1 day a week, more likely one day a fortnight. I do like to try and get the sail angle right by using the telltales but usually just pull things tight enough to get the wrinkles out as far as the shape goes. I only have a little 20ft Trimaran and a set of flash sails would probably be cost prohibitive. I bought a jib when I got the boat and it was 1/5th the price of the boat so Kevlar or whatever would be like putting lipstick on a pig.

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