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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter #1
Along a similar line to the "Kevlar vs. Carbon" thread...

I'm no longer in the big league but am wondering if Mylar laminates are a better option than ordinary Dacron sails for racing. Anyone have any opinions on wear, performance, flaking, etc.??
 

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They are indeed faster sails, otherwise there would be no market for them as you could feed a small country for the price of a large laminate mainsail. However, they are not as durable as Dacron sails and are prone to mildew.
 

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assuming your a better than average sailor, then the laminates will help. but just like golf eqpt - great golf clubs won't make for a better golf score...;> i see great sailors with older dacrons beat less experiences sailors with laminates.

how serious do you sail/race and what is your intended goal and budget? that should be your guide in deciding i think.

for sure, dacrons will last much longer...with laminates - they won't get baggy - when they are stressed they will blow up.. BOOM..
 

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Telstar 28
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Well said Rperret. It's very much like when I sold camera equipment in college, and people would buy a top-of-the-line Nikon or Canon and get all pissed off that their photography didn't improve... a lot of times it isn't the equipment... it's the sailor.

That's where one-design racing makes a lot of sense...since the boats are almost identically setup, the skill of the sailor makes much more of a difference.
 

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Along the lines of rperret and SD's theme but in the ski world.

People think high end skis are better cause they cost more, go out and buy full race alpine skis with accompanying race tune, and get taken for a ride. The skis are too stiff, too sharp, and transfer too much energy from one turn to the next for the average skier to handle. A race ski can blow a knee to shreds if you make a mistake on one, and I don't mean by crashing. Just not being properly stacked up on the ski when it rebounds can really ruin your whole day, think Joe Theismann. They'd be much better off on some rec skis.

Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with mylar sails.......
 

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Also, nowadays there's Dacron and then there's Dacron. Ask your sailmaker about "hard racing Dacron". It makes for a much more stable sail without the attendant problems (or cost) of the laminates.

We have had a couple of mainsails made from this stiffer material, and they've been great sails - but a bit of a bear to flake (much better to roll them up and store in a tube bag off the boom)

They provide a middle ground between standard Dacron cruising sails and the more expensive laminates - in costs, durability, stability and longevity.
 

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Hartley18

Not sure the size of your boat or which sail you are thinking of .... but on our 26 we went to Kevlar for 150 because it is not much more expensive than Mylar and has a huge wind range (6-22knots). Mylar a much narrower range at the time from the loft we chose - and therefore more prone to damage. Our choice became Dacron vs Kevlar in the end...

We have had the Kevlar sail for 5 seasons now and it has held up well. We flake after each race and then roll up in the sausage bag. The Dacron main we bought the year previously and the dacron #3 have also held up well. Of the three I would imagine the main has taken the worst beating and the #3 is in the best condition.

as for skis ... I just purchased a pair of Head Race Dept 155cm slalom skis for my 16 year old daughter for upcoming race season. I do agree most skiers do overbuy on skis and in this case the cap SL would have likely been just as good for her but from a Dad perspective I will get more appreciation for the Race Stick which she can handle IF she gets in proper shape prior to the season. On the other Hand Bodie Miller is skiing on Super Shape Speed rather than Race GS from what I have heard ...

I hate it when Ski season starts up while I am still in sail mode ... is always at that time of year when we are contemplating boat or sail upgrades and then it is time to spend on skiing ... yuck! could ruin your entire day!

Later

Mike
Full Tilt 2
 

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Unless you are racing at basically the National level then I would suggest that you can get by with the newer style Dacron every where except the #1 and there Kevlar or Carbon allow light weight and very little stretch over a wide wind range. I particular think a Dacron main works well and certainly lasts longer then Kevlar. I would not buy a sail that was just Mylar, did not know they still sold them.

Gary
 

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Yeah- my trusty old Pentax took great pictures when I was in high school. But I really liked the Rolleiflex TLR's. A friend had a Yashica. They were cool cameras back in the 70's...

But back to sails - i am lucky in that I have both Dacron and Laminate (Carbon and Kevar) as the previous owner had purchased the laminates that were lightly used.


Well said Rperret. It's very much like when I sold camera equipment in college, and people would buy a top-of-the-line Nikon or Canon and get all pissed off that their photography didn't improve... a lot of times it isn't the equipment... it's the sailor.

That's where one-design racing makes a lot of sense...since the boats are almost identically setup, the skill of the sailor makes much more of a difference.
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all for the interesting comments. :)

I'm going to see the sailmaker today and will ask him about "racing dacron" and see what he can offer - unfortunately Kevlar is banned by class rules :(

--Cameron
 

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Telstar 28
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Kevlar is banned but Carbon Fiber isn't??? That's whacked.
Thanks all for the interesting comments. :)

I'm going to see the sailmaker today and will ask him about "racing dacron" and see what he can offer - unfortunately Kevlar is banned by class rules :(

--Cameron
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter #12
Kevlar is banned but Carbon Fiber isn't??? That's whacked.
Apologies - I should have been more specific. At the moment all laminates are banned - sort of - depending upon how you read the wording.

I used to race a certain class of fast dinghy that allowed both Dacron and Mylar Laminate. My question derived from my belief that there wan't much of a performance difference between dacron and mylar simply because they were both allowed under the class rules of a one-design dinghy (since proved wrong here - hey, you learn something new every day :) ). I wanted to check my theories before applying to the Hartley Association for clarification.

--Cameron
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Discussion Starter #13
Also, nowadays there's Dacron and then there's Dacron. Ask your sailmaker about "hard racing Dacron". It makes for a much more stable sail without the attendant problems (or cost) of the laminates.

We have had a couple of mainsails made from this stiffer material, and they've been great sails - but a bit of a bear to flake (much better to roll them up and store in a tube bag off the boom)

They provide a middle ground between standard Dacron cruising sails and the more expensive laminates - in costs, durability, stability and longevity.
I've just been to the sailmaker. FWIW, he suggested sails made from "PenTex" as being a better solution than Racing Dacron.

The fabric looks really similar to the old Mylar laminate but it's apparently a far stronger fibre and more UV resistant than Kevlar - and cheaper too! :)

--Cameron
 

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I look at this very differently than the rest of the you. The big difference between Mylar/linear polyester sails like Pentex is that they stretch less in a gust than dacron. If you have an expert crew constantly and agressively trimming and adjusting halyards then there is very little difference in pointing ability and speed, but with a typical amatuer crew or for cruising then the retained sail shape means big gains over a long course. Also, the mylar sails have a much longer useful lifespan than dacron if you are concerned with performance. With J-22's we get 1 to 2 years max of racing out of dacron sails before they are too blown out to be competitive. That class does not permit linear polyester/mylar, but in the classes that do they easily get 2-3 years out of the mylar sails. In those same classes, the kevlar sails typically have 3 to 5 years of useful life.

The misconception that dacron lasts longer than kevlar or mylar laminates comes from the fact that Kevlar or polyester laminates need to be handled more carefully, and Dacron will remain a white triangle longer than the laminates.

Jeff

Jeff
 

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if you are limited by class rules, I highly suggest you inquire of your class race chair and other members to determine the best sail choices.
This list can only give you general advice.
 

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I've just been to the sailmaker. FWIW, he suggested sails made from "PenTex" as being a better solution than Racing Dacron.

The fabric looks really similar to the old Mylar laminate but it's apparently a far stronger fibre and more UV resistant than Kevlar - and cheaper too! :)

--Cameron
Cameron

Our sailmaker (Quantum) suggested pentex for our jib, but recommended hard dacron for the mainsail on a lightweight 24 foot day racer.
 

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re class rules:

Check carefully with your class to ensure no changes are coming soon.

Our Niagara 26 has a class association in Nova Scotia where they race one design at one club only. I have attempted to make every upgrade class legal even though I do not sail in their races just to keep the boat standard. In most cases I would have done nothing differently but ...

When I bought a new main it was dacron as specified and I opted for 2+2 loose footed configuration. At the spring Association meeting it was raised that loose foot was not permitted - then we came up with measurement rules to allow it - but I was needless to say concerned since I had already paid for the sail. Also I do like the loose foot and think it definitely better in my situation.

Other restrictions were dacron sails only and they sail with blade and main only. So for my blade & main I went dacron and #1 kevlar since it is not a class sail but I used it in PHRF racing .... all good.

I was told no foils were permitted so went hanks. Now I am changing to a twin foil and tape luff on headsails because I have often had need to change sails in a longer race. As it turns out a number of boats have foils already that race in this class ....

No rigi vangs are another restriction as we are supposed to comply with original rigging of the boat, etc...

My point is that you shoudl check out what other boats in the class are using and what is coming down the pipe. Then if you are not racing in that class go with what makes you happiest. I know if I chose to go with twinfoil system at this point I would do it regardless of our association as I do PHRF racing and that system is better for what I do.

Hope this is of some help

Mike
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
re class rules:

Check carefully with your class to ensure no changes are coming soon.
...

My point is that you shoudl check out what other boats in the class are using and what is coming down the pipe. Then if you are not racing in that class go with what makes you happiest. I know if I chose to go with twinfoil system at this point I would do it regardless of our association as I do PHRF racing and that system is better for what I do.
Thanks, Mike. I know they are planning some changes (not least to fix the vague wording), so I'll wait and see what they allow. At least I've done soem research now and know what I can and can't do as things stand now.

I think twinfoils are great, but unfortunately they're totally impractical for a TS..

Cameron

Our sailmaker (Quantum) suggested pentex for our jib, but recommended hard dacron for the mainsail on a lightweight 24 foot day racer.
Thanks, Faster. That's exactly what I plan to do - once I've saved enough $$$.

A$900 for a new pentex jib - ouch! :D


--Cameron
 

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Yes, you'll be pinching those pennies for a while, Cameron.

You may be interested to know that our Yacht Club once bought a Hartley 16 for back moorage to use as a junior sailing trainer. It was plywood on frame construction, and had suffered some considerable neglect. We shortened up the cabin to create a larger cockpit, and used it for our sailing program. (The prevailing conditions - 20 knots nearly every day and very cold water - precluded using the usual optis or lasers)

We had a lot of fun with it until we replaced it with a larger fiberglass boat.

And now, back to our regular programming......
 
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