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Yo no soy marinero.....
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

The sails that came with The Walrus looked in pretty good shape 2 seasons ago when I picked up my PaceShip PY23. This winter I decided to leave them at a local loft so they could have a good inspection by qualified sail makers. Any repairs or maintenance needed can be done in the off season. The age of those sails is however in question. The main sail has an orange triangle at the foot. Could be they are OEM, or New Old Stock. (1979 Pace23) pics at the link below.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/members/flint-albums-walrus.html

I am considering having the loft make a new set and retire the current set as backups. The Walrus has a 120-130% Genoa on a Harken roller for the head sail. I'd like to know a bit more before I start talking to the loft about making the new set.

• 4 full sewn in battens in the main
• Loose foot - The old main sail has a bolt-rope in the foot.
• "What else should I be thinking about"

Are there choices in construction that offer either performance vs longevity?
Do sails made for performance have a shorter life expectancy?
What materials will affect performance vs. life expectancy of new sails?

Thanks
David
 

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Radial construction is better than paneled except not for high-aspect sails. The sailmaker can advise. They cost more too.

Use the best, most expensive, dacron that "gets the job done." Again the sailmaker can advise.

Performance sail, e.g. laminates, have much shorter calendar life. If you take them down, dry them, roll them neatly, etc. they can last pretty well. But almost nobody but a serious racer has the diligence to do those things.

Why sewn in battens? Can they be adjusted as the sail ages?

The foam in the headsail luff doesn't hurt anything. But it doesn't make anyone who knows about sail shape and performance any happier.

If a 130% headsail is what you need most of the time, then fine. But if it will be overpowered more than 20% of the time consider a smaller, yet full-height headsail like a 110%. Make sure whatever sail you get fits the sheet lead blocks and tracks. Hopefully the sailmaker will measure your boat.

Get the sailmaker to take you for a test sail. It will show any problems, but most importantly most sailmakers are very good sail trimmers. You can learn plenty.
 
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Yo no soy marinero.....
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the info so far:


  • Radial stitching on head, tack, clew and batten pockets
    Foam in the Genoa luff
    Highest quality Dacron available
    A sun sleeve for the head sail when furled

I don't know what "High Aspect" sails means, but I'm not the type of person to cheap out on things. Especially a new set of sails.

No doubt coloured/patterned sails are also more costly, but it would be fun :D

I had been advised that full-battens, sewn in were superior. I never questioned this. Is this incorrect? The boat balances well with the size of the current genoa. I have not actually measured the foot so unsure of its actual dimensions % above full jib size. Was considering asking for the same size as the existing Genoa.
 

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On the battens being sewn in:

I suppose the advantages are that it saves some work making those fancy pocket closures. And the batten is less likely to do that very frustrating afterward departure at an inoppurtune moment.

The disadvantage is a geek like me cannot make them tighter for a period of higher winds and looser when lighter winds are expected. And as the sail ages it will stretch. Without taking up the slack the sail will loose some shape. But this could be tightened up during a periodic sail checkup too.
 
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What is your anticipated use for the boat? That is important, as if you plan on racing then obviously performance will trump durability. Perhaps the person recommending sewn in batons knows your style of sailing? Rarely is there a one is better than the other, more like one is better for your use/style. Think of it like wine, even cheap wine has it's appropriate use. No need to buy a $20,000 bottle of wine for a picnic with cold fried chicken, but you could ruin a really nice dinner with a bottle of MD 20-20.

If you have a sail maker that you trust, then just tell him what your use will be. They should give you some options, and explain what they will do. Most sail makers live off of return/referral customers, so it is in there interest to make sure you get the best sails for your use. Though many to tend to me more race oriented, but will work to make anyone happy.

High Aspect is more about how the sails and rigging were originally designed. High aspect will have a taller mast and narrow tall sails for a given sail area with more sail area in the main. Where as a low aspect will generally have a shorter mast and be more squat and likely have a big overlapping foresail and small main. This is something to keep in mind when deciding on sails, but not something you will be changing by replacing the sails (unless you put on a new rig too).

As far as materials go, I would not necessarily go with the "best" Dacron, but with what will have a long life under the conditions you will see. If you are in an area with mostly light winds, an excessively heavy Dacron will give much worse performance than a lighter one, and may not last any longer than you plan on owning the boat. Your boat is small, so will not need extremely heavy material. I think it is not unlikely that the sails you have are original, given your short sailing season, and if the boat had any periods of time not being used it is very possible that they are original and not in tatters. Sails were often made at the time of commission so it may be hard to tell by patches if they were original. Your boat looks to be in very nice shape so they may just have taken care of the original sails and did not use them a lot.
 

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Yo no soy marinero.....
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Primarily day sailing and short local cruising will be the use. The local marina has races twice weekly I may participate in at some point - not yet.

The north east end of Lake Ontario, Kingston, has fabulous winds for sailing. I've been told there have been top races here in the past. When the winds are up, you get out in The Slot between Amherst and Simcoe Islands and go....when the winds are too high you can play in the north channel lee side of Amherst.

The Walrus is 23 feet at the waterline. This size makes it a nice day sailer, and perfect for a couple, or solo, to go for a couple days to some local anchorages. Last summer I stayed on board very often in the marina so I could work on projects, socialize and sail often.

I have known 2 of its previous owners. They did seem to take care of her well. I've done a lot of cosmetics so she doesn't look like an old scow. The mast is roughly 25ft and the boom is 8ft - a lot shorter boom than similar sized boats along side me at the quay.
 

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Dacron - or whatever your sailmaker calls it this week, since Dupont no longer makes Dacron - should be fine for a long-lasting set of sails for daysailing. They will perform fine for low-key club-level racing. Given the breeze potential in Kingston-I've raced at C.O.R.K. several times and it has had our Soling planing- you may want to ask about putting a set of reef points in the mainsail. Going with a local sailmaker will enable you to get sails that fit properly and that suit your sailing objectives. Watch out for the shallow spots up there!
 
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