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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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diamondcar730

Sail choice for 45ft racer cruiser

9 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I am currently in the middle of buying some new sails for my 40ft racer/ cruiser. I have previously had some pretty bad experiences with the latest technology load path membrane sails as they all tend to delaminate after 2 years. Due to the heat and humidity of the tropics that i live in, the sail life is much reduced. I am inclined to go for an older technology with a longer life. e.g. a carbon/aramid panelled sail. I have noticed that these type of sails tend to last much longer in our environment. We do not have a extremely active race program and so having sails that will not simply destroy themselves by sitting in the bottom of the boat is important. I would like to know if anyone agrees with this approach and do you think there would be much of a performance gap between a well made carbon/aramid panelled sail and a more modern load path membrane sail that are normally suggested as being the best by all the top manufactures.

 

Secondly as the wind here is normally pretty light ,we have thought about using a 140% genoa instead of the standard 105% jibs. We think/know this will increase our IRC rating by 15 pips or 1.4%. Due to the design of the boat it is not really possible to rig a good in-hauler system as well. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if they think the 140% would have a large increase on performance, would the 140% reduce our ability to point substantially as well?

 

Would be great if someone can get back to me!

 

Thanks!

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Dear lebrado,

 

You have two questions.

 

Much depends on your boat, concerning jib size. All I can tell you is that what I see related to genoa designed boats sailing in light wind areas (IMX40, First45, GS45, ...) is that they suffer a lot with 105% jibs, compared to their 150% genoa equipped siblings. Of course their rating is better, it has to be; conditions are different as soon as the wind goes over around 12 knots. Also, have you got a lot of waves?

And by the way, if you have more speed, you will point higher, also.

 

Concerning sails, there are two different issues: design and manufacture.

Both are relatively independent.

 

Design depends on the designer of choice.

 

Panelled sails in my view do not delaminate, but age worse than membranes, probably due to uneven shrinkage.

 

On the other hand, the current 3DL and similar sails delaminate a lot less than earlier variants. And there are membranes, and membranes (all equal, but some more equal). The D4 laminates are in my experience (limited, I must say) more durable than other membranes, since they are manufactured in a lamination workshop under a thousand tons (or so), while the others are vacuum laminated (around 1 ton).

 

It all depends on what you want. Humidity is not good for any laminate. And good care is also good for any sail; do not leave them sitting in water on the bottom of the boat.

 

best,

 

 

 

Hi,

 

I am currently in the middle of buying some new sails for my 40ft racer/ cruiser. I have previously had some pretty bad experiences with the latest technology load path membrane sails as they all tend to delaminate after 2 years. Due to the heat and humidity of the tropics that i live in, the sail life is much reduced. I am inclined to go for an older technology with a longer life. e.g. a carbon/aramid panelled sail. I have noticed that these type of sails tend to last much longer in our environment. We do not have a extremely active race program and so having sails that will not simply destroy themselves by sitting in the bottom of the boat is important. I would like to know if anyone agrees with this approach and do you think there would be much of a performance gap between a well made carbon/aramid panelled sail and a more modern load path membrane sail that are normally suggested as being the best by all the top manufactures.

 

Secondly as the wind here is normally pretty light ,we have thought about using a 140% genoa instead of the standard 105% jibs. We think/know this will increase our IRC rating by 15 pips or 1.4%. Due to the design of the boat it is not really possible to rig a good in-hauler system as well. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if they think the 140% would have a large increase on performance, would the 140% reduce our ability to point substantially as well?

 

Would be great if someone can back to me!

 

Thanks!

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Mike,

 

Thanks for your reply, it was very informative.

 

A GS 45 is the closest thing to us of the boats you mentioned.

 

With regards Jib size, in the summer the wind is always below 12 knots with a small but choppy sea, in the winter its normally about 15 knots (but a tropical 15 not a auckland15) but with a short choppy sea.

 

The sailmaker has recommended a 140% if we go for the over lapper. I believe we can hold this up to 10 knots then we would need change down, however in 10 knots with the 105% we are still properly a little underpowered and need in-haulers which we dont have. This means we would properly need 2 more jibs for the 9-14 range and the 15-19 range, (we already have a no.4). This means spending more and more money which i would rather not do. Any idea what other boats like this are doing around the world?

 

Would a 140% not increase the sheeting angle and therefore reduce pointing ability?

 

 

With regards to the sail material, we have bought membrane sails from 2 major manufacturers in the last 4 years, with both sets we saw delimitation after 12 months. although i admit we could store them better i think we have done a pretty good job. We are always careful to dry them and leave the aircon on 24/7 to keep the boat dry. However with an average of 90+ % humidity in the summer and the intense UV they just dont last. I have seen hydra-net mentioned a lot but am not really familiar with this product, do you know much about it? I know shape is an issue with the panelled sails but since we properly only do 20 - 25 races a year i am hoping that at least they will give us 3 years of good performance and then still i can have them recut to keep as additional sails.

 

All the sail makers are pushing me to stick with the 105% jibs and membrane sails but i am convinced this is not the way to go, i sometimes feel that they lack knowledge on maximizing performance of so called racer/cruisers with maybe the emphasis on cruiser, i sense that because they are mainly maximizing performance for 'racing boats' then they believe the same trends are best on other types of boats.

 

wold be great to know your thoughts,

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear lebrado,

 

You have two questions.

 

Much depends on your boat, concerning jib size. All I can tell you is that what I see related to genoa designed boats sailing in light wind areas (IMX40, First45, GS45, ...) is that they suffer a lot with 105% jibs, compared to their 150% genoa equipped siblings. Of course their rating is better, it has to be; conditions are different as soon as the wind goes over around 12 knots. Also, have you got a lot of waves?

And by the way, if you have more speed, you will point higher, also.

 

Concerning sails, there are two different issues: design and manufacture.

Both are relatively independent.

 

Design depends on the designer of choice.

 

Panelled sails in my view do not delaminate, but age worse than membranes, probably due to uneven shrinkage.

 

On the other hand, the current 3DL and similar sails delaminate a lot less than earlier variants. And there are membranes, and membranes (all equal, but some more equal). The D4 laminates are in my experience (limited, I must say) more durable than other membranes, since they are manufactured in a lamination workshop under a thousand tons (or so), while the others are vacuum laminated (around 1 ton).

 

It all depends on what you want. Humidity is not good for any laminate. And good care is also good for any sail; do not leave them sitting in water on the bottom of the boat.

 

best,

 

 

 

Hi,

 

I am currently in the middle of buying some new sails for my 40ft racer/ cruiser. I have previously had some pretty bad experiences with the latest technology load path membrane sails as they all tend to delaminate after 2 years. Due to the heat and humidity of the tropics that i live in, the sail life is much reduced. I am inclined to go for an older technology with a longer life. e.g. a carbon/aramid panelled sail. I have noticed that these type of sails tend to last much longer in our environment. We do not have a extremely active race program and so having sails that will not simply destroy themselves by sitting in the bottom of the boat is important. I would like to know if anyone agrees with this approach and do you think there would be much of a performance gap between a well made carbon/aramid panelled sail and a more modern load path membrane sail that are normally suggested as being the best by all the top manufactures.

 

Secondly as the wind here is normally pretty light ,we have thought about using a 140% genoa instead of the standard 105% jibs. We think/know this will increase our IRC rating by 15 pips or 1.4%. Due to the design of the boat it is not really possible to rig a good in-hauler system as well. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if they think the 140% would have a large increase on performance, would the 140% reduce our ability to point substantially as well?

 

Would be great if someone can back to me!

 

Thanks!

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I sail a 40.7. It's a heavy boat and meant to sail with overlapping genoas.

 

We change to a heavy #3 at 18kn of wind. But I'm seriously considering to drop the two #1s and get a light #3 instead.

 

This are the reasons:

 

- Overlapping genoas are slow in a tack. Do the maths wether the faster tacking speed of the jib will compensate the slower speed in lighter airs. In up'n downs tacking speed is an important factor. In a distance race this can be different. But I'm doing mostly round the cans races.

 

- Overlapping genoas cost quite a bit of handicap. The handicap gain can bring the 1st place. It's worth to do some research work with results from the past.

 

- Overlapping genoas take away performance of the main. There is a reason why boats of today are designed non-overlapped. With a given sail-area a non-overlapping sail plan is more effective.

 

- You always need two #1s if your are going overlapped - a light and a medium/heavy. The sheer amount of cloth sucks so do the costs.

 

 

Your anticipated 10 kn windspeed when changing to the jib is pretty low. Perhaps a 120% would do the job better. The problem is that a 120% won't probably fit nicely around the shrouds, at least on my 40.7. Here I'm stuck with either a jib or a 148% #1 by design.

 

The sheeting angle of an overlapping #1 is often tighter than the angle of the jib. In heavy airs a wider angle makes sense, hence the reason why in light airs you fit in-haulers to bring down the sheeting angle of the jib by 1-2 degrees, similar to what a #1 typically has. I would re-check this option and eventually consult the sailmaker regarding a super light jib, with a maximal size and powerful draft (if you don't have that already).

 

And check Elvström Sails. Here in Europe they give you 3 years of warranty for delaminating laminate. Their Epex is good stuff.

 

What it's worth.

 

Hans

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Hi,

 

If it is light AND choppy, you will appreciate more the large genoas, specially if we are talking of a fairly heavy boat, similar to a GS45.

 

Independently of whether you have genoas or jibs, you can not make do with just one sail. Or on the other hand, you will have to compromise. As I said, there is one thing which is sail manufacture, and another which is design.

 

Typically, you have a light sail (150%), a medium (140%), a heavy #2 (120%), a #3 (105%), then whatever #4, #5 ...

But with Jibs, you will also need a light, medium, heavy, #3, etc

It is not only size, it is shape ...

 

I sail a jib equipped boat myself, which carried a light (up to 6 kn True), Medium (up to 12), heavy (up to 18), #4

Due to budget constraints, we sail much of the time in light-medium winds with the medium, but have now a Medium-heavy (medium shape, more DPI than std) and are waiting for a light-medium jib (up to 10 kn true)

Both North 3DL, carbon-kvl

 

We also have a Med and a Heavy North Panneled KVL jibs, but will not buy more paneled sails. They age worse than membranes. We have a couple 3DL jibs from 1999 which are delaminated, yet keep a very good shape; Paneled sails do not delaminate, but the shape ...

And membranes today delanimate much less than some years ago.

 

By the way, some years ago I sailed on an X442 which changed into the #2 (130%) with 20 knots.

If you plan for a 10kn genoa, it will be a Light Genoa ...

 

And the other problem with large genoas is that the can not carry battens, which means that their leeches suffer a lot more than with them.

They age worse.

 

We sail around 35 races / year, and of course we expect them to last at least 3 years but

- we use the "good" sails only in summer

- we take care fo them as much as we can

- we do not overload them

- this is not tropical (Bilbao), and have much more often light winds than heavy.

 

The D4 mainsail we have for winter appears to be much tougher than the 3DL for summer. It is not the same, but pretty good also. Much heavier (46 kg vs 33 kg)

 

At the end of the day, you will have to compromise. Ask your sailmaker ...

 

In my personal opinion

- for your conditions and a fairly heavy boat, I would go for overlapping genoas. Try to make do with only two, under the #3.

 

The IMX40s I have seen, sailing in light air locations with flat water, carry 150% genoas. The boat is light, weights 7 ton, and does not do badly on jibs either.

First 40.7 all carry large genoas (7 ton too)

 

Good luck,

 

 

 

 

Mike,

 

Thanks for your reply, it was very informative.

 

A GS 45 is the closest thing to us of the boats you mentioned.

 

With regards Jib size, in the summer the wind is always below 12 knots with a small but choppy sea, in the winter its normally about 15 knots (but a tropical 15 not a auckland15) but with a short choppy sea.

 

The sailmaker has recommended a 140% if we go for the over lapper. I believe we can hold this up to 10 knots then we would need change down, however in 10 knots with the 105% we are still properly a little underpowered and need in-haulers which we dont have. This means we would properly need 2 more jibs for the 9-14 range and the 15-19 range, (we already have a no.4). This means spending more and more money which i would rather not do. Any idea what other boats like this are doing around the world?

 

Would a 140% not increase the sheeting angle and therefore reduce pointing ability?

 

 

With regards to the sail material, we have bought membrane sails from 2 major manufacturers in the last 4 years, with both sets we saw delimitation after 12 months. although i admit we could store them better i think we have done a pretty good job. We are always careful to dry them and leave the aircon on 24/7 to keep the boat dry. However with an average of 90+ % humidity in the summer and the intense UV they just dont last. I have seen hydra-net mentioned a lot but am not really familiar with this product, do you know much about it? I know shape is an issue with the panelled sails but since we properly only do 20 - 25 races a year i am hoping that at least they will give us 3 years of good performance and then still i can have them recut to keep as additional sails.

 

All the sail makers are pushing me to stick with the 105% jibs and membrane sails but i am convinced this is not the way to go, i sometimes feel that they lack knowledge on maximizing performance of so called racer/cruisers with maybe the emphasis on cruiser, i sense that because they are mainly maximizing performance for 'racing boats' then they believe the same trends are best on other types of boats.

 

wold be great to know your thoughts,

 

Cheers

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By the way, we often sail against this GS45, with small jibs.

They suffer a lot on light winds, have no chance under IRC.

They need 12-15 kn to get to speed beating.

 

If you sail in light and choppy seas, and you want to compete, I would say genoas. And the heavier your boat, the more clearly for genoas.

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One way to help extend the life of laminate sails is to roll the sials after every day of sailing (rather than flaking). This adds a few minutes to the boat rigging (need to unroll and flake any sail you expect to fly that day), and well as the cleanup (need to roll any sail that has been unrolled). But it's not that bad once the crew gets used to it.

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Thanks Everyone,

 

Really helpful stuff, I think i will go with a tri-radial construction using a Dupont or equivalent laminated material like GPL. I am hoping this will mean a better lamination process and therefore better life. Also going with the 140%, as its difficult to fit in-haulers on the boat, so we can't utilize the small jibs properly.

 

 

cheers,

 

Fraser

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