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Steven B

Cruising laminate sails

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So, by way of introduction, I have often followed threads here in SA, but have spent more time perusing Cruisersforum. No response to my queery over there and wonder if anyone here has opinions/knowledge.

 

I have been cruising our Bristol 35.5 with a laminate jib (130%) for about 12 years and loving the performance and shape of the sail (mildew problems aside). It has finally given up the ghost and I am looking for a new cruising jib.

 

My Quantum sailmaker has recommended a cruising laminate made by "Contender sailcloth," called "CDX," in the cdx-7 weight. This appears to be a polyester laminate which he says would balance the usual considerations of shape/durability/cost.

 

I have been unable to find much information on this sailcloth and wonder if anyone here has experience/opinions on this cloth.

 

Thanks for your input!

 

Regards, Steven

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http://contendersailcloth.com/index.php/en/laminates/triradial/cdx-cruising.html this is a single side taffeta style cloth, if you are looking to get 12 years from your jib again I would recommend a double taffeta cloth like this http://contendersailcloth.com/index.php/en/laminates/triradial/acl-cruising.html

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The mildew drove me crazy after 6 years even though the shape was great so I went with North Radian. I've been happy so far.

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Hmm, tits, and thank you Tucky, for that clarification!

 

Any other info from you obviously well educated folks? Is contender a good cloth manufacturer? Are their cruising laminates well though of? Any one with experience using polyester sails?

 

Thanks, again and hope you northeasterners have you boats out of the water.

 

Steven

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I see I haven't clarified anything at all. Let me address the situation directly.

 

Steven, welcome to Cruising Anarchy. One of the traditions here is that disparaging remarks will be made about you and you will be asked to leave until you post a picture of your wife's or girlfriend's breasts, shown directly without benefit of covering. Hence the call for "tits". Believe it or not it has been done. Failing that, random pictures of attractive women's breasts accompanied by witty remarks will usually suffice. Outrage, however well played, rarely works. Indicating that you like breasts will probably not make the grade, NTTIAWWT.

 

Comments on sailcloth will follow directly.

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Oh, so much to learn and so little time to do it. Spouse IS very special and has kept me happy for 40 years, but might frown on a special pic. Perhaps a subsTITution: Go to: rennlist.com then "off topic" then the "I'd Hit It" thread. Lots of beauties there. Now, flame away if you must...

 

Any interest in cruising laminate sails?

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We use a spectra laminate with tafetta on both sides main from north, it's held up well but as others have mentioned mildew can be a problem. For the "live on the furler" jib we use a load path sail with tafetta on one side only. It too has also held up well with less mildew. The main is probably 14 oz, the jib is maybe 10?

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I use UK Tape Drive sails for everyday cruising/racing with #3 left on furler and the main on a Dutchman. The first batch in '11 with taffeta didn't last a season before wicking water in the DP laminate and turning the tapes gray. Replaced them under 'duress warranty' this year without taffeta. So far so good. No question that the lighter weight results in more use of the boat and better performance.

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So, I called Contender and was told the CDX cloth IS double sided taffeta - has been around for 3 years and they are happy with the cloth. The ACL cloth is europe only and more expensive - No real advantage according to the Contender distributor (located in Fall River, Mass. This is a polyester sail and he felt this a pretty durable sail without as significant a mildew problem as a spectra laminate (although still some). Anyone used a polyester laminate with a comment about shape, durability and function as a cruising sail?

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For a Bristol 35 you should be fine with a poly sail, the leech loads are probably not high enough to warrant spectra, carbon, kevlar........

 

We used to race alot and learned quickly it's best to pic one sailmaker and work with them. They're in the business to know what is best for you, if you tell them accurately how and where you will be using your boat.

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I had CDX on my Valiant 42. Held its shape perfectly but as KDH said it does have a tendency to mildew if rolled up wet. I used it for my 120% furling Genny and was very happy it. It was a bit more difficult to roll than dacron but gradually it did soften a bit.

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velaspl@gmail.com

 

Check out this sailmaker in Portugal.Very competitive prices and well made sails.

 

Velas Pires de Lima.

 

I have no connection to them.Got a very good quote and have seen some of their sails.

 

Phil

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velaspl@gmail.com

 

Check out this sailmaker in Portugal.Very competitive prices and well made sails.

 

Velas Pires de Lima.

 

I have no connection to them.Got a very good quote and have seen some of their sails.

 

Phil

 

And who is going to service the sails? Certainly not the Q guy you just screwed over for an order. And I doubt the Portuguese sailmaker is going to come help out. When will people realize the value of having a long term relationship with their sailmaker far exceeds the small savings of the moment.

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A lot of sailmakers have adapted by specializing in service- you don't get your car serviced at the place it was built. I have a long term relationship with my local sailmaker, and he understands why I've never ordered a sail from him. In my case that is because there are two sailmakers that have specialized in sail shapes for my type of boat, and they are way ahead of my local guy.

 

Were I having sails made for a boat that my local guy had experience with, it would be another situation. In my case, he does my winter service, repairs and canvas work, and has done recuts twice as sails aged. Were I to tear a sail and need quick service, he would be right there.

 

My cruising main is a laminate- except in the smallest boats I'd choose a laminate over a woven cloth.

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velaspl@gmail.com

 

Check out this sailmaker in Portugal.Very competitive prices and well made sails.

 

Velas Pires de Lima.

 

I have no connection to them.Got a very good quote and have seen some of their sails.

 

Phil

 

And who is going to service the sails? Certainly not the Q guy you just screwed over for an order. And I doubt the Portuguese sailmaker is going to come help out. When will people realize the value of having a long term relationship with their sailmaker far exceeds the small savings of the moment.

 

:blink: Proximity is not necessarily inversely proportional to quality of customer service. I've heard plenty of anecdotal evidence to support this.

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Of course not. Just don't expect the best the sailmaker can provide, or to be the first on his list of people to service first. They're called sail makers for a reason. And keep in mind, if one small thing is wrong and it has to go to the sailmaker you shunned for the better deal, you'll end up paying more for the sail than you would if you had gotten it locally with a follow up guarantee.

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We have a #3 jib in a double sided tafetta laminate. It is a little over 3 years old and still has good shape and no mildew problems (but we are in a cool to tepmerate climate).

Our main and genoa are DP Hydranet radial (being a woven cloth in Spectra & Dacron, as opposed to a laminate) and, thus far, we are happy with the shape / durability, but time will tell (both being less that 1 years old).

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Appreciate the above comments.

 

I lean towrds using my local sailmaker: he has been helpful in the past; He has never pushed me to buy a new sail when not indicated; He has offerred me sound advice; He has always been responsive to problems and comes out to my boat if neccessary without a complaint nor even a hint that this is a problem for him.

 

JHiller, I appreciate your feedback on the CDX. At this point I am leaning towards it as a fair compromise between shape, durrability, UV resistance and cost. Still, other laminate constructions are interesting as well. Seems remarkable that there is no one favorite construction out there.

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Steven,

 

I would also include Custom Axis Laminate with Vectran fibers in your research. We've had a lot of success with it and it's ideal for a performance minded cruiser. I'd go with the optional lighter weight taffeta (47% lighter than standard) and 100% U/V block option if you plan some time in the tropics.

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Thanks for the link Phil. Given our boat IS in Portugal this is really helpful. I'll check them out.

 

velaspl@gmail.com

 

Check out this sailmaker in Portugal.Very competitive prices and well made sails.

 

Velas Pires de Lima.

 

I have no connection to them.Got a very good quote and have seen some of their sails.

 

Phil

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Steven,

 

I would also include Custom Axis Laminate with Vectran fibers in your research. We've had a lot of success with it and it's ideal for a performance minded cruiser. I'd go with the optional lighter weight taffeta (47% lighter than standard) and 100% U/V block option if you plan some time in the tropics.

 

 

 

Thanks for this suggestion, I-Planet. Who makes this material, and how might it compare (cost,longevity, UV resistance, shape, etc) with the CDX and other fabrics. Or a website to peruse?

 

Regards,

 

Steven

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Even better, it turns out this loft is only 10 miles from our boat in Porto. Lucky me. :)

 

Thanks for the link Phil. Given our boat IS in Portugal this is really helpful. I'll check them out.

 

velaspl@gmail.com

 

Check out this sailmaker in Portugal.Very competitive prices and well made sails.

 

Velas Pires de Lima.

 

I have no connection to them.Got a very good quote and have seen some of their sails.

 

Phil

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Steven,

 

I would also include Custom Axis Laminate with Vectran fibers in your research. We've had a lot of success with it and it's ideal for a performance minded cruiser. I'd go with the optional lighter weight taffeta (47% lighter than standard) and 100% U/V block option if you plan some time in the tropics.

 

 

 

Thanks for this suggestion, I-Planet. Who makes this material, and how might it compare (cost,longevity, UV resistance, shape, etc) with the CDX and other fabrics. Or a website to peruse?

 

Regards,

 

Steven

 

Steven,

Custom Axis Laminate is manufactured by China Sail Factory, a large production loft that contract manufactures sails for a substantial percentage of the sailmaking industry. It may be marketed under different names so if you see an identical product description, it's likely the same stuff. I feel it compares favorably in all regards to the polyester radial cruising laminates, of which there are many. In fact, some recent discussions with someone I regards as a cloth guru suggests that the polyester cruising laminates have become quite commoditized and there's little in the way of distinguish the different brands. I'll send you some info by PM.

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planet, how do the "commodity laminates" do with mildew? Are spectra laminates generally worse?

 

kdh,

 

The guys who I think of as material gurus have told me that the "commodity laminates" vary in how they're effected by mildew depending on where they're manufactured. Some states have very restrictive environmental laws so they can't use the real effective mildecides. I can't tell you if spectra laminates are worse. Our customers rarely opt for Spectra so we don't have a useful data set. Depending on the application, a woven Spectra like radial Hydranet is a good choice and since it's not a laminate, there's no mildew. I could do some research and get back to you or perhaps someone else will have a good answer.

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planet, how do the "commodity laminates" do with mildew? Are spectra laminates generally worse?

 

kdh,

 

The guys who I think of as material gurus have told me that the "commodity laminates" vary in how they're effected by mildew depending on where they're manufactured. Some states have very restrictive environmental laws so they can't use the real effective mildecides. I can't tell you if spectra laminates are worse. Our customers rarely opt for Spectra so we don't have a useful data set. Depending on the application, a woven Spectra like radial Hydranet is a good choice and since it's not a laminate, there's no mildew. I could do some research and get back to you or perhaps someone else will have a good answer.

 

I think Joli has a spectra laminate that has some mildew, and I think there's an anecdote or two here about spectra being worse.

 

I switched to warp-oriented cloth and so far the shape has been very good. For my purposes I'm unlikely to go back to any sort of laminate, as I can't justify a crappy looking sail on my little jewel.

 

crew.jpg

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FWIW I had a new 155% made this year for my boat out of dymension

 

Heck, why don't ya just use your tablecloth?

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