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TACNI

What is the difference between Doyle Sails and UK Sails

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MY local sail maker who switched from representing UK to Doyle sells sails with tapes that look just like the "tape Drive" sails I see in UK print ads. He advises against Stratus sails for lack of durability. Is there any difference between Doyle sails reinforced with tapes and UK tape drive sails?

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He switched from UK to Doyle - and questions Stratis? That seems to be pretty f...... dumb in addition to be misinformed. I would caution to believe anything the dude tells you - he seems to be somewhat illiterate about sail technologies.

 

Stratis is pretty bomb proof - provided it is dimensioned and designed properly. Your current sailmaker is probably not the one to do that since he may not know much about the product he sells. I think at this point Stratis and DP's D4 are probably extremely close in terms of longevity and D4 used to be the most bomb proof string sail you could buy.

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having worked with Tape Drive (grand father of string tech sails today) at Horizon Sails when it was developed with the help of Dr. Gerry Milgram at MIT to now. and as a boat owner, Tape Drive has shown remarkable durability. i also believe that China Sail Factory offers a version of Tape Drive sails. as i mentioned in a different thread, i had D4s on my boat and very impressed that they lasted as long as they did in the heat and humidity of the philippines.

 

the basic difference i see is that Tape Drive while having been around for a long time is still one of the best Club Level high tech sail that actually has longevity. i am still using some 2007 Tape Drive genoas in our club racing. and it is only now that they are starting to show some signs of age.

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I have both the Stratis and the Doyle Tape drive sails you speak of. Out of the box the Stratis sails might be slightly faster. However the Tape Drives will last 4 times as long and be just as fast after year one. I have won many of beer can races with my tape drive main when it was 8 and 9 years old.

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So in the past some of these UK lofts (Detroit & Chicago) spent a lot of money on the tooling for tape drive, the rollers to go over the tapes and so on. When some of these UK lofts changed to Doyle lofts, they still offer the taped drive because of this. Doyle Detroit for example services a huge area with a lot of "network" sites like DOyle Buffalo, DOyle Saginaw bay... All of these "netowrk" lofts have their stuff built by Doyle Detroit.

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i guess that is what is happening (Doyle Tape Drive). and like i said, i remember seeing Tape Drive being offered by china sail factory. i am guessing that after all these years???? that tape drive can now be produced by anyone????

 

however, to get back to subject at hand. What is the difference between Doyle Sails and UK Sails. on the surface, their names. both are excellent sailmaking companies with long traditions of quality sails. i have also had the pleasure of sailing with both Robbie and Butch when i was working for Horizon Sails at the time.

 

i believe that at the end of the day, the choice will always be down to who do you enjoy working with and who can service your needs as a boat owner.

 

both thier products are good. that being said, i am a loyal Tape Drive man. the simplicity of the engineering of the structural grid that take the loading off the sail, especially the seams, is ingenious. the one side effect that we were not sure at the time was longevity. well that has been proven over the many years of use that many boat owners have had.

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I suspect that our Doyle loft could be the loft you are referring to. I rarely respond to these types of posts but in this case I feel compelled to set the record straight. First I am a giant fan of Stratis sails. The bigger the boat, the bigger the fan I am of the construction technique. Around 38’ in length you begin to see a noticeable difference in performance.

 

We do build a product that is quite similar to the UK Tape Drive product. We call this product LPT (load path tape)/Fiberlay. The differences are subtle. I could tell you why a LPT sail is better than a Tape Drive sail and I sure you could find a UK Sailmaker that would be happy to tell you why a Tape Drive sail is better than a LPT Sail. Suffice to say, we are both doing what we believe results in the best sail.

 

I personally like Stratis sails for non overlapping headsails and mains. Although a Stratis overlapping genoa is usually faster than a LPT sail when it is new, after a season of use the LPT sail will be just as fast. By season four, the LPT sail will definitely be faster.

 

Stratis, 3DL, Fusion M and a variety of other string sails are excellent products. That being said none of them hold up well to beating around the rig when tacking. They all suffer from impact. All of us have looked at three year old overlapping headsails and the forward two thirds of the sail look like new and the back third is almost destroyed. Stratis has recently introduced an extremely light taffeta that may well go a long way towards addressing the impact issue.

 

My point is that there is not a single product that is best for everyone. The most important role your sailmaker can play is to take the time to have a discussion with you regarding your expectations; then present several construction and material options. Once the advantages and disadvantages of the options are fully explained, one of the options will jump out as your best choice. Speed, durability, price, delivery date and after sale services are the primary points you should address with any sailmaker you are considering buying a sail from. I hope this clears up my position. I have been doing this for 30+ years and I can say with confidence that there are times when a customer’s best option is a Stratis sail and there are times when a customer’s best option is a LPT sail. It is all about which product best matches their expectations.

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Speaking for myself, I can't sail well enough to get 99% out of any sail consistantly; the service from the loft you're dealing with is a big part of what you're buying. Sailmakers are usually the only people that deal with enough brand new sails to see a difference.

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