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allene222

Mainsail cloth choice

35 posts in this topic

I am getting a new mainsail.  I have been given three choices by my sailmaker after discussing my needs.  I sail in heavy winds, 20-25 knots is typical in a race.  Our last race was a washout with no wind and we did not finish but the wind still hit a high of 30 knots.  The low was 0.  Sometimes we need to ease the main and it might even flog and although it is rare, it happens.  I flake the main on the boom and it might be wet.  Goal is 2000 hours holding its shape and then an additional 1000 hours of useful life.  Is that a lot or a little?  Don't know.  The sail will be very flat, too flat for conventional crosscut Dacron.

The one that looks the most interesting is the Dimension Crosscut Flex Ultra.  It has Dyneema yarns inside polyester films and taffeta layers on the outside for 5 layers total. 

Anyone have experience with this cloth?

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Crosscut Flex sails usually break down around the clew patch.  Their weakness is the lack of fiber alignment out of the corners, especially where a corner patch terminates.  You end up with the mylar films taking all the load as there is no aligned fiber in either the scrim or taffeta.  The longest lasting flex sails I've seen have had radial clewboxes made out of some complimentary DP material.  

For your needs, I would not dismiss a quality dacron sail.  "Too flat for conventional crosscut Dacron" doesn't make sense for a boat the size of yours.

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Great input, thanks.  I will ask about doing that in the clew patch.

Longs story on the crosscut dacron.  Just trust me.

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2000 hours is 83 days, or 8 hours a day x 5 days a week x 50 weeks. For reference, the Vendee Globe record is at 74 days. You expect a sail to perform for that duration, in 25 knots of wind, flogging, when you use your boat at most 3 days a week and you flake the sail on the boom.

So you're looking for a cheap sail that will last you 3+ years with no change in shape and you don't know whether that's a little or a lot? 

3Di might be a candidate but certainly not a cut-panel, sewn sail.

 

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Oops.  I did say hours but I should have said miles.  What a terrible error.  There is quite a difference and I apologize for the inexcusable error in my post.

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I have made this recommendation before. Yes, I sell UK Sails. And I use UK Sails. On both boats. On the J35, I had a Tape Drive for seven years. I purposely abused this sail by never taking it off the boom except when a typhoon was coming in. I finally replaced it an X-Drive. 

The reason for replacement was that the adhesive that held the carbon tapes on to the Kevlar membrane started to fail. 

So? If I had treated the sail nicely and had taffeta in the build? Would the sail last longer? I think so?! But for a laminate build, seven years is a very long life. 

The sail also retained it's shape and is lighter than Dacron. And I believe easier on the pocket.

Just something to consider. 

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Hood

Vektran main & mizzen.

Built in 2001 or 2002 for the old wooden boom, migrated to aluminum main boom 2003  

Sailed in New England  between Nantucket &  Quebec, till 2007,

Main is full cut (New England) and flattens well with outhaul, 

Mizzen basically bladed out, slight hard spot at inner end of top batten in light  

new main gooseneck fixed an inch too high,  so need to use Cunningham for luff  

SFBay 2007-now:

from Wednesday night light winds to Saturday stiff breezes in the slot  

Winning in South Bay  and Estuary  in non spinnaker fleet this year. 

Occasionally rag the top of main on short legs/puffs where reefing not practical. 

Have quote from Glenn Hansen for 6:1x4:1 new sheet and windward sheeting traveler to improve handling. 

Cross cut traditional look, nice hand, flaked on booms under a cover, need to replace the covers as they are shot. 

Stop by in Alameda and take a look, or come out Sunday pm from OYC and play them. 

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What boat? As under approx 35/37ft DP Pro Radial can be a better choice than Hydranet. As Hydranet is a mix of woven spectra and poly it can stretch in weird ways on small boats and thus a total poly sail can actually perform better. But if you are big enough Hydranet Radial is great. 

Worth going radial unless you are a pretty high aspect sail as that will do a lot for your shape stability over time. 

If you want serious flatness and longevity splash out on 3di.... 

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Don't know that fabric. I've got 3 years and 12000 miles on my Flex 24 main and jib. I sail a 42' racing tri in all conditions, often at 30 + knots apparant.  The sails are fully battened and have great shape after this hard use. Flex24 is a Dimension Polyant fabric with 5 axis dacron filaments in  mylar sandwich with dacron taffeta. Very economical as they are panel built by Doyle.

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Hydranet +3

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On 22.7.2017 at 8:26 AM, allene222 said:

Oops.  I did say hours but I should have said miles.  What a terrible error.  There is quite a difference and I apologize for the inexcusable error in my post.

2000 miles is not much. Eg. North claims AC campaigns used the same mainsail for 400 hours: http://www.northonedesign.com/TECHNOLOGY/3DLTechnology/3DLQA/tabid/1823/language/en-US/Default.aspx That should equal to about 2000 miles on your boat and AC would not use the sail, if it didn't have very good shape.

"Holding it's shape" can be seen quite differently. All sails change shape during their life hour after hour. Some more some less.I'm still quite happy with my cruising mainsail after about 10 000 nm. It's a radial cut cruising laminate (polyester?) with double taffeta. Also my racing kevlar 3DL mainsail has seen way more than 2 000 nm and the shape is still OK, but it is quite badly delaminated. I would say any properly dimensioned laminated sail should easily "hold it's shape" well enough for 2 000-3 000 nm of club racing.

Headsails do not last as long, but mostly you would have at least two of them, so in mixed conditions they last as long as your mainsail.

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On 7/22/2017 at 2:29 AM, Gutterblack said:

Could be a candidate for Nordac 3di

anyone have any experience with this 3di Nordic?

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Thanks all for the recommendations.  What I would really like to know is does anyone have any experience with Dimension Crosscut Flex Ultra?   

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Oh, and I will ask about Hydranet...  But what I really want is a film based sail and the Flex Ultra seemed like a good choice but kind of new.

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based on the conditions you described and the longevity you want to get, I would stay away from laminates. DP radial hydranet or DP pro-radial would be the best choices

 

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On 8/6/2017 at 5:54 PM, allene222 said:

Oh, and I will ask about Hydranet...  But what I really want is a film based sail and the Flex Ultra seemed like a good choice but kind of new.

It doesn't sound very new... FLEX has been around for a long time and they used to make an aramid version with tafetas.  So the technology is proven.   I've bought 2 FLEX sails and have been very happy with both - excellent value for performance.

Dyneema is slippery and maybe presents some adhesive challenges, but otherwise DP have this perfected.  It shouldn't be a lot more expensive than a good dacron sail, and with good engineering around the clew patches and careful attention to detail to try to avoid hard hinge lines in the film, it'll be good for a lot of miles.

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1 hour ago, Dacron said:

It doesn't sound very new... FLEX has been around for a long time and they used to make an aramid version with tafetas.  So the technology is proven.   I've bought 2 FLEX sails and have been very happy with both - excellent value for performance.

Dyneema is slippery and maybe presents some adhesive challenges, but otherwise DP have this perfected.  It shouldn't be a lot more expensive than a good dacron sail, and with good engineering around the clew patches and careful attention to detail to try to avoid hard hinge lines in the film, it'll be good for a lot of miles.

I think the Flex Ultra is new but I am no expert.  I hear they used to make a dacron version of Flex but they quit making it.  A Flex Ultra main is cheaper than a radial cut dacron one, which was another possibility.  The cloth is a lot more expensive but the labor is less. But it is quite a bit more expensive than a top quality cross cut dacron.  Compared to a 2 year old quote on a 360 AP dacron main the Flex Ultra is 1.5x and the radial dacron is 1.9x.  The DCX poly radial laminate is between.

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Hydranet will be bulletproof- why do you want a laminate sail? 

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On 8/8/2017 at 1:17 AM, allene222 said:

I think the Flex Ultra is new but I am no expert.  I hear they used to make a dacron version of Flex but they quit making it.  A Flex Ultra main is cheaper than a radial cut dacron one, which was another possibility.  The cloth is a lot more expensive but the labor is less. But it is quite a bit more expensive than a top quality cross cut dacron.  Compared to a 2 year old quote on a 360 AP dacron main the Flex Ultra is 1.5x and the radial dacron is 1.9x.  The DCX poly radial laminate is between.

Flex has been around for a while, contender sailcloth do their own version as-well which is Maxx. They are good for high aspect applications, classic example of where these cloths have come from is A-class cats with very high aspect sails and very vertical loads. For these high aspect applications they are a good choice, but they don't work for low aspect sails (e.g Roller furler genoa.) DCX is a good cloth if your too low aspect to make flex work.

 

Don't compare prices too much against an old quote as prices have gone up quite a lot in the past 12 months.

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Cats Rule,

   Good info. On pricing, that is a U.K thing. The pound dropped relative to the dollar and more importantly the euro, so for a while it was pretty good buying sails from the U.K! Then what happened is the cloth supply ran out locally, so sailmakers were having to buy new cloth which was priced in the now 25%+ more expensive Euro. Hence, the sails are back to what they cost before the pound plummetted after converting euros to usd. Now, the pound is on the rise but the inventory of sail cloth was bought at a +25% cost, so in some cases after markup one is paying 50% more for the cloth, which converts to a substantially more expensive sail.

All of this doesn't really apply to sails bought in the U.S from a U.S or U.S based loft who uses an offshore builder.

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Any advice on a new main for J-100

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15 hours ago, Gracious said:

Any advice on a new main for J-100

are you going to race it or just daysail/criuse?

 

we have UK tape drives on our J92 and love them. 3 racing seasons in and they still are holding up very well.  I also have a 1 year oldTape Drive mainsail on my S2 9.1 and a brand new X drive genoa....the main is wonderful.

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Wed night some weekend stuff and sailing around with the family. 

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I would get either an offshore spec laminate main from a local loft that has a good reputation (personally I like Quantums products in this regard for proven durability with a lower price tag than the North 3DI offerings), or go for a durable dacron main.

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On 8/6/2017 at 11:53 AM, Gracious said:

anyone have any experience with this 3di Nordic?

PM Booboo on these forums he completed a almost 2000 mile race around the North Island of New Zealand with Nordac 3di and said the sails still looked fantastic after. (He also cleaned up in his division).

We have purchased a new Nordac No.1 for our race boat the stuff looks and feels very tough but early days yet. The price was half that of Normal 3di.

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Re Contender MAXX

in 2016 Randy Smyth designed a set of MAXX jib and main for my modified F27 tri. I was pleased with the soft-hand laminate for my race/cruise use of the boat. The sails performed well for me

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I just received a quote for a #3 in FLEX.  The quote said FLEX aramid.  When I looked at DP's website they didn't list it but instead had the white (polyester), black (technora), or Ultra.  When I asked the sailmaker about this he said maybe they just had leftover of the aramid.

Does anyone know what the deal is with the aramid?  Should I ask for a good discount getting a discontinued product?  Is the aramid better?  I'm guessing not or they would have kept it so should I ask for the the technora instead?

Or, for a #3, should I ask for a Hydranet price too?

BTW the boat is a 36' racer/cruiser.  We are do Wednesday night triangles, weekend W/L, and a couple of distance races a year.  The sailmaker recommended getting it cut to fit the furler so we can use it on booze cruises too.  

 

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Technora is an Aramid fibre, similar to Kevlar 29 or Twaron, also Aramid fibres. it is usually dyed black to improve its UV qualities. The original Aramid used Kevlar and was gold in colour. For a while they stocked both but the Black outsold the Gold. Not a huge difference between them IMHO.

Looking at your proposed usage, you may be better with Flex Ultra or Hydranet.

http://www.teijinaramid.com/brands/technora/

Flex Black.jpg

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If you pulled the forestay tighter would the camber knuckle flow out? Otherwise very smooth.

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It will probably be Flex black (technora). See what the prices are in Hydra and Flex Ultra as they will be more hard wearing. If your more racy go flex black or ultra,  or chilled go ultra or hydra

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