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sailingchris

what's the point with cloth weight for a mainsail ?

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Hi,

I want to buy a new mainsail for my 24ft sportsboat, but I'm confused by the choice of sailcloth.

My boat is similar to a Melges 24; in fact, it's a copy of that design and was produced by a Spanish yard between 1999-2001. As the class -- 747 one design was its name -- does no longer exist, there are no restrictions by class rules. My question is focused on the technical and performance aspects only; based on your experience and opinion. We are sailing for our own enjoyment mostly; however, we are doing 3-5 club races a year.

As durability is a concern, I tend to Carbon Sport Lite Skin from Polyant. However, that cloth weights 6.4 oz (sailmakers-oz). The same (carbon sport) without Lite Skin weights only 4.8 oz. PX Black (by Polyant) could be an alternative with 5.2 oz.

So what's the point with cloth weight for a mainsail ? We are not taking about a foresail or spinnaker, where things seem pretty clear to me. But with a mainsail ?

  -- does it matter weather the sail has 5oz or 6.4 oz ? which is 210 g/m2 versus 275 g/m2.

  -- is a lighter cloth better for light air performance ?

 -- or does it only matter in terms of the boat's total weight ?

My sailmaker hesitates to give me a clear recommendation. On-line, I've seen that performance mainsails for the Melges 24, J70 and J80 classes all vary in cloth weight between 5 and up to 8oz.

thanks for your help,

Chris

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The extra weight with the liteskin isn't going to have a big effect. If you are one design serious racing you mite go without but otherwise its worth it for the extra durability. You could also ask about Aramid Sport liteskin as it is cheaper than carbon sport and doesn't have any corrosion issues. 

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Kestrahl, thanks. Yes, I'm aware of the Aramid Sport. My Sailmaker is as well. What you refer to with "corrosion issues"? never heard of that.

I'm still asking myself: what about light air performance in particular ? No real concern ?

 

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45 minutes ago, sailingchris said:

What you refer to with "corrosion issues"?

 

when sailmakers don't know what they're doing, they put stainless rings into carbon cloth and the rings end up rusting.

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Don't focus on the cloth weight of laminate sails the dpi isore I'm.

 

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I’d frankly find another sailmaker. Part of the job is to know the product and offer recommendations. Unless you are one of those who just wants validation. 

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thanks for your advise and information ! 

My sailmaker is ok. However, I like  to understand the reasoning for or against a certain product by myself, at least to understand some basics. An internet forum can be of great help to hear some different opinions. I appreciate that a lot.

I've now chosen Carbon Sport LS, as I hope to get out some some extra years of service. 7+ years would be ok. We are sailing in winds between 4 and 25 knots; and as mentioned earlier, we are only doing 3-5 races a year currently due to our family obligations on the week-ends with small children. But we still have our weekly sailing-evening.

 

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