Winston29

Colored vs white sails

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One of the options I was given when ordering my new sails was whether or not to add some colored panels, and I'm wondering if this is something I should consider, or if there are reasons I should stick with the plain white sails you most commonly see on sailboats?  It seems like catamarans often have colorful sails, and granted my 14.2 came with them, but I don't see it as often on dinghies, and unless it's a high-end race boat with black, carbon fiber sails, I don't see non-white sails on keelboats either.  

Somewhere I read that color does't adhere well to Dacron, but my sailmaker says that unless you're talking about very expensive sails, this is bologna.  So now I'm considering adding some color to a panel or two, just to spruce up the boat a little.  I even thought about making the entire mainsail one color, probably dark blue, but I fear it would fade over time and look terrible a lot sooner than all white sails.  

I won't be racing against other dinghies where I'd imagine uniformity is important, so is adding color simply a matter of personal choice, or are there good reasons you ( I ) don't see it done very much?  Or is it just that *I* don't see it often but it's actually quite common?

 

W

 

 

 

timStallardCapri14_2-Main.jpeg

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Winston 29, Your posts are getting a bit tiring. People are happy to help you with good questions about your new boat but the minutia of the coloring of your sail panels really begs the question " who cares? " Please use this forum for something more important or relevant. Get a Life.

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The argument has been made that colored panels will stretch differently over time. Not sure if this is true nowadays with current cloths.

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45 minutes ago, xonk1 said:

Winston 29, Your posts are getting a bit tiring. People are happy to help you with good questions about your new boat but the minutia of the coloring of your sail panels really begs the question " who cares? " Please use this forum for something more important or relevant. Get a Life.

You have two options.

1. Block list

2. Just ignore threads.

 

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1 hour ago, xonk1 said:

Winston 29, Your posts are getting a bit tiring.  " who cares? " Please use this forum for something more important or relevant.

Get a Life.

My question wasn't about "what color do you think I should make my sails", but rather genuine interest in knowing if there were sound reasons why I shouldn't do it.  

I see Wavedancer II understood, and replied with a very helpful response that gives me possible issues to research.  I wouldn't have thought of the stretching issue, if it's still an issue, as Wd II suggests.  

fastyacht, thank you for the suggestion.  Even though it wasn't directed at me, I now have someone to add my *my* ignore list.  

 

Edit...  Well that was easy.  

 

W

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Dang.

Clearly, blue sails make the wind blow harder! That's what I'm getting!!

For spinnakers, I've been told as recently as ~5 years ago that coloring the cloth makes it stretch sooner, hurts the finish (a plastic-y stuff they put over the weave).

As others have said, lots of boats have colored sails and seem to do fine.

I'd say, pick colors that please you. Somebody is going to hate it no matter what you do. I once had a spinnaker that went from white to light blue to light purple to purple to red to pink to white and then back again. Beautiul IMHO and made the boat really stand out in a crowd; but a mistake because it was like staring into a spiral. Drove the trimmer nuts.

FB- Doug

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13 hours ago, Troglodytarum said:

Colored sails?  Really?  The preferred term is "sails of color".  Next time, think before you post.  

get. his. ass.

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Hi Winston. I'm surprised that the more knowledgeable sailmakers on the forum have not chimed in on colored sails.  The issue is in the numbers.  Sails are designed to predicted mechanical properties. Stretching, yield under load, is a very important property.  Dyed sailcloth has a wider range of stretch from lot to lot.  As a result different colored lots will not have matching properties.  This means the different colored sail panels come from different lots and will not have the same shape under load.  A less efficient sail.  

A compromise is to use one color so that all the material comes from the same roll of material.  One can also paint a sail, but that is heavier. 

That said, here is my SF Pelican. and our Cal 20 fleet.

IMG_1162.thumb.jpg.cf4767c11658888ba6f8763c77db0142.jpgAOL.jpg.11884a6a3f6e6bd082c9588c79400a0e.jpg

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2 hours ago, sailhmb said:

 

Cal 20 fleet.

AOL.jpg.11884a6a3f6e6bd082c9588c79400a0e.jpg

Wow, those are beautiful!  

I'm thinking about a solid blue jib and white main with blue numbers, but I'll be sure to ask if the colored panels all come from the same lot.  Thanks for that tip!  

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Image result for hobie cat worlds

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On 6/28/2019 at 9:09 PM, martin.langhoff said:

Sunfish use colored sails plenty. Pick something pleasing or stay white.

Most Sunfish race sails are all white.

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Not every cloth is available in colors. Most colored cloth is stretchy and heavy compared to most "racing" dacron for small boats. In your application, it should be just fine and will probably last longer than racing dacron. If you are racing, check your class rules. 

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Some years ago at an annual Interclass Solo regatta in Rhode Island, one of the days the Topper was used. Ten boats, half red sails, half blue. Blue sails did much better, even though boats changed skippers every race. Easier to read?

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34 minutes ago, sailwriter said:

Some years ago at an annual Interclass Solo regatta in Rhode Island, one of the days the Topper was used. Ten boats, half red sails, half blue. Blue sails did much better, even though boats changed skippers every race. Easier to read?

Look up-thread at Post #9...... blue sails make the wind blow harder! Shucks in post #12 we see a trio of SF Pelicans, the one with a blue panel on it's sail has more wind too!

Clearly there is a mysterious force at work here. I am getting blue sails next time!

FB- Doug

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15 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Look up-thread at Post #9...... blue sails make the wind blow harder! Shucks in post #12 we see a trio of SF Pelicans, the one with a blue panel on it's sail has more wind too!

Clearly there is a mysterious force at work here. I am getting blue sails next time!

FB- Doug

blue fabric generates lift

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I know of someone who ordered a new Spinnaker, when asked what colours, he said he didn't care..

It arrived in Northern Ireland, green, white and orange, needless to say it got sent back to have one of the 3 panel colours changed to another colour.. Even if he was of that persuasion,  he didn't want politics interfering with his sailing.

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Something to consider, white sails stand out against dark backgrounds.  (Trees ) Some colors may blend.  When sailing a small boat in an area where there are multiple power boats “operated” by individuals who use inebriation over common sense as an operational standard....

Anything that will make you stand out and be more visible is important.

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Having had a motorboat claiming a sailor ripped off his ensign and pole from the stern,  during our regatta week,  having white sails can be an advantage..  He reported to the club a month after the event,  it was a white boat with white sails didn't help in tracing the culprit. 

 

 

as it was it didn't matter... He was certain it was on the Saturday.....  Which turned out to be after the event.. So probably not a club boat at all.. 

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AFIK, most top spec Dacron cloth is white, there are 2 exceptions that I know of, the blue cloth used for Enterprise sails and the red for Mirror sails. The Hobies use a much softer less resinated cloth as they use full length battens, and I suspect that most cloths of colour are of a lower spec than the top white woven fabrics, obviously this does not apply to spinnaker cloth.

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Carl at SLO Sail & Canvass said that there is no difference at all between the Dacron they use for white sails, and the colored options they provide.  At least not for this kind of boat.  One is died and one is not.  

Don't quote me because I can't remember exactly how he phrased this, but he said something to the effect that, if we were talking about sails for a high-end racing keelboat, the materials used might be different, but for a basic (read, slow) daysailer like the "Crapie", they use the same kind of Dacron, colored or not.  

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14 hours ago, Winston29 said:

 One is died and one is not.  

 

Poor cloth what did it do to deserve this?:rolleyes:

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In an era where it seems that every regatta I attend is smaller than the year before, colorful sails are not the cause.  Splashes of color on the water add joy to sailing, whether on the sail, the hull, or togs.  Let it shine.

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Cloth is so passe anyway. Racing sails are made of carbon fiber now. A dinghy with colored cloth seems perfectly fine to me.

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6 hours ago, Martin T said:

Poor cloth what did it do to deserve this?:rolleyes:

Oops.  Not sure how that happened.  I know better.  :wacko:

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On 6/28/2019 at 8:50 PM, Wavedancer II said:

The argument has been made that colored panels will stretch differently over time. Not sure if this is true nowadays with current cloths.

The colored sail that came with my Laser seemed to blow out faster than the white ones.

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Hallelujah!! No more hideous, dated, bagged-out, "Barbie Dreamboat" sails for me!

Got 'em on last night. What a fantastic difference!  
I can't wait to see how it feels on the water.

I did a bunch of stuff to the trailer, too. 

- W

fullsizeoutput_c47.jpeg

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Back in the day my parents had a 4ksb with a white/blue/green kite of indeterminate age, it had never been used that hard as most old people on cruising boats don't put spinnakers up in much breeze.

What I do know was the white cloth was in pretty good nick, I'd have called it a perfectly good club racing kite.  The blue cloth was not happy, it was well into delivery land and you'd have expected to drop it in bits once the breeze hit 20.  The green cloth was utterly fucked, it was like wet bog roll.  White's been high on my list of preferences ever since.

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14 hours ago, Winston29 said:

I just realized that I never posted a photo of what my old, ugly sails looked like.  

Hideous.  

fullsizeoutput_b7d.jpeg

I wish more people would brighten up our world by having sails as spectacular as these.

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19 hours ago, tillerman said:
On 9/16/2019 at 9:56 PM, Winston29 said:

I just realized that I never posted a photo of what my old, ugly sails looked like.  

Hideous.  

fullsizeoutput_b7d.jpeg

I wish more people would brighten up our world by having sails as spectacular as these.

To each his own.

I like colorful sails too but this is not a choice I would favor, I'd be afraid it would scare all the air molecules in the wind away

FB- Doug

 

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

To each his own.

I like colorful sails too but this is not a choice I would favor

 

I'm not opposed to all colorful sails.  Some of them look quite nice.  Just not those.  

I think they might have made a mistake on my new jib.  There seems to be an extra set of telltales near the luff, just above the jib windows.  I asked them to add additional telltales near the luff of the main, so perhaps they got confused as to exactly what I wanted.  No biggie.  

fullsizeoutput_c53.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, Winston29 said:

I'm not opposed to all colorful sails.  Some of them look quite nice.  Just not those.  

I think they might have made a mistake on my new jib.  There seems to be an extra set of telltales near the luff, just above the jib windows.  I asked them to add additional telltales near the luff of the main, so perhaps they got confused as to exactly what I wanted.  No biggie.  

fullsizeoutput_c53.jpeg

No, some racing sails are set up like that. In fact, some have a row of THREE pairs of tell-tales.

Personally, I like tell-tales right on the windows so you can see both sides better. Your jib has nice big ones, + + +

FB- Doug

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Most sail makers would be confused if you asked for tell tells on the main.  Rip one off and stick it on the leech of the jib close to the top seam where it will do something useful.

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12 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

No, some racing sails are set up like that. In fact, some have a row of THREE pairs of tell-tales.

Personally, I like tell-tales right on the windows so you can see both sides better. Your jib has nice big ones, + + +

Oh, cool, thanks!  Nice to know they're there by design.  I have a friend with a Wave (w/nice, colorful sails) that has tiny, little windows on the main that are specifically for seeing the telltales through.  I felt that was a nice design.  Maybe I can move mine to the windows.  

I really like the larger jib windows.  I couldn't see a thing through the old one.  

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10 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

Most sail makers would be confused if you asked for tell tells on the main.  Rip one off and stick it on the leech of the jib close to the top seam where it will do something useful.

They were putting them on the leech of the main anyway, without my asking them to.  I asked them to add some near the luff because the boats I trained on had them there, so I was accustomed to reading them in that location.  

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1 hour ago, Winston29 said:

They were putting them on the leech of the main anyway, without my asking them to.  I asked them to add some near the luff because the boats I trained on had them there, so I was accustomed to reading them in that location.  

Tell tails on the leach of the main is normal, you want to be able to see that the flow off the trailing edge is smooth, too turbulent and it's slowing you down by dragging on the sail. Tell tails near the leading edge of the foremost sail are to help you set and steer your course (you can see turbulence on the windward of leeward side of the leading edge, and you want smooth flow over both sides of the sails). You can put them everywhere on the sail to make sure the flow is good everywhere, but over decades the sailing community has settled on figuring out which few are the best indicators.

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Are colored tell-tales faster or slower than black tell-tales?

And what are the difference between a tell-tale, a telltale, a tell tale, a tell tail and a tell tell?

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10 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Are colored tell-tales faster or slower than black tell-tales?

And what are the difference between a tell-tale, a telltale, a tell tale, a tell tail and a tell tell?

All I know is...  don't eat the fuzzy ones

FB- Doug

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31 minutes ago, tillerman said:

Are colored tell-tales faster or slower than black tell-tales?

And what are the difference between a tell-tale, a telltale, a tell tale, a tell tail and a tell tell?

 

21 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

All I know is...  don't eat the fuzzy ones

FB- Doug

There are probably some tall tales about tell tales. Like the time SF ate some fuzzy ones...

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11 minutes ago, bill4 said:

 

There are probably some tall tales about tell tales. Like the time SF ate some fuzzy ones...

I used to sail with a guy who had so many tell-tales on his Sunfish sail that it looked as if the sail was fuzzy. I have no idea how he knew which ones to watch.

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