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New mainsail - any basic guidance?


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On 3/16/2021 at 11:39 PM, Rain Man said:

Tri-radial works best with laminate sails.  You want the sail to last as long as possible and laminate sails generally hold their shape longer than dacron.  Tri-radial design lets the sailmaker take advantage of orienting the strongest direction of the cloth along the load lines.  Once they are blown out, though, you pretty much need a new one, as they pretty much can't be recut.

For a dacron sail, go cross-cut.  Much easier for a sailmaker to re-cut, and a good sailmaker can take a blown-out dacron cross-cut and make it look quite good again.  You'll get some extra years of life out of a cross-cut dacron.

You people are scaring me about Precision.  I ordered a new main from them for my cruiser and I hope I didn't make a big mistake.  I was careful about cloth specification and design.  Hope they don't fuck it up in production.  I will report back in three weeks when it arrives.

The hardest thing to do is let a sailmaker know they didn’t do what you thought you told them to do.  And if the sail gets to you just before your deadline (like a cruise) it even gets more entertaining.  Don’t rid yourself of existing sails until after you get the new ones.  And sails take way too long to get.  

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Yeah, he got 6 competing quotes on a custom product. How awful. Sure he got a lot of options that vary wildly, more than needed. But he did some homework. But you're in the business of selling sa

Re boom height.... Sit at frd end of cockpit.... does boom clear your head by 6 inches? Yes? Then there is room for your dodger.. Stand in cockpit... does boom clear your head by 2 inches?If

Sounds like if ordering offshore, you can't really rely on the sailmakers advice - you've really got to do your own research. I really have no idea of the difference between Fastnet 8.88 and 390 SF -

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I would recommend to you a cross cut woven polyester sail. You should also check what type of woven polyester your sailmaker has quoted to you. Our preferred cloth to supply is Contender Fibrecon Pro, it uses a finer yarn which produces a tighter weave. It also has its resin impregnated and not surface coated which should make your sail last longer. Stay away from DP Cbreeze which is the opposite to what I just described. I recommend full battens in the mainsail, the reduced flogging will also make your sails go further in the long run. I would also mount it on Ronstan Ballslide cars which don’t require a track. Or I would use the Rutgerson batten cars

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2 hours ago, Amati said:

The hardest thing to do is let a sailmaker know they didn’t do what you thought you told them to do.  And if the sail gets to you just before your deadline (like a cruise) it even gets more entertaining.  Don’t rid yourself of existing sails until after you get the new ones.  And sails take way too long to get.  

My wife will not let me put the old main back on the boat, nor do I want to.  It is truly done, 3 of the 4 partial battens are missing, and it looks like an old stained rag.  If the new one doesn't arrive I think we'll just do cruising weekends with the headsail, which is in ok condition.   

The new one is a cross-cut dacron with full battens, maxed out roach and Allslip slides.  Cloth is Bainbridge Strong Fill SPX 855 8.3oz.  There was a limited range of cloth available for spring delivery - I was told that if I upgraded to a higher level of cloth the sail might not arrive until much later.  For example, Marblehead wasn't available.  Fingers crossed.  

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3 hours ago, JL92S said:

I would recommend to you a cross cut woven polyester sail. You should also check what type of woven polyester your sailmaker has quoted to you. Our preferred cloth to supply is Contender Fibrecon Pro, it uses a finer yarn which produces a tighter weave. It also has its resin impregnated and not surface coated which should make your sail last longer. Stay away from DP Cbreeze which is the opposite to what I just described. I recommend full battens in the mainsail, the reduced flogging will also make your sails go further in the long run. I would also mount it on Ronstan Ballslide cars which don’t require a track. Or I would use the Rutgerson batten cars

I guess everybody has a different opinion, but I've found C-Breeze to be equivalent to Fibercon AP, but with a better resin - which is impregnated. And the same density as every other dacron except, - Fibercon Pro and Marblehead which are the two finer yarn tight weave dacrons. They give better shape holding, but reduced UV resistance, burst and tear strength. So it depends on what sort of sailing you are doing. 

SPX strong fill is high aspect dacron as mentioned above. 

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I am another C Breeze fan, a good silver plus cloth! Suitable for a lot of applications.

This is one of my faves, appears to my trained eye to be a sail that utilises the lighter fabric in the higher load areas.

Concept is right but back the front.

uh oh.png

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16 hours ago, Sailkraft said:

I guess everybody has a different opinion, but I've found C-Breeze to be equivalent to Fibercon AP, but with a better resin - which is impregnated. And the same density as every other dacron except, - Fibercon Pro and Marblehead which are the two finer yarn tight weave dacrons. They give better shape holding, but reduced UV resistance, burst and tear strength. So it depends on what sort of sailing you are doing. 

SPX strong fill is high aspect dacron as mentioned above. 

Always interested to hear other people’s opinions and experiences. We’ve built up quite a large database of our Oyster customers cruising round the world and when we’ve considered everything we arrive at the Fibrecon Pro, it’s not cheap but these things never are! My recent experience of C Breeze was a family member buying some sails from another sailmaker built in C Breeze and either something wasn’t specced right or the design was wrong but the stretch in 12kts of wind was incredible and the Genoa had uncontrollable leech flutter. I can only offer my own 2 cents!

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Lots of shitting on Precision, anybody with experience of the other offshore lofts, Rolly Tasker or Far East?
I've had some very tempting quotes for a genoa from both. 

I did the rounds last season in New England, here were the numbers FWIW:

image.thumb.png.54ee1f6a701b9b9b58d4d4e27364dd13.png

Important to note my `regular, mid, fancy` summaries don't even remotely compare like-with-like - reefs, battens may differ quote to quote. 
I've since gotten some serviceable used sails from a sister ship, but still in the market for something. 

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4 hours ago, cianclarke said:

Lots of shitting on Precision, anybody with experience of the other offshore lofts, Rolly Tasker or Far East?
I've had some very tempting quotes for a genoa from both. 

I did the rounds last season in New England, here were the numbers FWIW:

image.thumb.png.54ee1f6a701b9b9b58d4d4e27364dd13.png

Important to note my `regular, mid, fancy` summaries don't even remotely compare like-with-like - reefs, battens may differ quote to quote. 
I've since gotten some serviceable used sails from a sister ship, but still in the market for something. 

cianclarke, you are the poster child for every sailmaker's wet dream.

You "did the rounds" for two sails with 6 different lofts, priced 25 sails with a range in value of over 4x from least to most expensive, then bought "serviceable used sails" instead.

And now you're looking for a different sail and have "tempting quotes" from two more lofts that weren't even part of last year's "rounds"?

I sure hope any sailmakers on SA who're based in New England or on the interwebs take note of the OP's name and respond accordingly next time they receive a request from this guy.

 

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3 hours ago, CriticalPath said:

cianclarke, you are the poster child for every sailmaker's wet dream.

You "did the rounds" for two sails with 6 different lofts, priced 25 sails with a range in value of over 4x from least to most expensive, then bought "serviceable used sails" instead.

And now you're looking for a different sail and have "tempting quotes" from two more lofts that weren't even part of last year's "rounds"?

I sure hope any sailmakers on SA who're based in New England or on the interwebs take note of the OP's name and respond accordingly next time they receive a request from this guy.

 

I've done business with two of the on-shore lofts listed here in the past, and will absolutely be using one of them again - speaking of which, if any of them take issue with me sharing my quotes in the hope it helps others, I'll gladly redact.
I can't help but feel it's more transparency we need in the industry, not less - but hey, any other bitter sailmakers, hit me up.

Meanwhile, I'll make no apologies for shopping around. I'm still in the market for new sails - just managed to defer the purchase by a year or two. If I can get a similar product, made in the same country as some brand name sails, for 50% of the price, I'm game. If it's a shitty product, not so much. 

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8 hours ago, cianclarke said:

Lots of shitting on Precision, anybody with experience of the other offshore lofts, Rolly Tasker or Far East?
I've had some very tempting quotes for a genoa from both. 

I did the rounds last season in New England, here were the numbers FWIW:

Cian, I have two observations:

  1. the 4:1 ratio between cheapest and most expensive is alarming.  There needs to to be some huge difference in usability an/or performance to justify the high-end.
  2. All the quotes seem to me to be from "big name" makers.  Why not try some small local lofts?
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I bought a Dacron cruise main for the SC50 a few years ago from Doyle. Made in HK by China Sail Factory as I recall ... certainly from HK/China. There was a tiny miscommunication because of my remoteness in the Philippines that they made it exactly to my P/E measurements instead of adjusting for stretch like a sailmaker would if one had visited the boat. No big deal. Nothing that a bit of over-hoist and the cunningham cannot adjust for. Sail is otherwise perfect and has proven very durable. 3+2 batten trick. Generic paneled. Never can be sure what cloth was actually used but it is certainly of top quality. Thrashed all the way across the Pacific and still 'good'. Thanks to the miracle that is Philippine commerce it arrived duty free. So considerable savings.

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16 hours ago, JL92S said:

Always interested to hear other people’s opinions and experiences. We’ve built up quite a large database of our Oyster customers cruising round the world and when we’ve considered everything we arrive at the Fibrecon Pro, it’s not cheap but these things never are! My recent experience of C Breeze was a family member buying some sails from another sailmaker built in C Breeze and either something wasn’t specced right or the design was wrong but the stretch in 12kts of wind was incredible and the Genoa had uncontrollable leech flutter. I can only offer my own 2 cents!

From our experience Fibercon Pro is nice, and has a lot more UV resistance than Marblehead if your comparing the two dense weave options. C-Breeze has been working well for us. Maybe the other sailmaker was using something else or some seconds cloth. A good friend of mine was upwind sail designer for one of the big lofts in the US back in the 90's. He told me once they started their own dacron stretch testing, and started finding and rejecting bad rolls, the bad rolls stopped coming... So the cloth companies knew which ones weren't up to spec. Later he asked what happens to all these rolls of bad dacron, and the answer was they are sent far far away :) 

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16 hours ago, cianclarke said:

Lots of shitting on Precision, anybody with experience of the other offshore lofts, Rolly Tasker or Far East?
I've had some very tempting quotes for a genoa from both. 

I did the rounds last season in New England, here were the numbers FWIW:

image.thumb.png.54ee1f6a701b9b9b58d4d4e27364dd13.png

Important to note my `regular, mid, fancy` summaries don't even remotely compare like-with-like - reefs, battens may differ quote to quote. 
I've since gotten some serviceable used sails from a sister ship, but still in the market for something. 

It is very hard to compare because they are all quoting different material. The mail order guys quote cheaper dacron. For example the catalog price of Fastnet 8.88 is half the price of the 390 SF that UK is quoting. And the material is the biggest part of the cost of the sail. So your UK Regular is equivalent to the Precision fancy, as a good cross cut dacron is actually less likely to distort over time compared to a cheap radial dacron... 

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On 3/22/2021 at 10:35 AM, cianclarke said:

Lots of shitting on Precision, anybody with experience of the other offshore lofts, Rolly Tasker or Far East?
I've had some very tempting quotes for a genoa from both. 

I did the rounds last season in New England, here were the numbers FWIW:

image.thumb.png.54ee1f6a701b9b9b58d4d4e27364dd13.png

Important to note my `regular, mid, fancy` summaries don't even remotely compare like-with-like - reefs, battens may differ quote to quote. 
I've since gotten some serviceable used sails from a sister ship, but still in the market for something. 

As a sales manager for one “the majors”?  You sure wasted a lot of people’s time!

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16 hours ago, Sailkraft said:

It is very hard to compare because they are all quoting different material. The mail order guys quote cheaper dacron. For example the catalog price of Fastnet 8.88 is half the price of the 390 SF that UK is quoting. And the material is the biggest part of the cost of the sail. So your UK Regular is equivalent to the Precision fancy, as a good cross cut dacron is actually less likely to distort over time compared to a cheap radial dacron... 

Sounds like if ordering offshore, you can't really rely on the sailmakers advice - you've really got to do your own research. I really have no idea of the difference between Fastnet 8.88 and 390 SF - but with that in mind, it certainly substantially closes the price gap! 

On 3/22/2021 at 10:09 PM, TwoLegged said:

Cian, I have two observations:

  1. the 4:1 ratio between cheapest and most expensive is alarming.  There needs to to be some huge difference in usability an/or performance to justify the high-end.
  2. All the quotes seem to me to be from "big name" makers.  Why not try some small local lofts?

1. It's a pretty jarring cost differential for sure - but as the above poster pointed out, I'm not really comparing like with like, and my arbitrary labels are alas just that. 
I think breaking out the Bainbridge catalog & learning what the materials are would be a good next step to really break down the comparison.   

2. In the past, when I reached out to smaller local lofts for service they turned out to be brokers for offshore lofts who weren't able to actually do any service - hence reaching out to the larger ones. I'd love to find a good smaller local loft that can be more price competitive, though

3 hours ago, View from the back said:

As a sales manager for one “the majors”?  You sure wasted a lot of people’s time!

Did I though? How long does it take to prepare a quote from a form filled out on the website? No consultation, just some concise specs turned into a PDF quote. I'll hazard a guess at how it goes:
I, J, P and E into a spreadsheet to calculate sail area for both sails in different materials, giving a base price.
Scale the cost for battens & reef points based on E and P. 
Copy & paste the final numbers into a template word doc, along with a pretty pic of the boat from google image search, export as a PDF.
20 mins - tops? Why are there even humans in the loop at this early stage - a software savvy loft should be able to generate a quote based on a spec lookup with a few clicks. First one to put a quote feature on their website gets my admiration. 
It's very possible I'm way off the mark here - and I'd love to hear if this is the case. If there was some consultation & advice involved (where an on-shore loft will excel), I'm sure that's a different story - but there wasn't.
So, repeat this exercise for 3 offshore lofts, 3 onshore, one of which is going to get the business (albeit not in 2020) - and I'm struggling to come up with much sympathy here.

Only in the marine industry would getting multiple quotes for a 4-to-5 figure purchase be so scandalous. Seems like there's a fair share of sailmakers who have gotten by for years with customers who show up with a blank check looking for the works, and the mere suggestion that us mere mortals who have a budget & want to see who can provide the best value quote seems to really trigger some folk.
Throw in the mere suggestion that an offshore loft might be a viable option, and you've really stirred the pot.

I'll reiterate what I said earlier - I'd love to see a bit more transparency on what things cost across the industry. If that winds up in the best interest of consumers rather than MajorSailLoft Inc? Too bad. 

  

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Sailmakers hate @cianclarke's spreadsheet. They want someone to try the latest and greatest, at the highest margin so they can spend their time with them. It's not a negative story, it's a matter of service. 

I've owned many Rolly sails on cheaper boats. If you know what you want/need, know how to ask the technical questions and not bother them too much, everyone wins. 

Precision offers the promise to access the sail designers themselves and upgrade over Rolly. The top lofts don't even do that for the basic buyers. I don't know their work well enough, but the structure of the business proposition is far more transparent than you're going to get with a local guy who doesn't care that much. Too often with sailmakers, you roll the dice that it will fit and actually match the boat. Precision at least tries to level the field.

I shopped for a genoa for my '88 Tartan 34-2 and was recommended to speak with a venerable WLIS sailmaker. His quote was 3x the average and when I politely replied that his number was out of my budget, I got this amazing and delightful response (copied directly from the 2014 email):

Venerable sailmaker:  I have no idea who the "others" you refer to are but I would leave you with the following as food for thought. "There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey."

Bold is mine.

For our latest boat (Sweden 42), I wanted a proper damn main. I looked at 4 lofts, made the spreadsheet, annoyed them all and picked one I felt would work out. It wasn't cheap, but I didn't pick the most expensive and jesus is that the best sail I've ever owned. At the end of the day, sails are still a bespoke product. You can get a good one or a bad one and forecasting it with a given loft is damn near impossible.

 

On 3/22/2021 at 1:35 PM, cianclarke said:

Lots of shitting on Precision, anybody with experience of the other offshore lofts, Rolly Tasker or Far East?
I've had some very tempting quotes for a genoa from both. 

I did the rounds last season in New England, here were the numbers FWIW:

Important to note my `regular, mid, fancy` summaries don't even remotely compare like-with-like - reefs, battens may differ quote to quote. 
I've since gotten some serviceable used sails from a sister ship, but still in the market for something. 

 

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6 hours ago, View from the back said:

As a sales manager for one “the majors”?  You sure wasted a lot of people’s time!

Yeah, he got 6 competing quotes on a custom product. How awful. Sure he got a lot of options that vary wildly, more than needed. But he did some homework.

But you're in the business of selling sails. Some people buy on price, some buy on service, quality, whatever. But your job is to sell sails. Why is it "wasting your time" to give out a price to a potential customer.

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Yeah, he got 6 competing quotes on a custom product. How awful. Sure he got a lot of options that vary wildly, more than needed. But he did some homework.

But you're in the business of selling sails. Some people buy on price, some buy on service, quality, whatever. But your job is to sell sails. Why is it "wasting your time" to give out a price to a potential customer.

Want to see things go really pear-shaped?

Ask for a quote on a couple of Chinese lug rig sails...

FKT

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3 hours ago, penumbra said:

Sailmakers hate @cianclarke's spreadsheet. They want someone to try the latest and greatest, at the highest margin so they can spend their time with them. It's not a negative story, it's a matter of service. 

I've owned many Rolly sails on cheaper boats. If you know what you want/need, know how to ask the technical questions and not bother them too much, everyone wins. 

Precision offers the promise to access the sail designers themselves and upgrade over Rolly. The top lofts don't even do that for the basic buyers. I don't know their work well enough, but the structure of the business proposition is far more transparent than you're going to get with a local guy who doesn't care that much. Too often with sailmakers, you roll the dice that it will fit and actually match the boat. Precision at least tries to level the field.

I shopped for a genoa for my '88 Tartan 34-2 and was recommended to speak with a venerable WLIS sailmaker. His quote was 3x the average and when I politely replied that his number was out of my budget, I got this amazing and delightful response (copied directly from the 2014 email):

Venerable sailmaker:  I have no idea who the "others" you refer to are but I would leave you with the following as food for thought. "There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey."

Bold is mine.

For our latest boat (Sweden 42), I wanted a proper damn main. I looked at 4 lofts, made the spreadsheet, annoyed them all and picked one I felt would work out. It wasn't cheap, but I didn't pick the most expensive and jesus is that the best sail I've ever owned. At the end of the day, sails are still a bespoke product. You can get a good one or a bad one and forecasting it with a given loft is damn near impossible.

 

 

I did appreciate being able to speak directly to the sail designer on the phone on several occasions, and look at a 2-D rendering of the sail overlaid on the rig and backstay.  We went back and forth on a few items.   I think we arrived at the right design and materials in the end.  It is the build that worries me. 

I can't help but wonder which loft they are using to actually build the sails.  I'm assuming they come from somewhere in Asia, which is common for all sailmakers these days.  Anybody know?  I didn't bother asking.

This is a cruising boat, and this does not need to be a fantastic sail, it just needs to be a decent sail.  We bought what should be a fantastic sail for our SC 27 and paid almost double what the mainsail is costing for my cruiser.

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

Yeah, he got 6 competing quotes on a custom product. How awful. Sure he got a lot of options that vary wildly, more than needed. But he did some homework.

But you're in the business of selling sails. Some people buy on price, some buy on service, quality, whatever. But your job is to sell sails. Why is it "wasting your time" to give out a price to a potential customer.

Zonkers you silly Billy, you're meant to phone up with your card, take what the sales clown recommends, put up with the late delivery, and not complain about not getting what was originally promised.

Why do you have to make it so difficult? We're talking experience marine professionals with a keen customer focus just trying to make a living here.

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4 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Want to see things go really pear-shaped?

Ask for a quote on a couple of Chinese lug rig sails...

FKT

The path to junk mail.

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10 hours ago, penumbra said:

Venerable sailmaker:  I have no idea who the "others" you refer to are but I would leave you with the following as food for thought. "There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey."

Hahaha, I had the same experience shopping for a dodger. When I politely inquired as to why one quote was twice the price of anyone else, I got this rant:

How can we account for Hyundai prices when compared to Maserati prices?  Why does a hamburger meal cost my wife and I over $100 at “[a local pretentious French restaurant]”  when they cost $6(?) each at A&W?  Why does a Henri Lloyd foul weather jacket cost $600 when something similar sells for $69 in Walmart?

 

On the other hand, for sails definitely check out UK in Sidney. Good people, good sails, good service, and they actually make the sails in-house.

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56 minutes ago, andykane said:

I had the same experience shopping for a dodger.

I've never understood why more cruising boats dont come with 'forever' hard dodgers, and more owners go get them as upgrades - rather than buying disposable cloth ones.   You can make the hard dodgers look however you want - tiny, small or quite big, or just exactly like a cloth one (if you wanted) . . . and they are better in almost all ways - last forever, more durable, can easily have really good hand grips, can walk on them, etc etc.  For some reason they just dont sell. The hard dodger on Hawk was one of its very best features - 

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26 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

I've never understood why more cruising boats dont come with 'forever' hard dodgers, and more owners go get them as upgrades - rather than buying disposable cloth ones.

My guess is that it's because many owners buy the fantasy of endless sailing in balmy Mediterranean or Caribbean sun. The reality of rain and spray only kicks in once you actually spend a lot of time on the boat, rather than going ailing when he weather is nice.

Hawk's hard dodger was very elegant.  Was it an original part of the design, or an add-on?

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I'm sure availability is a large part of it, but I agree - it seems like something that should be designed into any serious cruising boat. I would love a hard dodger and contemplated, at length, building one, but couldn't justify the time. Getting one professionally fabricated would be extremely expensive, and in the end a soft dodger is more than enough for my needs and will last well beyond my ownership.

With the trend towards hard, integrated dodgers for offshore racing, maybe we'll eventually see some trickle-down into the cruising market.

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2 hours ago, estarzinger said:

I've never understood why more cruising boats dont come with 'forever' hard dodgers, and more owners go get them as upgrades - rather than buying disposable cloth ones.   You can make the hard dodgers look however you want - tiny, small or quite big, or just exactly like a cloth one (if you wanted) . . . and they are better in almost all ways - last forever, more durable, can easily have really good hand grips, can walk on them, etc etc.  For some reason they just dont sell. The hard dodger on Hawk was one of its very best features - 

Because unless you build it yourself, it's going to be very, very expensive.

I watched Troy & Pascale build theirs and I've since built one myself using basically the same construction but with a fully welded inside frame, as I need to mount winches, cleats etc on mine and it has to wrap around my main mast. It has taken a *lot* of time. I wouldn't build one for someone else because the amount I'd have to charge would make me feel like I was ripping them off, but - the hours add up.

The build isn't particularly difficult but it is time consuming.

And I have a big workshop to lay out the bits, glass things while they're lying flat etc.

FKT

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4 hours ago, andykane said:

With the trend towards hard, integrated dodgers for offshore racing, maybe we'll eventually see some trickle-down into the cruising market.

Yeah you can only hope. Once you lived with a good hard dodger (or in my case, inside a saloon cabin with good vis) then you find it difficult to go back to a fabric one where windows last only a few years, fabric fails and thread fails etc etc.

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16 hours ago, Rain Man said:

I did appreciate being able to speak directly to the sail designer on the phone on several occasions, and look at a 2-D rendering of the sail overlaid on the rig and backstay.  We went back and forth on a few items.   I think we arrived at the right design and materials in the end.  It is the build that worries me. 

I can't help but wonder which loft they are using to actually build the sails.  I'm assuming they come from somewhere in Asia, which is common for all sailmakers these days.  Anybody know?  I didn't bother asking.

This is a cruising boat, and this does not need to be a fantastic sail, it just needs to be a decent sail.  We bought what should be a fantastic sail for our SC 27 and paid almost double what the mainsail is costing for my cruiser.

I think the build is pretty much the commodity. The design and the finishes are where the the value appears. As a comp, most US sailmakers centralize the designs (the brand maintains a design team) and the build (sometimes at an unaffiliated shop). Then, finish local.

While I didn't love that last main from Rolly, the build was never the concern and I think the finishing was mostly because the sales rep didn't give me the levers to pull.

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20 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

My guess is that it's because many owners buy the fantasy of endless sailing in balmy Mediterranean or Caribbean sun. The reality of rain and spray only kicks in once you actually spend a lot of time on the boat, rather than going ailing when he weather is nice.

Hawk's hard dodger was very elegant.  Was it an original part of the design, or an add-on?

My $.02, but successful hard dodgers (or extensions of the cabin) are fairly small comfortable overhangs that you can tuck into & see out of easily, and the cabin top is the same, like open 60’s were a few years ago before they started going really fast most of the time.  Personally I think they’re an expression of the speed of the boat, aesthetically and ergonomically.  But really, for slower, why not something like a North Sea Something, and ditch the Volvo Round the World fantasy- it’s got to be better that the Conestoga Benehuntalina thing.   

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21 minutes ago, Amati said:

My $.02, but successful hard dodgers (or extensions of the cabin) are fairly small comfortable overhangs that you can tuck into & see out of easily, and the cabin top is the same, like open 60’s were a few years ago before they started going really fast most of the time.  Personally I think they’re an expression of the speed of the boat, aesthetically and ergonomically.  But really, for slower, why not something like a North Sea Something (~ like Dylan Winter just bought himself), and ditch the Volvo Round the World fantasy- it’s got to be better that the Conestoga Benehuntalina thing.   

 

AB005578-301A-4A70-890C-56E969628143.jpeg

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32 minutes ago, Amati said:

My $.02, but successful hard dodgers (or extensions of the cabin) are fairly small comfortable overhangs that you can tuck into & see out of easily, and the cabin top is the same, like open 60’s were a few years ago before they started going really fast most of the time.  Personally I think they’re an expression of the speed of the boat, aesthetically and ergonomically.  But really, for slower, why not something like a North Sea Something, and ditch the Volvo Round the World fantasy- it’s got to be better that the Conestoga Benehuntalina thing.   

 

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On 3/15/2021 at 7:29 AM, El Borracho said:

My sail rule: Keep them simple. Replace them often.

Plain battens, Regular Dacron construction. No special features beyond the cruiser features. Only cruisers that are blind to blown out sails need fancy thread and stitching. All Dacron mains are toast long before a seam goes.

Not sure 3 reefs are ever needed on the Hawaii trip. But might be an alternative to a storm sail.

Trouble with the 3 reef/ storm sail approach is that you wind up with a lot of weight at the top of the sail.  

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14 minutes ago, Amati said:

 

I never understood the tiller set up in relation to the hard dodger on Oh Canada...sure autopilot is used most of the time but most 60s of that vintage were using a v-shaped tiller which allowed for more protection from weather for the times the helmsman is actually at the tiller.

I remember reading a 1987 mag on the future trickle down of certain tech to cruisers. Twin furling headsails and hard dodgers were near the top of the list...

Maybe trickle down takes a long time or maybe the number of cruisers who might really reap the benefits is small.

Nevertheless, here is the director of Garcia Yachts on a walk through of the 52. The hard dodger set up looks great.

 

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2 hours ago, Amati said:

Trouble with the 3 reef/ storm sail approach is that you wind up with a lot of weight at the top of the sail.  

Why does a third reef add a lot of weight at the top of the sail?  Cringle and reefing line.

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8 hours ago, Amati said:

it’s got to be better that the Conestoga Benehuntalina thing

I get the Benehuntalina portmanteau, but what is the Conestoga about?

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19 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I get the Benehuntalina portmanteau, but what is the Conestoga about?

Prairie_schooner_(PSF).png

Land yacht of choice in the early 1800's.  We've still got the remains of one or two rotting behind the barn.  My uncle tried to revive one at some point but it was too far gone to be anything more than yard art.  

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39 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I get the Benehuntalina portmanteau, but what is the Conestoga about?

There are a more than A few Beneteaus and Catalina here that are, aft of the cabin, covering the stern of the boat completely with sunbrella and see through plastic.  It’s waaay beyond a dodger, so we call them conestogas.  I’ll take some pics next time I’m down there.

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6 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Why does a third reef add a lot of weight at the top of the sail?  Cringle and reefing line.

Since the top of the sail will be in bigger air, and the boat has more leverage on a reefed sail, it may need reinforcement.  At least that’s how it was explained to me.  Tougher fabric etc = weight aloft

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4 hours ago, Amati said:

There are a more than A few Beneteaus and Catalina here that are, aft of the cabin, covering the stern of the boat completely with sunbrella and see through plastic.  It’s waaay beyond a dodger, so we call them conestogas.  I’ll take some pics next time I’m down there.

"Oxygen tent" up here.

924961456_oxytent.thumb.jpg.a86f4f7d5f1e2d91ef28ef6a087e5904.jpg

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13 hours ago, fufkin said:

I never understood the tiller set up in relation to the hard dodger on Oh Canada...sure autopilot is used most of the time but most 60s of that vintage were using a v-shaped tiller which allowed for more protection from weather for the times the helmsman is actually at the tiller.

I remember reading a 1987 mag on the future trickle down of certain tech to cruisers. Twin furling headsails and hard dodgers were near the top of the list...

Maybe trickle down takes a long time or maybe the number of cruisers who might really reap the benefits is small.

Nevertheless, here is the director of Garcia Yachts on a walk through of the 52. The hard dodger set up looks great.

 

More than anything, I like the way O Canada’s house/hard dodger looks.  I know, it’s shallow......B)

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They look good because they are designed into the cabinhouse & cockpit right from the start - so the dodger lines are a continuation of existing lines. Adding a dodger to a design that did not include them from the start has no lines to continue, so looks like what it is: an afterthought. Even the Halberg-Rassy permanent windshield dodgers blend in better, they were always part of the design.

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On 3/22/2021 at 1:35 PM, cianclarke said:

Lots of shitting on Precision, anybody with experience of the other offshore lofts, Rolly Tasker or Far East?
I've had some very tempting quotes for a genoa from both. 

I did the rounds last season in New England, here were the numbers FWIW:

image.thumb.png.54ee1f6a701b9b9b58d4d4e27364dd13.png

Important to note my `regular, mid, fancy` summaries don't even remotely compare like-with-like - reefs, battens may differ quote to quote. 
I've since gotten some serviceable used sails from a sister ship, but still in the market for something. 

What is the size in sqft or m^2 for these sails?  Prices generally scale linearly, within a given loft / material choice. 

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On 3/16/2021 at 5:00 AM, slug zitski said:

Naw 

In trade winds sailing... +120 awa ...it’s your poled out Genoa with a furling   Jibtop to leeward , that generates the horsepower needed  to pull you to your destination 

Even in fine conditions the main is typically reefed to reduce chafe ,  then over-trimmed  and prevented  to dampen roll

this combo is very easy to single hand from the cockpit , its gentle on the boat, the crew  , the autopilot, the sails  and it’s plenty fast 

It’s  possible that I loose a few daily  miles ... but remember the tortoise and the hare 

us tortoises arrive fresh  and immediately   hit the bar ...then surrounded by  cold beers  we pass on advice to those speedy  hares about getting their broken gooseneck welded up , mainsail repaired , the best autopilot to replace the one that  burnt up ... plus a new wife 

 

 

Slug, 

Is the furling jib top you refer a furling staysail? Or an actual jib on a free flying luff?

Thanks,

Eddie

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Bit late to this thread but my 2p's worth.  

Hydranet is well worth the extra money.  Oyster Yachts reckon it's good for 25,000 miles or a circumnavigation.

3 reefs are a given.  No need for lacing eyelets on the first two, the lazyjacks will keep everything under control.  I only reeve the 3rd reef pennant when heading out for a longish offshore passage, say 120 miles +.

Blocks on the reef pennants make life much easier.

My latest sail had 5 battens, the top two full length, no special cars.

 

DSCF1966.JPG

DSCF1972.JPG

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15 hours ago, Ishmael said:

"Oxygen tent" up here.

924961456_oxytent.thumb.jpg.a86f4f7d5f1e2d91ef28ef6a087e5904.jpg

Candidate for the "ugly dodger" thread...

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Dodgers..... in my experience

Canvas ones are almost always way too high ... so a basketball player can stand erect under them ... and fugly.

Solid ones are invariably too low and stretch to far aft...often having the sort of headroom that would suit the seven dwarfs.... when seated...

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1 hour ago, Cisco said:

Dodgers..... in my experience

Canvas ones are almost always way too high ... so a basketball player can stand erect under them ... and fugly.

Solid ones are invariably too low and stretch to far aft...often having the sort of headroom that would suit the seven dwarfs.... when seated...

I had to choose between making mine look like a telephone booth, or having it too low. I picked too low. I don't expect to be able to stand under it.

It'll still be better than none at all.

FKT

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The thread drift continues...Sister ship photo.... my dodger is the same without that sun roof bit that he had*

 

Sitting room either side out of the rain and or sun..... plenty nuff.....

 

* I say *had* as after Mike had single handed her up to Montt and back south again she went on to be lost on passage South Georgia/Capetown... rig failure for the usual Sealord reason....

And also... that boat was fairly well set up for channel work.. note the 'black' Ushuaia diesel!... best to buy diesel in Williams....

100_1024.jpg

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6 hours ago, Whinging Pom said:

Bit late to this thread but my 2p's worth.  

Hydranet is well worth the extra money.  Oyster Yachts reckon it's good for 25,000 miles or a circumnavigation.

3 reefs are a given.  No need for lacing eyelets on the first two, the lazyjacks will keep everything under control.  I only reeve the 3rd reef pennant when heading out for a longish offshore passage, say 120 miles +.

Blocks on the reef pennants make life much easier.

My latest sail had 5 battens, the top two full length, no special cars.

 

DSCF1966.JPG

DSCF1972.JPG

From all that has been posted here.....that would be my sail of choice.... my top two battens are a bit less than best... they tend to 'hook' a bit.

 

Speaking of cars and slugs and stuff...

I had work done on my previous main by Doyles in Auckland.... came back with new slugs. 

Luckily I tried to raise it at the dock ... jammed after about 10 feet...had to go back and have new slugs fitted and even then the webbing needed further adjustment to make them run freely.

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17 hours ago, longy said:

They look good because they are designed into the cabinhouse & cockpit right from the start - so the dodger lines are a continuation of existing lines. Adding a dodger to a design that did not include them from the start has no lines to continue, so looks like what it is: an afterthought. Even the Halberg-Rassy permanent windshield dodgers blend in better, they were always part of the design.

Saffier......

 

B0D976E5-4344-496A-9BA0-6C587FDC8CC4.jpeg

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16 hours ago, Cisco said:

The thread drift continues...Sister ship photo.... my dodger is the same without that sun roof bit that he had*

 

Sitting room either side out of the rain and or sun..... plenty nuff.....

 

* I say *had* as after Mike had single handed her up to Montt and back south again she went on to be lost on passage South Georgia/Capetown... rig failure for the usual Sealord reason....

And also... that boat was in fairly well set up for channel work.. note the 'black' Ushuaia diesel!... best to buy diesel in Williams....

100_1024.jpg

Speaking of thread drift (I’m alllowed - it’s my thread :-) ), interesting way to rig shore lines for Patagonia. Good idea for a temporary set up.  I sometimes wonder how the average boat does it for quick deployment (i.e., unlike the expedition charter boats down there with custom deck reels set ups).

Re: black diesel - do you ever pre-filter your diesel down there? (E.g., with a “Baja” filter?)

Back on thread topic - wonder why the mainsail clew is so far back from the boom end?  And, seems odd that’s there’s only one little attachment point for the main sheet on the boom (and it’s not even a bail, i.e., through the boom, it seems).

2C9BF8FC-B664-4582-825C-DFCD0B28BE52.jpeg

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The clew? I don't have a clue but mine  as back a similar distance.... to allow for stretch maybe?

Mainsheet attachment point.... that boom would be a Kemp/Selden extrusion which has a groove/ or track along the bottom much the same as you have on your mast for slugs and cars and stuff.

That fitting can only be removed by running it 'aft and off' .... so blind rivets only stop movement for and aft... same with the vang attachment.

Rope drums - like you can see frd - would be good I guess if single handed but I have never bothered ...a boat your size  just use bags ( bolsas para verduras ) with a hoop in the mouth slung under the boom... I think I have posted photos before...if not just ask.

Filtering fuel? Always when emptying drums in to the tank... not when bunkering alongside.

I do however have a quasi regular program of sucking out fuel from the very bottom of the tank with a drum pump and filtering that... you would be amazed at the amount of silt you accumulate over 35 years....

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On 3/24/2021 at 4:27 PM, Rain Man said:

I did appreciate being able to speak directly to the sail designer on the phone on several occasions, and look at a 2-D rendering of the sail overlaid on the rig and backstay.  We went back and forth on a few items.   I think we arrived at the right design and materials in the end.  It is the build that worries me. 

I can't help but wonder which loft they are using to actually build the sails.  I'm assuming they come from somewhere in Asia, which is common for all sailmakers these days.  Anybody know?  I didn't bother asking.

This is a cruising boat, and this does not need to be a fantastic sail, it just needs to be a decent sail.  We bought what should be a fantastic sail for our SC 27 and paid almost double what the mainsail is costing for my cruiser.

As far as I'm aware Precision used to buy from multiple lofts in Asia but after the collapse of China Sail Factory, they are tied to this offshoot company https://www.cliffsidesails.com/  in some way.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I used Precision recently for a 150% Genoa and liked the options they shared with me and the pricing compared to other options I considered.  What helped me choose them is the warranty where they offered to send me another sail if I didn't like the one they made, even if it was my fault in measurement.

I ordered their best finishes and went with a cruising laminate tri-radial design as the foot is 24 feet long and am pretty happy so far.  Had a couple of meetings with the designer to go over all the things I was thinking about and was pretty impressed with the designer's comfort level in sail design.  The sail is not perfect but much better than what I had and was much more cost effective than what a friend purchased for his somewhat similarly sized boat.

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1 hour ago, Lost in Translation said:

I used Precision recently for a 150% Genoa and liked the options they shared with me and the pricing compared to other options I considered.  What helped me choose them is the warranty where they offered to send me another sail if I didn't like the one they made, even if it was my fault in measurement.

I ordered their best finishes and went with a cruising laminate tri-radial design as the foot is 24 feet long and am pretty happy so far.  Had a couple of meetings with the designer to go over all the things I was thinking about and was pretty impressed with the designer's comfort level in sail design.  The sail is not perfect but much better than what I had and was much more cost effective than what a friend purchased for his somewhat similarly sized boat.

Can you share a picture of it?

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Ok, down to the last mainsail sailmaking decision - 2 full/2 partial battens, or 4 full battens.

Having trouble understanding pros/cons/trade offs - except cost (2+2 cheaper than 4 full).  But cheaper is not my main parameter.

Two things come to mind: (1) which battens work best with lazy jacks/stack packs; (2) sail handling/reefing.

Re: (1), I’m told, or have heard...somewhere...that stack pack type mainsail covers/lazy jacks work best with full battens...something to do with how the sail flakes or something?  Is this the case?  If this is so, and you do want a stack pack, seems better to go with the batten arrangement, i.e., 4 full,  that would permit a stack pack cover in the future...seems to me.

(2) on two full/two partial, re: sail handling/reefing, I just read the super experienced sail passage training skipperJohn Kretschmer (https://johnkretschmersailing.com ) say, “Why two full and two partial battens?  Because I am a firm believer in reefing off the wind.  Believe me - I know how a full batten main powers up but it’s far more important to be able to easily pull a reef in without coming up in the wind.  We essentially live offshore, and it isn’t practical to come up flogging and crashing into the wind every time you want to reef or take a reef out.  Two plus two is a compromise that works for me.”

Why is it the case that 2 full/2 partial battens are easier to reef off the wind, and don’t require you to come into the wind to reef?  
 

Decisions, decisions...understanding all the information... :-)

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15 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Why is it the case that 2 full/2 partial battens are easier to reef off the wind, and don’t require you to come into the wind to reef?  

Because a full batten generates thrust at the luff.  The longer the batten, the more sail area it's supporting, so the more thrust.

When you are off the wind, that batten thrust is pushing the rear end of the mast slider sideways ... which generates twist.   That jams the slider, unless you have roller-bearing sliders.

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Yes exactly. Full battens push into the mast, making it harder to get them down off the wind. At the top of the sail the sail area is smaller so the thrust is smaller.

We had 2 long + 2 full on our last mainsail from Fiji to Mexico westward and I never regretted it. The lazy jacks always contained it fine. I would recommend 2+2 and save some money for a big pole :)

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@TwoLegged and @ZonkerFeel like you two are leading me, left hand and right hand, forward :-)

Thanks a lot for the info - seems like 2+2 is the way to go, and the direction I was leaning.  (I keep realizing how much there is to know about sails and rigs.  Time to pick up a “classic” book recommended by the sailmaker, “Sail Power”, by Wallace Ross.)

One thing that literally just occurred to me since I just tensioned backstays and re-measured leech length, per sailmaker’s request - is making sure I have clearance under boom for future bimini, if wanted.  Hardly a “sail critical” item, but for tropics, seems fairly important to be able to fit a sunshade...which is only made possible in my case by boom height...

(pic of @TheDragon’s boat, from another thread - which seeing, suddenly made me think of my new mainsail’s proposed leech length and a possible future bimini...uh oh...

74E5D2D8-05C8-469E-BA84-66AF7225F4CA.jpeg

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We had a fabric bimini over our cockpit. When sheeted in hard, there was about 1 cm clearance. That was a bit too little because if the boom bounced up and down it would chafe.

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19 minutes ago, Zonker said:

We had a fabric bimini over our cockpit. When sheeted in hard, there was about 1 cm clearance. That was a bit too little because if the boom bounced up and down it would chafe.

I can totally imagine that.  Leather chafe/rub strip?

Going to have to raise leech an inch/2.5 cms. It’s already raised a bit to allow for stretch and head height for me.

When I decided to extend my boom for more sail area, I never even thought of a future bimini.  Hmmm...argh!

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In our case doubled layer of fabric. Leather would have been smarter. The bimini was made of PVC coated vinyl. Sort of the same material used on big truck tarps. Cheaper than Sunbrella. Maybe a bit less UV stable but lasted for years in the tropics.

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1 hour ago, Zonker said:

In our case doubled layer of fabric. Leather would have been smarter. The bimini was made of PVC coated vinyl. Sort of the same material used on big truck tarps. Cheaper than Sunbrella. Maybe a bit less UV stable but lasted for years in the tropics.

Friend of mine made his sail covers from that stuff. Tough as old boots and quite UV resistant, could still be sewn easily on a Sailrite (they borrowed mine).

I'd rather a hard dodger myself but it's a PITA to build one.

FKT

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56 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Can’t believe I never thought of possible future bimini until now re: new mainsail and boom.  Oh well, better now than later.

A bimini is a device for heading people from overhead sun.

Overhead sun is not an issue up where you live in the tundra.

That's why you never thought of it.

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18 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

Because a full batten generates thrust at the luff.  The longer the batten, the more sail area it's supporting, so the more thrust.

When you are off the wind, that batten thrust is pushing the rear end of the mast slider sideways ... which generates twist.   That jams the slider, unless you have roller-bearing sliders.

I worried about downwind reefing before we bought our boat, but in practice hasn't been a problem even with five full battens. I think the Harken ball bearing batt cars make the difference, just take the topping lift a bit, ease the halyard and take the clew line and down she comes. 

And we put a lot of shade on our boat for living in the tropics, but still love the pilothouse/salon - was a major factor for us in choosing the boat. 

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2 hours ago, CapDave said:

I worried about downwind reefing before we bought our boat, but in practice hasn't been a problem even with five full battens. I think the Harken ball bearing batt cars make the difference, just take the topping lift a bit, ease the halyard and take the clew line and down she comes. 

And we put a lot of shade on our boat for living in the tropics, but still love the pilothouse/salon - was a major factor for us in choosing the boat. 

Amd that is the difference, I think - having roller bearing cars.  I’ve no plan to install them, not now anyway (or any time soon), so it’s just as well I avoid four full length battens.  (I hesitate to look may what they’d cost :-) )

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Re boom height....

Sit at frd end of cockpit.... does boom clear your head by 6 inches? Yes? Then there is room for your dodger..

Stand in cockpit... does boom clear your head by 2 inches?If 'yes' then an uncontrolled gybe won't take your head off..

The higher of these two determines the leech.

Biminis are for living in the tropics.... broad brimmed hats and long sleved shirts are for sailing in the tropics.

 

My tropical shade cost $5 , the sun spends more time rising and setting than overhead.

 

DSC_2928.jpg

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1 hour ago, Cisco said:

Biminis are for living in the tropics.... broad brimmed hats and long sleved shirts are for sailing in the tropics.

And Tasmania in summer - the UV will fry you in no time. I have a $5 Bunnings straw hat I wear. I leave the Greek sailor's caps for people like LB... not to mention the Greek goats.

FKT

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1 hour ago, Cisco said:

Re boom height....

Sit at frd end of cockpit.... does boom clear your head by 6 inches? Yes? Then there is room for your dodger..

Stand in cockpit... does boom clear your head by 2 inches?If 'yes' then an uncontrolled gybe won't take your head off..

The higher of these two determines the leech.

Biminis are for living in the tropics.... broad brimmed hats and long sleved shirts are for sailing in the tropics.

 

My tropical shade cost $5 , the sun spends more time rising and setting than overhead.

 

DSC_2928.jpg

Bimini's or awnings? I consider the former to be something you can sail under that has a mounted frame; the latter, something erected at anchor. Which are you talking about, Jud? 

LATIFA's awning. 

658330816_Latifastern.thumb.jpg.589c508c3cbddf146fc0d1882bdd280e.jpg

 

As Cisco demonstrates, neither is much good beyond 2 pm., unless it has side flaps like the awning above. 

This is a hot topic today (pun, inescapable). This Fountaine design was for a client down south. The bimini design was an utter eyesore to me, but understandable for the latitude. At anchor or mooring though, it will be useless after mid-afternoon. 

Bimini.thumb.jpg.e24f286d5454665dd56b0bd3d3972342.jpg

 

1950195460_CARYALIBIMINI.thumb.jpg.1ac20930b34f2deeef629489ce666b81.jpg

 

Big straw hat is my sailing bimini. We do put up our awning more and more in Maine when at anchor. And we start clipping whatever on the sunside in the afternoon. The rigged dinghy, when handy, works extremely well. 

1766680697_Awningandsail100kb.thumb.jpg.8842c0ce313a94a7714ecb4a0e8b46e1.jpg

 

 

 

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Overall I'm not a big fan of biminis. They block your view to leeward when heeled, they block your view of the leech of the sail. They are often floppy and lumpy (why can't sailboats have something closer to a fabric t-top on a center console?). I don't like the feeling of being closed in.  That said, when it comes time to go South I will probably add a short one one off of the roll bar and use it to support some more solar. 

This is our set up.  It's works for mid-latitiudes. The weather cloths give some privacy and block early am and afternoon sun but leave some airflow and visibility.  They keep the cockpit very dry bashing upwind. Calling it an awning is generous, the fabric top is from my parents boat and uses some PVC pipe as stiffeners - made sometime in the 80's by a long defunct loft in CT.  If you want to close the gap with the weathercloths, just pull down and it bends. You can stow it by pulling out the pipes and rolling it up against the roll bar.  I would make a new one out of sunbrella. 

There's only one bit of laundry up in this pic. 

ACtC-3fggHHeWhHAH6OKAPWyRUw8miD29TRPZG_v

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It ain't your daddy's ozone up there; I have friends with skin cancer. We love our shade. And having "sailing shade" is really really nice. And the forward shade is nice in the afternoon, sitting in the tradewind breeze at anchor. Living in the tropics is very different from visiting. It gets really really hot, especially if the wind drops.63E8C6B6-6F97-499C-B6E1-58AE68BCCCDA_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.cc63c0624ea9ac3942638ced1e61090f.jpeg4B24200B-5823-497C-A4A0-3EDB112C4540_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.e7f1c49ec4c2024de08de7d6e804212b.jpeg80CB48C6-F949-40A5-96CA-48ED203B0250_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.9f5e4c2c95fa558019a32dc62733f50e.jpeg2026191C-17C1-49F9-836A-0B4E321F0D41_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.bde1a57123cc2f03dbba639e1691424f.jpeg

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In the 2nd photo are the struts leaning out that much or did you use a super wide angle lens?

Awning wisdom, based on years in the tropics and TWO summers in the Sea of Cortez

- dacron or nylon are BAD materials for awnings. Dacron rots in the sun, nylon rots very fast in the sun
- light coloured is cooler than dark coloured awnings under them
- Sunbrella is good; PVC coated polyester is good, waterproof, and cheaper but is bulkier when stowed
- if your awning can catch water then you are smart
- in a tropical downpour your awning can catch more water than you want; don't let it pool in deep pools or it may tear
- reinforced wide seams with ~#3 nickel plated spur grommets or webbing loops are good

- have the aft and middle guy lines tensioned with small cheap carabiners that are easy to unhook
- the 2 or 3 forward most guy lines/secured to the mast with a small snapshackle can be released under tension
- transverse poles are good if you have a place to stow them. I've used wood and PVC pipe
- MESH side curtains are good if you can swap them from one side of the boat to the other easily (small cheap carabiners)
- MESH back curtain in the tropics; you're facing SE or NE trades and the sun sets in the W;  your stern faces the afternoon/setting sun

- when a 40-50 knot squall hits at 3 am have a headlamp handy
- do not take time to get clothed when the squall hits. It's dark and your neighbors will be busy with their awning
- release the aft most awning ties and work your way forward; rolling or bundling as you go. The reason for the forward most ones being snapshackles are to make the now bulky and windage creating semi rolled/folded, all flapping awning easier to blow if it is catching the wind

Biminis or sailing awnings are good too. Just take them down before a major storm. Golf umbrellas work good for the stern in light airs downwind.

 

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4 hours ago, Zonker said:

Golf umbrellas work good for the stern in light airs downwind.

Did you have the cat carpeted in astroturf? You could probably lay out a decent 9-hole course if you had a lot of balls.

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1 hour ago, Ishmael said:

Did you have the cat carpeted in astroturf? You could probably lay out a decent 9-hole course if you had a lot of balls.

 

All I got for that

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On 4/17/2021 at 4:20 AM, Kris Cringle said:

Bimini's or awnings? I consider the former to be something you can sail under that has a mounted frame; the latter, something erected at anchor. Which are you talking about, Jud? 

LATIFA's awning. 

658330816_Latifastern.thumb.jpg.589c508c3cbddf146fc0d1882bdd280e.jpg

 

As Cisco demonstrates, neither is much good beyond 2 pm., unless it has side flaps like the awning above. 

This is a hot topic today (pun, inescapable). This Fountaine design was for a client down south. The bimini design was an utter eyesore to me, but understandable for the latitude. At anchor or mooring though, it will be useless after mid-afternoon. 

Bimini.thumb.jpg.e24f286d5454665dd56b0bd3d3972342.jpg

 

1950195460_CARYALIBIMINI.thumb.jpg.1ac20930b34f2deeef629489ce666b81.jpg

 

Big straw hat is my sailing bimini. We do put up our awning more and more in Maine when at anchor. And we start clipping whatever on the sunside in the afternoon. The rigged dinghy, when handy, works extremely well. 

1766680697_Awningandsail100kb.thumb.jpg.8842c0ce313a94a7714ecb4a0e8b46e1.jpg

 

 

 

Hey Tom,

Shoulda known that, as someone who does fine design/build work, you’d reveal that the situation is a bit more complicated than I’d first thought :-)  :-)

So, my first thought —as I suddenly realized that if I finalize my new mainsail leech measurement without thinking it through a bit further — was simply about a bimini - i.e., a sunshade mounted on a fixed structure, however simple. Retractable/foldable.  But seeing what everyone has posted, indeed any consideration of sun shade encompasses a lot more things/approaches/considerations.  But the basic structure would be a simple, folding bimini.

I have this picture saved of the Roger Henry, Alvah and Diana Simon’s tough 36 footer that has spent a winter in the Canadian Arctic, been all around the Pacific, etc. It’s intelligently set up with basic, practical gear, and not tons of money.  Fits my profile.  They’ve spent many years sailing the world. So, my thinking always was, well, “if *they* thought it was a good idea, or I’d they did it that way, then quite likely it is a good approach :-)

So, my thought was a simple bimini that can retract aft to be able to fold out of the way.  Likely only for if motoring, having to be in the cockpit in pouring cold rain to helm (lots rain here in winter...), or a bit of relief when sun is mostly overhead.  I hate adding more “crap on the back” —but I haven’t done it yet, just keeping it in mind as I finalize new mainsail measurements, to allow for one possibly in the future.  As well, a simple fixed but foldable structure might be designed to allow a simple sun shade curtain of a lightweight material to be attached and hung as a shield from late afternoon sun (as the dinghy sail is doing in your pic).

Here’s the Roger Henry at sea, very simple bimini. 

1137F136-C53A-4997-8C57-5B9679D0B310.jpeg

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