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I am choosing a new mainsail for the season. Handicap racing, not one design.

How many seconds per mile will I loose with a good crosscut dacron mainsail, rather than a new Liteskin tri-radial main?

There was a nice discussion about this 14 years ago in this forum, maybe experiences have changed?

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7 hours ago, renard said:

I am choosing a new mainsail for the season. Handicap racing, not one design.

How many seconds per mile will I loose with a good crosscut dacron mainsail, rather than a new Liteskin tri-radial main?

There was a nice discussion about this 14 years ago in this forum, maybe experiences have changed?

The difference is not so much in the initial speed/power of the sail... although there is a slight difference in the friction of air, you're not going to notice that except in wind tunnel tests.

The initial difference will be in how easy it is to tune and trim, and that will still be fairly slight. The endpoint difference will be large, the dacron sail will be use-able (although very poor) years after the membrane sail is decomposed to microplastics in the environment.

The curve of degradation is the biggest noticable difference. The dacron will start to lose elasticity fairly soon, and continue to lose it; and also lose it's shape... more difficult to reach the desired sail shape with the sail controls, baggier and draft moves to undesirable location, etc... but this happens gradually. The membrane sails hold their shape beautifully, then start to lose it slowly, then start to lose it rapidly... in other words, a sail you know you're going to replace in 3~5 years (depending on how many gales you flog it thru, and how hard the UV exposure is in your area) whereas you can get by with dacron for a lot longer if you're not picky (or want to replace it sooner for less money).

I know of programs who have actually graphed all this out.

FB- Doug

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Reducing weight aloft is always good.  I am unsure of weight difference but I would assume it would be significant enough to notice.  I really notice it on my 29 footer.

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In light air a new Dacron main will perform similarly to a membrane sail, the difference being primarily weight aloft issues.  Even a new Dacron main is at a disadvantage in heavy air because it's much stretchier  under load and sail shape controls become less effective.  Prior to the development of membrane sails the solution was to have 2 mains, a light air main and a flatter cut heavy air main made out of heavier Dacron.  Nowadays it doesn't pencil out to own two mains because a membrane main stretches very little under load.

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1 hour ago, European Bloke said:

SA at it's finest, everyone weigh in, we don't even know if the fuckers taking about his Oppie or his TP52. Detail.

the answer is still 42, so what was the question?   oh..  will dacron make a difference or will one sloppy tack wipe that all out?

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You've also got to consider how unforgiving low-stretch materials can be to trim and for shock loading. Having the latest and greatest isn't going to mean shit if the trim is shit.

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Once you go black, you never go back

to stretchy Dacron, or your sailmaker much, for that matter. They hold shape and last for years if properly maintained. 
 

These boats with radial poly used to hang Dacron panels. New sails coming for the Fareast28R are tri radial Poly NT. 

C05B2EB2-E925-4C16-82D8-18D2EC6D3AEE.jpeg

F2D9564B-C755-4D40-9414-68F4B7659B2C.jpeg

191AA0C9-43E3-4877-9A7D-2978907DC894.jpeg

2F42483F-4E21-49B0-8C84-544991B8333B.jpeg

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When I was getting a new main for my Zap 26, the sailmaker and I discussed this.

Dacron

Pro: a little Cheaper, you can flog is a bit more
Con: Constant trimming, shape changes with wind speed, shorter life

Laminate:

Pro: The shape is the Shape, If you take care of it it will last for a long time. Very few adjustments from full to flat.
Con: Cost more then Dac but not by much

 

Remember, you get what you pay for.

26 minutes ago, climenuts said:

You've also got to consider how unforgiving low-stretch materials can be to trim and for shock loading. Having the latest and greatest isn't going to mean shit if the trim is shit.

It is very easy to over trim the main sheet.

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I did have a set of sails made for my cruiser made from 9 1/2 oz low density Dacron from Vermont Sailing Partners. I wanted a traditional look and the sails are forgiving, albeit heavy as hell and will last for many years The main has a 48 1/2’ luff and a 19’ foot.

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1 hour ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:
1 hour ago, European Bloke said:

SA at it's finest, everyone weigh in, we don't even know if the fuckers taking about his Oppie or his TP52. Detail.

the answer is still 42, so what was the question?   oh..  will dacron make a difference or will one sloppy tack wipe that all out?

Well, the question was nice, I think. There was an exact discussion like this in 2007.  It was a nice discussion. 42 - spill your beans now, what do you think? Will a dacron vs liteskin.... change the game for an average club racer? 
 

 

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If you go Dacron then no reason to go crosscut unless for cost reasons.

My boat came with a nice tri-radial dacron main, I'll replace it with a laminate sail when it finally does, but so far its proving pretty resilient. 

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need to know the boat type.   A Dacron main on a Moore 24, not a problem.   A Dacron main on a Sea Cart 30, I don't think it would work but if it did it would not last long and I don't think it would like the downhaul being ground on with a which. 

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3 minutes ago, IMR said:

need to know the boat type.   A Dacron main on a Moore 24, not a problem.   A Dacron main on a Sea Cart 30, I don't think it would work but if it did it would not last long and I don't think it would like the downhaul being ground on with a which. 

Excuse the drift.

You've already posted a pic of an afternoon sail on a Seacart30, now you're threatening to kill a Dacron main with a Seacart 30.  Begs the question, did you buy a Seacart 30? And, if yes do you plan to double hand it to Kaneohe?

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when I bought my J35, it came with a metric fuckton of older sails.. one reasonable dacron main and a container full of blown out old kevlar headsails and tissue paper kites. I ordered a full complement of new (latest and greatest at the time) sails from North.which included a kevlar main. I only used used those sails for 1D events. Wed nights I just went thru the old inventory until they exploded. My laminate headsails were great, the main, not so much. after a season I ordered a Dacron main with 2 fully functional reef points in it as I was considering doing some offshore stuff. that Dacron main lasted 5 seasons of very heavy use. I could still put it up and it has almost the same shape it had when it was new.. a little cupping along the leach that could be cut out if I felt like it.. I ordered another one just like it to replace it and it's now 6 or 7 years old and still looks new. I haven't raced it as much the last 3 or 4 years and it probably needs new slugs sewn on. My main trimmer could never quite figure out what to do with that laminate main. As soon as put the dacron sail on we started moving up in our fleets(both wed nights and 1D (different groups of boats)

The Dacron sail was just easier to trim correctly, period. If I had a clone of myself to drive and trim main at the same time, I might have stayed with the laminate sail. They are just a wee bit faster if they're trimmed correctly. But not faster enough to compensate for a blown tack, or other tactical errors. And in my mind very much not worth the extra expense on a boat like a J35. 

I'd much rather put my money towards headsails and hiring a coach a couple weekends a seasons. 

And since I brought up coaching, we hired a coach to beat us senseless for a weekend at the beginning of the season. The cost was split equally amongst all the crew that came out with the coach. the savings between the two mains would have more than covered two full weekends of his time. That coaching did a whole lot more for us than the laminate main would have.  

 

edit: and our coach was just that, a coach, he was not a hired gun to come out and race with us. He did race with us a few times because he and I got to be friends, but he didn't call tactics or strategy for us on the race course, and he only drove when I had to take a piss. He couldn't help himself but to offer suggestions to the crew on how to do things better. But most of his time spent on my boat, was on weekends that we weren't racing. We'd leave the dock at my house about 9am and go out and do drills for 8 hours and come back to the house, debrief, and cook hamburgers and do it all over again the next day. 

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friend of mine , who just happens to have a black dacron main, it came with the boat he bought ,  just contacted a  discount sailmaker up in the NE, that suggest tri-radial panels on the bottom and top with cross cut panels in the middle...  I told my friend he should probably just stay local and have a sail made properly even if it was going to cost a little bit more....

i have a dacron cross-cut main from a local sail maker who knows what he is doing and I've loved it from the moment I got it years ago.  my 6ktsb seems to like it too. it's easy to flatten in high winds and i can power it up in the light...  in 10-12knts of wind I don't think a high tech sail is going to make my boat go faster than hull speed... 

if you're going to spend extra money, I would spend it on getting the hull smooth and clean.. the best bang for the buck...

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Not sure of the boat type in question, but if it’s a racer/cruiser, I’d go with a high quality, slugged, Dacron main for the first one. It’s friendly to sail with while you learn the boat, the slugs won’t make nearly as much of an impact as not knowing the boat, and in 3-4 years you can replace it with the latest trendy go fast laminate, but still have a great beer can, day sailing, cruising sail. 

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1 hour ago, Hitchhiker said:

Excuse the drift.

You've already posted a pic of an afternoon sail on a Seacart30, now you're threatening to kill a Dacron main with a Seacart 30.  Begs the question, did you buy a Seacart 30? And, if yes do you plan to double hand it to Kaneohe?

Didn't buy a SeaCart, but I have been sailing on one a few times recently.  

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6 hours ago, European Bloke said:

SA at it's finest, everyone weigh in, we don't even know if the fuckers taking about his Oppie or his TP52. Detail.

Well, there you go, spoiling the fun, being all sensible

FB- Doug

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6 hours ago, European Bloke said:

SA at it's finest, everyone weigh in, we don't even know if the fuckers taking about his Oppie or his TP52. Detail.

I wassente siurre he wase talkling aboute a boate orra menatalle statess..................              :)

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19 hours ago, renard said:

I am choosing a new mainsail for the season. Handicap racing, not one design.

How many seconds per mile will I loose with a good crosscut dacron mainsail, rather than a new Liteskin tri-radial main?

There was a nice discussion about this 14 years ago in this forum, maybe experiences have changed?

renard, can you please explain WTF you're talking about?  Lite Skin first came out in 2015, so the 2007 discussion you've linked isn't the same subject you've asked about.

A little more importantly, Lite Skin isn't a cloth, it's a taffeta substitute that weighs about 1.5oz.  The sailcloth it's bonded to will determine what kind of performance you can expect.  Without that info (and a whole lot more), everybody's estiguessing at best.

Oy vey folks, either we're being played, or renard doesn't understand what he's asking...

Cheers!

 

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13 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Once you go black, you never go back

to stretchy Dacron, or your sailmaker much, for that matter. They hold shape and last for years if properly maintained. 
 

These boats with radial poly used to hang Dacron panels. New sails coming for the Fareast28R are tri radial Poly NT. 

C05B2EB2-E925-4C16-82D8-18D2EC6D3AEE.jpeg

F2D9564B-C755-4D40-9414-68F4B7659B2C.jpeg

191AA0C9-43E3-4877-9A7D-2978907DC894.jpeg

2F42483F-4E21-49B0-8C84-544991B8333B.jpeg

Except sail 2023 don’t exactly look like a tri radial sail, main or jib.......

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Renard

Work with us here,Type of boat, the location PHRF or other handicap? Anything else we might need to know? 
Headsails? are they in good shape? Overlap or non
Otherwise you may as well ask the forum how long is the piece  of string , and here you will get lots of very correct answers but that’s what happens when the data in is general -garbage in garbage out.

 

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Only feasible answers here without knowing more are generalities.  It really depends mostly on the boat.  A genoa driven boat is very dependent on fresh, efficient headsails.  The main adds a little speed but really contributes more to point.  A main-driven boat needs fresh main, can possibly live with a jib that isn't perfect. If it's a balanced sail plan... well, go with God, my friend. You got me. 

Look up the terms "service life" and "shape life" and figure out what you're trying to get out of your sail inventory; and think about the inventory and what you're willing to spend year to year, in PHRF.   Whatever boat you have, there are probably easier ways to win then dumping all your money into sails.  A week or couple long weekends at something like a J World racing course is a good way to make your boat faster for a thousand bucks.  

The answer is different in an OD fleet.  You'll know if dacron mains work pretty quick, or if laminate or other high tech fabric is needed.  

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8 hours ago, Navig8tor said:

Renard

Work with us here,Type of boat, the location PHRF or other handicap? Anything else we might need to know? 
Headsails? are they in good shape? Overlap or non
Otherwise you may as well ask the forum how long is the piece  of string , and here you will get lots of very correct answers but that’s what happens when the data in is general -garbage in garbage out.

Thanks for interest :)

I am sailing on a beautiful swede designed sailboat Maxi Fenix. https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/maxi-fenix-85
Currently having this sail set: http://www.puri.ee/media/EST894-Edda-2020.pdf

 

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Have you ever gotten a wicked smile when you bought and used a dirty, rust stained $300 sail from Minneys, patch it up with tape and taken the gun the first time you race with it against folks who recently dropped 20k or more from a legend of the cloth?

It is a pretty good feeling.

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33 minutes ago, Black Jack said:

Have you ever gotten a wicked smile when you bought and used a dirty, rust stained $300 sail from Minneys, patch it up with tape and taken the gun the first time you race with it against folks who recently dropped 20k or more from a legend of the cloth?

It is a pretty good feeling.

Has happened and then they catch you at the first mark :D

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13 minutes ago, renard said:

Has happened and then they catch you at the first mark :D

yes it has happened - I like old wooden race boats that point like a mf and once I popped my shitty (also purchased minneys) patched spinnaker I beat the faster rated boats by 10 mins over a 14.2 mile course.

Money does not always buy class or top speed but it sure looks good in photographs.

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40 minutes ago, Black Jack said:

Have you ever gotten a wicked smile when you bought and used a dirty, rust stained $300 sail from Minneys, patch it up with tape and taken the gun the first time you race with it against folks who recently dropped 20k or more from a legend of the cloth?

It is a pretty good feeling.

We won a few legs of the VanIsle360 using an old Farr40 jib that I got at Minney's for $600 which was literally held together with Tuck Tape (Tyvek Tape in the US?).

We had destroyed the "good" #3 jib by ripping the head off during a previous breezy leg, so the Minney's backup with Tuck Tape literally saved the day!

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On 3/30/2021 at 1:52 AM, renard said:

I am choosing a new mainsail for the season. Handicap racing, not one design.

How many seconds per mile will I loose with a good crosscut dacron mainsail, rather than a new Liteskin tri-radial main?

There was a nice discussion about this 14 years ago in this forum, maybe experiences have changed?

 

22 hours ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

I'd much rather put my money towards headsails and hiring a coach a couple weekends a seasons. 

I agree that you're better off to invest in good laminate headsails first, especially if you have a masthead rig, where much of the drive is from the headsail.

I won lots of races with laminate headsails and a good crosscut Dacron main on my previous masthead boat, especially when the breeze was up and I didn't want to damage my relatively light laminate main with unnecessary flogging.

On the other hand my current boat has a fractional rig with a huge flat-top main, and I wouldn't even attempt to use Dacron in this case.  

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5 minutes ago, gspot said:

especially if you have a masthead rig, where much of the drive is from the headsail.

with Fenix it is fractional rig but no space for a flat-top main.

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4 minutes ago, gspot said:

 

I agree that you're better off to invest in good laminate headsails first, especially if you have a masthead rig, where much of the drive is from the headsail.

I won lots of races with laminate headsails and a good crosscut Dacron main on my previous masthead boat, especially when the breeze was up and I didn't want to damage my relatively light laminate main with unnecessary flogging.

On the other hand my current boat has a fractional rig with a huge flat-top main, and I wouldn't even attempt to use Dacron in this case.  

and I don't get any sense the that the OPs boat is a flat top main

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On 3/30/2021 at 9:44 AM, B dock said:

Reducing weight aloft is always good.  I am unsure of weight difference but I would assume it would be significant enough to notice.  I really notice it on my 29 footer.

My laminate sails weigh at least 30% less than the Dacron sails, which makes them much easier to handle. 

1 hour ago, renard said:

with Fenix it is fractional rig but no space for a flat-top main.

I think this boat would do just fine with a good Dacron main, and it will last you a very long time. 

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On 3/30/2021 at 12:43 PM, MiddayGun said:

If you go Dacron then no reason to go crosscut unless for cost reasons.

My boat came with a nice tri-radial dacron main, I'll replace it with a laminate sail when it finally does, but so far its proving pretty resilient. 

Yes, there is.  A good sailmaker can return a cross-cut main to near-new shape by re-cutting it.  There is a limited amount of re-cutting that can be done on a tri-radial.

On 3/30/2021 at 5:10 PM, SEC16518 said:

Go for the liteskin.....you only live once......and yes a whole lot of shit has changed over the last 14 years

Liteskin is the relatively new kid on the block - anytime that happens, I would be checking with someone who has owned a sail made of this stuff for a few years before buying one.  

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Looking at the spec for the OP boat , it has a quite high aspect blade pinhead type main, a short crane at the masthead for the backstay really prevents the option of a square top and it would appear to be a headsail driven boat.

I think the dollars will probably be better invested in headsails that allow you to change gears through the different wind ranges.

Leave the main as Dacron, however if you want a bit of lifespan perhaps bi or tri-radial but it does not appear the main is the provider of the larger percentage of the horsepower driving this boat forward.

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18 hours ago, Rain Man said:

Yes, there is.  A good sailmaker can return a cross-cut main to near-new shape by re-cutting it.  There is a limited amount of re-cutting that can be done on a tri-radial.

 

Well today I learned something. 

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1 hour ago, MiddayGun said:

Well today I learned something. 

For the record, a membrane sail like a 3Di will have minimal stretch, will be lighter, will hold it's shape and then, if necessary, it can also be recut easily and will have a lot of years in it.  It will also cost more out of the box but may life-cycle cost out quite well.

And I'm tired of hearing about "a missed shift" when discussing sail choices.  Hitting a tree while driving to the marina will likely cause you to miss the start.

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6 hours ago, Left Shift said:

For the record, a membrane sail like a 3Di will have minimal stretch, will be lighter, will hold it's shape and then, if necessary, it can also be recut easily and will have a lot of years in it.  It will also cost more out of the box but may life-cycle cost out quite well.

And I'm tired of hearing about "a missed shift" when discussing sail choices.  Hitting a tree while driving to the marina will likely cause you to miss the start.

That's not what the sailmakers tell me, but maybe they just want to sell new sails.  My understanding was that only cross-cut panelled sails, whatever the material, had good re-shaping potential.  Everything else, like taking the leech hook out of a tri-radial laminate headsail, is hit or miss.  I am not a sailmaker, but I know lots of them. 

3Di is not panelled - how will they recut it? 

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20 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

That's not what the sailmakers tell me, but maybe they just want to sell new sails.  My understanding was that only cross-cut panelled sails, whatever the material, had good re-shaping potential.  Everything else, like taking the leech hook out of a tri-radial laminate headsail, is hit or miss.  I am not a sailmaker, but I know lots of them. 

3Di is not panelled - how will they recut it? 

 

https://www.northsails.com/sailing/en/2020/08/sail-recuts-alterations-north-sails-service-sailmaking

We don’t hear much about sail recutting and alterations, although it is still a big part of the sailmaking world. Because sail fabrics have improved dramatically over the years with sail shape holding and chafe-free components (like 3Di), the days of major recuts are not as prominent as they were in the days of strictly laminates, Dacron, and polyester sail materials. However, many clients worldwide are getting sail alterations, and altering sail shape has not only helped them optimize their inventory, it has given new life to sails that are in perfectly usable condition, but perhaps retired from high-level racing programs.

Noel Drennan, One Design Manager based in Sydney, Australia commented; “In the early days of Dacron and Kevlar cloth, racing yachts required constant recutting to keep the sails close to their original racing shape– and we are glad those days are over!”

Why a recut?

Recutting a racing sail usually starts with getting a photograph of the sail while the sail is in use while sailing in its correct wind range. We take a series of sail scan images from the foot up and compare those images to its original, intended flying shape. The measurements are also compared to the original dimensions so we know what has changed in sail shape.

The principles of recutting to keep the sails at premium racing shape is still the same as the old days but the recut is substantially less often and down to the smallest increments of change required, which is a fraction of what it used to be with only traditional sail materials.

North Sails 3Di has an incredible composite structure which prevents delamination like that of a string-type sail. Delamination is another common reason why a client would request a recut. Noel comments; “It’s nice to know that any reshaping or alterations of your sail is not wasted on a failing base structure, rather the normal up-keep and maintenance required to help a materials lifespan.”

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18 hours ago, Rain Man said:

That's not what the sailmakers tell me, but maybe they just want to sell new sails.  My understanding was that only cross-cut panelled sails, whatever the material, had good re-shaping potential.  Everything else, like taking the leech hook out of a tri-radial laminate headsail, is hit or miss.  I am not a sailmaker, but I know lots of them. 

3Di is not panelled - how will they recut it? 

I was puzzled too, but...the North methodology as described to me is to use sections of 3Di material adhered to the sail membrane.  No stitching, just modern adhesives that work very well in shear.  Think of the Volvo boats repairing their membrane sails with 5200 adhesive.  They continued around the world.  

I just had an older 3Di recut to raise the clew.  The work is really quite crisp.  We put the sail up the next day and sailed bow-to-bow for several miles with one of our serious competitors, in slightly over-range conditions.  

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1 hour ago, Left Shift said:

I was puzzled too, but...the North methodology as described to me is to use sections of 3Di material adhered to the sail membrane.  No stitching, just modern adhesives that work very well in shear.  Think of the Volvo boats repairing their membrane sails with 5200 adhesive.  They continued around the world.  

I just had an older 3Di recut to raise the clew.  The work is really quite crisp.  We put the sail up the next day and sailed bow-to-bow for several miles with one of our serious competitors, in slightly over-range conditions.  

I'd love to see a picture of that repair, learn something new every day!

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2 hours ago, Rain Man said:

I'd love to see a picture of that repair, learn something new every day!

Look at the clew of a 3Di sail.  It looks like that.  

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2 hours ago, Left Shift said:

Look at the clew of a 3Di sail.  It looks like that.  

It still makes me wonder how they would put shape back into a sail that had lost it.  Moving a clew up is one thing, but fixing a leech hook or moving the draft forward to where it is supposed to be in a blown out sail is another.  

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5 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

It still makes me wonder how they would put shape back into a sail that had lost it.  Moving a clew up is one thing, but fixing a leech hook or moving the draft forward to where it is supposed to be in a blown out sail is another.  

Could put a new curve on the luff of a main...like bending the rig. Especially at the top or wherever they get deep first. Might be some leech tension material that can be adjusted to reduce a hook there? I've had North adjust new 3DL sails by apparently just tweaking at the edges.

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8 hours ago, Rain Man said:

It still makes me wonder how they would put shape back into a sail that had lost it.  Moving a clew up is one thing, but fixing a leech hook or moving the draft forward to where it is supposed to be in a blown out sail is another.  

Alter/straighten the luff curve flattens the sail. Darts and hollowing in the leech. Another option is to open the check book.

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