How much slower i am with a dacron mainsail

renard

New member
14
0
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?

 

sailorman44

Member
279
67
CT/FL
Unless you are a better sailor than DC you will never notice the difference. At least until the dacron has stretched out of shape.

 

Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
40,084
7,609
Eastern NC
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

 

B dock

Member
178
85
SF bay
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.

 

axolotl

Super Anarchist
1,656
183
San Diego
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.

 

climenuts

Anarchist
662
251
PNW
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.

 

Sail4beer

Super Anarchist
9,517
3,091
Toms River,NJ
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. 

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Meat Wad

Super Anarchist
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.

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.

 

Sail4beer

Super Anarchist
9,517
3,091
Toms River,NJ
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.

 

renard

New member
14
0
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? 
 




 

MiddayGun

Super Anarchist
1,061
384
Yorkshire
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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