Sail materials, cuts and layers

Lykke

Member
120
66
So Cal
starting to look for a new mainsail… revisiting half-forgotten thoughts from the last time over a decade ago…

Cross-cut (panels parallel to the foot) is an easier (cheaper) construction. Does making it out of “membrane” panels (with fibers along the load path) make the choice of cut irrelevant? Or do they get fked up at the panel stitches anyway?

A tri-radial construction aligns the stitches along load paths better, supposedly, but it seems that designing load path membranes would be topographically (although still 2d) complex. Anyone doing it, or do they just line up parallel fiber clothes in the those panels the best they can?

Does anyone glue load-bearing fibers on after the panels are sawn together?
( I once had a UK main that had those tapes over Dacron described as the best of both worlds, and in fact it held on fairly well).

Which brings me to 3di. Are there real world data on the true increase in longevity? Delam is delam, whether in separate panels or not.

And as always, $ is a factor. The best racing should be $ for $ - make a race that would go around the world 3 times (can stop for repairs) on the strictly enforced $1m budget and you get a great match for what normal people are looking for in their boats.
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,128
6,313
Canada
- what boat (laminates make more and more sense as boat size increases)?
- intended use (Wed night racing/more serious racing/cruising locally/cruising offshore)?
- where do you live?
 

Lykke

Member
120
66
So Cal
A 50’ trimaran. Offshore cruising (racing if can raise $$ for sail/gear depreciation). In SE USA now (does it make a difference, are there savings from taking delivery in, say, SXM?)

The question was more along the lines of:
Does the cut still matter. Sailmakers tout “membrane” as if it cancels out the cross-cut construction. I’ve had multiple rips along tri-radial seams too. How much is 3di really worth?

I think the question that amalgamated all the factors is: what would be the choice for a double circumnavigation race on a $1m all-in budget, with stops allowed. So 3di can be compared to, say, 3 “membrane” sails built in China or Sri Lanka.
 
Quality Dacron/Dyneema blend tri radial sails will last longer that any other sail made, and hold their shape for a long time. Purchase a few extra yards of the sailcloth and they can be repaired anywhere there is a sewing machine that can handle the weight. Dimension/Polyant GXLD laminates also make for very strong long lasting sails. Large carbon fiber tapes protected by woven Dacron/Dyneema tafettas.
 

Tom O'Keefe

Super Anarchist
We purchased an Ullman Hydranet main about five years ago. It's holding up great and is the best shaped/fitting main we have owned 1983 ULDB. But, it's not race weight. Probably a bit lighter than dacron. But, definitely heavier than 3di or D4
 

Rantifarian

Rantifarian
A 50’ trimaran. Offshore cruising (racing if can raise $$ for sail/gear depreciation). In SE USA now (does it make a difference, are there savings from taking delivery in, say, SXM?)

The question was more along the lines of:
Does the cut still matter. Sailmakers tout “membrane” as if it cancels out the cross-cut construction. I’ve had multiple rips along tri-radial seams too. How much is 3di really worth?

I think the question that amalgamated all the factors is: what would be the choice for a double circumnavigation race on a $1m all-in budget, with stops allowed. So 3di can be compared to, say, 3 “membrane” sails built in China or Sri Lanka.
The cheapo Asian sails that have been purchased by others at my club have all been shit in one way or another. The cut, particularly draft location, and the finishing at tack and clew fittings have been the worst aspects. No-one has bought more than one.
 

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