Sails - who's are best and why?
Its the time of year when everyone is looking at what sails to buy for the next season, there always seems to be info on boats/masts etc, but never anything on sails.....
"Best" for waht? What are your priorities and needs for buying new sails?
Rowsell Sails 1st, 3rd and 4th at the Tamesis Worlds. Got to be worth a look.
But who do each sailmakers sails suit best in terms of crew weight, carbon mast type, sea/inland waters. there are alot of factors involved in searching for the right sails to help win races.
If you don't know, enough alread (you don't or you wouldn't be asking :-) pick a top jockey that beats you by miles and has approximately the same weight and boat and mast, and buy his 6 month old cast off. Will save you a fortune and guarentee that you'll have a good set.
Laminate sails are physically no faster than dacron but do hold their optimium shape for longer though, especially polyester laminate in my experience. This, along with lighter weight, is why we are nearly all using laminate sails.
Interesting point here; does laminate really hold optimum shape longer? In my experience the stuff shrinks like billy-o, and unless very carefully shielded from uv takes on all the shape characteristics of a tarpaulin...
When Dickie and I sailed Armed Forces we won the Midland circuit using a 3 year old Alverbanks polyester laminate main. I know it's only puddle sailing but if it were slow this would not be possible.
At Hampton the majority of us are using Dakron DS sails for our Classic Mk IX's, XII's etc. It seems as fast as any of the new sails and it seems to last longer. I think the white cloth looks better on a classic merlin as well.
I bought the DS main that Dave had on one of the boats at the dinghy show last year which is a laminate with some kevlar and some other exotic thing in it. I had hoped people who knew more about the relative merits of the various sailmakers would post, unless you are in the top 10 in the champs it probably doesn't matter which of the leading sailmakers you buy from but what makes a big difference is getting a sail cut for your weight (the one I had before this was quite flat, present one full in the head) and the mast you are setting it on. If you are working with a sailmaker on a development programme like Glen was (see Y&Y) you wouldn't be asking the question on the forum would you
Dave at DS - great service and very knowledgeable.
The Mylar that Dick Batt was using a few years back seemed a long life material and lighter than Dacron. Also looked better than most kevlar material since. It went out of fashion when higher tech came in but if the cloth is still made it might be worth revisiting for club use longevity?
white sails are best because you can have nice lilac numbers on them.
Is this one Dave singing the praises of another - or Dave singing his own? I think we should be told!!
It's not the same Dave, there are a few of us about you know!! Dave D is far too modest to self-praise!