Sailplan feedback

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  • 23 Apr 2017 08:01
    Reply # 4770431 on 4764434

    The fabric inspectors often put a fluorescent sticker where they find a flaw. I look at the area, and often can't spot what the problem was, but occasionally it's obvious, like a knot in the weft thread, or a streaky appearance where the dying went wrong. Only rarely have I found damage that made the cloth unusable. Usually it's just a cosmetic flaw that doesn't bother me. So I'm quite comfortable with buying seconds.

    Harbor Time looks suitable, but as Annie says, I'd want to order a yard or two and check it. It's worth trying to sew through at least four thicknesses, to check that your machine setup is going to cope.

  • 23 Apr 2017 01:49
    Reply # 4770211 on 4764434
    Annie, that encompasses the majority of my thoughts actually. I expect that I will end up making new sails in a few years once I figure out what truly works for me and for such low cost I feel ok dropping 500$ for 100 square yards without all that much reticence. I will probably pull the handle on it and Guinea pig it for the rest of us :) 
  • 22 Apr 2017 23:52
    Reply # 4770145 on 4767821
    Steve Wallace wrote:

    Has anyone used Harbor Time for sailcloth? It's very close to Top Gun in spec and Rockford Supply has a very nice deal on 2nds. Secondly (hah) has anyone used seconds material and had major issues? The price per yard is very intriguing and since minor defects shouldn't be as big of a failure point on a junk I'm curious if there's a big reason not to save the 10$ or so per yard. 

    I see that this is made by Sunbrella, which is a quality product, so I dare say they won't be producing rubbish.  However, from the blurb, it seems to rely quite heavily on the coating which is applied to both sides: so much so that they recommend you protecting it against chafe.  I'm not sure that would make it appropriate for a sail where you not only get chafe (which can be protected against) from lazyjacks and the mast lift, but also from cloth-against-cloth in a reefed sail, which is much less easy to prevent.  (Having said which, another site, Outdoor Fabrics of Canada) says they have exceptional resistance to chafe!)  At 11 oz it might be a tad heavier than Top Gun.  It is 'stabilised against stretching', whatever that may mean, which could also be something of an asset.

    Alan on Zebedee has just made a suit of sails from Odyssey II seconds.  He reckons that it was so cheap that if he only gets 4 years from this suit, he'll still be happy with it.  (Although he is using sail covers, this time.) He reckons that he learns so much each time he makes a sail that he's wanting to make another one fairly soon, anyway.  You need to consider your latitude, the number of days that you sail and whether or not you will use sail covers when making these decisions.  But for many of us, saving no less than $10 a yard on sail cloth, especially for sails as large as you will be making, would be an over-riding reason to buy the stuff!  I suggest you send for a sample (or even invest in a yard) of the fabric have a good look at it.  And get samples of other cloth while you are at it. 

    If you are like most of us, you will find sail making satisfying and pleasant work and be quite happy at the prospect of making new (and better) ones somewhere down the track.  If this fabric is truly relatively inexpensive, it might be well worth buying, simply because your first suit of sails is unlikely to be your last!  And bear in mind that full-time sailors hammer their sails much more than weekenders, so longevity is also relative!

  • 21 Apr 2017 16:25
    Reply # 4767821 on 4764434

    Has anyone used Harbor Time for sailcloth? It's very close to Top Gun in spec and Rockford Supply has a very nice deal on 2nds. Secondly (hah) has anyone used seconds material and had major issues? The price per yard is very intriguing and since minor defects shouldn't be as big of a failure point on a junk I'm curious if there's a big reason not to save the 10$ or so per yard. 

  • 20 Apr 2017 14:15
    Reply # 4765418 on 4764434

    David: Yup, I think I'm convinced to go top gun. It's actually what the current rigs sails are made of!  

    Annie: Yeah, I have no illusions of my boat ever being a racer. I don't really even want it to be. As long as I can tool around at 5 or so knots in the open ocean for passages I'm happy. I don't mind using my engine as a chrome sail :) 


    Overall looks like I'll probably go Top Gun and maybe add an additional panel to get a bit more sail area and keep the mast height reasonable from a price and usability standpoint. The masts will be deck stepped in tabernacles - modeled closely on what Robert Leask did on his ketch rig - and I want to keep them a manageable height/weight that I can step them single handed so getting into the 50-60 foot range starts to worry me. 

  • 20 Apr 2017 09:22
    Reply # 4765103 on 4764434

    I used Topgun 9/Mustang for Tystie's latest sails. It seems to me that both Odyssey and Topgun 9 have a lot of resin filler/waterproofer relative to the amount of woven cloth they contain, and when this breaks down/gets abraded, as it will, then the problems start. For this size of boat, I would agree with Kurt that Topgun 11 is a good choice, with its longevity having been proven. 

    The sailplan looks to me as though it will work without too many hangups. Extend the top sheeted batten so that the uppermost sheet spans tend to hang clear of the sails when slack, and then I think the sheeting will be OK. Whenever I've felt greedy and put on "just a little more sail area", I've regretted it...

  • 20 Apr 2017 08:56
    Reply # 4765069 on 4764434

    I think you'll find more details about Pacific Spray on the website, if you rummage around.  Rob and Maren were pretty pleased with their boat and I think Walter and Estelle who now own her are not dissatisfied.  With a boat like a Spray you have to be realistic about what she will do: she's never going to be a light-airs flyer.  On the other hand, these heavy-displacement boats forge on for long distances under their own momentum and in fickle winds can do better than their lightweight sisters who stop dead between each puff of wind.

    Don't even think of Odyssey for this rig!

  • 20 Apr 2017 04:38
    Reply # 4764642 on 4764610
    David Webb wrote:

    Hi Steve,

    Rob Prince had a steel Spray 38 or 40. He would be a good source for feedback on your proposal. I know that he eventually put double sheeting on the foresail because the gap to the main was not enough and he had a lot of problems with sheet hangup. I had a Roberts Offshore 38 and put a 1000 sq. ft. lugsail ketch rig on her and she was not over canvassed. Your boat is quite a bit heavier so I would suggest as much sail as you can set would be the way to go. I find that more balance area in the sails works better for me as it reduces the loads on the yard hauling parrell and on the luff hauling parrells. It also moves the C of A further forward helping with mast position and creates less weather helm when you bear off.

    With regard to sail material, I believe that Odyssey is a bit light for sails of the size suggested for your boat. Also your displacement is quite high and this leads to higher loads on the sails so a heavier cloth is advisable.

    All the best with the project, David.

    Yeah I would honestly prefer to be closer to 1000sqft, thinking on it I might be able to add two additional lower panels bumping the sqft per sail up to around 520sqft which would give me 1040sqft of sail area. That really only increases overall mast height by about 10 or 12 foot which should put it somewhere in the range of 45-50 foot. 


    I will probably look at top gun in the 9 oz or so weight, I believe Odyssey is around 6. 

  • 20 Apr 2017 04:13
    Reply # 4764610 on 4764434

    Hi Steve,

    Rob Prince had a steel Spray 38 or 40. He would be a good source for feedback on your proposal. I know that he eventually put double sheeting on the foresail because the gap to the main was not enough and he had a lot of problems with sheet hangup. I had a Roberts Offshore 38 and put a 1000 sq. ft. lugsail ketch rig on her and she was not over canvassed. Your boat is quite a bit heavier so I would suggest as much sail as you can set would be the way to go. I find that more balance area in the sails works better for me as it reduces the loads on the yard hauling parrell and on the luff hauling parrells. It also moves the C of A further forward helping with mast position and creates less weather helm when you bear off.

    With regard to sail material, I believe that Odyssey is a bit light for sails of the size suggested for your boat. Also your displacement is quite high and this leads to higher loads on the sails so a heavier cloth is advisable.

    All the best with the project, David.

    Last modified: 20 Apr 2017 04:20 | Anonymous member
  • 20 Apr 2017 03:48
    Reply # 4764584 on 4764434

    Hi Steve,

    Sheeting Distances - I can assure you that if you allow less room down and aft of your sails' clews than Hasler & McLeod recommend, (like I did) you'll have more snaggles and poorer sheeting angles, than if you allow more (like I wish.) Since your height above deck isn't yet settled, I guess you can still play around, check Practical Junk Rig, play some more...

    Sail Material - I'll praise Top Gun for years yet. I've just unbent our sails, (for a preventative re-stitching) which are still tough and undamaged after over ten years well-exercised and never covered. So Top Gun is great for flat-cut sails about the size of yours. For cambered panels, I can't say for sure. 

    Cheers, Kurt

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