Good sailcloth for JR

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  • 03 Jun 2019 22:38
    Reply # 7553951 on 7552874
    David wrote:

    That's interesting, Paul. That would make Top Gun 9 my first choice for all but the biggest sails, as Top Gun 11 is known to perform well over time, whereas I noted quite a lot of chafe on my Mustang sail after coming all the way down the Pacific.

    A good point, David.  Most sails last a long time when used for only occasional weekend sailing, assuming they don't get UV damage: before a sailcloth can be considered truly suitable for offshore, junk-rigged boats, it has to be tried for many miles, which is difficult to do coastal sailing.  (In all the time I had Fantail, I sailed fewer than 5,000 miles, including the long passage from Nelson!)

    You will recall that there was a great deal of enthusiasm for Odyssey, until people actually started using the sails and found the material simply wasn't up to the task, offshore.  On the other hand, although no longer popular, Sunbrella and similar are very long-lasting, tough fabrics, well tested.  Pinholes from chafe don't spread and Badger got 80,000 miles out of her original suit, which would still have easily stood up to another ocean crossing.  For most enthusiastic weekend sailors, that is a lifetime's sailing.

    It worries me a little, that there is often great enthusiasm for fabrics that haven't really been tested in an ocean environment.  Weathermax is another example: people are using it happily and it surely is a pleasant fabric, but I should like an honest critique of the material from someone who has sailed at least 10,000 miles with it.

    I think it would be very interesting to compile a list of the fabrics used on the sails of junk-rigged boats that have crossed oceans, together with the owners' comments and have it available as a .pdf.

  • 03 Jun 2019 14:02
    Reply # 7552874 on 1206989

    That's interesting, Paul. That would make Top Gun 9 my first choice for all but the biggest sails, as Top Gun 11 is known to perform well over time, whereas I noted quite a lot of chafe on my Mustang sail after coming all the way down the Pacific.

  • 03 Jun 2019 01:40
    Reply # 7552107 on 1206989

    Just a comment. I've recently bought Top Gun 9 to make the sails for my new boat Le Canard Bleu.

    Top  Gun 9 as most of you will know is what replaces Mustang. Just want to comment that Top Gun 9 is a liter version of the original Top Gun and it handles and feels like Top Gun, just a bit lighter.

    Mustang on the other hand is a heavier version of Odyssey III and handles and feels more like Odyssey III than Top Gun. So its a bit more flexible and nicer to handle but both will make great sails.

    After having made sails from Odyssey III, Mustang, Top Gun, Weathermax 80 (and 60) and now Top Gun 9, I can say that Mustang and Top Gun 9 are the easiest to work with and are pleasant to handle.

  • 10 Mar 2019 17:29
    Reply # 7209151 on 7207761
    Anonymous wrote:

     Weathermax is just such a cloth, but it's a pity that it doesn't sew very well. 

    My winter project with weathermax 80 turned out well. I had two 5-6 meter long seams running "aganist the grain" right down the middle of my new top two panels so I definitely did not want lots of pucker along the seam. These seams are "along the roll" which is the worst direction for puckering. 

    See close-up and full size pics of finished panels. As described in Reply # 6941435 on 6685408 my only method change was to coated the 1 inch seam offset with hardware store contact cement.

    robert self

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    Last modified: 10 Mar 2019 17:38 | Anonymous member
  • 09 Mar 2019 10:21
    Reply # 7207761 on 1206989

    Abrasion resistance is certainly an important factor, particularly for long distance sailing. Equally important is the ability to withstand repeated diagonal loadings without breaking down. We've seen that happening in cloths that have a loose weave and a high proportion of filler. There isn't an indicator for that in the table, unless it's the denier of the base fabric - Odyssey: 300, Top Gun 9: 450, Top Notch 9: 600. The heavy weight Top Gun has a denier of 600, and we know that to be a good performer, so maybe there's a clue here. Maybe Top Gun 9 has a good balance between these two properties.

    Conventional polyester sailcloth is very tightly woven with little filler, so that its performance in a biassed pull is very good; but that tight weave also means that it is very rigid, and we do like a cloth that is soft enough to furl down neatly without trouble. I think that we're looking for a polyester cloth that is soft, yet tightly woven, and with little filler. Weathermax is just such a cloth, but it's a pity that it doesn't sew very well. The Clipper Canvas of Weaverbird's current sail is the nearest to ideal that I've used, but is difficult to find. The Haywards Sunwing 5.5oz sailcloth that I've used for most of the new wingsail is going to be a bit stiff and crackly for comfort, until it settles down and softens up, I fear.

    Is there any up to date user info on sewing Top Notch 9 and its performance in service?

  • 07 Mar 2019 00:38
    Reply # 7203432 on 1206989

    I'm strongly in favour of Top Gun 9 (which is the old Mustang). After having made four sails from Weathermax 80 (ranging from 100 Sq.Ft. to 650 Sq.Ft), I don't like it and will be using Top Gun 9 when I make the sails for LCB.

    I used Mustang for LC's sails and after six years of regular use and never a sailcover down here in New Zealand, I'm very comfortable with it. It also showed no signs of chaff where the sail is trapped between the mast and battens. The sails look the same as the day I first put them on.

    It is also very, very much easier to work with than Weathermax 80 and it does not need to be cut with a hot knife.

  • 06 Mar 2019 17:07
    Reply # 7202588 on 1206989

    In one of the threads, there were a few comments on Top Notch 9 perhaps being a good choice.  Looking at the specs vs Top Gun 9, I'm surprised at the difference in abrasion resistance:  10,000 cycles vs 600 cycles with Top Gun the clear winner. Should this be a deciding factor?

  • 14 Dec 2018 06:47
    Reply # 6959382 on 1206989

    That's weird about Outguard. My yellow Outguard has colour on both sides.

    Last modified: 14 Dec 2018 06:52 | Anonymous member
  • 12 Dec 2018 20:57
    Reply # 6957345 on 1206989

    Today we received the Swela Outguard 393 190g (burgundy). Unfortunately it's just colored on one side. This is maybe a valuable information. The data sheet suggested something different IMHO. But fortune favours fools, the seller will take it back.

    So we try to get some WEATHERMAX 65 ...

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    Last modified: 12 Dec 2018 21:00 | Anonymous member
  • 01 Dec 2018 22:18
    Reply # 6941435 on 6685408
    Anonymous wrote:

    Thought I'd post a photo of pucker in a sail currently under construction. The top  most panel in the foresail for Roger Fullerton's Feng Zheng.

    BTW: This particular seam was sewn on the Sailrite LZ1. The Elize gets rather less pucker but I did not yet have it when I did this panel.

    See pic. Contact cement, the everyday hardware store stuff, brand is weldwood in the US does make a visual difference to weathermax 80 puckering. The fabric absorbs the stuff so had to put on 2 coats to feel the tackyness. Seam is 1 inch wide. Each "panel" is 13 x 49 cm. The non-cement panel have only 1/4" 2-sided tape (usual for Odyssey). Using Paul T.'s identifiers.

    I'll be trying 1-inch 2-sided may produce the same result without the volatiles. However, it may be the "soaking in" that minimizes the yarn displacement effect.


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    Last modified: 01 Dec 2018 22:41 | Anonymous member
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