New Sails For Easy Go

  • 18 Feb 2012 01:23
    Reply # 828428 on 789977
    Deleted user
    While still in the design stage the comments on air battens are appreciated. We are still using the aluminum tubing battens until we are closer to home where experiments will be more forgiving. The weight consideration for air battens is valid. I'll need to weigh an aluminum batten we are now using and compare it to the weight of a high pressure hose. Concerned also about the blow out factor and how to get home with a "flat" batten. Andrew and I discussed this at length. We thought that putting a smaller diameter hose inside the larger would provide sufficient stiffness deflated to still be useful. As the air battens would only be used from the third batten down the triangular panels would be supported be rigid battens and yard. I think the weight of the fittings to inflate the batten would be the same as those for a bicycle tube, negligible to say the least. Existing applications in racing boats require adjustments on the fly. I feel the junk rig will be set up at the dock and after fine tuning will require little alteration similar to the tires on a car. If designed correctly I feel that air battens will provide a camber to the sail similar to that in a Bermudian rig and the failure factor will be minimal in time.
    Last modified: 18 Feb 2012 01:31 | Deleted user
  • 17 Feb 2012 20:37
    Reply # 828263 on 789977
    There must be some weight in them given the air hoses and fittings, though that would all be at the Luff I guess. I strikes me as just one more thing that can go wrong.
  • 17 Feb 2012 04:44
    Reply # 827580 on 789977
    Deleted user
    Wouldn't you need to add weights to the sail when using air battens? I thought the heavy junk rig battens were the reason the sail reefs so conveniently.
  • 16 Feb 2012 20:52
    Reply # 827287 on 789977
    Deleted user
    We've been out giving the new sails a workout in winds up to a recorded 28 knots. The new 7.5 oz cloth is ideal and I regret not going to it sooner. The heavy cloth seems to add structure to the entire rig allowing us to actually carry more sail in higher winds.  The battens do not seem to take as much strain as the sailcloth contribute to the entire structure of the sail. They do bend a bit still and this is desirable to attaining a good sail shape. The upwind ability has proven itself in a friendly tacking match with a cutter riiged sloop of comparable size. In 20 knot+ winds we were able to outpoint her by about five degrees and our speeds were similar. We had one reef in both the head and mainsail with an indicated heel of 15 degrees. The dory hull just chugged along through the chop.

    In nearly calm conditions with the tradewind swell running she still managed to get to windward although it was slow going and we had to work the waves as well as the wind to keep moving in about two knots of breeze.

    The change in design to the top two panels has eliminated all flutter and they seem to work better on all points of sail.

    The luff and leach lines are working well to help build in camber and control any flutter in the sail. We have the main panels showing camber near the bow section of the sail while flattening out in the stern section. very reminiscent of our sloop with a battened main sail.

    We have only put a couple of hundred miles on these new sails. It will be interesting to see how they perform when we head back to higher latitudes in a few months and expose them to more serious winds.

  • 18 Jan 2012 08:18
    Reply # 801532 on 789977
    (Love the cruise ship in the background!)  Looking good, Bob.  You appear to have decided against the air battens - why is that?

    i hope you get away for some pleasant Down Island cruising and get a chance to try out the new sails soon.
  • 17 Jan 2012 22:06
    Reply # 801169 on 789977
    Deleted user
    Check out the Photo Essay for the new sails for Easy Go.
  • 10 Jan 2012 20:43
    Reply # 791598 on 789977
    I look forward to seeing some photos and hearing about how you find they work in practice.  It's good to hear of a sail maker so interested in an alternative rig and intrigued by it.  You have one of the best sailing areas in the world to try them out in!

  • 08 Jan 2012 21:10
    Message # 789977
    Deleted user

    We made our own sails for Easy Go the first time around. Using the Practical Junk Rig with reference to The Chinese Sailing Rig we had a functional and good looking suit of sails. Their deficiency in blue water and heavy weather sailing soon became apparent however. The cloth was too light and fluttering caused damage under way and even when they were furled in the lazy jacks. Patching and reinforcements minimalized this until UV degradation and the powerful weather we experienced sailing south in November 2011 indicated that it was time to replace them.

    We met Andrew Dove of Antigua Sails at Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua and it soon became apparent that he is light years ahead of us in the technology of sail design and fabrics. Using the original Easy Go sails we lofted up the new ones on the floor of his spectacular sail loft and got them cut out and taped together in one evening. The staff of Antigua Sails then took on the work of sewing them together with their state of the art air powered Cordes ogspotsewing machines.

    Andrew had some interesting and radical ideas on sail building which we have incorporated or are considering for the the future.

    These sails are made of a high quality 7.5 ounce polyester. Andrew identified that the original material we had used was an inferior loose weave polyester that depended on resin for its strength. The new sails are a tighter weave with less polyester. The material will stand up to UV degradation longer and will with endure the trials of heavy weather better.

    The top two triangular panels are made significantly different with the single seam horizontally from equidistant and perpendicular between the battens at the leech and terminating at the luff. Heavily stitched they will resist the fluttering and stretching that the previous sails experienced. The radial appearance shows strength and it looks good as well. After the top panels had failed twice it was time to try something different. We are looking forward to giving them a good workout and seeing how they stand up.

    The lower rectangular panels are stitched vertically as were the originals.

    All panels have a small scallop on the leech to minimize fluttering. The leech and luff have lines sewn into the edges to adjust the tensions at the ends of the sails. They can also be tied to the battens in the event of a blown out panel to secure the battens until repairs can be made.

    The loops for the sheets are spectra rope that has a loop formed mid way. The two tails are unlaid, fanned out and then glued and sandwiched between the reinforcing patches for the grommets that retain the battens.

    Andrews experience with blue water sails indicated that all the reinforcements were far to light. These sails are really beefed up.

    Eyelets are hydraulically pressed. The four corner attachment points are also tied back with webbing loops sewn into the reinforcement patches rather that the traditional hand sewn rings.

    Chafe protection for the batten pockets against the mast is provided by a spectra webbing that should last longer than the sails. We were suitably impressed with the first sails chafe protection using the seat belts from old Lada cars. They still show only minimal wear.

    Now for some interesting innovations that we are considering. Andrew has successfully painted polyester sails increasing their UV resistance and strengthening the fabric. The paint used in a high quality Acrylic Latex House Paint cut by half with water. The paint is applied with a roller. There is some minor flaking but this is minimal and decreases with further applications. A small price to pay for added sail life. This innovation is high on our list. We will let the sails weather a bit then add the paint to change the colour from basic white. Acrylic Latex House paint has served us well on the decks and hull of Easy Go.

    A very radical innovation is in the batten construction. We have not implemented this yet but again it is high on our experimental list. The current battens are aluminum tubing which experience memory issues after being used in heavy weather. The top batten on the rectangular sail panels tends to bow and not come back to its original shape. I have straightened them out and use them lower in the sail rotating out the battens every time we reinstall the sails. Andrew has been experimenting and using Air Battens on Code 0 sails and we both agreed that it was likely the best form of batten to develop camber in the Junk Rig Sail. While these battens can be extremely complicated with compressors to inflate or deflate the battens a simpler rig is envisioned for Easy Go. Using a constant thickness high pressure air hose with machined ends to accept the batten lashings and a air filling fitting they will be pumped up to the appropriate pressures with a bicycle pump. They can be made virtually as rigid as aluminum tubing but will give camber to the sails at slightly lesser pressure. I'm hoping to do some experiments over the next year with this process and look forward to results from any one who has seen or used air battens. I think they will simplify the building of the sails allowing a flat traditional sail to develop a superior camber comparable to that of a traditional non battened lug sail providing the lift necessary for better windward performance. Andrew is developing techniques where the air batten will be built into the fabric of the sails minimizing weight and the need to lash a batten at all. When this becomes a reality the Junk Sail will become easier to make and rig to the mast.

       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

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