Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More on Sail Materials.

I have recently learned a bit about why some of the big sail producers stick to using monofilm in their sails in preference to the high tech scrims.  They state that a sail panel which contains a weave will stretch faster than a simple monofilm panel, giving the sail a wooly feel.  This is because the thin film which sandwiches the weave is the thing that stretches and it does this before the weave has a chance to impart stability.  This is interesting to me I must say and we need to listen to guys who work with the technology and these materials all the time.  As I've said before, some of my best sailing has been with sails from North and Gaastra and maybe this quality of ride comes from the very thing I always complain about - the dreaded monofilm.

I take this viewpoint on board and I really hope to have a chance to compare a scrim sail with an equivalent monofilm sail to assess the difference for myself.  If I get such a chance I will report back to you guys with my impressions.  My feeling is that you should be able to maximize the stability of a laminate by orienting the weave appropriately.  If the weave is 90degrees to the forces on the panel then it should hold.  I suppose the way the strands are bonded to each other also plays a role.  Some of the sailmakers I really admire (Severne, Naish, Sailworks and Ezzy) all use scrims in their sails and these makers all produce lighter sails than the likes of Gaastra, North and Hot Sails Maui.  These light sails seem to perform well.  We obviously have two schools of thought and I will not take sides until I have a chance to sail two examples back to back.  I have to admit that the two rides I had on the 2011 Gaastra Savage 6.7m were pretty impressive and Peter's new Savage looks even better.
This matter will remain unresolved for me for now.  Watch this space  

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