The sail weight is made up of raw materials that are needed to construct a finished sail.
The Fibre is the heaviest component, with Kevlar, Carbon, Spectra and Technora being some of the most commonly used in the construction of modern sail cloth. All of them have different properties, each being suited for various applications across the sailmaking Industry.
Mylar Films and Taffetas are applied as an outer layer enabling the sail to be handled and helps creates the flying shape/foil.
The third component is the adhesive, which holds the fibres in place to ensure they are aligned with the load paths that are designed for maximum strength and shape holding.
Patching and hardware are the last detail that adds to the overall weight. Rings, webbings, Batten pockets, UV protection are all engineered with weight saving measures during the finishing processes.
The weight of a sail this large means a crane is a must when moving and fitting the sail to the boat. All 680 kg of this Reacher is ready to go on the boat!
Maxi yachts require a high level of maintenance to ensure all the systems are working effectively and the boat can be raced confidently and, most importantly, safely.
The more advanced systems, like the electronic and hydraulic controls for the canting keel, are very complicated and usually need a manual over ride to lock the keel in place if power to the unit is lost.
The sail programs on these larger yachts are often independently managed. The prolonged racing life of the sails will depend on how they are handled while sailing and stored after use. Sails are one of the largest expenses in running these campaigns, therefore a professional sailmaker is an asset to have on board.
This mainsail is off the yacht “Athos”, a Two-Masted Schooner which is 62m or 203ft length.
The luff length is 46m long, which has to fit the mast bend and work in with the furling system in the boom when reefed and for storage.
For this size sail there is a high level of engineering that goes into the luff set up and batten detail. With a slightly altered luff we can achieve a better flying shape and give the crew more flexibility when furling.
Batten pockets have been developing as new technology improves the construction methods used in producing custom sail laminates. Internal batten pockets not only give you a smoother sail, but help to reduce any uneven shrinking over time.
With the batten pocket constructed between the two layers of film and the fibers in the sail working with the batten, you get a lighter more even efficient batten system.
There is a number of areas to look at to get the best rating for your yacht. The propeller might be the last place to think of for performance, but the IRC rule has been proven to differ the weighting between a two and a three blade propellers. It can mean a simple change to this custom three blade, low drag propeller could be worth 3-4 rating points around the race track for a small trade off in drag efficiency.
Covers not only look good, but they are also the best form of protection for your boat. The excessive amount of rain last summer shows that it is important to store your sails out of the weather to keep them in the best possible condition.
The other side of the coin is the damage caused to the sails by the UV light over extended periods of time, which breaks down the fibres and weakens the structure of the sail.
The deck hardware parts, including ropes, cleats and winches, are all at risk of UV damage along with the battering they receive from the local Sydney weather systems.
A deck cover is one of the best investments you can make in prolonging the life of your deck hardware.
UV Covers on Roller Furling sails also provide a good barrier against the weather. Make sure you keep your covers in good condition to prevent any unnecessary Wear n tear.
The battens are used to support the leech of the sail and help produce the best sail shape to maximize the air flow.
Battens are either constructed from Polyester, Epoxy or Carbon Fibre. Each material provides a different level of performance, weight and stiffness, always depending on the manufacturing process and the custom tapering each blank to suit the shape of the sail.
Each batten is specified by the sailmaker by calculating the following factors:
•Type of sail (light-Heavy)
•Position in the sail
•Amount of roach the batten supports
•Intended type of sailing
Hamilton Island Race Week Days 1 and 2
HIRW Day 1 Team Australia (play video)
HIRW Day 2 Team Australia (play video)
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Follow me on board the Orma 60 Trimaran.
Let the race begin!
Cruising sailors are often asking us sailmakers how they can go faster with less effort!
This is my answer: a hybrid Genneker that is set with a loose luff furling system tacked off the bow. This generates enough power to get any production yacht trucking up the coast across a large wind range.
With the furling unit leading back to the cockpit for easy handling, it makes putting a spinnaker up and down as simple as pulling a rope.
A great investment for anyone serious about short yachting.