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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Was curious about this, so I googled plastic sails and came up with this thread...

viewtopic.php?f=75&t=11639

Sure that guy allegedly used it quite a bit, but cloth wouldn't do that. I'm all for a polyethylene hull, but I would expect a sail that costs a few hundred $$$ to last more than a couple years. Just seems odd to me. Does Hobie really know best here? Or has this always been a cost saving move on Hobie's part.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:07 am 
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Drbuzz:
The post you pointed to was from 2008, that was a long time ago. I recently retired my original jib on my TI, that sail was originally a Hobie kayak sail that I had purchased in 2007, and was pretty beat up when I modified it to work as a jib on my TI in early 2010 ( increased area to 40 sq ft).
Yes it looks like crap and most of the clear window has cracks in it, but it still works, I just use it as a backup these days since I designed a better wing type jib ( more efficient). I know I have over 5000 hard sailing miles on that jib since putting it on the TI, and it was pretty shot with I would guess 1000 miles on my oasis, then one of my revo's before going on the TI.
Whenever a new rip develops on the clear I just cover both sides with 3m packing tape ( the window is mostly tape now lol).
Letting the sail luff violently is what causes it to break down, literally one minute of violent flapping is enough to destroy the Mylar. I suspect this would apply to any sail on any boat or sail.
One of my big spinnakers has no window and I simply can't see what's in front of me when it's out (bad idea) so I don't use it much.
I really have had no problems with my Hobie mainsails, but then again I know not to allow them to luff violently, and if a crack develops, to cover both sides with clear tape right away.
Here is a pic of that same sail on my Oasis (circa 2007-2008)
Image


Here is the same sail on one of our Revo's (circa 2008-2009)
Image

Here is a pic of the same kayak sail modified to work as a jib on my TI (circa 2010)
Image

Here is the same Hobie kayak sail (circa 2012) (on it's 3rd TI)
Image

Here is a pic of the wing sail that replaced that old Hobie kayak sail (summer 2013)
Image

Same new replacement wing sail in kayak mode
Image

So they do last if you take care of them.
Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:55 am 
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The point of the clear plastic is so you can see through it - a nice feature really.

Cloth sails may last longer than the newer synthetic types but I suspect they lose efficiency more quickly. I would also suspect them to be heavier, particularly when wet.

Of course there's so many different sail materials out there now I really can't say I have my finger on more than a very few of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Clear sails might be important on the Island yaks.... but the Revolution, for example, does not seem (from my non-experienced opinion) that it would require a clear sail. It seems to have pretty good visibility because of the sharper upward angle.

Sure, this plastic sail is lighter, especially when wet.... but I'd think that some type of nylon or polyester could potentially be lighter when dry. Not exactly sure about this, but there's gotta be something that would have more resilience than that plastic. I'm not saying that cloth is better than synthetics, but the hard plastic used in these sails just makes me think that it's not the best choice of textiles. And I'm curious... is the entire Hobie sail made out of the same plastic, or are the colors a different material from the clear bit??

Checking out some kayak sailing videos on YouTube, I came across this "Kayaksailor" ---> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpjx817zMnA (website: http://www.kayaksailor.com/store/pc/vie ... ategory=12 ) Looks pretty heavy compared to the Hobie sail, but I don't know how much the Hobie mast actually weighs....

Like I said, don't really know enough about any of this stuff, but just not fully confident in this Hobie sailing outfit. (Probably sounds like blasphemy to some of you guys, tho...)

Is there a "better" or even possibly a "best" way to store this Hobie sail, at least? In a climate controlled environment, of course.... but is storing it unfurled better than furled, for example??


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:39 am 
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The colored portions are made from a different material than the clear window section.

I have a Revolution with this sail and the clear panel is a plus - you certainly will value the visibility it offers you once you actually get in the boat and take a look for yourself.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:39 am 
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Actually the sail you pointed out is much smaller than Hobies sail (15 sq ft vs 22sqft). And looks to me made from lighter materials (maybe rip stop nylon, but I can't tell for sure.), also way more expensive.
All of Hobies sails are made from the finest sail materials you can buy. The clear material you are pointing out as inferior is in reality superior and typically double to triple the cost of comparable Dacron. A lot of the uber expensive racing and windsurfer sails are made from this material.

Be careful when looking at aftermarket kayak sails as 9 out of 10 of the kayak sails out there are downwind only (pretty useless). Hobies kayak sail is the latest boomless square top design and is capable of sailing upwind just like any regular sailboat. I'm sure it took them years to design the perfect sail to maximize the design to work most efficiently with their boat designs and the mirage drive system (unique to Hobie only). I design and make boats and sails myself and appreciate Hobies design and sail construction and recognize their stuff to be superior to most of the other stuff out there across all of their massive lines of sail boats, they really know their stuff and are probably the best at it that I know of.
Also keep in mind Hobie is a sailing company, everything they make is designed to sail from the ground up ( including every one of their mirage kayaks) with sometimes years of testing in all conditions before ever being released on the market. The sail system on all Hobie kayaks is the culmination of the efforts of some of the best engineers in this business over many years, and all of us Hobie owners just use the stuff without even thinking what it took to get there. No other kayak out there is designed this way ( as a full blown sail boat from the ground up), all other kayaks are designed as kayaks, and some people throw aftermarket sails on them ( a big difference).
Just buy the darn sail, it's designed specifically for your boat, you will be happy ( it really changed my life). Don't worry about care we just keep ours strapped to the side of our kayak ready to go at a moments notice, and honestly do nothing care wise with them and they last for many years ( you saw my pics).
Bob


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:10 am 
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DoctorBuzz wrote:
Was curious about this, so I googled plastic sails and came up with this thread...

viewtopic.php?f=75&t=11639

Sure that guy allegedly used it quite a bit, but cloth wouldn't do that. I'm all for a polyethylene hull, but I would expect a sail that costs a few hundred $$$ to last more than a couple years. Just seems odd to me. Does Hobie really know best here? Or has this always been a cost saving move on Hobie's part.


You have to decide what you expect for performance. You can have any two of these but not all three:

1 Fast Sails (efficient and hold their shape when trimmed)
2 Sails that last a long time
3 Sails that are affordable in relation to the cost of the boat

A Laser sail is about 10% of the cost of a new boat and should be replaced every year if you want to have a chance at the pointy end of the fleet. :o

People tend to use sails much past the point that they are efficient. This is one reason that cruising sailors by more fuel every year and have 20 year old sails. :mrgreen:

Cheers,

Randy


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
I have had 2 sails for years - probably 6 or 7 years. They get used regularly and one of them is always on my boat: i kinda never take the thing off the boat unless the wind is going to be howling in which conditions I tend not to go out. I sail on the salt sea and they get a bit of a wash down in fresh water maybe twice a year at most. The rest of the time they are rollued up round their masts and stored in the garage.

They are both in pretty much pefect used condition. No holes cracks splits or WHY. The furling hook did come off one of them but that's about it.

My buddy also has 2 sails and his get far less well-treated than mine and yet his are also still going strong after years of use.

So I think the other poster's experience is unfortunate but in my experience not typical.

As to the window material - this is low stretch mylar or similar. Low stretch is important in sailmaking because it allows an efficient wing-shape to be designed into the sail which will then not distort out of the sail when the sail fills with wind... However on these titchy little boats with the tiny amount of breeze the sails can capture and the low wind speeds and loadings I seriously doubt that it makes any noticeable difference, especially since the mast bends like a noodle thus deforming the sail in any kind of breeze any way.

If the panel does crack or split you can buy mylar repair tape from e.g. Windsurfing shops and for bigger repairs a competent sailmaker should easily be able to repair it for a reasonable amount of money. And I doubt that you would notice any reduction in performance on the water with a repaired sail over a new one unless the repair has been seriously botched.

As to the non-hobie sails... I have to ask "why would you bother?" We are not talking competitive yacht racing here, just having a bit of fun, and to that end the Hobie sail kit is simple, elegant, relatively inexpensive, in my experience robust, matches the boats and works well straight out of the box...


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