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 Post subject: New sails
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:53 pm
Posts: 2
Hi there!
Is time to buy new sails. I buy last year, 1982 hobie 18' SE.
I'm not racer, I'm out there just for plesure and sometime adventure with high wind.
Question is what is the difference betwen Dacron, Polyester and Pentex sails?
I need to know which one:
- last longer?
- is for what (wind, race, plesure, learn)?
- is better for high wind?
And one more. What is different betwen regular shape and square top main sail?
Please help, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: New sails
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:28 pm
Posts: 245
Location: BC, Canada
Here are few links for you:
http://www.doylesails.com/design/fiber.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailcloth

Form my research, you can't go wrong with Dacron. For H18 I would go with 6 oz. for the main and perhaps 5 oz. for the jib. My personal preference is Pentex. Both Pentex and Dacron are different types of polyester. I have one of those Pentex squaretops in order from http://www.whirlwindsails.com/.

If you consider all new cat designs, square-top, high aspect main is pretty much a standard. There is a bit of a dispute if H18/H17/H16 were designed for a fathead. I've read some posts from Hobie Co. people against squareheads for older Hobies. Then, most people who upgraded to fatheads are happy with upgrade in performance.

If you decide to shop for an after market sail, look also at the size difference. Some sails maker offer a bit smaller or greater sail area. If you decide to go with Dacron, always check the weight. Typically, Dacron weights are 4.0 to 6 oz. If you are a recreational sailor and sail mostly in light to medium winds, you will save quite a bit of money going with 4.0 oz. I personally would not recommend it, but go with stronger, 6oz.

As to racing, then you have no choice but doing with OEM. I would look at the price difference and then decide. Going with Hobie made sail has a number of advantages, such as class legal, solid, proven design. You will also not get stiffed on a deal. I've heard about a smaller sail-maker going out of business recently.

Have fun shopping,


Jack

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H17
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 Post subject: Re: New sails
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:46 pm
Posts: 235
Location: Greenville SC
I do not think pentex would be so great on an otherwise stock H18. I seem to have to put MUCH more input into mine to control them, that's with an 8:1 down haul and 9:1 main. If your not going to upgrade at least the down haul, stick with Dacron.

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 Post subject: Re: New sails
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:28 pm
Posts: 245
Location: BC, Canada
This is one of multicolor sails from whirlwindsails

Image

Image

This actually is not my boat. My sail is suppose to ship within a couple of days and is platinum gray with red trim. This boat belongs to John L, who's let me post these pics. I believe the sailcloth is a polyester.

Jack

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H17
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 Post subject: Re: New sails
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
Posts: 4642
Location: Detroit, MI
To try and clear up the mud - Dacron, Pentex and Mylar are all polyester.

Dacron is DuPont's trademark for polyethylene terephthalate fiber (PET). For sails, it's typically woven and heat-set into a cloth of various weights (per sq. yard).

Pentex is Honeywell's trademark for polyethylene naphthalate fiber (PEN).

Both PET and PEN can be manufactured in sheet films rather than fibers. The films have incredible strength, but are susceptible to tearing.

Mylar is DuPont's trademark for PET film.

What most people call "Pentex sails" are actually Pentex fibers laminated between two PET films (Mylar).

Back to Hobie sails:
You can't go wrong with Dacron sails. They're durable, very UV resistant (as sails go) and that's what the boat was designed for. If you're going with Dacron, you might as well go OEM Hobie sails. They cost a bit more, but the quality is outstanding.

If you want the different look, know that Pentex sails are not as durable as Dacron. You need to take care that they never get folded or creased - creases are forever and they provide the starting point for delamination. Once a laminated sail starts to come apart - it's done. Don't ever fall into a laminate sail during a capsize. You'll go right through it.

Some have noted in this thread that the fat-head sails require more controls - that's true. They require much more mainsheet tension to firm up the leech of the sail. The downhaul and mast rotator become more important to setting the proper sail shape. The additional tension required is why these sails are not made with woven Dacron - it doesn't have the dimensional stability to hold up to the addition tension, whereas laminate sails do.

There are pros and cons to each type of sail - both material and shape.


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