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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Location: Cape Coral FL
I was wondering, is it ever better to use older sails in a race instead of brand new ones?

I know a new sail can be trimmed a lot flatter than an older one, as an older sail is stretched out, so you want a new sail when you need 100% of your sail plan, but....

In studying sailing, I know you want to "de-power" in very windy conditions. So perhaps when its super windy, say 25+, you may want to use older sails for two reasons. One, you don't need all the sail area, so why use a new sail? And second, why risk damaging a new sail and blowing it out or tearing it in such strong conditions.

But what about very light conditions? Say only 5-8 knots. Would'nt you want to use an older sail so you can use the stretched out shape to your advantage? In light winds you may not need a flat sail, but a fuller sail. This way you can also tighten the battens more and get a fuller sail. And you may not want to do that to your new sails, stretching them out with tight battens.

Also, a sail made before the "mast rake" adjustment may be better on a rig set-up that is less raked for light winds?

Or is a new sail always better in every condition?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:20 pm 
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The short answer is nope.

You want smooth air flow over the sails in all conditions. A stretched out or baggy old sail will disturb flow and slow the boat down.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2003 7:11 pm
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Location: Detroit, MI
hobie1616 wrote:
The short answer is nope.

You want smooth air flow over the sails in all conditions. A stretched out or baggy old sail will disturb flow and slow the boat down.
It's a bit more complicated than that, but the answer is still the same.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:57 pm 
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The only time I can think of this being an advantage is going downwind.. older sails may belly out more giving you more push but I don't know for sure if the loss you would take going upwind would be worth it.

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