The Jib - Needs More Life

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Postby Guest » Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:23 am

After sailing the J/80 worlds with a new suit of sails, it came obvious that at the end of the event that the jib took a beating. If the class is going to have a rule restricting sail purchases, the class should be a little more proactive in allowing sail material/design changes that promote longer lasting sails.

Here are some are some ideas:
Allow longer battens. My PHRF #3 battens are 3 times longer than the class. Longer battens reduses the damage the sail gets hitting the mast and reduces damage when luffing the sail.

Consider other materials other than Pentax. Allow experimental sails to be cut by the sailmakers. Believe it or not, they have pretty good ideas about what is needed to lengthen the life of a sail. Do't rule out Kevlar and other materials. These materials cost less than pentax and Dacron...All my PHRF sails were purchased at significant savings over the class sails.

Here is an article republished in the Scuttlebutt this morning on actions by the Melges 24 class:

At the Melges 24 class AGM in September the class voted on and decided to adopt Kevlar sails. The proposal, put forward by Nigel Young of North Sails UK, was principally aimed at increasing the life span of the sails, and in
particular the jib. two years ago the class voted to use battens in the jib, which Young says, "Made a serious improvement in the life of the sails, the headsails on a Melges 24 get furled up and take a bit of a bashing."

Two years on and Young has received plenty of feedback from his customers: "Comment from some of our regular customers that the Pentex sails weren't lasting as long as they had hoped. The serious guys and also the semi serious guys were considering whether they would need a new jib for each major regatta." Choosing to use Kevlar also has the added advantage from a marketing point of view as it helps to maintain the image of the class and make it look fresh and modern.

For the mainsail, the change to Kevlar helps but the sail does not get the same amount of abuse as the jib, as Young explains, "There will be a real benefit for the mainsail, but because the sail is effectively fully battened, with the top two battens full length and the bottom two shorter, the mainsail doesn't suffer in quite the same way as the jib. Kevlar will definitely add life to the sail." - Daily Sail website

Postby Guest » Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:28 am

Can any of the sailmakers out there comment on the price difference if the jib was built from Kevlar or other "high tech" material? How about predicted longevity?

Postby Guest » Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:41 pm

I just bought a 102% #3 Kevlar/Mylar PHRF jib for $1200. The same sail maker's list price for the class jib $1475

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