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Re: Dacron Main #5507
07/28/08 11:21 AM
07/28/08 11:21 AM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 649
Marblehead, MA
dbows Offline
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dbows  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 649
Marblehead, MA
Without the class restriction I would never have considered a Dacron main because the prevailing thought is that they are not as good as the newer materials. However I did buy a Dacron main because of the class and I have found it to be as competitive as any other sail that is why I defend it.

David
#397


David Bows
Mallorca - Hull# 397
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Re: Dacron Main #5508
07/28/08 11:54 AM
07/28/08 11:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline OP
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
Thanks Dave for the clarification.
On another note, last Thrusday, I had the Quantum folks out to look at my new number 1 (Fusion X). While with them I asked their input regarding the main. Their response was, if racing PHRF or if class rules allow, go with a laminated sail for the followinng reasons. 1) Weight aloft; 2) The sail will maintain it's shape better at the "extremes", better airfoil shape in light air, less streach in heavy air; 3) If you are seriously racing you will most likely replace sails every 3-5 years whether you buy Dacron (replace due to shape) or laminated (replace due to wear). The laminated will maintain it's shape over that life span far better than Dacron.

Re: Dacron Main #5509
09/14/08 06:45 PM
09/14/08 06:45 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,656
Portsmouth, RI
Rhapsody #348 Offline
Past J/30 Class President
Rhapsody #348  Offline
Past J/30 Class President
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,656
Portsmouth, RI
A recent quote and actual price history on mainsails that people have sent me email messages on. Quote reflects any discounts provided:

North Sails (New Orleans) class specification Dacron Main with battens, roll bag, etc.: $3000 (delivered Sept 2008)

Quantum (Annapolis) quotation Fusion X Aramid 16 Twaron Mainsail with battens, bag, etc. $3267 - valid through 9/27/2008

Re: Dacron Main #5510
10/29/08 12:18 PM
10/29/08 12:18 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline OP
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
No doubt, I am disappointed that the BOG chose not to change the rule on Dacron mains. I am saddened that it will be another year that I will not be doing Nationals. I was however pleased to learn that discussion was left open and that investigation of sail cloth alternatives will continue.

I will be purchasing a new non-Dacron mainsail this winter. The curent sail is now 5 years old; is a UK kevlar tape drive with carbon fiber tapes. It's been raced hard for the entire 5 years and has seen several severe floggings in 50+ knot squalls. It is well used. It has also performed well, winning it's share of silver up thru and including this year.

I have stated that I beleive that "hi-tech" sails will be cost positive or are cost equal to a less expense dacron main; as measured in terms of useful life. To test that theory I suggest that someone find a comparablly used Dacron sail among the many Dacron proponents out there and have Quantum, or another sail loft, do a shape analysis on it (Quantum will do it for free). In the spring when I put the sail back on the mast, I'll also have Quantun do a shape analysis on my old sail. We could then compare the numbers. As well, we could do the same with new sails - compare at the beginning of the year and at the end to see the impact of shape deterioration over time. Maybe then the decision making process on main sails could begin to be less subjective. Who knows, maybe you can convince me to buy Dacron.

Anyone interested?

Main Sail Material #8189
10/29/09 06:32 PM
10/29/09 06:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline OP
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
Given the unanimous vote from the 2008 Board of Governors, and the strong discourse from many, I doubt that my continued dialog about allowing "higher tech" main sails will be well received.

I really have given up on expecting the class to change its mind. I do understand unanimous. I've owned my J/30 for 23 or 24 years (new in April of1986- someone else can do the math); we've raced her hard and won more than our share of silver. Unfortunately, as I advance in age towards things other than racing I'm disappointed that I've not gotten and won't get to race against the best of the J/30 sailors. Regardless, I've been a J/30 owner longer than most and consider I've earned the right to continue with my unpopular position.

Since there is no apparent movement from the "Class" on changing the rule then I have a simple request. Please provide a logical and sensible answer as to why not to allow higher tech main sails.

So far, I've missed seeing the logic on past responses. Here are a few examples to make my point:
One argument offered was that a Dacron main is just as good as a high tech. OK then, what difference does it make to allow higher tech? My point is; what's the logic in not allowing higher tech sails if they don't make a difference - "a fool and his money"?
The other prevailing argument has been that higher tech sails do make a difference but that the "Class" wants to keep the one design racing affordable.
To that however, some sail makers argue that the premium cost of higher tech sails is offset by the fact that they hold their racing shape longer than Dacron and the cost of racing sails balances out. Get one more year more out of a high tech sail in terms of racing performance as compared to a Dacron sail and you've broken even on cost.
For a moment though, let's accept that not all will agree that the net cost is about equal. Ok then, please explain the logic of the argument of trying to rein in costs when the class had no problem changing the rules to allow carbon poles. From the very recent thread on carbon poles, I offer the following excerpts:
"Retail for the pole is $1098. Packaging and freight seem to run right at $150 just about anywhere in the US. My North loft made a nice cover for mine for $125".
I guess I miss on the congruency of the cost containment argument here.

If you want to argue that the reason is to protect the class from a "tech" war it would seem that the argument flies in the face of the Class desire to perpetuate the "Class". Since there is a lot more PHRF racing than one design racing, the current ruling on the main seems to stand in the way of advancing the flexibility of the boat.

I look forward to your response

Re: Main Sail Material [Re: Russ Atkinson] #8190
10/29/09 07:10 PM
10/29/09 07:10 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,656
Portsmouth, RI
Rhapsody #348 Offline
Past J/30 Class President
Rhapsody #348  Offline
Past J/30 Class President
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 2,656
Portsmouth, RI
Russ,

The vote was not unanimous, and the door was left open. The minutes in 18 Sept 2008 BOG meeting recorded the following (note highlighted text):

2. Main Sail Material: It was determined by a 90% consensus of the governors present that there was no need to change the restriction on main sail material. This was driven by the lack of any conclusive cost effective performance/longevity benefit. Shawn Ivie presented sample material that was Dacron with high tech material woven in a grid pattern for additional strength. This material is no longer available. It was determined that over the next year, the class will investigate what potential sail cloth material could be used for a cost effective alternatives to those currently allowed.

I am personally interested in investigating alternative sail material that provides longevity and is cost effective. I've obtained sample materials and specifications from sail cloth manufacturers and spoken to 4 different sail makers. A friend of mine has a C&C-35 with a main that seems to hold its shape well after 5 years. He races and cruises, and the sail is stored flaked over the boom. The material is Hood Vectron made from Vectran, and it looks like Dacron with a woven gauze. I asked on the forum if it was a class legal fabric (it is not). It is a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and the chemical makeup is not the same as Dacron. Read more about the fabric at this link on the Hood Sails website.

I looked at laminates, and while they may provide some better performance, the sails tend to disintegrate, rather than gracefully age like Dacron.

I am having a new main built with Vectron. The cost is about 10% more than class legal Dacron. The sail will be built to class specs in all respects, except for the material. I also plan on having the luff built with slugs since it is my intention to use this sail everyday, and for PHRF racing. I am going to take pictures of the sail to show its aging characteristics. Once I have sufficient data, I will present the information to the class to see if Vectran is a cost effective, viable alternative to Dacron that will provide longer life. I checked with PHRF-NB, and they do not change ratings based on sail material, only changes in dimensions.

I'm not giving up on OD racing. On the contrary, I have a 2008 North Main that stays rolled on a shelf in in my basement when stored, and only used for one design events. It's the sail I'll be using at the 2010 NAs.

So - my recommendation is to come forward with parameters for a cost benefit analysis to show a comparison with the sail cloths you propose. Post the results on the forum, and let people in the class discuss it. The Board of Governors listen to the feedback of the people they represent.

Re: Main Sail Material [Re: Rhapsody #348] #8191
10/30/09 04:36 AM
10/30/09 04:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 179
Apponaug Rhode Island
S
sonskyn Offline
Senior Member
sonskyn  Offline
Senior Member
S
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 179
Apponaug Rhode Island
I don't race so I don't have a dog in this fight but I have never understood the different rules for different sails? Observing the 2008 nationals from a far the J30 fleets' white main sails with assorted color headsails looked a mess!

Re: Main Sail Material [Re: sonskyn] #8194
10/30/09 10:55 AM
10/30/09 10:55 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline OP
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
Bill,
In an earlier post to this discussion I mentioned that I purchased a new main for this season. In that discussion I offered to photograh it at the end of the next few seasons and have a sail maker evaluate its shape degragation over time. My offer was to do that if someone else with a new Dacron main would be willing to do the same (it doesn't cost anything - the sail makers will do that at no charge). So far, no one has agreed to do the comparison.

Further, I offer this feedback from my local sail maker. While it is not cost specific it does offer some intesting technical points.

From the sailmaker:

For further analysis we asked our sail designer, how changing to Aramid would affect the performance, durability, and ease of use. Part of the process was also to analyze the flying shape of the sail design and how it would have to be changed to accommodate the stronger fiber. From earlier work, we know that there are critical changes that need to be made when changing to a stronger fiber. As part of that analysis, we utilize design programs that analyze flying shape in various wind conditions as sails stretch. One of the outputs of our program is "yarn strain". This indicates the amount of stress on the structural yarns in the sail as the sail is loaded. Areas of the output that appear in red are areas in which the sail is loaded to the point where excessive strain is being put on the yarns. As the sail is stressed to the red areas, the yarns and then eventually the Mylar film, are taking excessive load. When a sail is loaded excessively, the yarns can reach the point where they do not recover to their original length and the Mylar film becomes loaded. When Mylar film becomes loaded, it tries to fight the load by aligning itself against it. When this happen the film recoils permanently, which is what is commonly known as film shrinkage. Once yarns are overstretched and film has shrunken, the original design shape of the sail has been lost.
The image below shows the yarn strain analysis of an Aramid (right) and a Pentex sail (right) in 12 knots of true wind speed. Note the significant amount of red in the Pentex sail and the absence of it in the Aramid sail. This simply means that the Aramid yarns are not seeing nearly the strain as the Pentex yarns, meaning the shape distorts less under load. The end result is going to be that the Aramid sail is being less damaged with normal use. This simply translates into a more durable sail.

Figure 1 - Yarn Strain
I'm sorry, the diagram would not paste into this forum. Send your e-mail address if you would like it.

Common concerns that people have with Aramid sails when they have become used to polyester or Pentex sails are UV degradation and flex degradation. Frankly most of these concerns stem from the original Kevlar sails built back in the 1980's. The original Kevlar sails were woven like Dacron, with Mylar film on one side of the fabric. The size of the yarns in the weave was very small and nearly all of the fibers were exposed. Modern laminates use larger bundles of yarns that are unwoven. The yarns on the outside protect a large portion of the yarns in the bundles, so a very small percentage of the yarns are actually exposed to UV. When a racing sails reach the end of their performance life, it is the changed shape of the sail (primarily from film shrinkage) that is the reason, not that the fibers have lost strength. Aramid yarns do break down faster than Pentex yarns from flex degradation, but what you see from flex degradation is more a breakdown in breaking strength of the yarn, not stretch resistance. But as stated above, most racing sails are retired because they no longer have a fast shape, not because they have broken.
The bottom line is that Aramid sails provide the best value in performance racing sails. The only classes that use Pentex as a fiber are those that originally use polyester fiber in their sails because at the time polyester was considerably less expensive than Aramid. When a customer comes to a sailmaker looking for a top value laminate racing sail for boat under 40' without fabric restriction, sailmakers nearly always choose Aramid, but never Pentex. In fact, sailmakers are more likely to recommend a carbon Aramid blend than Pentex.
In addition to being more cost effective in the long run, trimmers will find the Aramid sails easier to set up properly. Because the sails will hold their shape better in heavy air, they will need less aggressive movement of the halyard and lead positions to get the proper flying shape. Having to use less halyard tension to get the proper flat shape in heavy air will also increase the sail's longevity.

Re: Main Sail Material [Re: Russ Atkinson] #8195
10/30/09 11:41 AM
10/30/09 11:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
New Orleans, LA
Rambunctious Offline
Senior Member
Rambunctious  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
New Orleans, LA
Quote
Since there is no apparent movement from the "Class" on changing the rule then I have a simple request. Please provide a logical and sensible answer as to why not to allow higher tech main sails.


Why the quotes around Class?

I don't think there's going to be much argument that a laminate sail is more durable and will retain optimal shape over a longer term. You've got one and have fun with it in PHRF. For a One Design class, a consideration has to be made for the effects rule changes will have on the affordability of the class and on getting boats out to the starting line.

While I understand that there is an argument to be had on the longevity of the sails, it sounds to me like there is strong class consensus not to change at this time because of the initial cost outlay. I would agree with that.

This issue is one for the BOG to review at their annual meeting. They've done so in that past and again at the meeting in September of 2008. As Bill points out, the door remains open to changes in the future.


Last edited by Rambunctious; 10/30/09 11:42 AM.
Re: Main Sail Material [Re: Rambunctious] #8196
10/30/09 03:07 PM
10/30/09 03:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline OP
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 391
Rockwood, MI, USA
You asked; Why the quotes around Class?
Answer: It seemed easier than writing J/30 Class Association and its Board of Governors.

Relative to making the sail material an issue of cost - I repeat from my earlier post:

"For a moment though, let's accept that not all will agree that the net cost is about equal. Ok then, please explain the logic of the argument of trying to rein in costs when the class had no problem changing the rules to allow carbon poles. From the very recent thread on carbon poles, I offer the following excerpts:
"Retail for the pole is $1098. Packaging and freight seem to run right at $150 just about anywhere in the US. My North loft made a nice cover for mine for $125".
I guess I miss on the congruency of the cost containment argument here"

As well, yes you and Bill point out that the door remains open to future changes. Sorry for being wrong in saying the vote was unanimous; it was only 90%. Either way, there is a tremendous and overwhelming resistance to change. I'm 62. If a vote to change were to take place next year, the earliest one can race with modern sails is 2011. Other than me, I don't see anyone else asking for a change. I truly doubt any change will occur in my racing "career".
As I said earlier: I really have given up on expecting the class to change its mind. i just would just appreciate a logical explanation. Just please don't use the cost arguement.
Bill Kneller is going to have two sails. How does that fit with the cost arguement? It'll cost over $1200 to have a carbon pole made - where's the cost containment arguement for that?
If one were concerned about, as you say, the affordability of getting boats to the starting line then change the rule with a stipulation that it doesn't go into effect for two years. That would give the serious racers time to change In my mind, anyone showing up at a national event with two year or older sails shouldn't have much of an arguement regarding what other boats are flying for sails - Dacron or high tech.

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