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Racing sail life?

Ticktack

New Member
Just curious what to look for & how to determine when a "Race" sail is losing its competitive shape & when to go with a new one?
Any thoughts?
Thanks!
 

Alan Glos

Active Member
In the sage words of Indiana Jones, "It's not the years, its the mileage." If you sail/race a lot (say weekly, all season) your race sail will break down faster
than it will if you sail/race less. Sun and wind (not water) are the major risk factors. I get about three seasons out of a $350+ class legal race sail, and I know it is time time to get a new one when the boat just feels, well, slow, which is usually in the third season. The all white, Class legal sail is very well made but not that much better than the far less expensive Intensity race cut sail. Some people use an Intensity for informal club racing and practice and save the Class legal sail for Class sanctioned regattas.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
 

Ticktack

New Member
In the sage words of Indiana Jones, "It's not the years, its the mileage." If you sail/race a lot (say weekly, all season) your race sail will break down faster
than it will if you sail/race less. Sun and wind (not water) are the major risk factors. I get about three seasons out of a $350+ class legal race sail, and I know it is time time to get a new one when the boat just feels, well, slow, which is usually in the third season. The all white, Class legal sail is very well made but not that much better than the far less expensive Intensity race cut sail. Some people use an Intensity for informal club racing and practice and save the Class legal sail for Class sanctioned regattas.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
Alan, Thank you for your reply & input.
When a sail starts feeling slower, are you able to see any changes in shape of the sail like draft position, fullness, how hooked the leach is etc.?
Also, do you think since the introduction of the North Racing sail in early 90's, has there been any changes to shape or are the current racing sails the same design shape?
Thanks again, Tom
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
SunfishBlousedMainsail.jpg

FWIW, my old racing sail—later ripped along each spar by a "cell"—appeared to have a "blouse".

By hand, and with no wind pressure, I could pull it down maybe a ½-inch below the boom.
 

Alan Glos

Active Member
As sails age, the resin that is impregnated into the sailcloth, breaks down, the cloth looks and feels softer and the max draft tends to move aft. The leach may also loosen up a little. It won't point as high and off the wind it lacks the "punch" of a newer sail. You will feel the difference more than see it.

Alan Glos
 

Alan Glos

Active Member
.....added: To be honest, I don't know if the Sunfish Class legal race sail has changed much since North came up with the basic design. Maybe somebody else here on the Forum knows more about any changes and can comment.

Alan Glos
 

Ticktack

New Member
As sails age, the resin that is impregnated into the sailcloth, breaks down, the cloth looks and feels softer and the max draft tends to move aft. The leach may also loosen up a little. It won't point as high and off the wind it lacks the "punch" of a newer sail. You will feel the difference more than see it.

Alan Glos
Alan,
Sounds good, I appreciate your input.
I bought a '91 Pearson Sunfish early last summer for local weekly racing.
The boat was in storage for about 20 years, it is light, in Excellent condition & seems to show little use. It has the original North racing sail & is competitive when I dont make dumb mistakes! Iwas trying to determine if it was time to replace the sail.
Thanks again,
Tom
 
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