Join the sail rev­o­lu­tion

Point higher, cruise faster and ex­tend the life of your sails. Ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy mean per­for­mance cloth is now avail­able for ev­ery­day cruis­ers. PBO finds out more from sail­maker Ian Brown...

Practical Boat Owner - - Contents -

New sail tech­nol­ogy ex­plained by PBO ex­pert Ian Brown – plus tips on how to make old sails last longer

You wouldn’t climb a moun­tain in jeans, nor would you an­tifoul your boat in a tuxedo. Ev­ery day we make de­ci­sions about what fab­rics are best suited to our ac­tiv­i­ties. Are they com­fort­able and durable? Do they look good and per­form as they should? The same should ap­ply for sails, yet sail­cloth for many cruis­ing boats is low on the pri­or­ity list.

True, you can’t change your sails as of­ten as your wardrobe, but you do have a choice that can make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to the han­dling and per­for­mance of your boat. You needn’t stick with the sails that come with your boat – if sec­ond­hand these might re­flect the age and miles un­der the hull; if new, stock sails won’t nec­es­sar­ily be de­signed for your needs. A blue­wa­ter cruiser will want dif­fer­ent sails to a round-the-cans racer, and a fully crewed yacht dif­fer­ent ones to a sin­gle-han­der. Bud­get is also key. How of­ten can you af­ford to change your sails – ev­ery two sea­sons or ten? All these ques­tions come into play, which is where a sail­maker can help.

“Over the past 20 years or so I’ve had lots of con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple baf­fled by the plethora of op­tions out there,” says Ian Brown of OneSails. “If shop­ping around, an owner might be of­fered a dozen or more

cloth choices or a huge range of prices for what ap­pears to be the same prod­uct.”

Of course, what Ian’s talk­ing about isn’t the same prod­uct, and to un­der­stand why we need to look at the three main types of sail con­struc­tion: Cross cut, ra­dial cut and mem­brane (or ‘string’).

“Once you un­der­stand what is be­ing of­fered, you can use this knowl­edge to drive the con­ver­sa­tion with your sail­maker,” says Ian.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.