I know its a bit of a black art but can anybody recommend a good sail design software package ( hopefully freeware )as I plan to have a little go at producing a sail to try and learn about the sail. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
Sail design is no black art, but some sailmakers certainly want to keep a veil of mystique to it. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I would not call it good, but there is sailcut CAD. http://www.sailcut.com/Main_Page While I dont think it is good, it will do the job decently once you learn it's quirks. If you get serious with it, we can discuss things to watch out for before you finalize the design.
Other software packages, which professionals use, costs money. Prosail is one package, SmSw6 is another. Both have a learning curve which is probably steeper than sailcut CAD.
What sail are you planning to have a look at? I have certainly always tought the hours we put into sailmaking was worthwhile both for the learning and for the bank account. As I have said earlier here, you develop a very different eye for sailtrim after you have designed, built and recut a sail a few times. We wrote a small article on one of our sailmaking projects some years ago: http://www.thebeachcats.com/Article213.html That sail was based on a design Marcus Towell shared but which we adapted for our mast and sailing conditions.
Maybe next year will be the year I try this. a dude has to have his hobbies. However, I understand that I will understand sail trim better after making my sails but what if I don't know what they should look like to start ? <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Then you learn the hard way, by fixing them <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Seriously, what we did besides getting a head start from Marcus was studying literature like "High performance sailing" which have some specific data on what a high performance sail should look like. Pictures of the top guys also helps when starting out, but you soon notice that very few pictures are actually helpful when designing your sail. Loads of fun, and all part of the learning process <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Rolf is correct - be prepared for a lot of time wasting. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
People who are seriously considering making their own sails from computer programms need to establish how are they going to get the data they have created to panels & then put together to create the sail.
The simplest way is choose a software package that enables you to create the panels the easiest way you can.
One way is to print off the data values & plot your own panels. Or alternatively by taking the plot files the software creates to a local sailmaker or visiting someone that has plotter/cutting equipment to create your panels.
Personally I have been down all the available roads & have mates who are sailmakers that have provided great support, but I would recommend using "sailcut" for your first sail & plot out the panels on the floor at home & put them together yourself.
Rolf has rightly pointed out that "sailcut" has limitations, but is also very simple & will not confuse people. Definitely the cheapest way for a first timer - like Rolf was. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Prosail & Sandy Goodalls programme's are really good, but unless you are using them all the time, be prepared for some disaster's first <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
Spinnakers are a different storey alltogether!!! John Alani has experimented, maybe he could offer some comments?
If anybody is genuinly interested in trying sailcut to make their own F16 mainsail, I can send you a design file to get you started.
The most successful proponent of home made spins in our class is Dave Tugwell. If Tuggers would care to share some of his thoughts, ideas and results you'd all be very impressed. It was because of his work that I experimented and, I have to say, was nowhere near as successful as he!
John Alani ___________ Stealth F16s GBR527 and GBR538
I remember having a look at sailcut a few years go, was not into sailing back then. Anyone wanting to get into CAD should check out Rhino3d. By far the most precise, advanced and precise modeller out there that can be used with limited knowledge of CAD. I would say Sailcut+Rhino is a good start. Marcus - could you send me the sail design you are talking about - first for study and will find use on the box rule drawing also.
I have made loads of spinnies. Some can be seen on the F16 web I think. Isn't John Alani using one. I used sailcut and then modified the last files in cad. There was a luff problem turning a symm to asyym. Maybe the updated software would help. I have loads of dxf files for the spinnies which i am happy to put into the public domain if anyone wants them.
More interesting is mainsail development.I have been playing with double skinned mains to give a wing effect (like a paraglider) and mainpulating each skin by rotating the mast: essetial for tacking! This changes the windward and leward skins. There are loads of patents on this but no-one had used the mast rotaion before. Hopefully this post will prevent any patent being put on the idea.
I like your train of thought for going upwind but what happens to the mainsail foil shape going downwind, it could produce such lift that your VMG would go out the window? Anyway, 'I know nothin' and I'm sure we'd like see one of your prototypes soon. Maybe the Global Challenge for instance <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Hi Wayne Is this one of your earlier attempts of kite reefing <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> You have to laugh cause it only goes wrong when there's a camera pointing at you!!
Er actually my previous boat was a Nacra 5.2 which I had put a F16 spinny on, worked well, plus the local Nacra agent had some super cheap snuffers available so I guess it had to go on the new second hand Stealth which came without any spinny package ( actually its showing my green credentials, just recycling things ).
Anyway Nacra make great boats and I thought that if I put a bit of advertising on the front I might become the sponsored hotshot for Nacra in the F16 fleet but as I've now been outed as to regards my boat handling skills then I think that might be out of the question. <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
I would be very interested in having a look at some of your spi designs. Especially with your comments on the design and some pictures of the sail in use. There is just too little hard information around on what sails should look like. I have some ideas on what I would like our next spi to look like, but actually discussion them with other homebuilders would be great!
Marcus, have you had the opportunity to use the "yellow feber" spi any more?
Recut the yellow one & its in a boz with a new snuffer head & new spiin sock.......been there on my work bench since zandvoort... <img src="http://www.catsailor.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
Wasn't sure if you still wanted it after selling the T?