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Opinions on life of a laminate sail? #39992
11/11/04 04:18 PM
11/11/04 04:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
White Bear Lake, MN
h17racer Offline OP
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h17racer  Offline OP
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White Bear Lake, MN
Curious to hear others opinions and real-life experiences with what one could expect from a non-Hobie laminate sail. I probably sail my Hobie 17 in 18-24 individual club races a season on inland lakes. Recreationally, I use the stock sail.

Thanks, Tom G

-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: Opinions on life of a laminate sail? [Re: h17racer] #39993
11/11/04 04:47 PM
11/11/04 04:47 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,114
BANNED
MauganN20 Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Don't get me started on the stock H17 sail :P

Re: Opinions on life of a laminate sail? [Re: MauganN20] #39994
11/11/04 05:33 PM
11/11/04 05:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,884
Detroit, MI
mbounds Offline
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I dunno - I had a '92 stock 17 sail that lasted 10 years of hard racing before it got retired.

[Linked Image]

The all-white sail that replaced it was much higher quality. Both sails were very fast.

[Linked Image]


Re: Opinions on life of a laminate sail? [Re: h17racer] #39995
11/11/04 07:05 PM
11/11/04 07:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,911
South Florida & the Keys
arbo06 Offline
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It is good until it is dead.


Eric Arbogast
ARC 2101
Miami Yacht Club
Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: mbounds] #39996
11/11/04 10:04 PM
11/11/04 10:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 390
samevans Offline
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The only reason it is "higher quality" is because they don't make a lower quality mylar.
The H 17 material is flimsy, one-sided mylar which acquires creases and wrinkles very quickly.

It always depresses me when I see the quality of an H 20 or Tiger sail.
They are a very good quality, double-sided mylar and cost about the same(per square foot).

I bought a new factory sail for my h 17 this spring.
The quality of workmanship was so poor that when I was installing the battens, one of the brass grommets popped off and the bolt rope was too short.

An independent sailmaker can build one out of any material you choose. the trick is to find someone who knows how to DESIGN a good sail.

Personally, I am against bastardizing a boat and racing it.
You usually end up an unfair handicap rating, either for you or against you.

P.S.
Matt, just because you used a sail for ten years, doesn't mean it wasn't blown out after four.

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: samevans] #39997
11/12/04 09:12 AM
11/12/04 09:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,884
Detroit, MI
mbounds Offline
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Sam, how do you stay so angry all the time? You need to chill out before your head asplode.

17 sails are made of a taffeta material - a two-layer laminate - one side is Mylar and the other is dacron.

20 and Tiger sails are fundamentally different because they take much hugher loads. They are a three-layer laminate. Mylar-scrim-Mylar (the scrim is of varying materials).

Did you ask Hobie to warranty your grommet? Little stuff like that can happen to any manufacturer's sail. And how can the bolt rope be too short? Maybe your old sail was stretched out?

Oh, and BTW, in its 10 year life, that '92 Raspberry Wedge sail never placed worse than 9th at eight different 17 North Americans, and as well as 3rd (in '94 and again in '00). The only reason I replaced it was because it was starting to delaminate in small (quarter-sized) areas. I figured I got my use out of it.

I kept the white sail when I sold the boat last spring - the guy that bought it is still using the '92 sail.



Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: samevans] #39998
11/12/04 09:16 AM
11/12/04 09:16 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
White Bear Lake, MN
h17racer Offline OP
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h17racer  Offline OP
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White Bear Lake, MN
Matt, is the white sail mylar, dacron or both? Looks like a complete horizontal cut also.

My original stock sail (1989) is a vertical cut with mylar laminated onto the middle panels. Gave me many years of good use. Curious if Hobie still makes sails with the center mylar laminate.

Sail fast, Tom G

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: h17racer] #39999
11/12/04 09:20 AM
11/12/04 09:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
White Bear Lake, MN
h17racer Offline OP
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Matt, any interest in selling the white sail? If so, I am, lets talk.

Sail fast, Tom G

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: h17racer] #40000
11/12/04 09:28 AM
11/12/04 09:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,884
Detroit, MI
mbounds Offline
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The white sail is both Mylar and Dacron. Vertical cut. You can see the pattern better in the photo below:
[Linked Image]
That's the Dacron side.

This is the Mylar side:
[Linked Image]

I "won" a horizontal cut mylar sail in a raffle (it was excess inventory - a sail left over from the '90 17 Worlds in Toronto.) It was slow with a capital "S"

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: mbounds] #40001
11/12/04 10:42 AM
11/12/04 10:42 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 5,558
Key Largo, FL & Put-in-Bay, OH...
Mary Offline
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Matt,
Maybe the raffle was rigged to make sure you got that slow sail so you would be in the back of the pack for a change.

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: Mary] #40002
11/12/04 11:52 AM
11/12/04 11:52 AM
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Posts: 206
Yardley PA
DanWard Offline
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Yardley PA
Matt...I agree the new sails are much better than the old ones. And 6406 is a fast sail, don't ask me how I know.

Is that first picture from Madcatter 20?

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: DanWard] #40003
11/12/04 12:27 PM
11/12/04 12:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 99
Commerce, MI
tigerboy1 Offline
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Commerce, MI
Dan,

Matt's first picture (aerial shot) was taken during the big east wind day at the 1997 Hobie 17 Continentals in Syracuse, NY. I've got a similar photo sailing my 17 at the same event. I think everyone who competed at that event has a similar photo.

John Bauldry
(Former) Hobie 17 #826
Hobie Tiger #1317

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: DanWard] #40004
11/12/04 12:41 PM
11/12/04 12:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,884
Detroit, MI
mbounds Offline
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Detroit, MI
Dan - that photo was from the '97 17 / 16 Womens Continentals in Syracuse. Almost everybody got really cool aerial photos. I was lucky in that the guy flying the plane got 3 really good shots of me. As you can tell from the foam streaks in the water, it was honking that day.

Tom - I could be talked into selling it. It's only got about 15 days use on it, since the last time I sailed the 17 was at the 2004 Continentals. (The photos were taken in preparation for putting it up on eBay.) I thought I might be using it at the 17 Worlds next month, but the event turned out to be too expensive to go ($2,500 airfare alone )I'll contact you via private message.

Various 17 Mainsails Designs [Re: h17racer] #40005
11/12/04 03:45 PM
11/12/04 03:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
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San Diego
chip Offline
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San Diego
The 17 sail, to my knowledge, has gone through five iterations.

First was the original horizontal cut.

Second was the radial cut, constructed from Teijin Taffeta Mylar. Japanese Fabric, Neil Pryde, Hong Kong constructed. The mylar choice was simple, they were using it in the windsurfing sails they were building at the time. Re-inforcements along the leech to keep the sail from stretching out. The vertical luff panels were 4.0oz dacron.

Third was the same design built by Hobie Cat USA. Hand cut panels.

Fourth was the same design, contructed from Dimension/Polyant 180x, colored mylar taffeta, same fabric developed for windsufing sails, fabric from Germany, same Dacron Luff. Hand cut.

Fifth was a newer design imported from Neil Pryde in Hong Kong, design was same as used by Hobie Cat Europe. Same fabric, new mylar luff, computer cut. Effective around 1997.

Because of tight class rules there has been no change in the fabric.

And to the comment by one of the posters that the loads are less, not quite so. The 17 sail isn't much smaller than the new Tiger main.

Chip Buck
Former head sailmaker for Hobie Cat
www.pointsails.com

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: mbounds] #40006
11/13/04 12:55 AM
11/13/04 12:55 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 390
samevans Offline
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Matt,
I don't care enough about Hobie to waste energy getting "angry".
On the other hand, your emotional attachment to hobie corp is well documented.
You can argue with the "Former head sailmaker for Hobie Cat" if you want.

I know exactly what the sails are made of.
I paid $1000 for that one side mylar, one side dacron, piece of crap.
A new Skip Elliot, two side mylar, one layer Kevlar/dacron, for my 18sq meter cost less.
What does a Tiger sail cost?
What does an FX/1 sail cost?

The bolt rope on the NEW sail was too short.
It wouldn't downhaul properly.
Several other 17 sailors have told me they had the same problem.


Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: samevans] #40007
11/13/04 03:43 PM
11/13/04 03:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
White Bear Lake, MN
h17racer Offline OP
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h17racer  Offline OP
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White Bear Lake, MN
Hi Matt, let me know when you get a chance.

Chip, thanks a ton for insight into the evolution of the H17 sail. I have seen several of the vintages you mentioned. One of the challenges of one-design boats.

Given the continuing evolution of sailcloth materials how could a H17 be made to perform with one of the new laminates and a redesigned sailplane? Or would the new stuff even make a difference?

Sail fast, Tom G


Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: h17racer] #40008
11/14/04 01:15 PM
11/14/04 01:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 14
San Diego
chip Offline
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chip  Offline
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San Diego
If you can prevent distortion then you will point higher with more speed.

Pentex is 1.8 times stronger than polyester. The one-sided film on the windsurfing cloth(polyester fibers) is less resistant to stretch than it's polyester conterpart in the two-sided film line. Put pentex fibers inside and you have an even stronger sail. If the other classes are going towards square heads than it would only make the 17 perform better.

1980's technology vs. 2004 technology. You pick the winner.

Chip Buck

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: chip] #40009
11/15/04 09:05 AM
11/15/04 09:05 AM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 612
Cape Town, South Africa
Steve_Kwiksilver Offline
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Cape Town, South Africa
Hi guys, my 2c worth from an 80`s windsurfing freak background :
One-sided mylar/dacron laminate sails were the first experiments using this technique to create a sailcloth that wouldn`t stretch as much as Dacron alone, the fully-battened surf sails were taking a higher load than the "Windsurfer One-Design" sails. I don`t know if it was developed FOR windsurfing, but they were probably the earliest users of this cloth.
All sails made of this cloth had reduced stretch, but their lifespan was short-lived, because the bond between the two would fail due to the dacron side stretching more than the mylar side, cuasing delamination.
The newer mylar sails don`t delaminate, don`t stretch, and if you go with the right weight sailcloth they will last longer than your sailmaker / sail supplier would want them to. (Ask your sailmaker what cloth he would recommend, and go one heavier )
If your class rules dictate that the old one-sided mylar MUST be used, get the class rules changed, because your sails will delaminate after a year of hard use. It`s not the build quality, it`s the cloth that is at fault. I`m shocked any sailcloth company still makes the stuff.

I don`t know what the process is to approach Hobie to have class rules changed, but I`d imagine that if all the sailors agree to it, Hobie would change the rule. If I know them, they will still be the only official supplier - that`s a business decision and I`m not knocking it, but they would still make money either way. (In fact they would stand to make more since all the competitive racers would invest wisely in a sail that will last them.)

Unless, of course, Hobie still have 400 tons of that cloth in a shed somewhere, and need somewhere to offload it....

Cheers
Steve

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: Steve_Kwiksilver] #40010
11/15/04 09:55 AM
11/15/04 09:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,884
Detroit, MI
mbounds Offline
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Hobie Cat Co. doesn't control the class rules for the 17. ISAF does - it's an International Class. The process for change is laborious and takes a long time, especially for a significant change like the construction / design of a new sail.

It would only happen if a large majority of the Hobie 17 racers wanted it to happen. I don't think most of them are ready to run out and buy another $1000 sail, even if it gave marginally better performance and lasted longer.

Re: "higher quality" ? [Re: mbounds] #40011
11/15/04 01:01 PM
11/15/04 01:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 195
White Bear Lake, MN
h17racer Offline OP
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h17racer  Offline OP
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White Bear Lake, MN
Matt, point well taken and still one of the challenges we all endure with sustaining a one-class design. Change can be real difficult to achieve even if the advantages are obvious.

It would be interesting to see, in general, what the H17 owner's concensus would be. Given spending for a new sail would probably be about equal $$ (and 80's vs. '04 technology)plus we could probably gain a longer life sail.

I just wonder if wiggle room could ever be build into class rules to allow for updating to better quality materials as they become available. I can remember the years when Seaway blocks were the standard on a Hobie and it was usually the first item to be changed out. Now the standard is pretty much all Harken.

Sail fast, Tom G

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