I'm a total beginner and just acquired a Nacra 570 with sails that are starting to delaminate... My current mainsail should last awhile but I'm looking at replacements already
Looks like a new Nacra 570 mainsail runs about $2K ...
Any alternatives that people are using that provide better value(same quality, lower price or better quality, same price)? I've seen a few videos a Hobie sails on Nacras what's with that?
Chip from whirlwind
he is a sailor - been in the business a long time
makes a great sail at a very fair price
I purchased 3 sails from him last year
there are SOME sails that will work decent on other boats
it is kinda rare and a poor match could have some bad results (poor helm, too much power, too much power forward, etc)
people usually would do that when they can't afford a new sail and or don't care about performance issues that may come with doing this or have the knowledge to know what sailshape and length will translate to on the water
i have purchased many tornado sails for my mysteres but that is a very similar boat, sailplan, hardware, etc
i now have custom sailes cut for my needs but will put a smaller f18 main on in higher wind (for less power)
If you are new, and don't know a lot about sail shape, and pros and cons of different shape, plus mast settings, ... i would stick with a new 5.7 main and jib sail from Chip - if you can afford it - its very nice to have sails that are very responsive
Edited by MN3 on Oct 02, 2020 - 03:38 PM.
My experience is a Pentex Apen 06 or 09 main will last indefinitely. We have some at our club that are nearly 20 years old and still good enough to race with occasionally. I would not compromise with a dacron main that might last 1 or 2 seasons longer, at best. Now if you were sailing in the tropics, I would advise a different strategy.
Your other option may be to purchase a used F18 main, if you can find one. Area wise the F18 main is 0.45 m2 larger, so not too much of a change. Most of that is at the bottom, as the F18 main has a lower clew designed for a boom, and the 570 a higher cut clew designed for boomless operation. IME, most F18 mains will work OK boomless, ideally you would have the foot modified but used sails are never ideal and that is a few $$$ at the local loft to change.
My novice guess is besides the load issue mentioned by dk, when dacron gets used it stretches and continues to stretch for it's life. most laminates last until they just die.
when you add a square top to a main it needs to be built up with many layers to be stiff enough to "break" (bend over) and let the air (power) bleed off when overpowered.
you can't get that stiffness with dacron, and if you did with some other material inserted the head of the sail would not stretch in unison with the rest of the sail. and you would have a very out of shape sail up there... and that is a bad spot to have bad air flow.
I don't purchase dacron mains
i do purchase dacron furling jibs as the constant furling is very harsh on a composite sail and will reduce the life of the jib vs the main
If you are gong new go with Chip Buck at whirlwind and dacron. I have his sails on my 5.2 and 5.7 and they are amazingly good value for the price. pentex, mylar or other materials are great but the performance benefit shouldn't be too noticeable. I have a dacron square top on my 5.2, but really don't have a good setup for downhaul so Im always really overpowered. I'd talk to chip about it. My pin top on the 5.7 is perfect for me.
1981 Nacra 5.2 "Lucile"
1986 Nacra 5.7 "Belle"
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
every material has pros and cons
this data shows that dacron is cheap and flexible but can't hold a candle to the other high tech sailcloth for stretch and elasticity. so if you want a cheap sail that will stretch and become less responsive over time (and blown out)- go with dacron
if you want a sail that will hold its shape until it dies - go with a high tech sailcloth
also consider cloth weight in your overall plan. i know my f18 sail is about 20 lbs lighter than an old dacron main i have
"The ideal sailcloth fiber would last for decades of use, stand up to the harsh sailing environment (toughness and structural durability), would not stretch under load (modulus and shape holding) and would be low in cost. But in the real world, available fibers exhibit varying degrees of these attributes with some materials having vanishingly small levels of stretch for weight, but less than desirable durability, while others are tough, but somewhat stretchy. Finding the right balance of properties for your type of sailing and keeping within budget is the key to being happy with your sails."
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