#1 2021-01-12 17:25:22

Dingeman_Boogert
Member
Registered: 1991-01-06
Posts: 15

mainsail choice

Dear Frances 26 and Victoria 800 owners,

my present mainsail has lost its desired shape so I'm planning to order a new one. That's why I'm looking for a mainsail that fits my boat best, which to me means the optimum between cost, durability, ease of handling and particularly the contribution to upwind performance. It appears not to be an easy choice.  And the profusion of information offered by sailmakers seems moreover to be aimed at further confusion.

What fits our boats best? Crosscut or radial, loosefooted or not? Pease tell me your experience.

Kind regards,

Dingeman Boogert

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#2 2021-01-16 07:14:13

Jon_Spencer
Committee Member
Registered: 2003-11-23
Posts: 160

Re: mainsail choice

Dingeman,
I note your question above.
I am no longer an owner but when I replaced my sails on my Frances 34 I used Rolly Tasker Sails.  They are based in Thailand, have outlets in the UK, and provide a world wide service.  My need was to have good quality cruising sails rather than high performance racing sails.  They provide helpful advice but most importantly the build of the sails met my expectations in respect of quality, shape, cost and durability.  Good luck with your search.
Jon Spencer

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#3 2021-01-18 23:01:52

Andrew_Gleadle
Member
Registered: 2014-09-23
Posts: 37

Re: mainsail choice

Hi Dingeman

I bought a new set of sails for my Frances 26, Panache, a few years ago from Sanders Sails. I'm bias as I live in Lymington and Peter came on-board to measure up and discuss the various options.

The selected sails are Cross-Cut Dacron (Dimension Polyant AP) with a loose foot, full length top batten with the remaining battens (x3) 1/4 length (I think) and 3 reefing points. My second reef was made deeper on Peters advice based on the main sail measurement.

Most of our discussion was around the overall cut of the main and genoa, ease of sailing handling e.g. hoisting, dropping and depowering when sailing single-handed and sail trim vs the then current sails.

I've been very happy with them and 4 years on still perform like new.

Regards
Andy

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#4 2021-01-27 10:59:00

Dingeman_Boogert
Member
Registered: 1991-01-06
Posts: 15

Re: mainsail choice

Hi Andy,

thanks for your reply. It is interesting you have chosen three reefs. Up till now I could do rather well with two, the second reef being a bit deeper than usual. I’ve never had a loose footed mainsail. Could you tell me why you have made that choice and whether it meets your expectations?

Regards,
Dingeman

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#5 2021-01-29 23:34:27

Andrew_Gleadle
Member
Registered: 2014-09-23
Posts: 37

Re: mainsail choice

Hi Dingeman
The previous sails and the sails on my last boat were loose footed. I understand they trim better in light airs and down wind plus I have a stack pack which wouldn't suit a fixed foot sail (your can roll and unroll the main inside the stack pack when fitting and removing the sail which makes live very easy).

In relation to a third reef, this is personal preference

Batten length - I discussed batten length with Peter, 3/4 length were in the sails which came with Panache and my previous boat had full battens. I was planning to have full battens but the discussion was:
- 3/4 length batten puts the end of the batten in the belly of the sail and effects the trim of the sail
- Full length battens tend to be more difficult to hoist and lower if you are not in a good head-to-wind angle and they can be more difficult to depower. Peter raised this as we has already discussed what type of sailing I do and 99% of my sailing is single-handed.
I took Peter's advice and when for 1/4 length.

I have been very happy with the sails, they hoist, drop and trim very well and I haven't notices any degradation in performance

1611960271_panache_star_side.jpg

Please excuse the loose outhaul which I forgot to tighten. Unfortunately I don't own the copyright to the picture so it is only for personal use.

Regards
Andrew

Last edited by Andrew_Gleadle (2021-01-29 23:51:25)

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#6 2021-02-08 15:54:33

Dingeman_Boogert
Member
Registered: 1991-01-06
Posts: 15

Re: mainsail choice

Hi Andrew,
Great picture! That Frances 26 is obviously very well sailed. Thank you again for your reply, making it very clear what motivated you to choose your current sail. I guess I will go for a loose footed sail with 1/4 length battens as well. There certainly is a lot to be said for a sail that’s easy to trim.

Regards,
Dingeman

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