Whoever wants to buy the right sail has to face some considerations. Sails for cruising ships and charter yachts must meet different conditions than sails for a regatta boat or dinghy. When sailing, you often encounter different climatic conditions, which can have an effect on the different fabrics. In southern areas such as the Mediterranean, for example, sails suffer considerably from the intense UV radiation. In northern areas with strong winds, they must also be able to withstand higher pressure and tension. The range of sailcloth material available extends from traditional Dacron sails to laminate and membrane sails and carbon fibre sails.
Laminate sails consist of thin plastic films which are glued together. This makes the sails light, but more sensitive to kinks and creases. Sails made of high-strength polyester fabric such as Dacron, PenTex or Vectran have excellent all-round properties with a good price-performance ratio. Spectra and Dyneema are fabrics made of polyethylene, which has a high breaking load, low weight and good UV resistance.
Regardless of the material, processing plays a major role. Not only the individual panels, but also the sheets, neck and clew have to be made especially reinforced, as this is where the greatest forces occur during sailing. By computer-controlled cuts, high-quality sails for dinghies and yachts can be produced ready made. For many standard classes such as 470, 420 or Opti, dimensions and area are specified. Light wind sails like spinnaker, gennaker and blister are made of extremely light nylon. Relatively high strength is combined with great elasticity. Depending on the cut and sewing of the fabric panels, the production and strength of spinnaker & Co. These sails are also available ready made by sailmakers, depending on the desired sail area and luff length.
A special strong wind sail or storm sail should not be missing on board a sailing yacht. The relatively thin cloth of furling sails is only suitable for high loads to a limited extent, when reefed the sail profile cannot be trimmed well. Storm sails are made of particularly strong cloth, are cut flat and are attached using jib hanks or mast sliders. Sails should remain largely dimensionally stable even under load, which is achieved by cutting the cloth panels. The horizontal cut is proven and inexpensive for mainsails, radial cuts are used for foresails because of the diagonal force transmission. You can buy sails in high brand quality at the water sports specialist Compass under Compass24 at a favourable price. Sailors will also find a large selection of accessories for their sailboat here.