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Thread: Polytarp Sailmaking

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by polysail View Post
    Well, guys and other guys, it's been fun testing the waters, but they are a little cold for me. The response to polytarp sailmaking was about as I expected when I made my first post and opened this thread a few days ago, hoping at least that some members might take the time to view our handiwork. I think most of you must already know Todd's, and I do admire his work and have actually adjusted a couple of instructions based on his criticism. However, as I said earlier, I am a polysail advocate, and outside of Wooden Boat, the material has some serious supporters. There are those of us who have learned to work the material into some pretty competitive, durable sails at the small boat level and understand full well how to manipulate its folds and creases, utilize its stretch characteristics, and build all kinds of sails from this lowly, but tough synthetic. We've shared instructions, had its strength and weathering capabilities tested against other sail materials on Goretex factory testing equipment, campaigned a sail for a year on one of the SCAMP prototypes (the only one to compete in the Everglades Challenge), won a PDRacer World Championship on a boat equipped with our sails, and received scores of compliments from surprised converts. But before I slink off from another beatdown by the forum purists, I would like to invite you once again to take a look at what we do on our Facebook Page. I'm currently working on sails for a Pixie catamaran designed by Richard Woods and I posted a photo album documenting the process I used to build the jib. With over 40 photos, I think you will agree that the documentation is pretty complete. The fully battened main is taking some serious time, and I'm sorry to report that I won't be documenting that part of the build because I am now so far behind. However, I do hope to get lots of feedback from the Pixie owner. We know we can always improve!

    Dave Gray
    Dave,

    I can only speak for myself, but woodenboats to me are equal parts Connection-to-History, Aesthetics, and Accessibility.

    I connect to history with old wooden boats. New modern looking boats wooden or other materials don't do much for me so generally I just turn the page and keep going.
    The Aesthetics of these boats are pretty important to me also, so consistentcy in materials (or at least materials that look like the traditional one) are high on the list.
    I like wooden boats because repairs and construction are much more accessible to me than working in glass and c'fiber. I've done both, and just don't care for the other materials.

    Blue Tarps just don't fit in to any of my three categories that support my interest in wooden boats.
    As I stated, when I 'went cheap', I used cotton paint tarps.

    Again, I can't speak for others, but many people on this forum are traditionalists simply because they like and respect those attributes.

    This may be part of why you are seeing so much friction about what was said above.

    I love a quick and dirty boat. My kids and I have done a couple. It's fun to get them involved and out on the water to see the fruit of their labors.
    I built "quick and dirty" boats when I was a kid (except I didn't realize they were "dirty" and they certainly didn't go together quickly!). But it served it's purpose to get me in the door to traditional wooden boats.

    I'd think that duckflat boats is more of the "quick and dirty" crowd.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    I built a quick and dirty boat ( from free plans, no less). I had planned to use a polytarp sail, which is what the design called for. But once I realized that even a simple boat wasn't all that quick to build, I just couldn't bring myself to use a tarp. After getting about a third through the project, I saw that my time invested was way, way, more than the value of a few hundred dollars. Not that that's chump change to me, but were I to build a polytarp sail for the quickness and/or cheapness, the same line of reasoning would have led me to abandon the project. Because building the boat wasn't really economically smart--it was something I wanted to do, enjoyed doing, and take pride in today.

    While I considered having a sail professionally sewn , I ended up compromising and bought a sail from Woodenboat Store that was real close to the dimensions of the polytarp sail the boat's designer recommended. It performs well. It doesnt require maintenance in the sense that I can rinse it, dry it an stow it and not have to worry about it structurally ( at least for a long while). And it looks good.

    That last part is important to me. I own several boats, and have owned many over the course of my life. To a one, they each elicited a smile as I clunked down the dock towards them. I cant say for sure, because I didn't make one, but my gut told me a polytarp sail would not have garnered that smile.

    But that's just me. No harm, no foul and no derision is meant towards those choosing to build or use a sail made from polytarp. I guess I am trying to say that perfomance comparisons, dollar comparisons, or time-to-build comparisons aren't the only variables in the sail-choosing equation.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by polysail View Post
    Well, guys and other guys, it's been fun testing the waters, but they are a little cold for me. The response to polytarp sailmaking was about as I expected when I made my first post and opened this thread a few days ago, hoping at least that some members might take the time to view our handiwork. I think most of you must already know Todd's, and I do admire his work and have actually adjusted a couple of instructions based on his criticism. However, as I said earlier, I am a polysail advocate, and outside of Wooden Boat, the material has some serious supporters. There are those of us who have learned to work the material into some pretty competitive, durable sails at the small boat level and understand full well how to manipulate its folds and creases, utilize its stretch characteristics, and build all kinds of sails from this lowly, but tough synthetic. We've shared instructions, had its strength and weathering capabilities tested against other sail materials on Goretex factory testing equipment, campaigned a sail for a year on one of the SCAMP prototypes (the only one to compete in the Everglades Challenge), won a PDRacer World Championship on a boat equipped with our sails, and received scores of compliments from surprised converts. But before I slink off from another beatdown by the forum purists, I would like to invite you once again to take a look at what we do on our Facebook Page. I'm currently working on sails for a Pixie catamaran designed by Richard Woods and I posted a photo album documenting the process I used to build the jib. With over 40 photos, I think you will agree that the documentation is pretty complete. The fully battened main is taking some serious time, and I'm sorry to report that I won't be documenting that part of the build because I am now so far behind. However, I do hope to get lots of feedback from the Pixie owner. We know we can always improve!

    Dave Gray
    George is certainly right about the difference in cost. It really is large. On the other hand, I've been sailing twice with my polytarp sail, and the grommets are already trying to pull out. No doubt there's a way around this, but I'm starting to think the way around it is better fabric. I'm happy to have done my experimenting with cheap materials, and I might do more experimenting, but if I'm out in 15 knot winds, I don't think this sail will take it for long.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Certainly opinions vary. Some are relaxed, some purist, some stray into snide elitism. I would remind those purists again that few would say a tarp sail is the equal of a custom professional sail. But not everyone sails a Herreschof, or eats filet mignon at every meal. I will point out that my tarp sail can easily beat any professional sail in a race. Just use your $8 of sailcloth and one hour. I'll use mine. Heck, you can even use the same amount of sailcloth. But we'll start in the parking lot and build the sails. When you're done sailmaking late in the day, I'll be in the club with a cold beer.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    I will point out that my tarp sail can easily beat any professional sail in a race.
    Yeah, right........... just keep thinking that and don't forget to take your meds.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    I will point out that my tarp sail can easily beat any professional sail in a race.
    Depends on the length of the race (on the water).

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Certainly opinions vary. Some are relaxed, some purist, some stray into snide elitism. I would remind those purists again that few would say a tarp sail is the equal of a custom professional sail. But not everyone sails a Herreschof, or eats filet mignon at every meal. I will point out that my tarp sail can easily beat any professional sail in a race. Just use your $8 of sailcloth and one hour. I'll use mine. Heck, you can even use the same amount of sailcloth. But we'll start in the parking lot and build the sails. When you're done sailmaking late in the day, I'll be in the club with a cold beer.
    This passage typifies the mythology that surrounds polytarp sailmaking. For some reason, a lot homebuilders think that a polytarp sail is much easier to make than a dacron sail. Except for the additional work to broadseam, which makes for a superior sail, the amount of work is the same. In my experience, dacron sails take about 25% longer to complete, no more.

    If the race is the Everglades Challenge the polytarpist will be halfway through the race desperately shoring up the tattering sail with quantities of duct tape while the dacronista will be hobknobbing with his fellow finishers on the beach enjoying a refreshing gin and tonic.
    Last edited by Dusty Yevsky; 05-10-2013 at 11:24 AM.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Yevsky View Post
    This passage typifies the mythology that surrounds polytarp sailmaking...

    If the race is the Everglades Challenge the polytarpist will be halfway through the race desperately shoring up the tattering sail with quantities of duct tape while the dacronista will be hobknobbing with his fellow finishers on the beach enjoying a refreshing gin and tonic.
    No, this post typifies the mythology even better, I think. Mike Monies and Andrew Linn used a polytarp sail for Mike's Scamp in their last Everglades Challenge, and it held up fine. True, they didn't finish that year, but it had nothing to do with their sail.

    I believe they used polytarp sails for Mike's Laguna in 2010, too, though I'm not 100% sure.

    Polytarp sails can be made well, as I think Dave Gray continues to demonstrate. The only question that's worth asking is whether it makes sense to invest that level of skill and effort on sub-optimal materials. Sometimes, for some people, maybe it does. I enjoyed a 20-day cruise through the North Channel one summer that wouldn't have happened without a polytarp sail, since I didn't have the money to buy a professional sail, and didn't have the sewing machine and skill needed to make one quickly enough myself.

    Tom
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  9. #44
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Polytarp sails can be made well
    Of course they can be made well, but they can't be made to last. I know this for a fact because I built two and regretted squandering my labor and money by using an inferior material when I easily could have built two far more durable sails for not much more money.

    OK, you got me on the EC. Let's say the race is the Transpac.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Heck, you can even use the same amount of sailcloth. But we'll start in the parking lot and build the sails. When you're done sailmaking late in the day, I'll be in the club with a cold beer.
    Well, I would still go and raid the local sailmakers dumpster. Then with a scissors and some luff tape, a hot cut leach and I'm in.
    Actually I usually take a discarded "big" sail to the sailmaker and have him recut it. No real materials cost, just labor only. Highly skilled labor.

    I still have some experimental sails that were made this way twenty years ago. Folded and stored properly they are still just fine. Well worth the experimental cost to determine sail area or shape (gaff, sprit, lug or whatever) before I commited to a several thousand dollar expense.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Look, there's no question that there is indeed a market for a mediocre sail made of second-rate materials at a discount price. But I ain't in that target demographic any more. Nor am I nostalgic about the times when I couldn't afford any better.

    Yes, they can be made to work, and they are cheap. But are they worth the cost? Make that decision eyes open, not fooling yourself about the compromises you are settling for.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Certainly opinions vary. Some are relaxed, some purist, some stray into snide elitism. I would remind those purists again that few would say a tarp sail is the equal of a custom professional sail. But not everyone sails a Herreschof, or eats filet mignon at every meal. I will point out that my tarp sail can easily beat any professional sail in a race. Just use your $8 of sailcloth and one hour. I'll use mine. Heck, you can even use the same amount of sailcloth. But we'll start in the parking lot and build the sails. When you're done sailmaking late in the day, I'll be in the club with a cold beer.
    If we needed to make a new sail every time we went sailing, that would be a sensible sort of competition.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Something that everyone on any sailboat forum might want to keep in mind is this: The sailing industry, as a whole, is in decline. It has been for many years now. There are fewer boats and fewer sailors today than there were twenty years ago and that's cold hard fact. Materials choices will always be a personal expression within what one can afford and what one pictures as their optimal expression. Since we all have differing points of view on that simple paradigm, it makes sense to allow for a wide array of product selection in order to service the greatest number of possible end users. Grassroots boating is a seriously important aspect to this process. It's where the most boater numbers reside worldwide. It's the well from which most boaters emerge to appreciate finer products, designs and techniques. It's the life force, if you will that drives the mechanism. Boating does not exist because of carbon race machines with trick hardware and sails. It's the other way 'round.

    When we engage in the process of wide material latitude, we allow for more players on the field and that does something vitally important to the overall sailing industry. This near dead industry in which we choose to recreate, race, piddle, etc. has a chance to survive in some recognizable form. If the member drift away from the activity increases because they don't fit the particular paradigm of the hard core, then there will be fewer manufacturers of products for our needs, fewer competitive price points in the marketplace and much more expensive products. This will serve to drive away even more members of the community as they reach their breaking point financially and the whole thing will repeat itself until the circle is drawn down to the last holdouts.

    Not everyone can afford the finest, most wonderful products, nor do they wish to, even when they can. For some, a simpler expression is in order and a more affordable product for their needs is precisely what the marketplace provides. I dare say that if one were to visit the homes and jobs of many of you, they would not find an equally wonderful, wide array of price point expressions in the objects in your sphere. We all make choices based on need as we see it. That is why some use Ryobi when a Bosch is sitting right beside it at the retail outlet. But that Ryobi guy can dream and as his experience and desire blossom, he may just opt for the Bosch the next time around. I've seen some awfully good stuff made from the lowly Ryobi tool collection.

    What we need is more sailors, more choices and a broader range of price points and serviceability and not fewer, if the sailing industry is going to make it as an option for recreational sailors in the future. If the use of polytarp sails opens new vistas and gives birth to new dreams for more sailors while out on the water, then I say that it's a product that we all need. Not necessarily in our personal inventory, but as a family of practitioners who are looking for a healthy sport as a whole.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Wedge9 View Post
    Something that everyone on any sailboat forum might want to keep in mind is this: The sailing industry, as a whole, is in decline. It has been for many years now. There are fewer boats and fewer sailors today than there were twenty years ago and that's cold hard fact. Materials choices will always be a personal expression within what one can afford and what one pictures as their optimal expression. Since we all have differing points of view on that simple paradigm, it makes sense to allow for a wide array of product selection in order to service the greatest number of possible end users. Grassroots boating is a seriously important aspect to this process. It's where the most boater numbers reside worldwide. It's the well from which most boaters emerge to appreciate finer products, designs and techniques. It's the life force, if you will that drives the mechanism. Boating does not exist because of carbon race machines with trick hardware and sails. It's the other way 'round.

    When we engage in the process of wide material latitude, we allow for more players on the field and that does something vitally important to the overall sailing industry. This near dead industry in which we choose to recreate, race, piddle, etc. has a chance to survive in some recognizable form. If the member drift away from the activity increases because they don't fit the particular paradigm of the hard core, then there will be fewer manufacturers of products for our needs, fewer competitive price points in the marketplace and much more expensive products. This will serve to drive away even more members of the community as they reach their breaking point financially and the whole thing will repeat itself until the circle is drawn down to the last holdouts.

    Not everyone can afford the finest, most wonderful products, nor do they wish to, even when they can. For some, a simpler expression is in order and a more affordable product for their needs is precisely what the marketplace provides. I dare say that if one were to visit the homes and jobs of many of you, they would not find an equally wonderful, wide array of price point expressions in the objects in your sphere. We all make choices based on need as we see it. That is why some use Ryobi when a Bosch is sitting right beside it at the retail outlet. But that Ryobi guy can dream and as his experience and desire blossom, he may just opt for the Bosch the next time around. I've seen some awfully good stuff made from the lowly Ryobi tool collection.

    What we need is more sailors, more choices and a broader range of price points and serviceability and not fewer, if the sailing industry is going to make it as an option for recreational sailors in the future. If the use of polytarp sails opens new vistas and gives birth to new dreams for more sailors while out on the water, then I say that it's a product that we all need. Not necessarily in our personal inventory, but as a family of practitioners who are looking for a healthy sport as a whole.
    Good point. I've noticed that you can get some really cheap "practice sails" made in China that don't have the royalty sticker so they can't be used in class competition. They cost something like a fourth of what the official sails do, but they are only available for the most popular classes -- various flavors of Laser, Sunfish, and Optimist Pram. Maybe we should be designing boats around these rigs, and offering more programs like Rock the Boat.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    OK, OK, I'll admit I was wrong. That's because I found a picture of the boat that is the perfect application for polytarp sails.


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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Yevsky View Post
    OK, OK, I'll admit I was wrong. That's because I found a picture of the boat that is the perfect application for polytarp sails.

    Take it out of the box so we can see it.

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Take it out of the box so we can see it.
    I think this box will open up by itself on launch day.

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    And it's Yevsky, for the win!!!

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    I can't figure some of you guys. If someone builds a boat of door skin and bubble gum you'll gush all sorts of praise. But make a well constructed sail from anything other than dacron and you become insulting asses. Well some allready are, but I hope you get my point. And, Yevsky didn't win anything, he just proved my point.

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by DCBrown View Post
    I can't figure some of you guys. If someone builds a boat of door skin and bubble gum you'll gush all sorts of praise. But make a well constructed sail from anything other than dacron and you become insulting asses... And, Yevsky didn't win anything, he just proved my point.

    Word

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Is Tyvek also a Polytarp material or something different? I plan to use cheap Tyvek for my sails.

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    To be fair, I think I can be relied upon to deliver the same sort of scathing critique of a doorskin and bubblegum boat as I would to anything else improperly cobbled together from second-rate materials. Now a properly cobbled together boat made from found materials is another thing entirely, but that's not what we're talking about here.

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyweather View Post
    Is Tyvek also a Polytarp material or something different? I plan to use cheap Tyvek for my sails.
    Might be better than the polytarp I'm using. How will you reinforce the attachment points for the tack, head, and clew?

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    ... as I would to anything else improperly cobbled together from second-rate materials...
    Jim, I'm sure that you realize that there are better materials available than the ones you are using for your boats (there always are) I wonder how you reconcile that fact since that means that you are using second rate stuff for the things you own? When it comes to material choices, I would bet that the Sultan of Brunei, or Ted Turner, could launch a much better example of any of your boats than can you. Doesn't that just gripe your fanny to no end?

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    In my experience, Tyvek is not actually woven as much as it is a mess of fibers that are coated. This may cause some stretch problems. Also, I don't think it will tolerate the stresses of being a sail as well, due to the layout of the fibers not transferring the load out properly. I think a quality tarp is probably a better bet than Tyvek. I'm not saying it won't catch wind, but I think it'll "blow out" quite rapidly, like maybe in a single good blow or a seasons consistent use.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Wedge9 View Post
    Jim, I'm sure that you realize that there are better materials available than the ones you are using for your boats (there always are) I wonder how you reconcile that fact since that means that you are using second rate stuff for the things you own? When it comes to material choices, I would bet that the Sultan of Brunei, or Ted Turner, could launch a much better example of any of your boats than can you. Doesn't that just gripe your fanny to no end?

    I know your just trying to get James' goat (which is frequently amusing), but there's a difference between second rate, first rate, and premium exotic materials. Not using second rate materials is more about using the APPROPRIATE material, rather than just the fanciest or most expensive thing available. Every boat is a set of compromises, and finding the balance between quality and price is one of the biggest ones. That's why your intended use matters, and why your boat may not be the right one for me. Many of us like to encourage prospective boatbuilders to put forth a little more money for a lot more quality and longevity, because those characteristics have proven, over multiple projects and builders, much more valuable than saving a few bucks.



    But now I'm thinking about a Carbon Fiber Sooty Tern....
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are saying that first rate materials are not, in fact, first rate. That there are better materials out there than the improperly labeled and mythical, first rate stuff, means that anyone using "first rate" stuff is actually making a price/benefit compromise for a deliberately lesser quality in order to meet one's needs appropriately.

    You know, that sounds precisely like the thought process that goes through a guy's head when he is looking to get a polytarp sail for his boat. That means it's a matter of degrees and not absolutes; this haughty business of talking down to folks who opt for polytarp sails. I suggest that this haughtiness can be spun in any of a thousand different directions, but it still comes out the same. Make and sail what you can and do try to leave the class system out of the boating experience. That way, everyone benefits and shared dreams can be realized free of the baggage of who's got what and how good it might be.

    I'll hazard a guess here and take a leap that if a guy fell out of his "first rate" boat, watched it sail away from his reach and was totally flogged, that he would accept a ride in a polytarp sail equipped boat to get his first rate butt back to shore..? Another of those compromises so mentioned.

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Wedge9 View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are saying that first rate materials are not, in fact, first rate. That there are better materials out there than the improperly labeled and mythical, first rate stuff, means that anyone using "first rate" stuff is actually making a price/benefit compromise for a deliberately lesser quality in order to meet one's needs appropriately.

    You know, that sounds precisely like the thought process that goes through a guy's head when he is looking to get a polytarp sail for his boat. That means it's a matter of degrees and not absolutes; this haughty business of talking down to folks who opt for polytarp sails. I suggest that this haughtiness can be spun in any of a thousand different directions, but it still comes out the same. Make and sail what you can and do try to leave the class system out of the boating experience. That way, everyone benefits and shared dreams can be realized free of the baggage of who's got what and how good it might be.

    I'll hazard a guess here and take a leap that if a guy fell out of his "first rate" boat, watched it sail away from his reach and was totally flogged, that he would accept a ride in a polytarp sail equipped boat to get his first rate butt back to shore..? Another of those compromises so mentioned.
    This makes no sense. If James wants to build a boat with the characteristics of a plywood boat, he can buy BS 1088 Okume and be pretty certain he's using first rate materials. If he doesn't want the weight of teak, then teak is no better a material.

    If you are suggesting that the difference between using interior plywood and BS 1088 is the same as the difference between using one kind of marine plywood or an equally functional but more expensive marine plywood, I'd have to say, that's BS. It's not a matter of high-status materials, it's about functional materials, so the "haughtiness" comment makes no sense.

    If that's now what you're saying, what are you saying?

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    One of the thousand ways to slice the same apple. He's still opting for lesser stuff than is truly available... just like the guy who opts for polytarp. It's the same decision-making process. How do you cut it anyway except unnecessary discrimination? I don't think that this forum warrants that kind of herd culling.

    We're all in the same shrinking game and should be collectively finding ways to embrace the total wooden boating environment and not singling out a process because some erudite clique finds it beneath them. If you'd socialize with, or accept a beer from, a guy with a polytarp sail, then it's way past the time to cease the clever terms that serve to separate us. It serves no purpose.

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    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Wedge9 View Post
    One of the thousand ways to slice the same apple. He's still opting for lesser stuff than is truly available... just like the guy who opts for polytarp. It's the same decision-making process. How do you cut it anyway except unnecessary discrimination? I don't think that this forum warrants that kind of herd culling.

    We're all in the same shrinking game and should be collectively finding ways to embrace the total wooden boating environment and not singling out a process because some erudite clique finds it beneath them. If you'd socialize with, or accept a beer from, a guy with a polytarp sail, then it's way past the time to cease the clever terms that serve to separate us. It serves no purpose.
    I am a guy with a polytarp sail, and you're still not making sense to me. Here's one of the pictures I posted in #31:




    What materials are more functional for what James is doing than the ones he's using? It looks to me as though he's making distinctions based on functionality, and since he's tried most of the cheap alternatives, he speaks from experience. I don't agree with him on everything, but I can certainly see his point of view, and I don't see it as based on "unnecessary discrimination."

    Oh, and James and I get along socially just fine, even when I'm beating him to windward in a sharpie with a sloop rig. He doesn't like sharpies, he doesn't like small boats with sloop rigs, but he seems willing to not only accept a beer from me, but to pass me one of his. I think you're making some unwarranted assumptions.

  31. #66
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Urbanisma
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    19

    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Go back and read the postings here. They range from sympathetic to the OP's points all the way to outright derogatory. Surely you see that and know it of the folks who populate this list. Sometimes the derogatory is manifest as sly tone references within a post and others are just outright hostile.

    Take a hop over to the website of North sails, as an example of what kinds of products and build styles are available to sailboaters. Here's a link to the pretty wide selection of sail types, material applications and end use suggestions. http://ie.northsails.com/tabid/26994...4/Default.aspx

    These sails range from really mild to really wild. If you go there and find a sail design type and material choice that suits your budget and sense of what you want on your boat, then you have zeroed in on one of those "compromises" previously mentioned because I will bet that what you eyeballed for yourself wasn't a full-on carbon 3dl800 setup. I'll also bet that James doesn't have that high end performance sail on his boat... so he, too, has made a compromise as to quality available; probably because they cost a fortune and are typically put on all-out race boats, which he does not have.

    So, to make this easy... the polytarp guy has done the exact same thing as you guys. He's opted for an affordable sail selection that works for his needs and his budget, even though it isn't the best stuff out there. Seems to me that all of you have way more in common than you do separating distinctions. Compared to the guy with the afterburner level 49er, all of you are cheapskate pikers and he's got an Olympic level perf dinghy that would allow him to call you second rate goofs. I would suggest that inference is inappropriate and that anyone who sails is out there doing his best. When that guy chooses to rig-up a set of poly sails he should be encouraged to do so and have a good time doing it. This entire, second rate/first rate nonsense is just that and it enforces divides in our treatment of others.

  32. #67
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    11,895

    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Oh thpppt! There's good boats and there's better boats and then there's the other kinds of boats. And it's super extra obvious which ones are which to those who pay close attention. My goal is to foster an increase in the good and better ones, and a decrease in the slipshod and the crappy ones. If you wanna all join hands and sing kumbayah over how everyone is special in their own way, then you go for it. I'm much more interested in finding out what the optimal solution is for a given set of parameters, and you do only that with careful, thorough and critical assessment.

    Look, if a polytarp sail provides you with adequate enough performance for its cost to suit your short-term needs, then that's just great. But it's most definitely a second rate choice of materials over made-for-the-purpose Dacron sailcloth that costs only a little bit more and lasts much, much longer. I don't know how to sugar-coat that.

    It took me some time to learn how to properly cobble together a good boat. And I sorta resent how much extra time it took because of the time and money I wasted going down blind alleys and false leads. When I look at how much better a job and set of choices Yeadon took with his very first boat than I did with my first couple of dozen boats, it brings me genuine regret that I didn't have a decent critic and mentor at the time to set me straight.
    Last edited by James McMullen; 05-13-2013 at 07:40 PM.

  33. #68
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    24,699

    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by Wedge9 View Post
    Go back and read the postings here. They range from sympathetic to the OP's points all the way to outright derogatory. Surely you see that and know it of the folks who populate this list. Sometimes the derogatory is manifest as sly tone references within a post and others are just outright hostile.

    Take a hop over to the website of North sails, as an example of what kinds of products and build styles are available to sailboaters. Here's a link to the pretty wide selection of sail types, material applications and end use suggestions. http://ie.northsails.com/tabid/26994...4/Default.aspx

    These sails range from really mild to really wild. If you go there and find a sail design type and material choice that suits your budget and sense of what you want on your boat, then you have zeroed in on one of those "compromises" previously mentioned because I will bet that what you eyeballed for yourself wasn't a full-on carbon 3dl800 setup. I'll also bet that James doesn't have that high end performance sail on his boat... so he, too, has made a compromise as to quality available; probably because they cost a fortune and are typically put on all-out race boats, which he does not have.

    So, to make this easy... the polytarp guy has done the exact same thing as you guys. He's opted for an affordable sail selection that works for his needs and his budget, even though it isn't the best stuff out there. Seems to me that all of you have way more in common than you do separating distinctions. Compared to the guy with the afterburner level 49er, all of you are cheapskate pikers and he's got an Olympic level perf dinghy that would allow him to call you second rate goofs. I would suggest that inference is inappropriate and that anyone who sails is out there doing his best. When that guy chooses to rig-up a set of poly sails he should be encouraged to do so and have a good time doing it. This entire, second rate/first rate nonsense is just that and it enforces divides in our treatment of others.
    Could you at least read my posts before you respond to them? I have a polytarp sail. I showed you a picture of it. Twice.

    Perhaps you should take your own advice and go back and read the postings here. you really seem to have mistaken me for someone else.

    As you say, there are a range of opinions on this thread. Is that a problem?

    If you think a carbon 3dl sail is suitable for the kind of sail and oar cruising James does, you really don't know much about sails. James has indicated that he thinks you need to use the appropriate materials, and I see nothing wrong with that statement.

  34. #69
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    15,396

    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    A freaking carbon sail would be WRONG as for a lug cruising boat, not better.

  35. #70
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    24,699

    Default Re: Polytarp Sailmaking

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    A freaking carbon sail would be WRONG as for a lug cruising boat, not better.
    Probably chafe through in a week.

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