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Thread: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

  1. #106
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jfitzger View Post
    In addition to impact resistance, glassing both sides of the panel will improve finished panel stiffness. Only doing one side is like cutting one flange off an I beam.

    Out of curiosity I looked up finished weight of your panels with 6 oz fiberglass on both sides and it came out at 6.13 oz per ft2. 3mm okoume uncoated is 5.35.
    I like the I beam analogy, makes perfect sense. Oh, and I am using 4 oz fiberglass. Thats what the CLC plans called for.

  2. #107
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Well dang it, my In-laws showed up at the house when I got home from duty today. I only got a little bit done on the second panel. I want to get all the panels made, and then glass them all at the same time. Do y'all think they will be TOO stiff if I glass both sides before assembly? I was rolling the idea around of glassing both sides, then stitching them since the joints are reinforced with glass tape. But I kind of like the idea of a smooth single cloth sheet of fiberglass on the outside of the ama hulls. Thoughts?

  3. #108
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Do not glass both sides! The flexibility will gone.
    -Dave

  4. #109
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    I second only fiberglassing the inside before assembly. In addition to losing flexibility you’d have to tape the seams which would add unnecessary weight.

  5. #110
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Thanks for the advice! I have only done fiberglass on my kayak, and never needed a single panel by itself so I don't know how rigid it will be. But I did have that sneaky feeling that it would be too stiff to get it to form around the bulkheads and stitch it. Thanks for confirming my suspicions so I don't screw it up!

  6. #111
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Glad you accepted the first and second suggestion not to do both sides.
    I would have 3rded the not.

    Since you are having so much fun, and you probably have plenty of left over strips, why not make up some test panels?
    Make up no glass, 1 sided, and 2 sided (possibly even 2 plys glass per side) and do your torture tests.
    Better to have facts you tested than to just accept suggestions for those of us you have never seen.

    Although I think you got good comments.

  7. #112
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    Since you are having so much fun, and you probably have plenty of left over strips, why not make up some test panels?
    Make up no glass, 1 sided, and 2 sided (possibly even 2 plys glass per side) and do your torture tests.
    You know, that's not such a bad idea. Empirical data is always better than guessing. But I do want to get my panels all stripped and glued together first. Then we can break some stuff. I have some dumbbells I could drop from a set height and measure how much force it takes to break a panel. I also have some 6 oz fiberglass sheets I bought from Lowes to cover one of the little amas I made cause I ran out of 4 oz and only needed a little. Might be interesting to see how 4oz compares to 6oz. I have seen some people on forums debate over which fiberglass is better. What I would really like to do is build a panel out of strips that is full of knots and see if there is a difference after it is glassed vs a clear panel. Might be fun!

  8. #113
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Still making panels. I figured I would post some pics on how I am doing this just in case someone out there is as crazy as I am and wants to make his own cedar panels to stitch and glue on a kayak or something.

    I covered a 12 foot long piece of plywood with a plastic sheet supported by a table and saw horses, and ensured it was level with a 4 foot level. I screwed a 1/2" x 1/2" x 12 foot reference edge down to the plywood, and made sure it was straight with a laser level. I made pencil marks every 12 inches. Then I just lay the strips down, and staple them every 12 inches. Just like stripping a kayak. I am using Titebond II glue. To make sure I have good tight joints between strips, I use a small plywood block to push sideways against the strip, forcing it against its neighbor. After the glue sets up for two to four hours I take out the staples, carefully slide my hand underneath to break loose the plastic that may be stuck, and set it up on the rack to continue to cure.

    Since the cedar is giving it a "Tiger Stripe" camo look, I just might name this thing "Stripling Tiger"
    20200927_154712.jpg

    Sometimes I am lucky enough to get the strips to align in a matchbook config, giving me cool designs like this. But this is rare.
    20200928_134642.jpg

    So here is the clamping technique. Note the gap between the strips before I press on it with the plywood block.
    20200928_141619.jpg

    So, all you have to do is push on it hard enough to turn your knuckles white...
    20200928_141625.jpg

    Give it a staple...
    And, Voila! Gap is gone. Don't forget to wipe down the excess glue... unless you like sanding forever.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Lee.007; 09-28-2020 at 02:02 PM.

  9. #114
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Oops, I posted too many pics and the site cut me off in the last post, here is what it looks like after the staple. Sometimes you just cant get the gap out due to mis-alignment, one strip too narrow, or rough edge on the strip. But the epoxy will surely fill it in. I had much bigger cracks on my kayak and the epoxy filled them right in. The guys at Raka said as long the cracks are no bigger than 1/16" of an inch you are good:
    Attachment 69360

  10. #115
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Just noticed my previous post didn't have the last pic in it. Here it is. I am building the last panel today. I also sanded one of the panels today. Lots of glue spots on the underside where the plastic pooled up the glue after it dripped through. Probably going to take forever to sand all these. Hopefully tomorrow I can start glassing.
    20200928_141629.jpg
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
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  11. #116
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    So I have the upper part of the hull panels cut out and sanded. They are holding together very well. I thought they might be flimsy and fall apart, but they are actually tougher than I thought. To cut them, I stapled all the 8" x 12' panels for the bottom hull together with 1/2" staples. I will do the top hulls the same. Then clamped the sides with clamps. Then I used a jigsaw to cut them out. I cut them all at the same time, to save effort in drawing 8 panels. I just drew one, clamped them all together underneath it, and cut them all out. Then I sanded the cut edge fair and even, and made sure I sanded down to the line I drew. Here are some pics of the process:

    Nailed a 1/2" x 1/2" x 12' long strip to use as a drawing edge:
    20201001_111800.jpg

    Drawing the profile lines along the edge:
    20201001_111749.jpg

    Clamping the panels together for cutting (I also stapled them together):
    20201002_200437.jpg

    After cutting, sanding, fairing a little:
    20201002_195631.jpg
    20201002_195646.jpg
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
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  12. #117
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Here is my one gripe with the clc plans. It called for 12' x 8" for each panel. Well, I could have done it with an 11 foot panel. Probably could have gotten it with 6 or 7 inches too. Look at the waste. But hey, now I have left overs for torture tests!! :
    Attachment 69652
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”
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  13. #118
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    I have all the panels glassed on the inside. Check out this flexibility! I was able to twist it 180 degrees and it did not even whimper. No cracks, pops, or anything. I stitched the bottom panels together and hope to get it all stitched tonight when I get home from work tonight.20201005_162405.jpg
    Last edited by Lee.007; 10-06-2020 at 12:10 PM.
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”
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  14. #119
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Here is a tip for drilling stitching holes. I set my compass at 5/16 ~ 3/8 inch and scribed a line all along the edge of the panel. I taped the mating panels together so I get a 2 for 1 when I drilled the holes. I used a 1/16 drill bit and drilled the holes on my scribed line every 4 inches. That hole diameter worked great for the 18 gauge wire.
    20201005_190526.jpg
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    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
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  15. #120
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    I can't figure out why the site keeps attaching thumbnails??
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”
    - General George Smith Patton

  16. #121
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Well, even though I had to work this week, I found time to stitch the panels together. That took a lot longer than I expected. I kept breaking wires and having to re-stitch. That was especially annoying in the bow and stern where it was really tight and I couldn't get my fat hands in there . Anyway, here they are. I have one stitched tight and ready to epoxy some fillets. The other I need to tighten up some. Good thing is, not a single break in the wood. Even though I was cranking it down tight enough to break wires, the wood never cracked or broke. And it stiffened up pretty good too. I think after I glass the outside it will be nice and solid. Oh, and it is light as a feather! I will weight them after I am finished and post the final weight. I am thinking of doing cedar stripped decks with some chevron designs or something...

    20201008_221022.jpg20201008_220946.jpg20201008_220839.jpg
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”
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  17. #122
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Looking very good.
    Chevrons or any other pattern will not affect the strength at all.

    Have fun.

  18. #123
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Today I filleted the joints on the inside of the amas. I gotta say I am not at all pleased with my performance of this task. I was using some 6 oz fiberglass I had leftover so I could save my 4 oz for the outside of the amas. Way stringy when I cut the strips to use as tapes over the fillets. Kept getting fiberglass thread strings sticking to my brush and fillet stick, and pulling the whole thing loose when I brushed epoxy into it. I guess it doesn't matter since nobody will ever see it, but it irritates me. I will sand off the big boogers tomorrow when the epoxy sets up. One thing is for sure, the inside is super re-enforced now. One layer of 4oz glass on the original panels, 6 oz tapes on the joints, and epoxy wood-flour fillets under the tapes. I am not at all worried about the cedar being too weak now.
    Anybody have any special techniques to keep the edges of fiberglass to not unravel and make strings after you cut it into strips??

    20201009_213251.jpg20201009_213257.jpg
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
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  19. #124
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    You have to cut strips from the cloth at a 45 degree angle. Otherwise buy glass tape.
    -Dave

  20. #125
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    You have to cut strips from the cloth at a 45 degree angle. Otherwise buy glass tape.
    Yup, thats right. I remember now when I did the sheer tapes on my kayak. I cut them at a 45 degree angle, "bias cut". I don't remember having this much trouble.

    But here is the 1st ama with the initial and the fill coat on the outside. This is more like what I expect from myself on epoxy work:

    20201011_122245.jpg20201011_122121.jpg20201011_122157.jpg20201011_122141.jpg
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”
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  21. #126
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    The other thing is to put down a coat of epoxy first, drop the cloth strip in place, and use the end of a brush to push the cloth down into the epoxy, instead of brushing. If you need more epoxy, use the wetted brush in the same manner. Don't brush for any reason. Of course the fillet has to be smooth so the cloth lays down easily.

  22. #127
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Yep, that works too upchurchmr. I did that on then bow and stern reinforcement and also on the bulkhead fillets. I am working now on a cool design for the deck stripping. I am going to make it look like an arrow, pointed strips design on the bow, straight design on the middle section, and the chevrons on the stern to emulate the fletchings of an arrow. I think it is going to look pretty cool
    However, I had back surgery today for a herniated disc and probably won't be able to work for on it for a week or so. Too many years of riding around in tanks, humvees, carrying rucksacks, and doing 5 mile runs have caught up with me. But that's ok, the doc says I can start running again in 12 weeks or so.
    I am probably going to sneak down in the garage when my wife aint looking and cut some strips for the deck as soon as I can stand the pain without the loopy oxy's the doc gave me. I would go right now, but I like my fingers!!! So, Ya'll may have to wait a week or so for some good progress reports and pics.
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
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  23. #128
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Well, the Doc said I can't be standing for long periods of time, so I figured I would sit at the sewing machine for a bit. jmanflyer was gracious enough to donate an old laser sail to my project and I have been reinforcing the clew, tack, and head with some heavy dacron. He had cut off some of the foot, and also cut the sleeve off of the luff. I re-sewed the luff and foot seams using some heavy duty polyester upholstery thread. I put some linear and radial stitches in the tack and clew to distirbute the load, and also did a whip stitch around the edges with my sewing awl and heavy duty polyester twine to secure both sides of the reinforcement better on the edge since my sewing machine was grunting on the seams. I will also need to repair some rips on the batten sleeves. It works just fine for me so I can custom fit it to my rig. I plan to put some reinforced dacron grommet points on the luff seam and put 7 or 10 spur grommets in the luff so I can lace it to the mast. I will leave the foot loose. I measured the foot at a little over 8 feet, and the luff at 15 feet, works out to about 60 square feet. I also plan to put two reef points in at the 1/3 and 2/3 of total square feet points. I will need to lengthen my mast a bit, but we will see how it goes!
    Pics of my sewing work on the clew and tack and the luff seam:
    20201016_200118.jpg20201021_220924.jpg20201021_220949.jpg
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  24. #129
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Ok, Ladies and Gentlemen, time to start another good fight.. err, debate. (being a Soldier I like to fight)

    So, in one corner we have the Laser sail donated to me by jmanflyer (many thanks by the way to jmanflyer), in the other corner we have the tablecloth mentioned previously in this post. Now that I have the Laser sail and I can compare the two cloths to each other, here are my observations. Keep in mind that I don't know jack about sailcloth, and the laser is my first experience to sail cloth, and also I am assuming the Laser sail is typical sail cloth that you buy for $9+ a yard from Sailrite.:

    1. The Laser sail has smaller threads and the weave is tighter than the table cloth.
    2. The table cloth does not stretch hardly at all under load compared to the Laser sail. Yes, believe it or not, the Laser sail stretches about 30% more than the tablecloth.
    3. The Laser sail seems to have a waterproofing coating on it, giving it a rubberized feel to the touch reminding me of some of my windbreaker jackets (can I buy a can of this somewhere and spray it on the table cloth?).
    4. The table cloth is easier to sew and feed through my machine than the laser sail, and the needle seems to make a smaller hole in the material than it does in the Laser sail. Its almost as if the threads part, and then close back in.
    5. Both are cut to 60 square feet, but the table cloth weighs exactly 6.4 ounces more than the Laser sail.
    6. The table cloth is polyester, but I don't know what kind.

    Now, I have decided to make a sail out of the table cloth. I am still going to use the Laser sail since I have spent time repairing it and working on getting it ship shape. I will make a test run with both, and see which one works the best. What I would like from all of you is what I should set as grading criteria. My goal is to use my kayak trimaran to launch from beaches, use on local lakes and rivers, and also to go island hopping along barrier islands up and down the southern east coast from South Carolina to Florida. I plan to do single day and multi-day trips, carrying up to 500 pounds displacement worth of me and gear.

    So, What should I use a grading criteria, speed? ease of raising / lowering? ease of reefing? You guys are the experts, let me know.

    See below for close up pictures of the laser sail compared to the tablecloth:

    This is the Laser sail:
    20201022_153251.jpg

    This is the Laser sail side by side with the table cloth:
    20201022_153224.jpg

    This is the table cloth:
    20201022_153201.jpg
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  25. #130
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    The only grade that counts is how well it sails.
    How fast the boat goes.

  26. #131
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by upchurchmr View Post
    The only grade that counts is how well it sails.
    How fast the boat goes.
    So just like Lightning McQueen huh? "Speed... I am speed..."

    Ok, well, I can take both sails, once they are finished, and go to a nearby lake and see how they do. One thing I noticed about the table cloth yesterday when I was experimenting with my soldering iron as a hot knife, unless the edges are sealed with a hot knife or a tight hem, it stretches and unravels when I pull it in the bias direction (45 deg from direction of weave). The Laser sail cloth does not do that as bad when the edge is not sealed. So as long as the edge is sealed, you are ok with the table cloth, but if I screw it up and don't seal the edge properly, it will come apart pretty quick under load. I suspect the Laser sail will do the same, but not as fast or catastrophically as the tablecloth.
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
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  27. #132
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    I have finished sewing the reinforcements and hemming the foot and the luff. So today I hammered some grommets into the clew, head, tack, and luff. Then I couldn't help but lace it to my unfinished mast and set it up to see what she is going to look like.

    I couldn't believe how much force the wind was putting on me while I was trying to set this thing up and take a picture. Wind was blowing at 9 mph according to the "real time" myradar ap on my phone. but I think it was more like 5 mph. Once I got it up and it fill full of wind, it looks like the shape is going to be nice and aerodynamically pretty correct. I am sure once I put some down haul and out haul on it it will shape up even better. Oh yeah, I wanted to ask y'all, the leech was flapping in the wind a bit. I have read that is bad. I assume when I put battens in the sleeves on the leech that will go away? Or is it just because I didn't have enough out haul tension on the sail?

    I want to give a shout out of gratitude again to jmflyer for sending me this old Laser sail to use on my rig. All of you guys in this community have been very helpful with your advice and guidance and I genuinely appreciate it.

    Tell me what y'all think:
    20201101_152410.jpg20201101_152426.jpg20201101_152613.jpg
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  28. #133
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Looks good, and yes the battens will fix it.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Thanks Dave! I plan on making some out of 1/8" thick cedar strips sealed with epoxy. I noticed in the picture, now that I have the sail spread out where i can see it, that the leech is convex. If I cut it to a concave roach, would i lose anything other than some square footage and power? I guess what I am asking is will I really screw up this sail if I cut it to a concave roach so I don't have to use the battens?

    The reason I am asking is because the batten sleeves were in rough shape. I sewed them up good and patched them very well, but if I can take out the battens all together and eliminate a source of failure, that makes my engineering mind feel better.

    Also, I still haven't given up on my tablecloth sail idea. I am just trying to settle in on a good design. I think I am going to copy the Laser's general dimensions, but with a concave roach on the leech. I am also thinking since the table cloth is fairly soft and a looser weave, I will design in very light draft - expecting the material to stretch out to make some draft. But since it stretches less than the Laser sail... I keep going back and forth on how much draft. I should stop thinking about it and just cut it out, sew it together, and try it.
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
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  30. #135
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    If I cut it to a concave roach, would i lose anything other than some square footage and power?
    The short answer is no, but you might lose more power than you would expect. Maybe a resident sailmaker will comment to be more specific. But to pull some numbers out of thin air, a 10 percent reduction in sail are like that might cost you 20 percent of drive. The battens allow a bigger roach, which creates a wing shape that's closer to elliptical and therefore much more efficient than a pointy triangular wing.
    -Dave

  31. #136
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    There is no such thing as a "concave roach". There is a concave leech, but a roach is always convex. Despite batten pockets being problematic at times, the best bet is to fix them and use them. Re-cutting the leech to a hollow would also involve cutting down the head and clew patches as part of the deal. It simply is not worth all that work to decrease your performance.

    As to the tablecloth fabric, the chances are that it is also a waste of time. The most important characteristic for just about any sailcloth is stability, bias stability in particular. It is what allows the sail to hold its designed shape as conditions change. It is also why the Laser sail is a much tighter weave, and then is both calendared and resin coated. Aside from not being particularly wind-tight (which is very bad for sails) the tablecloth fabric simply can not have the proper stability to make a good sail. Lots of folks can scratch build something that looks like a sail. Making a real one which works well is nowhere near as easy as some may think. Sailmaking is not horribly difficult, but it involves a whole lot of tedious little details which need to be considered, addressed and known about in order to do it well.

  32. #137
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    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    There is no such thing as a "concave roach". There is a concave leech, but a roach is always convex.
    Thanks Todd!! I kept flipping back and forth in Chapter Six of "The Sailmaker's Apprentice" trying to find just what the heck is meant by "roach" in the leech and somehow I missed that definition. You have just cleared that up for me. I kept thinking, wrongly, that roach meant the same as round, whether it was concave or convex. Maybe I should just sit down and read the book from cover to cover instead of flipping through the sections I think I need when I don't know what I need!

    And thanks for the advice on the table cloth. I was worried about that bias stability when I cut the corner of it doing some experimentation. Do you think there is anyway to stabilize it? Maybe spray some polyurethane or resin on it or something?

    Someday I am going to bite the bullet and order some real sailcloth. I want the experience of designing and making a real sail and being able to say, "I did it!"
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”
    - General George Smith Patton

  33. #138
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    9,729

    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    The reasons that so many DIY amateur sails are made from polytarp with a grid of threads running through it, or Tyvek, which has no weave in any direction is because these inexpensive materials have fairly decent stability and marginally adequate strength (for a while, though nowhere near Dacron on either count). The vast, vast majority of woven fabrics won't have the needed stability to make a decent sail, whether they have the tensile strength or not. About the only thing your tablecloth has to say for itself as a fabric for sailmaking is that it is nicely white. It is also such a loose weave that you aren't likely to make it better by trying to paint it with something.

    Since Thanksgiving is coming up soon, the best use for it is very likely as a tablecloth.

  34. #139
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Evans, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Since Thanksgiving is coming up soon, the best use for it is very likely as a tablecloth.
    LOL! You crack me up Todd. I gotta say, I sincerely appreciate your candor. I will take your advice and not spend many more brain cycles on the polyester tablecloth. But you did mention Tyvek, and I thought that was just a joke when I read about it in a book. Cant remember if it was my current edition of "The Sailmaker's Apprentice", or an article on the net somewhere. Is that really a thing? (im gonna do some research on that!)

    So I get it, Dacron is the best hands down. But I am the type of guy that likes more than one resource. And Dacron is the most expensive, for good reason I am sure, but still, I don't like all my eggs in one basket. So if you were to choose something besides Dacron, lets say Tyvek, polytarp, or the Ripstop polyester readily available just about anywhere, which one would get your vote?

    The reason I ask, I want to experiment with some sail making, designing draft locations, shapes, etc, and when I land on a good design, then spring for the Dacron. Thanks again for your advice and guidance! The books only get me so far. Glad to have the experts on here to fill in the gaps!
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
    “You’re never beaten until you admit it.”
    - General George Smith Patton

  35. #140
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Newbie needs help with small DIY sail plan, trimaran setup.

    I’ve done a lot of sail repair but never made one from scratch. I have had to learn a lot of disparate skills in the course of building my business. What works for me is to break down the learning process so I can focus on one thing at a time. It helps get over the initial hump of not knowing what you don’t know.

    My approach would be to start with a Sailrite kit. You would be guaranteed a good sail if built carefully and you would learn firsthand all the construction and design details in the process. There’s plenty of kits around the $200 mark. I like this one but I’d be tempted to add a boom,
    https://www.sailrite.com/Canoe-Kayak...-Main-Sail-Kit
    You could easily get over $200 messing with Tyvek and still end up with a mediocre sail. If you build the kit you’d have the skill set and a control for further experimentation.

    When your day sailing a sail designed for out and out speed is awesome and a lot of fun. If your camp cruising on the ocean, like you intend, a sail that’s easy to reef and stow will end up being faster than one that’s more efficient but a pain to handle. If you end up having to beach to reef or paddle with the sail up or even if it takes five extra minutes to reef. These things add up faster than the slight boat speed advantage a hyper efficient but sail would. In short, to me, all the criteria are equally important.

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