Yacht & Boat Builders

 List of Boat Dealers, services, National listing

Boat Parts, Equipment and Accessories

Boating Articles, Safety, Guides & Tips, "How To" Prevent and fix

IPS Drives - Volvo Penta on the 70-foot Spencer

Information for Yachtsmen - Racing Tactics

small yacht practical advice - Fitting Out and Laying up - good working knowledge-article

engine technique - "do it yourself" technique - auto engine converted to marine use

Buying a boat via eBay - May be interesting if you plan to Buy a Boat via the internet

"go-fast" ideas - sailing and "go-fast" ideas by Steve Benjamin(article)

Boat shopping simple guide - important considerations

Small Boats - potentials & factors

Problems - Anchoring Problems, Facts and Rules

Fisherman type - Fisherman anchors, characteristics & advice for selection

Guide to Food onBoard - Packaging, Garbage, Beverages, Transportation and storage

the New Concept of Keel- Loop Keel Benefits,explanation and tests

CSF Yach Sails- Lower Cost Sails - Company divisions & Manufacturing process

Sailing guide for a trip to Greece - Read when considering a Sailing Holiday in Greece

Sail advice,sail basic characteristic ,styles and diagrams of sails.
Traditional sailmaking and computer design

Boat Articles, Guides, Commentary and archival articles & helpful sailing - information

 Sails - Small Boat Sailing and Sail advice, its advantages and disadvantages

Sail & design

...a few things about your boat first and the type of sailing you are planning for these new sails

This Article include basic characteristic ,styles and diagrams of sails, kevlar sails ,sails made from mylar(itself is polyester), its advantages and disadvantages


J.S. calls in and wants S.M. to make a new main for his 29'catamaran, the mast is rotating 3/4 rig of a section familiar to S.M.

J.S. wants to know what material S.M. recommends and specifically whether he should have mylar kevlar sails.

S.M. says "hold on J.S. I need to know a few things about your boat first and the type of sailing you are planning for these new sails". Obviously you are coming to me because the sails you have are either worn out or are not satisfactory for your needs".

J.S. "Yes, well the sails are worn out but I wasn't ever really happy with them, the boat never seemed to have enough power compared to other similar boats."

J.S. "Yes, well the sails are worn out but I wasn't ever really happy with them, the boat never seemed to have enough power compared to other similar boats."

S.M. "What, they looked too flat and the leech lay open?"

J.S. No, strangely the sails looked quite full but the boat never seemed like to wanted to move — it always felt bogged down.

S.M. You tried altering the diamond tension and the amount of mast rotation, and nothing seemed to help.

J.S. Yes, that's light.

S.M. What about mainsheet tension and traveller position?

J.S. Yes, I had a friend come out who has won a state title in another class, he tried all of that and gave up saying the main and jib are soggy and blown out He suggested I come around and see you for a new sail.

S.M. Okay, then to get back to your first question about the cloth for new sails. It seems to me the sails you have were made from a fairly heavy material which had plenty of strength along on the thread line but was poor in bias strength. What we call a production sail, cheap and strong but not so hot on performance.

J.S. -I m afraid I don't understand what you mean, if they are strong low do they blow out?"

S.M. "Here let me show you. Sailcloth is woven from polyester yarns that cross over and under each other at right angles. Naturally the cloth is strong along the line of those fibres.

But like a stiff sailcloth it is easy to crease and is liable to cracking if made into thick sheets. Also as it must be sewn together the sewing needle in punching holes perforates the film and seriously weakens it a lot more than with the fibres of sailcloth.

This is little worry to you in that the sailmaker allows for this by taping seams where necessary in mylar sails, but it highlights the basic characteristic of the film in its pure form.

J.S. But mylar doesn't look like a film it looks like sailcloth or flyscreen. S.M. The manufacturers have tried various techniques to modify the weak points of mylar film viz. poor tear strength and poor sewing properties. The two main styles of mylar material are:

1. Cloth backed 2. Scrim backed or laminated.

With the two main styles various specialist materials have evolved.

J.S. If bias strength is important, and mylar seams to be excellent in this regard as a film, why all the work in producing all these styles.

S.M. Well the funny thing is that while we need good bias strength we also have in a sail definite lines of strain which we talked about with sail cloth. And so we now have the situation where the mylar is being given extra strength either along or across the fabric so that it can better resist the directional loads on the sail.

J.S. I'm confused.

S.M. Okay, let's go back to our diagrams of sails. The puddle of water covers a large part of the sail and for clarity I centred the load of the puddle to one point. Well this is an over simplification that these diagrams will clarify for you. What the sail feels are variations of these diagrams below.

The area of the main load is non directional but the areas surrounding the main load are very directional hence a "tape drive" style of sail can use a very light mylar skin because the load at the centre is non directional and perfectly supported by omni directional mylar. But the strain approaching each corner is increasingly directional and so kevlar lines are added for strength in the direction of the strain.

Well think of mylar now as being the technique by which directional fibres may be stabilized rather than a fabric itself. By using mylar this way cloth is now much more efficient in resisting stretch both on the bias and along the thread line.

J.S. How can mylar help stretch resistance along the thread line.

S.M. Simple, by glueing threads straight into the mylar film they don't first have to be twisted or woven. Threads are twisted before weaving to assist in their handling in the weaving process and also to give them better binding properties. Straight threads can also be glued under tension to the mylar so they are pretensioned, again a means of minimizing take up stretch.

J.S. Mylar sounds pretty good, so why aren't all sails made from mylar surely it is the next step, like dacron was from cotton?

J.S. Mylar sounds pretty good, so why aren't all sails made from mylar surely it is the next step, like dacron was from cotton?

S.M. Yes well we have talked for quite a while, but there is still no ultimate solution. Ultimate solutions work best on specific problems. Weight, strength, durability, ease of use and cost are separate qualities which are often mutually exclusive. So J.S. while I'm talking to you I have dismissed in your case super light sails. So I need to find out what you want to spend because that as well as cloth will determine the construction of your sails.

So when a sailmaker designs a sail he tries to keep the lines of the cloth fibre in line with the main stress lines of the sail.

Hence a sail is simply laid out with the panels either

However as you are no doubt aware, especially with the diagrams in advertising for sails these days, the stress in a sail is far more complex than a simple line from clew to head. The way I like to describe to people how stress is felt by a sail is to imagine a sail on mast and boom laid over horizontally and then filled with water.

The pressure or strain that this sail feels is similar to the pressure it feels while sailing. If the centre of this pressure or weight was in the middle of this puddle of water we could show the strain lines pulling towards it.

S.M. Do you follow me so far?

J.S. Yes I do, but what does this have to do with sailcloth.

S.M. Well, the last diagram looks at the strain felt by the sail in quite a different way to the first diagram we looked at viz.

And so if we superimpose our original cloth layout with the second diagram we see that the strength of the cloth only partially does the job of supporting the load.

If you look at photos of sails you often see the cloth distorting in the leech area.

S.M. The whole point in this little story is that some sailcloth is a lot worse, up to 20 times worse, than other sailcloths in the particular ability to resist bias drift or distortion under load.

J.S. Well I can appreciate the importance of this bias strength then, so why not pick the best cloth and be done with it.

S.M. If it were only that simple! You

see sail cloth is made to suit many different applications and for different budgets. The best cloth for a sail may not be cloth at all but mylar film with polyester or kevlar strands glued to it.

J.S. Okay then what about my sails, what can you make them from, and how much will it cost?

S.M. Well, you can see what has happened to your sails and so I am sure you are looking for performance rather than cost this time. From a performance point of view a stiff yarn tempered style of sail cloth minimises bias distortion as well as overall stretchiness in a sail and so is first choice for performance in smaller boats.

J.S. What about boats my size?

S.M. Yes it is very good from a performance point of view in boats your size. However, it does have draw backs as far as ease of handling and service ability are concerned. Because of its stiffness it is best to roll rather than stuff it into a sail bag as it tends to form fractures in its coating which age it, and it is easier to tear than ordinary sailcloth.

J.S. But if you rolled the sails up how long would they last?

S.M. In absolute terms they last only half as long but in performance terms they give top performance for twice as long and in certain applications give twice the performance of ordinary cloth of the same weight. Of course, I'm speaking loosely in practical terms. If you wanted laboratory style comparisons under that the yarn tempered style finish has often

much better than twice the resistance to stretch with a 10 or 20lb. load along the thread line and up to 5 or six times better resistance on the bias than standard finish sailcloth of the same weight.

J.S. But in ordinary terms it is noticably better but a bit fragile. Well what about mylar, kevlar, etc. what are they all about?"

S.M. Mylar sails are simply another material which tries to offer per- formance in terms of stability and shape holding power. Mylar itself is polyester or dacron the same chemical as sailcloth except that it is a sheet or film rather than fibres that must then be woven. And therein lies its advantages because it isn't woven it doesn't have bias, its strength is similiar at any angle.

What I Found , If you want to learn more about:
Traditional sailmaking and computer design, advantages in terms of speed
and accuracy.

The Sail design & plan

- the computer is a fascinating tool
for analysing sail shapes.

This Article explain why such a simple job as making sails could be helped by a tool as 'complicated as a computer'.




the Way to Go?

IAN MARCOVITCH of Redhead Sails, explains how small lofts are utilising computers to 'out design' their bigger rivals

IF you read sailing magazines you may have noticed that ads for sails no longer feature computers as their main selling point. What went wrong?

Are sails still designed using computers?

Why did sails suddenly need to be designed on a computer, and now only a few years later it doesn't seem to be so important? Nothing went wrong, and today more sails are designed using computers than ever before. The interesting fact is that the growth in use of this technology has occurred in the small independent lofts, rather than the big multinational operations which promoted the technology for a promotional advantage above all else.

Many sail lofts now have better equipment than the "Big Boys", and so it is no longer in the Big Boys' interest to talk about the way they do things. I suppose the sailor has a right to be cynical about the latest gadget to revolutionise the world. A client rang me up the other day from interstate, I hadn't heard from him for a while. When I happened to mention how my new plotter was drawing out the panel- for a large kite as we talked, he went off... "Another good sailmaker ruined by computers".

And on he went: "The car stops, no one can fix it. Thecomputer they say. Bank statement doesn't add up, no one knows why. It's the computer they say. I bought a sail from a sailmaker over here designed on a computer, the slowest sail I've ever owned. Now you tell me you've got a computer!. Look, the last sail you made me was great, why wreck everything?... Don't tell me. You got hit on the head by a boom and you need a computer to tell you how to draw triangles instead of stars."

This phone call, and the comments of some other people led me to write this article to explain why such a simple job as making sails could be helped by a tool as 'complicated as a computer'.

Before I bought a sail design program I had spent a couple of years looking at different types of systems, asking a lot of questions, and trying to see what a computer did that I couldn't do.

1. I could design a sail as quickly as the computers then.

2. The computer did a better job on asymmetric tri radial panel layouts.

3. It took longer to make most sails when plotting the panels by hand from the computer offsets.

4. At that stage I couldn't see that the sails produced were any better for having been designed using a computer.

5. As soon as the computer was linked to a plotter then the advantages in terms of speed and accuracy meant that you had to have one.

6. The cutting of the sail by the computer is the next step, but is harder to justify on cost effectiveness.


1. Get a Plotter!

Did someone mention money? Okay, then first things first. Buy a computer, and a good program. Secondly, learn how to design sails the computer way. Third, check and compare the sail designs done on the computer with as many of my normal designs as possible. I didn't count on step three taking as long as it did. And so it was months before I made a sail to the computer's plan which agreed most closely with the shaping of my traditional design.

Why did it take so long to get the first design into cloth? This is a long story, probably because I won't admit to being slow, but anyway...

A sail

produced only a few years ago may not have any shape at all. The total shape of the sail occurs by cloth stretch. Some budget price sails are still made this way.

A more sophisticated design for the same sail in the same cloth would include features to minimise problems caused by stretch, poor shape and creases.

As cloth improved, the way a sail was made had to be changed - or rather sail makers knew what they wanted a sail to look like, but were frustrated by sails that had good shape only to lose it quite quickly. So for a few years we had two types of sail being produced, those that blew in and those that blew out.

Generally older sailmakers sails blew in and younger sailmakers sails blew out. Progress is always with the young, and so the demand for cloth that held a design shape led to firmer finishes and ultimately to Mylar and Kevlar laminates.

Sailmaker designs have evolved along two paths. At the extreme, one path still sees a sail as a Hat sheet upon which varying amounts of luff curve effect a shape. The other path sees the sail as an almost rigid carved foil, the luff of which is a cheeky nuisance.

Both paths produce good sails. But the way that these sails react to mainsheet and downhaul adjust- ments can be qu»te different. The best all round sails take elements from each design philosophy and form a middle path of design.

The design stepping stones which form this pathway tell a sailmaker how to achieve a sail that works.

There is a progression from a single piece of cloth held to the wind, toward structures assembled from many and various cloths. Each design is a footstep forwards - even if it doesn't work.

Now having said all this, the computer design process is quite different. The computer needs to create a mould into which the cloth is draped. The computer then measures the amount that each piece of material overlaps its neighbour and this is the "shaping" of the sail. Where the edges of the cloth touch the mould is where the seams will run. This can be seen if we take a section through the mould from top to bottom.

We can use the same mould and drape quite different panel layouts into it. The computer accurately measures the exact amount of shape required so that each panel will lie perfectly smoothly in the mould with only its edges coming into contact with this mathematical mould.

Therefore, if we go back to traditional sailmaking the mould for a "path one" line of design would be virtually flat with perhaps some stretch allowance and the amount of luff curve added on.

While a "path two" design would call for a mould that was close to the shape of the sail when sailing - therein lies the problem for a sailmaker new to computer design.

Because while a sailmaker may KNOW that a design will work, he won't be able to tell you the camber of the sail, or the true position of maximum draft. He can tell you how many millimetres of curve he would put in the seams and that the position of that curve may be at 45 degrees from the luff. But he will also tell you that the position of draft while sailing will be a bit further forwards or back.

The starting point for the computer is to define not the millimetres of seam shape, but the actual camber you want in the mould that will shape the sail. The big surprise is that the mould that produces the sail shape can often be a lot fuller than the sailmaker ever expected.

The camber of the mould and the position of that camber doesn't always relate to the flying shape of the sail that comes out of the mould. The way I have tackled the problem is to redesign every sail I have had success with over the years on the computer.

These computer designs are worked over again and again until the shaping on each panel corresponds with the shaping I had actually used in the original design. In this way previous experience is transferred to the new design tool.

My intention in talking about all this is not to confuse you with the subtleties of sail design, but to point out that even with a computer sail design comes back to the skill of the person using the tool. There is no canned sail sealed in the black box that is let out like a Genie to grant wishes.

The interesting part for me is that the computer is a fascinating tool for analysing sail shapes. Different software offers various tools, but the Prosail software I use enables me to break up forestay sag into fore and aft and side components.

This same function in mainsails lets you factor in sideways mast bend, or "S" bends with sometimes surprising results. I can watch the effect that increasing amounts of twist has on the shaping need in the sail. Or the effect on shape that various amounts of mast bend has on the sail, and where any flat spots may show up.

Whole areas of design can be explored on the computer, even things which were abandoned in the past can be revaluated and with the new materials of today, refined on the computer and used.

The other aspect which I had not counted on in using computer aided design was the degree of precision that could be achieved, especially in sails built of Mylar/Kevlar composites. One has only to look at magazine photos of six years ago compared to pictures of the same type of sails today to see how much smoother and fairer in shape they are. Notice how these days the tufts stream so persistently.

A tool is a means of achieving a job. The advent of computer design means a generational change in the way sails are designed. And when the computer is linked to a plotter/cutter, a huge jump in accuracy and efficiency of manufacture.

Used Publications,Photos and Printed Materials:

1988 Vol 1, No 3. - Multihull World Magazine. /Ed Fallows

1993. Vol 5, No 3. - Multihull World

Dan Neri's book - "The Complete Guide to Sail Care & Repair"

Sails are the single biggest variable cost in owning a sailboat. How long they last depends on three critical factors: construction, use, and maintenance. The problem is, unless you're a sailmaker with years of experience, it's difficult to separate reality from myth - and this becomes more true with every "advance" in sailmaking technology. Yet by doing things right, you can save yourself thousands of dollars, and significantly increase the useful lives of your sails.

No sailor should be without Dan Neri's The Complete Guide to Sail Care and Repair. Whether you are buying new sails, want to make your current sails last, or are faced with the need for repairs (either on your own, or at a sail loft) - this book will prove indispensible, and will save you a ton of money!" said Steve D.

Master sailmaker Dan Neri's book, The Complete Guide to Sail Care and Repair, will show you exactly what you need to know to:

- Substantially increase the useful lives of existing sails

- Work with your sailmaker to specify the best sails for your own needs.

- Make sure your sails are properly repaired and maintained

- Correctly repair sails on your own

"What I like the most about The Complete Guide to Sail Care and Repair is that the information is organized so you can access precisely what you need to accomplish the task at hand, and then, if you desire, read about the issues in greater detail. Dan's explanations are concise and easy to understand. If you are faced with a repair, his step-by-step photos and explanations make even the most difficult job easy to understand. And if you are ordering new sails - typically a major investment - you will want to look carefully at Dan's suggestions." Steve Dashew (to read Steve's introduction to Dan's book, click link below).

"Dan's book is just like a new sail; it is well crafted, dynamically designed, and sewn together with delightful wit. The Complete Guide to Sail Care and Repair not only supplies technical wisdom for buying quality sails that last, it also sheds light on how to keep old sails flying when replacing them is beyond your budget. We wish we'd had this book 20 years ago when we began cruising - Dan's invaluable information would have saved us thousands of dollars and hours of frustration." Dave and Jaja Martin (circumnavigators, high-latitude sailors, and authors of Into the Light: A Family's Epic Journey)

"I spent part of my weekend reading a hot-off-the-press book on one of the most boring topics one can imagine, "Sail Care and Repair". What's amazing is I read it cover to cover, not because I had something to learn (I did learn a lot), but because it was written in such a clear, concise and humorous (yes, humorous) style. This book is comprehensive, instructional and very detailed." Jay H.

As with all the books in the Beowulf Press "Cruising Tools" Series, The Complete Guide to Sail Care and Repair is user-friendly, filled with detailed drawings, photos, and check lists. Want to know how to make a quick "window" patch? Dan will guide you through the process, starting with a check list of items needed for the job, then giving you a series of detailed photos to follow. The secret to mainsail longevity? If you follow Dan's sail cover suggestions, you could double its life! And if you are ever in a bind for a quick, strong repair, you will be amazed at the ease of use and strength (better than original stitching) that Dan's exhaustive testing has found to be the very best rapid sail repair material.

Regardless of what type of sailing you do, The Complete Guide to Sail Care and Repair will save you money and time, while showing you how to significantly enhance the lives of your sails. 232 pages jam-packed with more than 219 topics, 258 photos and drawings, and 90 check lists and executive summaries, organized for quick and easy reference.

Prime Sails

...experience of PS sailmaker in yacht racing

As a sailmaker who works exclusively online, they can offer you sailing at unbeatably fair prices.

Their offer extends from cruising sails through to thoroughbred racing sails made of carbon fiber-Laminat.

Yacht Sails

Dear sailors, here you have the option, from the various types of sailing. To choose the desired sail. If you just want to get a rough idea of ??price, so you have also the possibility of "fast sail inquiry".

"Prime Sails" is the first sailmaker who sells your sails exclusively via the Internet(primesails.de). They focus is on cruising sails, Prime Sails sell successfully throughout the world in cooperation with our partners for over 20 years.

To better understand the operation of the sails of a sailing ship, they consider some important principles of fluid mechanics. In simplified terms, there is a sailboat of four elements: sails, hull, keel and rudder. Each element in itself is a hydrofoil. The interplay of the forces generated by the hydrofoil effect, describes the sailing behavior. Keel and rudder are in the water, the sail in the air, the hull in two media. Differences and similarities of sailing - air and water are the basis.

Don't lose in the details, which have a negligible impact on the overall efficiency, assumptions are made that lead to a clear theory. The theory of sailing - Ideal fluids for example, from the fact that the air is incompressible.

One of the key factor for the understanding of aero and hydrodynamics at the sail - is the Bernoulli equation. It sets speed and pressure of a liquid interrelated.

CROSS CUT / horizontal section

- The tracks run horizontally from leech to luff. The Cross Cut sectional profile can be good, and the leech is to regulate effectively. It is a proven, durable and contemporary fit. Still the most sold cut.

TRI-radial sails

- This section shall pay particular attention to the flow of forces in sailing with an aspect ratio greater than about 2.5: 1 - So long, slender sailing. In the area of ??the greatest forces the strongest cloth is disposed. Tri-Radial provide less stretch and a longer shape retention.This sail is ideal for laminates.

BI-radial sails

- This interface is suitable for sailing, which are used in different wind areas, such as Reffgenuas and mainsail. The arrangement of the lanes and seams along the lines of force can be used different cloth weights. The Bi-Radial sails is particularly suitable for mainsail, but also for foresail with an aspect ratio less than about 2.5: 1 (luff to leech) suitable.

FULL-radial sails

- This interface sails is the best choice for small and light boats and a skipper with a penchant for sporty sailing.
Likewise, a good section for Latte loose mainsail with headsail system.


- This sail is very suitable for small to medium size of ships. This cut is ideal for latte loose mainsail with inner mast "Rollreffsystemen".

For more details visit: primesails.de

SNO - latest materials and innovative techniques

Your specialist for sailing in the north

The sails workshop "SNO" based in Brandshagen in Stralsund.

Christoph Fildebrandt itself is passionate sailor. He participated in numerous regattas and trained to watersport instructor(sailing and surfing instructor). Thanks to this experience, he has an excellent practical knowledge, which he can use very well.

The choice of marine canvas and sail shape we meet after the individual requirements of the customer - the sail can make exactly what is expected of him. The quality,durability or condition of being important, which can be reached only with the use of high quality materials. "

They offer a wide range of sailcloth from renowned manufacturers and the sewing thread on the batten pockets to the sail numbers, the customer has a free choice. SNO build sails for a long time.

In addition to a professional cleaning and finishing sails SNO also offers a of the rigging and rigging service oncludecustom boat covers, upholstery work done and manufactures special-shading systems.


Click amazon for details or order online.