Info need for sailcloth.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by aliaj00, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. aliaj00
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: albania

    aliaj00 Junior Member

    Hi all,

    what materials can be used for a sail in a outrigger canoe?

    I have found 100% polyester cloth that is 450 gram/meter-sq for about 2.5 Euros a meter-sq. "that is not sold as sailcloth but instead is sold as normal cloth by the meter"

    Can that do the job or it will be ruined within the season. I am asking because if it can hold for a season or two it would have been a good choice.

    thanks,

    Aliaj00
     
  2. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    It'll do.. might be a bit heavy?, but depends on your canoe IMO
     
  3. aliaj00
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: albania

    aliaj00 Junior Member

    Hi TeddyDiver,

    thanks for your help.

    i am finishing the building of a WA`APA 24' outrigger and it took almost a year. Now i am searching for the sail but a cheap option.

    If it seem heavy for it, the shop there has also lighter ones.
    If you can help with what weight should i go, it would help a lot.

    By the way now ALBANIA has no more visas so you can help me out without worries :). Maybe i will pay a visit to Trieste :D this summer :). No one went to Europe for work when the visas were opened :).
     
  4. TeddyDiver
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Finland/Norway

    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Something around 120-200g/sqm (3-5oz) should do me thinks.. Maybe someone else has another opinion?
     
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  5. aliaj00
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    aliaj00 Junior Member

    Hi TeddyDiver,

    Thanks for the tip, i will give it a shot also i am going to put a tacking rig on it and will be a lot cheaper than the 450g/sqm.

    Thanks again for helping. :)
     
  6. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    The fabric that you have found may or may not be a good candidate for sails. Sail fabric is calendared and sometimes resin impregnated for very good reason. This is to mitigate bias stretch.

    Test a piece of the fabric as follows: hold a piece of the fabric with your thumb and forefingers about 30 cm apart, at points diagonal to the warp and weft yarns. Pull in the diagonal direction. If you get more than a very small amount of stretch you will have to be very careful and inventive with the panel layout of your sail.

    The diagonal is called the bias direction and you will need to design the sail so that neither the leech, luff, nor foot has much or any bias loading. That would be easy enough on a square sail but not so simple on a three cornered sail. It can be done with a "star" cut. That is where the sail is composed of three trangular panels with points converging at the center of the sail.

    I would sooner trust Tyvek or polytarp for cheaply made sails than to use garmet or curtain making fabric.
     
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  7. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Anything and everything has been used for sails in the past, even grass mats. All sail cloth breaks down in sunlight, actual sail cloth may have some kind of UV stabilizers to make them last longer, but that heavier cloth will hold up longer than a lighter fabric anyway. Use battens and heavy reinforcments in the corners to help it hold its shape.

    One thing you might consider is to apply latex paint to the cloth if it is not actual sail cloth. IT will stabilize the weave, make it more airtight, and give it a layer of protection from the sun, so it will last longer and not stretch as easy. It will give it a more smooth finish as well, reducing drag.

    Tyvek (house wrap) also makes a decent sail,though not as durable as cloth, it is an inexpensive alternative, or to build a "test" sail (use duck tape for the seams).

    good luck.
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed, sails can be made of pretty much anything, but there's nothing worse than laboring over a sail build, just to have it stretch, bag and perform poorly in use.

    Tyvek works and a wipe with acetone will remove the printed logos. It's a bit stretchy and noisy, but serviceable. Poly tarp works better, though is also noisy, is less stretchy. 450 GSM is pretty heavy material. You'd really do much better is it was 150 GSM or lower, preferably in the 80 to 90 GSM range, considering what you're doing.
     
  9. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    viking north VINLAND

    A painters cotton drop sheet treated with boiled linseed oil served me well in my early days of dire economy. :) (location--KOA campground hwy. 92 Daytona, )
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Then they invented the internal combustion thingie and you where all aflutter.

    The cotton duck they use for painter's drop cloth is really heavy stuff and possably suitable for a Thames barge, but a canoe?
     
  11. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    Location: Newfoundland & Nova Scotia

    viking north VINLAND

    Our canoes were 600 to 1000 lb. grand bank dories :D(depending on the time of season). Took 6 of us kids to get it roller launched and two on the land capstain to retrieve it. In mentioning painters drop cloths i should have been more specific and referred to what one buys in Home Depo and such do it yourself stores today. These are light weight --so light you can almost see thru them, thus the linseed oil serves two purposes, waterproofing and closing up the thin material. Not sure how long the`d last in a blow, however it`s another possible material when choices are limited. Hell if the other half is away shopping steal the window drapes for a few hours of experimemting. :p
    (Location-Moving from KOA Daytona to Deltona today)
     
  12. Jetboy
    Joined: Feb 2012
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    I've used ripstop nylon fabric. It can be found really cheap sometimes, and has low stretch. It's really light too, so it might work well for a canoe.
     
  13. Dirteater
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    Hi aliaj00,

    I have a similar job to do this season. One of the books I have recommends
    3oz American Cotton. apparently used quite a bit in earlier years. Unfortunately Im at work so I don't have my book handy. I will double check the wieght when I get home.

    I did have a look at it in the fabric store this winter and I believe it will work well. that siad..., Im no expert so we will have to see.

    good luck
    de
     
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Rip stop is a good fabric for this and is commonly available in dozen of pretty colors too.
     

  15. MastMonkey
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    MastMonkey Junior Member

    Doesn't it depend on what types of conditions you will be sailing in and the sail plan you have chosen? I think rip stop would be too light a fabric unless you only plan on sailing in light air, in which case it is ideal and can often be gotten cheap from used spinnakers. Cotton duck is hardly available in weights less than 11 ozs. You might be able to find something less in a regular fabric store. It is now more commonly used for curtains. If you use cotton you have to remember to always dry your sails before stowing. The Wa'Apa doesn't need much sail area. Most seem to have 100-120 square feet (about 10 square meters). I have come across 4oz Dacron as cheap as 4-5 dollars though it averages 10-20 depending on weight and color. That isn't that much more expensive for the sail area (at least to me) and you have something that will last. Even though Dacron is polyester, the weave is important. Is getting a used sail and/or modifying it not an option? I am always astounded at much money may be spent on a hull and yet have a cheap sail put on it. You could also use a lighter weight fabric and batten it and reinforce the edges ala the junk rig.
     
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