Stan Storwick writes:
I trust to sailmakers to do a good job. I have had great sails over the years put together by sailmakers: Bob and Mary Taylor(no longer in business), Tom Taylor, Jay Gardner, and North Sails of Vancouver. The latest sets I have purchased have been from North Sails of Vancouver and are Mylar. Usually I order one main and two jibs. By using an older set when sailing for fun I hope to make my latest two sets last a long long time on the racing scene. I have gone with the sock or sleeve style for a number of reasons.
The rig is lighter! Mast with sock is @ 12 pounds less than the typical halyard rig. This is significant as you don't have weight aloft which has to be dealt with when it blows. I don't usually hike out very hard unless I feel particularly aggressive and it is blowing strong.
The rig tends to bend a bit more! This seems to give a bit better sail shape which I think may be more effective and faster. It also depowers a bit in heavier gusts.
The cost to fabricate a sock rig compared to the extruded halyard mast is much less expensive so (UPDATE: SEE 'BUILDING A TUBE MAST FOR HALYARD SAILS) .. if you need to replace your halyard mast give it some thought. By the time I have bought or made the hounds, mast cap, base, boom goose neck, downhaul pulley and cleat arrangement, batten socket and tubing I am looking at less than $200.00 for materials. Note: The mast head has to fit the head of the sail if you want the sail to have optimum shape. I usually fabricate the head out of wood using waterproof glue. This can take quite a while to get a satisfactory fit.
Finally the care of sails is something that really needs to be discussed. With the mylar sails that I have one set is close to fifteen years old. Still has good shape and is competitive. The secret: I carefully roll the main and jib together and store in a space that doesn't crush them. The only visible wear is from the folds that the sails had when they were delivered. I also put them up, do my sailing and take them down immediately when done.
PHOTO BELOW: Stan Storwick setting up his Sock Sail at Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club
Canadian SeaSpray Association's official website providing regatta information and results, hints and examples for making your SeaSpray lighter, faster, and stronger.
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