Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Put an emblem, or ask for floral prints

The best part of ordering custom sails instead of buying ready-made ones is that you can design the sail the way you want. For those who take sailing as a passion and want a signature on everything they do, custom sail is the option.

It will reflect your style, your persona and will make your vessel stand apart from all the other boast or yachts on the water.

You can ask the sailmaker to print an emblem on all the sails you have ordered or you can ask for any motifs or floral prints on the dacron. We are not telling that all the lofts actually can deliver any kind of customization you are seeking.

But there are suppliers who are dealing with the sails and sail supplies for more than two decades. Approach them and they will be up for it. If you talk about us, we have already kept a section on our website for our customers so that they can design their spinnakers.

This is actually fun. Just choose the type of spinnaker you want, fill it with the colors you like, save the template and send us. Of course you will need to mention the measurements.

If you are sailing a Catalina, then you may not think otherwise but a custom sail option. These luxurious yachts are meant for special people and need to be treated in a special way.

We provide sails for almost all the Catalina models. You just need to tell us what the measurements are.

Monday, 30 March 2015

How about an Easter party on board?

Here comes another celebration time and we all are very excited. Everyone around is planning to do something special on this Easter weekend and we say how about an Easter party on board with the spinnakers on?

This occasion is a nice chance to catch up with the cousins, in-laws, parents and grandparents or with a league of friends whom you haven’t met in 10 years, after leaving school.

If you are a passionate sailor, then simply make arrangements and give them a surprise party on board. And if you are thinking of a tête-à-tête, your partner will definitely love the idea.

They will be high. We bet.

Just go by the checklist below before setting out for a short day-trip --

  • You should keep type III life jackets with whistles, x+2 in number. Extra jackets are good to keep.
  • Each crew-member should have one rigging knife
  • Keep heaving line, radar reflector, handheld spotlight.
  • You will need sailing gloves, hats and glasses straps. 
  • Make provision for boat shoes, rain gear, towels, blankets.
  • Your first aid box should contain tampons, gelusils, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, chapstick, hand cream and Kleenax
  • Motion sickness pills are must-haves. Also keep acupressure wrist bands and artificial tears.
  • Sunscreen or tanning cream is optional of course.
  • Do not forget to get loads of band-aids in different sizes, adhesive tapes, Q-tips, cotton balls and sterile pads.
  • Your navigation kit should include the log-book, compass, knotstick, tide tables and all the geometric equipment that come in handy.
  • Keep in your tool box flashlight, wire cutters, assorted bungee chords, duct tape, spare winch handle, leatherman, vise-grips, dacron lines and nylon lines.
  • 7x50 binoculars are must in at least 3:1 ratio-- one per three people. No one should feel left out when all be watching a sunset or a flock of birds flying towards the horizon.
  • Bring pre-cooked food, foiled, packed and ready-to-eat confectioneries, patisseries. We think there’s no need to remind you about the beverages. That’s the first thing you will pick up, we are sure.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Storm sailing: Coastal and Offshore

Storms are the challenge times for the sailors and if you are a new kid on the block we have got some tips on how to get yourself through this kind of weather. Do not just jump on the so called lucrative deals of storms sails for sale up on the web. First learn what you would require and then buy.

For Coastal Storms

Strom Sail Coastal  :  http://nationalsail.com

Shortening the sail is the best option.
  • When the wind blows over 15 Knots, drop to the first reef.
  • If it goes beyond 15 but below 20 Knots, roll up the Genoa. 
  • Beyond 20 Knots, put in the second reef.
  • Then again if it rises up to 25, sailing under the reefed main is the option. Furl up the Genoa.
  • Now if it is over 30, drop the main. On those times sailing under the bare poles is the wisest option.

Now what will happen if the threat is beyond? If there’s a sudden strong squall or high sea?

Apply ‘heaving to’. This is simply setting up the rudder and the sails in a way that they oppose one another. This will stop the boat making headway. 

For Off-shore Storms

Strom Sails : Offshore - http://nationalsail.com
  • Typically all the off-shore sailors carry Trysails and most essentially a storm jib.
  • You can also reef or furl regular sails but generally the fabric of these sails cannot withstand strong winds. So you should always carry special sails for storms while going offshore.
  • Staysails are great weapons to fight storms off-shore but you should ideally get those custom made. Vessel type does matter for the construction.
  • Lying Ahull is one of the best techniques to combat off-shore light storm, not high storm. Simply drop the sail and stop steering. The boat will fare for itself.
   But, there is a but. It is applicable if the waves are not that big.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Single Reefing Vs Separate Headsails

This is one of the most common dilemmas that our customers suffer from often. Although we always vote for a suite of individual headsails, many of them argue in favor of a single reefing one.

We are absolutely not against Rolling Genoas. Many new age sailors will always put their thumbs up for this option since it cuts many hassles.  

Headsails - http://www.nationalsail.com/

Both the options have some pluses and downsides but as we have mentioned many a times before in our blogs that the kind of sail you choose should be based upon your sailing itinerary. If you are new to sailing do consult with the sail supplier instead of just adding to your cart.

If you are going for an off-shore trip, it is not advisable to go for single reefing. A single sail cannot perform best in all wind conditions, specially when the chances of getting exposed to strong winds are high.

For off-shore cruising, you need a full inventory of headsails-- three large Genoas, one Working Jib, one Heavy Air Jib and a Storm Jib.

Are you doing mental maths now? Trying to figure out how much will it cost you? Borrow, if you can’t spend that much or find some used sail deals on the net but never ever play the risk unless you are an old man on the sea.

It’s true that we have seen a few experienced sailors managing with lesser number of headsails, for example say, if the boat is fractionally rigged, has got a large mainsail and a small fore-triangle.

If the plan is to simply cruising along a coastline, single reefing is a good choice since it is more practical and it will provide you with a variable sail area. But always remember that if you have a Rolling Genoa, it should have its clew much higher than the tack.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Fully-battened Mainsail: The best cruising sail

Although sailors do vary in their opinions about whether mainsails should be fully battened or not, almost 90% of our customers voted for fully-battened mainsails and we do not dare to challenge the feedback. They are the people who have dealt with this sail and got good results.

Mainsails -  http://www.nationalsail.com

And we too do believe in this.

Most of the modern yachts have high aspect rigs. They have got long masts and short booms. The idea is to take advantage of a greater sail area and battens can provide the support needed by this kind architecture. This is the chief reason for choosing fully-battened mains for cruising.

High aspect rigs require larger mainsails and if such kind of sails are not fully battened they will take more time to reef, raise and strike. Besides they will be less suitable to endure higher loads.

A fully battened main means there is less flogging, a strong hardware support and a less exposure to weather. Battens definitely increase the lifespan of the sail and keep it in proper shape.

But you will definitely need good quality hardware at the luff ends. Battens extended to the leech from the luff means there is a great deal of roach. Fully battened mains can maintain an aerodynamic cross-sectional shape and this is why it’s best for cruising.

Besides many cruisers seek quiet sailing experience and leech flutter makes them irritated. Full battens dampen the sail motion and reduce the noise. Battens are very helpful in reefing and flaking. Those also serve you good to depower the main. 

If you can install a lazy-jack system, reefing and dousing will be more easy.

Cruising is meant for relaxing and simply enjoying the serenity of the blue waters and you should always keep it as quiet and hassle-free as possible. Full-battens are made for the purpose.