Saturday, 30 May 2015

Consult a sail supplier for the sail plan

A sail plan is basically a two dimensional representation or sketch of the sail that defines its area, rig type, size and shape in general terms. It also shows the mainsail and the other important parts of the sailboat.
The task of the sail plan is to provide the sailmaker with enough details so that he can estimate the power of the boat’s sails and also make sure that the center of these sails cooperates properly with the hull so that it results in a well-balanced sailing.
As the sail plan is mainly a two dimensional figure, it does not actually provide sufficient amount of details to create a good sail. In the majority of the cases, the sails are 3D figures with intricate works on them.
Sail design involves taking the two dimensional sail plan and creating a 3D rendition of it.
A sail plan is generally a combination of sail proposals made for different wind/weather conditions. It can be a normal or working sail plan, a storm sail plan and a light air sail plan.
If you are an experienced sailor, you can chalk-out on your own and provide it to a sailmaker so that he can build you following your sketches. If you are a new sailor, then it’s better not to try your hand in it.
Just make a detailed description of your sailing itinerary and consult with a good sail supplier and sailmaker. They will guide you in a proper way. You can highly visit a loft and set a meeting face to face.
Alternatively ask them to visit your place and see your boat. That way they can take the measurements on their own to come up with an ideal solution. If you are a new sailor then you should invest for an inventory of sails and the experienced sailmakers can guide you on that regard. 

Friday, 29 May 2015

Sailing in a stormy weather

Sailing in a stormy weather requires a very different set of discipline than when one is looking to sail in calm weather. Storm sails have their very own challenges and most sailors who limit themselves to inland and coastal waters will not experience critical stormy weather conditions where winds of 40 knots plus speeds are the norm.

This is also accompanied by huge waves that go as high as 20 to 30 feet. During such heavy weather, items like parachute anchors, drogues and warps can be critical in escaping the harshness of the sea and surviving the rough tides.

The different variables that play a major role in bad weather include wind speed, wave direction, wave height, length of boat, direction of boat and the set of sails.
Before actually heading out from the sheltered waters, you should be well aware of your own as well as your boat’s limits. While keel boats are designed to withstand strong winds, they can still fall short of their effectiveness when they have to face a combination of high wind and high water.

If you are carrying a crew, then make sure that they are well acquainted with the location of all the safety gears. They should also be instructed on how to use them.
The various safety gears that are used in stormy weather conditions include flares, PFD’s, fire extinguishers, flashlights, horn, life ring, life raft, throwing lines and safety harnesses.

Check the condition of your VHF radio to see if it’s working properly. You should also let others know how to operate it and make sure that they are wearing their PFD's, foul weather gears and personal locators. The crew should also know how to use jack lines and should fasten their save harness before they actually step onto the deck.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

5 reasons you should not buy used sails

The argument should start with why should you at all buy used sails? The one and only reason can be budget. Mostly, people invest on the sailing inventory once and then whenever they require a lose headsail, mainsail or spinnaker they seek used sails to save money.
Although buying and selling used sails is a too common a trend, we shall always recommend you not to go for it. Find the five reasons below—

Faulty construction
When a used sail is up for sale, you can be rest assured that there are certain issues. Maybe the sail has an in-built fault in the construction which prevented the previous owner to get the desired performance out of it.

Worn-out sailcloth
This is one of the chief reasons sailors want to get rid of the sails. Clever sailors put these up for sale while they buy fresh sails for themselves. They manage to raise a part of the money by selling off the old sails.

Repairing doesn’t help
Some people tend to buy used sails and then send them for repairing in order to save money. But not all kind of sails are repairable and there’s no guarantee that post-repairing the sail will last long.
Maybe the buyer would have to spend again after a short while.

Low durability
In general, used sails have low durability than fresh sails and if you are wise, you shall rather spend $50 more to get a new sail which will last for years than saving $20 on a used sail which will make you buy another one or two years down the line.

Sails should preferably be custom-made so that you can get it constructed to fit perfectly with your boat design and if you think custom sails are expensive then you need to change your perception.
Please check our site and ask for a quote. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Would you buy or would you build?

Many sailors feel the confusion whether to buy a ready-made sail or to ask a good sailmaker to provide custom built sails for their vessels. We know that many a time people don’t have choice but to buy stock sails if they are in a hurry. 

But we shall always vote for custom sails if you are going for a long trip off-shore or going to participate in a competition. For these two occasions you need to make sure that you’ve got what is best for you. 

Custom sails are always built keeping in mind the specific requirements of the boat and the sailing itinerary. Not all the time you can get a stock sail fitting in perfectly. If you have enough time in hand before you set out, do go for custom sails. 

Any kind of off-shore sailing makes the sails exposed to differential wind conditions. So, first you need a proper inventory so that you can switch sails as and when required.
Secondly, while going off-shore you are bound to pass through the areas where winds blow at more than 20knots on an average and anytime you can find yourself in a stormy weather. 

To withstand the extra pressure, sails need triple stitched seams, UV stabilized threads, reef reinforcements, and premium Dacron crosscut high aspect sailcloth, heavy duty batten pockets and so on. 

If you are going for a weekend sail trip in a nearby lake, a performance Dacron crosscut sailcloth in one-row three step seam will do. But for coastal cruising, high modulus Dacron crosscut sailcloth is what you’ll need. 

If you are going to take part in a competition, you will need sails that will provide extra push to your boat speed. 

Sails may look simple from a distance but each one is constructed with lots of engineering and even if you are seasoned sailor, you should always consult with a sailmaker for the custom sail that will serve you the best.