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Choosing sails for 461

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colonel View Drop Down
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Joined: 31 May 2019
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    Posted: 02 June 2019 at 23:09
Recently I've acquired a Hanse 461. This is my first boat and I plan to use her as my training boat for the next 1-2 years. I'm interested mostly in offshore cruising, 2-3 days trips in Meds, single or shorthanded.

The sails were 14 years old laminates and ripped in first 20kn winds. Now I need to order new sails.  I think I need:
1. mainsail cross cut high modulus Dacron
2. 95% jib from Dacron as well
3. Code 0 for upwind from some lighter material, to use in winds up to 20kn
4. Maybe a light nylon gennaker for downwind

So are there any flaws in my plans? I consider the 95% selftacking jib as kind of a storm sail and will put a Code 0 for light upwind.

The mainsail I've already ordered and received. I ordered an offshore version and it's like two times heavier then the old torn laminate. It's 10.3 weight and has double ply at leech, 20% of sailarea. Now I started to think this was my mistake to go for such a heavy duty sail.

I haven't ordered a jib yet and currently have only the mainsail. I've sailed 180nm with it and noticed that it doesn't point good upwind. In 12-15kn AWS I can go 55-60% only. If waves are 2-3m then speed is 4kn, if 1-2m then 5kn. I know that without a headsail I loose speed but these seems for me too slow. Beam reach seems to be ok - 6-7kn. What performance would you expect with main only?

Also the boat needs antifouling, but IMO it should not affect pointing ability too much.

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cwetto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cwetto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2019 at 09:14
Originally posted by colonel colonel wrote:


1. mainsail cross cut high modulus Dacron
2. 95% jib from Dacron as well
3. Code 0 for upwind from some lighter material, to use in winds up to 20kn
4. Maybe a light nylon gennaker for downwind

So are there any flaws in my plans? I consider the 95% selftacking jib as kind of a storm sail and will put a Code 0 for light upwind.

TWS up to 20kn is a lot for any light Code0, we use ours up to 15AWS.
Cwetto
Hanse 540e 2007, sailing Med
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iemand View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iemand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2019 at 11:03
I would never go for Dacron on this boat!
Hanse 312 MJ 2004 - Hanse 370e MJ 2007
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colonel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colonel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2019 at 11:24
Originally posted by iemand iemand wrote:

I would never go for Dacron on this boat!


Well, too late for the mainsail. But at least it's so called premium Dacron - High Modulus.

My main problem with choosing sails and materials - I cannot find any real life tests and results. Only marketing texts. My previous hobby was mountain biking (not much cheaper then yachting). Over years I've learned that for premium parts there's 1-2% performance increase only but few times more price. With this assumption I came into sailing.

Maybe I'm wrong and will learn from my mistakes.
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cwetto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cwetto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2019 at 13:59
Originally posted by colonel colonel wrote:

[QUOTE=iemand]
Maybe I'm wrong and will learn from my mistakes.

Sure :)

Modern laminate sails are durable enough for avareage sailor, but hold the shape much better than dacron.
If you sail remote areas, no repair possibilities, beating high winds and waves, than heavy Dacron is the way to go, otherwise double taffeta laminate will hold shape in one piece for years. At least 8-10 years if properly used. And much better pointing and less heeling. 
Cwetto
Hanse 540e 2007, sailing Med
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JonB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2019 at 15:29
Afternoon Colonel,

Our 470e, was built around 2008 and fitted with the original sails, we bought it from the original owner back in 2010.  Last year I made an error of judgement in believing my knots could outdo Mother Nature and I made two mistakes.  The first was I had dropped the self tacking jib line to clear the front decks and didn't put it back, this was to try and prevent people who had moored alongside from stepping on the gel coat part of the deck rather than the teak part, footprints all over it which become stubborn when dry!

The second mistake was I didn't go and check on the boat knowing that the wind was due to build.

So my Dacron jib unfurled and the bottom third was like a mop head, having torn the metal horseshoe in half. It was a call from the Harbour Master I didn't need!

Now I've made a bracket and strengthened the front bulkhead to take a deck fitting so I can run multiple sails in light winds (J3 + Code 0) or have a smaller storm sail easily and quickly fitted (see pics on Winter maint . . plus would likes).  The point is this, I spoke to the original supplier to Hanse here in the Northern Hemisphere who wanted some £7,000 GBP for a new jib and the price of family car if I changed the main.

After a short chat in his office, I came away more understanding, but he failed to get an order.  Dacron is not a material that they would even supply for a 470, in their eyes it is not capable of sustaining the loads a 470 puts on it.  Your 461 ought to stress less and is probably the reason your sail supplier has used a heavier material.  I then spoke with a local sail maker and you can imagine here in Cowes, there's a few, but I went to Lymington instead, back to the guy who made my Code 0.

He was prepared to offer me a Dacron sail for the jib, but modern materials have improved vastly over the 11 years and we opted for one that was still in the cruising bracket for longevity but also had a tighter weave, if that's the correct term.  Wow, what a difference it has made.  Before we didn't touch the jib until we had two reefs in the main, now we've had to rethink our strategy.

We can point higher back to close on 30-35 and this is with a main who's probably the same characteristics as an 90yr old skin does!  With the code 0 up I start to kack myself in winds approaching 15kts to snuff it, it will power NK to 7-8kts in 12kts of wind.  I'm sure if I was not short sailing with my other half, who is white knuckled on the helm at this stage, then we could go with higher winds.  One of my other 'would likes' at some point is to get the Code 0 changed to a top down furling system and make my job a lot easier and quicker to de-power and tack.

So my parting comment is, go and talk to your local sail makers, get an understanding of the different materials and why, match that with what you want out of the boat and see how much you have in the budget.  The cost of the jib replacement ate into my new J3 budget, so that comes later.  Only a bequeathment and a touch of Skiing (Spend Kids Inheritance), may NK see a new main, but I won't be going back to the car dealer!

Jon 


Edited by JonB - 05 June 2019 at 15:32
Jon B
470e
http://www.norse-king.blogspot.co.uk
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