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Old Oct 04, 2011, 12:36 PM
Registered User
Southern Maine USA
Joined Apr 2006
103 Posts
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Sails for Models; Sails for Real Boats

Yesterday I decided it time to give some thoughts about what to use for sail fabric. When I was a kid I was fortunate enough to have sailboats either my own or at my disposal. If you wanted sails-you went to the local sail maker.

So to my shock(my how things change) I naively went to the local "sail maker". Like everything else-he no longer makes the sails. The little elves in the Far East do. So of course there were no "scraps" to be had.

They only wash sails there now. Sad. He suggested Jo Ann fabrics; they are a chain I think. They had "ripstop" nylon but that is not what I am really looking for. Next-I searched the back posts on this forum & came up with this suggestion which is what I'll probably use.

http://ecom.citystar.com/hang-em-hig...how&cat=FABRIC
The PolyMax 42.
I have enclosed a picture of the boat for which the sails are intended. I definitely do not need a model sail maker as this ship will never be raced to speak of if at all.

I am wondering if someone can tell me what kind of THERMAL double side tape to use in constructing the sails.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 02:51 PM
Useful Idiot
Asturias, Spain
Joined Mar 2001
3,549 Posts
I'd say make one-piece sails for pleasure sailing and not to complicate matters with panels. Also, why do you specify thermal double-sided tape? The contact adhesive on normal double sided tape is perfectly practical for most puposes. You might also find ripstops in other material and colours worth looking at for a more scale-like appearance.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 03:00 PM
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seefest's Avatar
United States, MA, Bristol
Joined Sep 2009
1,561 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog46 View Post
Yesterday I decided it time to give some thoughts about what to use for sail fabric. When I was a kid I was fortunate enough to have sailboats either my own or at my disposal. If you wanted sails-you went to the local sail maker.

So to my shock(my how things change) I naively went to the local "sail maker". Like everything else-he no longer makes the sails. The little elves in the Far East do. So of course there were no "scraps" to be had.

They only wash sails there now. Sad. He suggested Jo Ann fabrics; they are a chain I think. They had "ripstop" nylon but that is not what I am really looking for. Next-I searched the back posts on this forum & came up with this suggestion which is what I'll probably use.

http://ecom.citystar.com/hang-em-hig...how&cat=FABRIC
The PolyMax 42.
I have enclosed a picture of the boat for which the sails are intended. I definitely do not need a model sail maker as this ship will never be raced to speak of if at all.

I am wondering if someone can tell me what kind of THERMAL double side tape to use in constructing the sails.
You can get thermal double sided tape from "hang em high" kites, as well as ripstop and other fabrics.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 06:20 PM
slow & draggy...
Hobiestoke's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM
Joined Jul 2004
463 Posts
Ordinary ripstop is difficult frays and is and is saggy after a few sails. Hang em high site has some real nice high tech fabrics that arent too expensive - Poly-coated ripstop that doesnt fray and is much "crisper" for like $12 a yd.i believe this is what victor models uses for thier kits
They also have some real nice tsp40 thats pretty inexpensive too.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 06:22 PM
slow & draggy...
Hobiestoke's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM
Joined Jul 2004
463 Posts
Also if you want you could get some actual dacron in diff weights from "defender" just google defender sail material. You can get scraps of actual dacron for cheap.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 07:03 PM
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Southern Maine USA
Joined Apr 2006
103 Posts
I thought that double sided tape was to hold the fabric in place when while you sewed it And that you had to use a heat gun on thermal tape if that was the kind of seams you were joining and you were not going to use thread.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 07:29 PM
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Dick L.'s Avatar
Minnesota, USA
Joined Aug 2002
2,357 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobiestoke View Post
Ordinary ripstop is difficult frays and is and is saggy after a few sails. Hang em high site has some real nice high tech fabrics that arent too expensive - Poly-coated ripstop that doesnt fray and is much "crisper" for like $12 a yd.i believe this is what victor models uses for thier kits
They also have some real nice tsp40 thats pretty inexpensive too.
You can't use the JoAnn fabric stuff (3/4 oz) as it will do as you suggest. However, purchase from one of several kite shops and look for their 1.5 oz. TREATED rip-stop nylon which has inherent stiffness not found in the chain store fabrics.

Also - if price is a concern (1 yard of 50 inch wide should be enough for most smaller classes) take a look at their "seconds". Usually (if any) small imperfections that you can cut around. A lot less than #1 stuff.

The double sided (1/4 inch wide) stuff has sufficient holding power that doesn't need sewing - except on the luff. No one sews the taped Mylar sails often found on the IOM, US1M and ODOM classes. They seem to hold up pretty well, and if you take care in handling your sails, don't let them "bake" in the back window of your car - you will find most are pretty low tech - especially if NOT racing. Note - some racing classes do not allow paneled sails.
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Old Oct 04, 2011, 07:32 PM
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USA, LA, Mandeville
Joined Feb 2005
886 Posts
For model sails, most seams don't need to be sewn, just a good double stick tape will do. I have never heard of anyone using any tape that had to be heat set. Some of the high wind (C rigs) IOM sails have sewn seams and luff pockets, but not the bigger rigs. Your sailmaker should still have a roll of seamstick tape to do repairs. Maybe you could get a little from him.
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