Bluewater and Offshore Cruising
For Blue Water Cruising sail simply have to last – it is false economy using a cheaper product if it fails mid Ocean. All of the materials listed in the Performance or Offshore Cruising and Club Race section would be suitable but the seam widths and reinforcement patches would be made larger, but ease of handling also is of utmost importance.
The absolutely most robust and longest lasting sailcloth available in the world is Dimension-Polyant ‘Hydra-Net’. If the boat is going to be extensively cruised, particularly long offshore or in adverse conditions we recommend a style of material called Hydra-net. This material is a woven mix of Polyester and Spectra producing the most rugged and reliable sailcloth available. This material is very low stretch and provides ultimate reliability; ‘Hydra-net’ therefore provides the most rugged long lasting Blue Water sail cloth available on the market. ‘Hydra-net’ is also the softest fabric option available and is therefore the easiest to handle; this is relevant whether the sails are for roller reefing or folded into Lazy Jack systems. All other materials will be quite firm and therefore bulkier than your existing older sails and would be harder to fold away, however ‘Hydra net’ is soft and pliable and easily rolled and folded, this means that ‘Hydra-net’ is ideally suited for short-handed cruising. The final advantage of ‘Hydra net’ is that it has excellent UV resistant properties. Hydra-net is the fabric of choice for Blue-Water Cruising yachts.
The ‘Hydra-net’ fabric comes in two different styles, one suitable for cross cut sails and the other for radial constructed sails. The cross cut version is fairly balanced with Spectra / Dyneema running in both directions. This fabric is the absolutely most robust and softest / easiest to fold / roll fabric available on the market, for a Blue water cruising boat or an aging family crew where soft and easy to handle sails are desired then the cross cut version of ‘Hydra Net’ is absolutely perfect. This material also has a unique to Dimension-Polyant a UVi coating in the resin that helps to protect the sail from harmful UV exposure and can increase the materials lifespan by around 15%The fabric performs better than most woven Dacron but is stretchier and therefore inferior in shape retention when compared to laminates or the radial version. The stretch that does occur is fairly elastic so any elongation that does occur is not permanent, but it does mean that although a high quality product this material is aimed at ease of handling rather than performance.
DP_Hydra_Net cross cut
‘Hydra-net Radial’ has far more Dyneema running along the warp and offers far superior shape retention and therefore performance, yet the fabric is almost as soft and easy to handle as the cross cut version. ‘Hydra-net Radial’ out performs all other woven materials including ‘Vectran’ and most laminates. For a Blue Water cruising yacht where performance and shape retention is desired ‘Hydra-net Radial’ is the perfect material. The radial version is far better suited for high aspect sails and this is the style we have quoted for This material also has a unique to Dimension-Polyant a UVi coating in the resin that helps to protect the sail from harmful UV exposure and can increase the materials lifespan by around 15%. Contender Sailcloth manufacture a similar product called ‘Hybrid’ which is also a mix of Dyneema and Polyester, it has less Dyneema in the warp but a little more in the fill than Hydra Net Radial, this means that is does not offer quite as good shape retention as the Hydra Net but it is a little cheaper so can be worth considering on some applications .
If you would like a quote, please click here for our QUOTE REQUEST FORM, or ring us at the loft to speak to us in person. For more information, click on the links below to find out more about specific sails:
SPINNAKERS & CHUTES
For inspiration, have a look at our gallery here: Spinnaker Inspiration Gallery