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Q for Non-racers: How many days per year do you sail? and how old are your sails?

Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
I'm curious:

This is a poll for cruisers, daysailsors, and occassional racers. Racers treat their sails differently,

  1. How many "days" did you you sail this past year, Dec 2018 to Dec 2019? Please estimate
    1. 4-5 hours hours= half day
    2. 8 - 9 hours = 1 full day ( 8 hrs)
    3. 12 hours = 1.5 full days
    4. Offshore/24 hours = 3 full days
    5. Please estimate the number of "days" sailing this year:
      1. I am arbitrarily defining "8 hours of use" = one day of use
      2. Example total "days" this year = (Half days/2) + (full days * 1) + (12 hour days * 1.5) + (24hr days * 3)
  2. How long have you owned these sails and what are they made of?
    1. cross cut dacron,​
    2. triradial dacron,​
    3. cruising laminate,​
    4. racing laminate​
  3. Estimate how many days you sailed with these sails to date.
  4. Did you sail more or less or the same amount as the past few years?
  5. What % of your sailing time is non-racing vs W/L buoy racing?
  6. What's your latitude (because UV ages sails!)
I'll compile the results and post them.

And... if you have a picture of your mainsail taken looking up from the boom to the top, I'd be happy to analyse the shape. Please follow the instructions at
How to Photograph Sail Shape for how to take pictures.
You have to be sailing close hauled in 10-15 knots of breeze, with the camera looking straight up from mid boom to the head for the analysis to be valid.

It will be very interesting to compare the shape of the sail to the number of days used, by fabric type.

Here's what a new mainsail looks like:
 
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Oct 22, 2014
16,082
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
And here I just removed my mainsail for the next couple of winter months. I'll get back to this in the new year.:biggrin:
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,821
Belliure 41 Now on the Chesapeake
Oh my, if only I could go hop on my boat and take up your very generous offer. But alas, it won't be back into the water until May of next year.

If that offer can still be honored next summer, you'll get photos from me.

Now, as to the nitty gritty on my sails. I'm going to be a major outlier. My sails, as best I can tell, are original with the boat. That puts them as made in 1977 or 42 years old. Looking at them, it looks like they were virtually never used. Certainly they were not used very much. So how does one date them? I don't know the difference in your dacron options, I think I've got the first option.

Let me see:

  1. How many "days" did you you sail this past year, Dec 2018 to Dec 2019? Please estimate Best estimate
    1. 4-5 hours hours= half day, About 30
    2. 8 - 9 hours = 1 full day About 10
    3. 12 hours = 1.5 days About 3
    4. 24 hours/overnight = 3 days About 15
  2. How long have you owned these sails and what are they made of? These came with the boat, I've had the boat 3 years, 2 in the water sailing.
    1. cross cut dacron, I think these are mine. You probably know better than I do.
    2. triradial dacron,
    3. cruising laminate,
    4. racing laminate
  3. Estimate how many days you sailed with these sails to date.About 100. I have no idea of prior to me owning the boat.
  4. Did you sail more or less or the same amount as the past few years? A bit less the first year I had this boat, both last year and this year are not sailing as much as I'd like/have done in the past.
  5. What % of your sailing time is non-racing vs W/L buoy racing? At this point, 100% not racing. Next year that may change.
  6. What's your latitude (because UV ages sails!) Latitude: 44.622145

dj
 
  • Like
Likes: DrJudyB
Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
Dang, I was out today and would have done this photo op first thing. How can i keep this post visible?
 
Jan 5, 2017
2,170
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
How can i keep this post visible?
It's in your "watched threads" now. Our main is off for the winter as well so a pic will have to wait for spring. The genny is new but I'm sure the main is original and has always lived North of 48*
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,935
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Non-racer, but two boats, 39 deg north, sail about the same amount every year. Full batten main, genoa lives on furler 12 months.

F-24
24 days
Laminate, triradial.
Replace at about about 100 days, but maybe 5-7 years.

PDQ 34
45 days
Polyester, crosscut.
Replace at about 200-300 days, but maybe 10 years.
 
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Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
How many "days" did you you sail this past year, Dec 2018 to Dec 2019? Please estimate Best estimate
  1. 4-5 hours hours= half day, About 30
  2. 8 - 9 hours = 1 full day About 10
  3. 12 hours = 1.5 days About 3
  4. 24 hours/overnight = 3 days About 15
@dLj

I added some more instructions about how to add up "total days of use this past year"
I am arbitrarily defining "8 hours of use" = one day of use
Example: total "days" this year = (Half days/2) + (full days * 1) + (12 hour days * 1.5) + (24hr days * 3)

So, to clarify and confirm:
Is your total
30/2 + 10 + (3 * 1.5) + (15 * 3) =
estimated 74.5 "days" of 8 hours/day =
estimated about 596 hours of use

Judy
:):)
 
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Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
And here I just removed my mainsail for the next couple of winter months. I'll get back to this in the new year.:biggrin:
Even if you don't have pictures of your sails, could you please estimate how many "days of use" you sailed this past 12 months, while it's still fresh in your mind? Then we can look at your sails and compare them next year, and to other peoples' sails.

Example: total "days of use" this year = (Half days/2) + (full days * 1) + (12 hour days * 1.5) + (24hr days * 3)

Judy
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,821
Belliure 41 Now on the Chesapeake
@dLj

I added some more instructions about how to add up "total days of use this past year"
I am arbitrarily defining "8 hours of use" = one day of use
Example: total "days" this year = (Half days/2) + (full days * 1) + (12 hour days * 1.5) + (24hr days * 3)

So, to clarify and confirm:
Is your total
30/2 + 10 + (3 * 1.5) + (15 * 3) =
estimated 74.5 "days" of 8 hours/day =
estimated about 596 hours of use

Judy
:):)
No, I understood your original instructions. Each category should be correctly compensated per instructions. I sure wish it was more time! LOL

dj
 
May 17, 2004
3,469
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
  1. How many "days" did you you sail this past year, Dec 2018 to Dec 2019? Please estimate
    1. 4-5 hours hours= half day,
    2. 8 - 9 hours = 1 full day
    3. 12 hours = 1.5 days
    4. 24 hours/overnight = 3 days
  2. How long have you owned these sails and what are they made of?
    1. cross cut dacron,
    2. triradial dacron,
    3. cruising laminate,
    4. racing laminate
  3. Estimate how many days you sailed with these sails to date.
  4. Did you sail more or less or the same amount as the past few years?
  5. What % of your sailing time is non-racing vs W/L buoy racing?
  6. What's your latitude (because UV ages sails!)
I race but not seriously enough to buy sails for that purpose. Sails are original to the boat which is 6 seasons old. My answers are:

1 - 30 days this season based on your criteria for days

2 - Cross cut OEM Dacron, original to the 2014 boat.

3 - This year was a little better than most. Figure an average of 25 days per year for 6 years, so 150 days.

4 - Had a little more time on the water this year than in the past. Covered 900 miles (including motoring). Previous years have ranged from 430 to 650 miles.

5 - My typical routine is one evening race per week, usually about 5 miles; one long day sail every 2 weeks, usually 30-35 miles, and one weekend day sail every 2 weeks, maybe 20 miles. Our season is April through October.

6 - 39 North, but I’ll add that on the northern Chesapeake I can count the number of 12+ knot wind days on one hand per season. Not quite SF Bay.


And... if you have a picture of your mainsail taken looking up from the boom to the top, I'd be happy to analyse the shape.
Here’s one I took toward the end of the season, upwind in about 10 kts true -
3CED8CD7-7113-4EE9-9C5E-2BC94CFB8733.jpeg


And one of the jib -
0841312C-165C-4FC1-BC68-A6507DAE117A.jpeg


For comparison, here they are in similar conditions in early 2015, so 1 season vs 6:

C1872082-DB49-4AD0-99A7-2807DBD41709.jpeg

4984F061-0B13-47F9-9935-3CCAE09365DA.jpeg



Any insight appreciated :)

We haven’t had any significant work done on the shape, but have had some re-stitching to the batten pockets and small stuff like that.
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
@dLj

so your total is
30 + 10 + 3 + 15 = 58 "Days of use" = estimated 464 hours of use
Right :) ??

according to the following:
How many "days" did you you sail this past year, Dec 2018 to Dec 2019? Please estimate Best estimate
  1. 4-5 hours hours= half day, About 30
  2. 8 - 9 hours = 1 full day About 10
  3. 12 hours = 1.5 days About 3
  4. 24 hours/overnight = 3 days About 15
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,562
Catalina 320 Dana Point
half days 45 , full days 15, 33 degrees north, '02 Catalina factory full batten main, it's toast, bolt rope starting to part, ripping on the upper leech new Ullman Dacron main on order. Factory 110 jib in fair shape, I've resewn the sunband a couple times and needs it again, last 6 years 155 Ullman laminate has been on furler with a sock, Little bit of delam starting to show along the foot.
Only occasional racing in the "old guys" open held every Thursday, doing more day sailing and less multi day cruising.
Today was the first day for winter "frostbiting" it was below 60 F.
 
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dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,821
Belliure 41 Now on the Chesapeake
Y
@dLj

so your total is
30 + 10 + 3 + 15 = 58 "Days of use" = estimated 464 hours of use
Right :) ??

according to the following:
How many "days" did you you sail this past year, Dec 2018 to Dec 2019? Please estimate Best estimate
  1. 4-5 hours hours= half day, About 30
  2. 8 - 9 hours = 1 full day About 10
  3. 12 hours = 1.5 days About 3
  4. 24 hours/overnight = 3 days About 15
Yes, isn't this just sad?

dj
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,824
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
@DrJudyB I'd like to help you out, but my data would be an extreme outlier. The last 2 boats I bought had older sails and when the affordability line and the sails are trash lines crossed I bought new sails and a few years later sold the boat. In each case the sails were Dacron, crosscut, and at least 20 years old.

I know I need new sails when I can see blue sky through the needle holes. :biggrin:

The Genoa was replaced in 2018 and the main in 2019. Both with laminated Dacron, Contender cloth.
 
Mar 2, 2019
210
Oday 25 Milwaukee
1/2 days ,5
full days 3
12hours days 3
5 overnights .
Bought a new mainsail in the spring of 2018
We ordered a replacement 135% Genoa for the upcoming season .
Both Dacron
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Thanks to @Davidasailor26 , here's a nice comparison of Season 1 vs Season 6, with an estimated 150 use days @ 8 hours each = 1200 hours. That's a lot of hours for a dacon cross cut sail.

The Beneteau sails from Neil Pryde sails are a decent grade of OEM dacon. Nothing fancy, but not a decent grade of cloth and decently construction. Better than some OEM sails I've seen.

This is an in mast furling mainsail, without draft stripes (or points for slab reefing), so the only curves I could measure were along the seams, which are not horizontal to the foot. So the absolute numbers aren't accurate in terms of draft due to distortion. Number for both depth of draft and draft position should be slightly lower than what the software reports.

Nevertheless, it's instructive to note that both the depth of the max draft (camber) has increased by several percent and the position of max draft has moved aft by several percentage points as well. Visual comparison of the arcs indicate that the leech section of the sail has too much draft as well. It should be flatter in the leech section.

Overall impression:
To my eye, the mainsail shape is a little baggy and past its prime in terms of shape. While it's still servicable, the boat would handle noticeably better (point higher, handle gusts better and reef later) with a new mainsail, IMO

Note 1: Furling mainsails have an increased tendency to jam due to folds when they get baggy, so keep an eye on it in terms of furling.

Note: I didn't compare the headsails, because the forestay is sagging noticably in the 2019 picture vs 2015. That would make the draft deeper, so it wouldn't be a meaningful comparison.

Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE IMF Main 93651 2015-season 1 analysis.jpg


9Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE IMF Main 93651 2019-season 6 analysis.jpg
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
1/2 days ,5
full days 3
12hours days 3
5 overnights .
Bought a new mainsail in the spring of 2018
We ordered a replacement 135% Genoa for the upcoming season .
Both Dacron
So.... let me add up the hours for you....
Your overnights weren't offshore, so I'm going to count them as 12 hours of sailing, not 24 hours.

(5 * 4 hours) + (3 * 8 hrs) + 3 *12 hrs + 5 *12 hours = 140 hours, which is the equivalent of 17.5 "typical 8-hour sailing days"

Is that correct?

Judy
 
Jun 25, 2004
1,108
Corsair F24 Mk1 003 San Francisco Bay, CA
Y
Yes, isn't this just sad?

dj
464 hours, or 58 "typical days of 8 hours each" is a lot of sailing in one season.
That's alot more hours than many of us get!

(PS, I'd suggest that you consider getting laminate cruising sails or a hybrid dacron tri-radial next time you get sails. They cost maybe 1.5 times as much, but they will hold an almost new shape at least twice as long. Those are very rough estimates, but you get my point.)
 
May 17, 2004
3,469
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Thanks to @Davidasailor26 , here's a nice comparison of Season 1 vs Season 6, with an estimated 150 use days @ 8 hours each = 1200 hours. That's a lot of hours for a dacon cross cut sail.

The Beneteau sails from Neil Pryde sails are a decent grade of OEM dacon. Nothing fancy, but not a decent grade of cloth and decently construction. Better than some OEM sails I've seen.

This is an in mast furling mainsail, without draft stripes (or points for slab reefing), so the only curves I could measure were along the seams, which are not horizontal to the foot. So the absolute numbers aren't accurate in terms of draft due to distortion. Number for both depth of draft and draft position should be slightly lower than what the software reports.
Thanks very much! I did just go back through my logs and reevaluated the hours actually under sail, versus motoring to and from sailing areas. My estimate now is a total of about 900 or 950 hours with the sails unfurled, so a little less than the original 1200.

Nevertheless, it's instructive to note that both the depth of the max draft (camber) has increased by several percent and the position of max draft has moved aft by several percentage points as well. Visual comparison of the arcs indicate that the leech section of the sail has too much draft as well. It should be flatter in the leech section.

Overall impression:
To my eye, the mainsail shape is a little baggy and past its prime in terms of shape. While it's still servicable, the boat would handle noticeably better (point higher, handle gusts better and reef later) with a new mainsail, IMO
That pretty much matches my observations. It seems like our pointing has declined just a little compared to other boats we sail with. Nothing too extreme, just a little lower relative to some of them.

Note 1: Furling mainsails have an increased tendency to jam due to folds when they get baggy, so keep an eye on it in terms of furling.
Going to be on the lookout for that. We've had occasional jams un-furling but usually only if we're not careful to tail the in-haul. Nothing yet that seems like the bagginess is getting in the way, but I know that won't last forever.

I didn't compare the headsails, because the forestay is sagging noticably in the 2019 picture vs 2015. That would make the draft deeper, so it wouldn't be a meaningful comparison.
Yeah, the mast was re-tuned in late 2018, easing the backstays which added sag to the forestay. Noticed it this summer. Took the sail down for winter a couple weeks ago and measured the luff hollow as about 9", well less than the amount of say we get in 10-12 knots. Need to have some re-stitching done over the winter so I'm going to ask the loft their thoughts on the target amount of sag.
 
Apr 16, 2017
841
Federation NCC-1701 Riverside
1. Im able to daysail about twice to three times a month. Most of the time these are "half days". 11 days:(

2. Got the 2004 boat 4 years ago. They may be original sails. Dacron, standard issue for hunter 170.

3. Sailing since 2015. For 3 years i sailed half as much so total is 26 days. Pathetic.

4. I get sailing much more with mast up parking. Much more this last year.

5. 100% no racing sailing.:)

6. 27N

I think folding my sails hurts more than sailing them. They have been repaired at the batten ends already.

I cheated and hung my main from tree in front yard. Does this count. Ill try to hoist sail tomorrow. I noticed the leading edge curls in more other pictures posted. This might be why i always have a luff bubble, when not reefed.

I do have some action shots of sloppy trimmed sails
 

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