Phoenix, she came with a main, mizzen, 140% genoa, a storm staysail, and gennaker — all of which were created by North Sails in their loft outside of Detroit. Before we started sailing Just, the Annapolis North Sails loft made us a fresh main and our Phoenix logo was added by using North Graphics.
We went with a 9.9 ounce Dacron cross-cut main with 3/4 battens, two reef factors, and with excellent settings so we can flatten this sail when sailing upwind or in heavy air really. Jonathan’s team did a congrats constructing the main and we have been happy with it so far. After several sailing journeys this past year, we made a decision that it was time to replace our 140% genoa.
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The 6 ounce fabric really was a light air sail and the laminate materials was past its primary, leading to the sail to bag and move aft the draft too much. Moving the draft aft caused Phoenix to heel when sailing upwind and was causing some weather helm excessively. Searching for new sails can be considered a daunting task — not only are they expensive but there’s a ton of information and hype to wade through in terms of cuts, fabrics, and sizes.
Since our major plan is to cruise, we knew we wanted sturdiness inside our new headsail, but we didn’t want to sacrifice sail form and performance. We often reef the headsail on the furler and didn’t want to compromise sail form, but we didn’t want to completely break your budget either. Tri-radial sails can give you much better sail shape when reefed and have a much flatter cut, which would lessen heeling when sailing upwind. The drawback is that they take more fabric and man-hours to make since there are more panels to sew together, making them more expensive than cross-cut sails somewhat.
For bigger headsails, many sail lofts are leaving foam luffs and switching to rope luffs. The foam can crush, mildew, and degrade from UV exposure as time passes. The rope luff reefing pad comprises of three staggered lengths of polypropylene range sewn into a sock at the luff of the sail.
The rope luff won’t crush, won’t mildew, is more UV steady, and helps flatten the sail as you reef. Supposedly it’s “easily” replaced if necessary, but that remains to be observed at this time. After meeting with Doyle, North and Ullman at the boat show and comparing bids, we opted for a higher cut, tri-radial 130% genoa with a rope luff, and a sail area of 755 square feet.
Jerry from the Ullman loft in Deltaville, VA offered us a very competitive bid for the headsail using Dimension-Polyant’s ProRadial woven polyester fabric. ProRadial has no crimp almost, and is woven on a single looms as Dimension-Polyant’s HydraNet sailcloth. We opted for 9.9 ounce fabric for most of the sail with 8.9 ounce near the luff. Since we find the heavier fabric, we proceeded to go with a Sunbrella sacrificial cover rather than UV Dacron like we had on the old genoa.