X-Drive Endure - Cruising Mainsail

X-Drive Endure roller/furling main and genoa on a Bavaria 50. The white Endumax tapes on polyester/mylar laminate creates an all-white sail with stretch resistance like a carbon sail.

An example of the greater coverage of tapes on an X-Drive sail compared to a Tape-Drive sail.

Endumax is an ultra-strong film made from a special type of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). Spectra and Dyneema are band names for UHMWPE yarns. When used in X-Drive sails, the Endumax film is slit into 4mm wide ribbons that get bonded to the surface of the sail under narrow pressure sensitive tapes. A feature of Endumax tapes is that they are are much flatter than a yarn reinforced tape, which makes a noticeably smoother sail. 

Sails reinforced with Endumax make the ultimate performance cruising sails. They are all white in appearance, while having the strength and shape holding power near carbon fiber. Unlike many high-performance fibers used in sailmaking that are weakened by exposure to the sun's UV light, Endumax performs well under sunlight. In outdoor tests (ISO 877), under direct weathering at an angle of 5° facing south without protection, Endumax film not only showed less performance loss than high-performance yarns, but also less than conventional UHMWPE yarns. It also has a higher modulus and better abrasion resistance, UV resistance, creep properties and thermal-aging performance than other UHMWPE fibers (Spectra and Dyneema). 

Close-up of X-Drive Endure with Endumax tapes that virtually cover the whole surface of the sail.

Extra Durability With Taffeta

To help protect today’s sails and extend their peak performance lives, UK Sailmakers can build all our X-Drive racing sails where one or both sides of the laminate is fully covered with a lightweight finely-woven polyester taffeta. Not only does taffeta protect the film layer from abrasion, but it also prevents cracking of the film and reduces creasing. While taffeta doesn't add any strength, it does make sails last longer. We also offer the option of putting a layer of taffeta over the X-Drive tapes only on the leech of the sail as shown below.

Taffeta is available in white or a medium grey color.

Partial Taffeta Option

  Shown above is a Dehler 34 main with taffeta on one full side and over the tapes on the second side.

Shown above is a Dehler 34 main with taffeta on one full side and over the tapes on the second side.

The leech of any sail benefits from having extra taffeta protection. Adding taffeta to the leech of an X-Drive mainsail reduces the destructive effects of leech flutter, luffing and flogging. Mainsails can flog in heavy air as the boat is de-powered and when the sail is being hoisted or lowered. Leech flutter happens when the leech line is not properly tensioned. The X-Drive construction method allows sailors to choose a sail with taffeta on one side of the sail, on one side and on the leech of the second side, or fully covering both sides. The more taffeta, the more protection -- at the cost of more weight aloft.

UK Sailmakers will work with you to determine the right amount of taffeta to add to your sails based on your boat, the kinds of sailing you do, and your budget. Having both sides covered with taffeta makes a sail more durable, but also would make the sail heavier. UK Sailmakers offers a Partial Taffeta option to save weight and cost.

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