Radial Polyester - Cruising Mainsail
Radial sails made with polyester laminates are a good choice for cruising sailors who desire durability, yet who still appreciate the performance of sails that hold their shape better than traditional cross-cut Dacron sails.
The polyester yarns used in radial sails have much more strength in the warp direction. In order to more precisely match the warp-oriented cloth with the loads in the sail, (the triangular panels) need to be very narrow. This allows UK Sailmakers to use a lighter weight cloth with the same strength.
Radial sails (with their many panels) allow sailmakers to use more than one laminated fabric in a sail. Stronger laminates can be used in high-load areas like the leech and tack, while lighter cloth can be used in the less-loaded luff of the sail. A third fabric, one that is heavy-duty and chafe-resistant, can be used in the foot panels to stand up to the abuses of tacking and chafing on the life lines. By mixing cloth types, sailmakers can make a lighter sail that has more strength where needed.
Cruising laminates come with one or both sides covered with finely woven polyester taffeta, which improves chafe resistance.