Tape-Drive - Cruising Genoa

A Waterline Yachts 50 with Tape-Drive carbon Spectra performance cruising roller-reefing genoa and mainsail. Notice the 3 reef points that include sets of tapes to carry the reefed luff loads.

Since 1985 UK Sailmakers has been improving and refining our Tape-Drive® sail construction system. Tape-Drive sails truly earn the tag line “fast sails that lasts.” Sailors around the world know that the longest lasting laminate sails are Tape-Drive. Whether cruising, club racing or ocean racing, Tape-Drive is the logical choice for boat owners who value durability.

What Is Tape-Drive?

A Tape-Drive cruising genoa with two reefs. Click to enlarge.

Tape-Drive is a two-part construction process in which the structural strength of the sail and actual skin that defines the sail’s three-dimensional shape are separate and distinct elements. This process marries a grid of high-strength, low stretch tapes—the structural strength—to a three-dimensionally shaped membrane—the skin—made up of broadseamed, cross-cut laminated panels. The tape grid carries the primary structural loads of the sail, while the skin produces aerodynamic lift and handles secondary and tertiary loads. The tapes radiate across the sail with heavier concentrations at computer predicted high load areas.

Durability: In Tape-Drive sails the skin laminate is uniform throughout the sail. There is no differential stretch or shrinkage from panel to panel as commonly experienced in sails produced with traditional sailmaking techniques. Also, there are no load-bearing seams to creep, distort, or worse yet, fail. As a result, Tape-Drive sails are acknowledged by many as the durability champions among laminate sails.

Dependability: Depending on the size of your boat and its sailing requirements, UK Sailmakers selects the appropriate sailcloth from a wide variety of laminates made by sailcloth manufacturers specifically for the Tape-Drive construction system. These commercially made laminates include scrims made of aramid, Spectra or polyester yarns. Professionally made laminates do not delaminate. 

Cruising Tape-Drive genoa and mainsail.

Construction Options


Tape-Drive Carbon/
Polyester


Description:
For club racers, Tape-Drive Carbon sails made with polyester laminates offer plenty of performance at a significant savings.

Boat size: 
20-45 feet

Construction: 
Cross-cut broad-seamed panels reinforced with continuous carbon fiber tapes bonded to the sails surface. The cross-cut panels define the sail’s shape and the grid of tapes carries the primary loads of the sail to lock in sail shape.

Material:
Cross-cut panels are made of a loose weave of polyester yarns laminated between layers of Mylar. Cruising polyester laminates have a single layer of polyester taffeta for abrasion resistance. The carbon tapes are made with 14,000 or 28,000 filaments of carbon.

Shape Stability:
★★★

Longevity:
★★★★

Shape after 500 hours:
Circa 70%

Price:
$$$


Tape-Drive Carbon/
Spectra


Description:
For the ultimate in cruising durability, UK Sailmakers makes Tape-Drive sails with laminates using Spectra yarns.
 

Boat size: 
35-80 feet

Construction: 
Cross-cut broad-seamed panels reinforced with continuous carbon fiber tapes bonded to the sails surface. The cross-cut panels define the sail’s shape and the grid of tapes carries the primary loads of the sail to lock in sail shape.

Material:
Cross cut panels are made of a loose weave of Spectra yarns laminated between layers of Mylar. Spectra laminates have single layer of polyester taffeta for abrasion resistance. The carbon tapes are made with 14,000 or 28,000 filaments of carbon.

Shape Stability:
★★★★

Longevity:
★★★★★

Shape after 500 hours:
Circa 80%

Price:
$$$$$


Tape-Drive Silver
 


Description:
The less expensive polyester laminates reinforced with S-Glass fiber tapes is a great option for boats under 40-feet.
 

Boat size: 
20-40 feet

Construction: 
Cross-cut broad-seamed panels reinforced with continuous S-Glass fiber tapes bonded to the sails surface. The cross-cut panels define the sail’s shape and the grid of tapes carries the primary loads of the sail to lock in sail shape.

Material:
Cross-cut panels with a loose weave of polyester yarns laminated between layers of Mylar. Cruising polyester laminates have a single layer of polyester taffeta for abrasion resistance. The S-Glass tapes are white, giving these sails an all-white appearance. 

Shape Stability:
★★★

Longevity:
★★★

Shape after 500 hours:
Circa 60%

Price:
$$

Contact us today!

Name *
Name