Tape-Drive - Cruising Mainsail

Tape-Drive is strong enough for years of cruising enjoyment as well as has the performance needed for club racing. Above are Tape-Drive Carbon Spectra sails on a Contest 44. The main is an in-mast furling sail with vertical battens.

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

What Is Tape-Drive?

Tape-Drive Spectra Cruising Main Sail with 3 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 amongst 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 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. 

By selecting the right laminate for your boat UK Sailmakers optimizes your Tape-Drive sail's dependability and longevity.

Construction Options


Tape-Drive Carbon/
Polyester

Description:
For club racers, Tape-Drive sails made with carbon tapes and polyester laminates offer performance at a 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. 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 depending on sail size.

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 and carbon tapes.

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 a single layer of polyester taffeta for abrasion resistance. The carbon tapes are made with 14,000 or 28,000 filaments of carbon depending on sail size.

Shape Stability:
★★★★

Longevity:
★★★★★

Shape after 500 hours:
Circa 80%

Price:
$$$$$


Tape-Drive Silver
 

Description:
The less expensive polyester laminate 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 are made of a loose weave of polyester yarns laminated in between layers of Mylar. Some polyester laminates have a single layer of polyester taffeta for abrasion resistance. The S-Glass tapes are white, which means these sails can have an all-white appearance. 

Shape Stability:
★★★

Longevity:
★★★

Shape after 500 hours:
Circa 60%

Price:
$$

 

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