Uni-Titanium - Racing Mainsail

The Reichel-Pugh 77 JELIK storming upwind with her Uni-Titanium inventory.

Uni-Titanium sails are the fastest sails UK Sailmakers makes and that claim is backed up by the fact that customers sailing with Uni-Titanium sails have been able to increase their upwind target speeds compared to pervious sails. If you’re interested in making your boat sail as fast as possible, it’s important that you understand what makes Uni-Titanium so different.

Uni Benefits

Before the development of Uni-Titanium, all sails suffered from shape instability: in puffs the sail gets deeper and the draft moves aft, when the wind softens the opposite happens. Even with string sails, shape instability comes from the fact that most of the loadpath yarns run parallel to the leech or luff – along the sail’s primary loadpaths. There is not enough stability in the pure loadpath design for the sail to compensate fully for secondary and tertiary loads.

The Sydney 43 Christopher Dragon with her Uni-Titanium No. 1 and mainsail.

Uni-Titanium Construction

To overcome these performance-robbing shape distortion issues, UK Sailmakers developed Uni-Titanium, membrane sails with sheets of uni-directional carbon added to the continuous carbon fiber yarn layout in a leach to luff orientation. The uni-directional carbon sheets used have the thickness of magnetic tape and are just as light. The four layers in a Uni-Titanium sail (Mylar, loadpath yarns, uni-carbon layer and second Mylar layer) are placed in a variable geometry thermo form in which the sail is UV-bonded under vacuum pressure to become a one-piece finished sail. The result is a sail that holds its shape in puffs and lulls. In fact, Uni-Titanium sails hold their shape until a sail trimmer makes an adjustment to change the sail’s shape.

The Titanium Differences

There are several important differences between the Uni-Titanium construction method and other sailmakers’ membrane products. First, all UK Titanium sails are made with continuous yarns that are spread across the sail running continuously between the three corners of the sail without breaks or interruptions. This array of load-bearing, high-strength yarns is laid dry (without glue) by machine on a skin of 3D shaped Mylar. Being laid dry keeps the yarns from becoming brittle and it keeps the finished weight of the sail lighter. Dry yarns reduces the weight of a sail by 15-30%, which makes for happier crews who have lighter sails to lift and happier owners because the sails last longer.

Mini Transat with a Uni-Titanium mainsail.

Unlike most high tech sails in which structural yarns only run the width of an individual panel, a Uni-Titanium sail’s continuous yarns eliminate seam loads, load-induced seam distortion, wrinkles, or worse yet, seam failure. Yes, there are seams in the Mylar skin of a Titanium sail, but they are there simply to add 3D shape to the Mylar skins. Uni-Titanium sails are smooth and wrinkle free.

Uni-Titanium sails come with black or gray Mylar skins only.

Extra Durability With Taffeta

For offshore racing sails, we recommend Uni-Titanium sails with two added layers of light protective taffeta. Taffeta is made of finely woven polyester threads. Taffeta comes in white or gray. Taffeta does not add any strength to the sail, but it gives the sail abrasion resistance. 

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