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Cruising sailors with roller furling booms or roller furling masts who want their furling systems to be more reliable and easier to handle should replace their worn-out mainsails with a UK Sailmakers X-Drive sail. Compared to Dacron sails, X-Drive sails are smoother, lighter, thinner and hold their aerodynamic shape better. As a result, they roll up easier since they don’t get deeper when rolled. Dacron sails stretch when tightly rolled and they get deeper with age on their way to being “blown out.”

You’ll know when a roller furling main is past its prime when the sail that used to roll up well, jams constantly when rolling into the mast. The sail jams because there is extra shape in the sail that creates folds in the roll, which makes the roll too fat. X-Drive sails are reinforced with continuous high-strength, low-stretch fibers that run continuously between the three corners of the sail. These continuous fibers that run along the sails primary load paths perform the same function as the steel I-beam skeleton does in supporting a tall building.

UK Sailmakers’ X-Drive construction system uses continuous high-strength, low-stretch yarns or filaments to support the sail’s flying shape. Hundreds of closely-spaced carbon or Endumax or S-Glass filaments are bonded to the sail’s surface for maximum strength and shape-holding. UK Sailmakers’ innovative fiber laying machine allows up to 11 fiber strands to be applied at once. With so many high-strength fibers running across the sail, the sail has incredible stretch resistance.

Beneteau 423 Roller Furling Main.jpg

UK Sailmakers has the option of using carbon, Endumax or S-Glass fibers, depending on your performance, price and esthetic needs. X-Drive sails can be all white, modern looking with black loadpath fibers or all black for the most high-tech look.

For more information on X-Drive performance cruising sails, contact UK Sailmakers or go to the X-Drive section of the UK Sailmakers web site.

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