X-Drive Silver sails, made with continuous, corner-to-corner, S-Glass yarns are a good solution for sailors who want sails that look white, but need better shape-holding and stretch-resistance than Dacron sails. S-Glass yarns have nearly three-times the Modulus (ability to resist stretch) and Tenacity (breaking strength) than those used in woven polyester (Dacron) sails. While S-Glass yarns don’t have the same stretch resistance as carbon yarns, on smaller sails the loads are less and S-Glass has more than enough strength.

X-Drive sails are created using a two-part construction method. The first step starts with lightweight laminated sail cloth that’s cut into cross-cut panels with shaped seams. Once the broad-seamed panels are assembled, the sail will have the exact aerodynamic shape the sail designer created.

Then UK Sailmakers uses proprietary machines to lay-down a grid of continuous yarns that span the sail. These yarns run continuously from corner-to-corner following the sail’s primary load paths. These yarns are high-strength and low -stretch and they serve the same purpose as the steel skeleton in a tall building – the yarns carry the highest loads in the sail while the paneled skin defines the aerodynamic shape.

All photos are of a Comfortina 39. Photos by Irk Boockoff.

And since the continuous, high-strength yarns cross over the seams between the cross-cut panels, seam creep and catastrophic sail failures are eliminated.

Cost Effective

The cost of the sail is also controlled because the sail surface can be made out of an inexpensive, lightweight laminated material, whose only job is to give the sail its 3-D shape. All the sail‘s strength comes from the dense grid of continuous, high-strength yarns that are bonded to the sail’s surface. Since the yarns run across the shaping seams, the seams are locked in place and stays smooth. Due to the dense coverage of fibers, the sail is completely supported, which results in a smooth sail without distortion.

Articles: 366


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for our UK Sailmakers Newsletter

Signup Email Newsletter