More Than Just a Pretty Sail

Here is a pretty looking X-Drive Silver roller-furling main sail on an Island Packet 485. Notice how good the aerodynamic shape looks even though the sail has no battens. Also notice the extra row of reefing fibers parallel to the mast that start behind the tack patch. This extra row of fibers will help the sail hold its great shape when roller-reefed. This sail is made with UK Sailmakers’ X-Drive construction system, that has loadpath fibers that run continuously, corner to corner, across the sail.


Cruising sailors with roller furling masts or roller furling booms who want to make their boats more lively and easier to handle should replace their worn out Dacron mains with an X-Drive sail. X-Drive sails hold their aerodynamic shape well and they roll up easier because they don’t get deeper when rolled. Dacron sails get deeper with age on their way to being “blown out.”

A sure sign that a roller furling main is past its prime is when the sail that used to roll up well, jams constantly. 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 has the option of using carbon, Endumax or S-Glass fibers, depending on your performance, price and esthetic needs. The sail shown is the picture is reinforced with S-Glass yarns, allowing the sail to have a traditional “all white” appearance. For more information, contact your local UK Sailmaker by clicking here.

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