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Cruising Genoa: Dacron Cross-Cut
Sails made from woven polyester are still desirable for sailors. They can be fixed easily by any repair facility with a sewing machine, they mildew less since they don’t trap water, they have a traditional look and they are less expensive than laminate and membrane sails. Woven polyester comes in many different grades that are either more performance oriented or less expensive. The Cross Cut Dacron construction method is also used for cruising mainsails.
UK Sailmakers’ cross-cut Dacron sails – for cruising sailors whose main concerns are price and longevity. Dacron cross-cut sails have all the panels parallel to each other and perpendicular to the leech. Fabrics with their greatest strength in the fill direction are used to withstand the anticipated loading along the leech of the sail since the greatest loads in any sail are up and down the leech. Fill-oriented fabrics are used in cross-cut sails because the stronger fill yarns are parallel to the leech in a cross-cut layout.
Cruising sailors choose Dacron sails for their all-around strength and good value. When longevity is the main concern, Dacron is the cloth of choice. Dacron is resistant to most types of wear that a sail experiences during its lifetime. Dacron sails have a fair amount of UV resistance, they are virtually unaffected by bending and folding forces and are resistant to chafe, which is convenient for overlapping genoas. Additional options such as the UV luff and foot covers for furling headsails can considerably prolong your sail’s life. The trade-off in choosing the longevity of Dacron is performance. While a Dacron sail will stay in one piece for many years, it will start losing its aerodynamic shape over time because the polyester yarn is relatively stretchy compared to high-tech yarns like aramid and carbon fiber.
Woven polyester fibers, with strongest yarns in the fill direction.
Cross cut panels with broadseaming to create aerodynamic shape.
Dacron comes in many styles and finishes based on performance needed.
Shape after 500 hours:
- Horizontal battens
- Vertical Battens
- Draft Stripes
- Sail Numbers
- Leech Line
- Roller Furling Genoa
- UV Luff/Foot Cover
- Foam Luff
- Reefing Reinforcements
- Jib Sock