Tape-Drive Carbon/Spectra – Cruising Genoa

The 80-foot custom motor sailor QUINTA with a Spectra Tape-Drive Passagemaker genoa and full-batten mainsail.

Tape-Drive Carbon earns its name from the black, carbon fiber tapes used on the sails. The matrix of load-bearing carbon tapes can be applied to a range of skin materials. For the ultimate in cruising durability, UK Sailmakers makes Tape-Drive sails with laminates using Spectra yarns. Spectra is one of the world’s strongest and lightest fibers. Pound-for-pound, it is 10 times stronger than steel and up to 40 percent stronger than aramids. Many sailors have used Tape-Drive Carbon Spectra sails for 10 years or more since they hold up so well. 

Spectra doesn’t breakdown from folding, is impervious to UV radiation, and gets softer with use. Unfortunately, Spectra is more expensive than carbon fiber and Kevlar. Other sailmakers have problems working with Spectra because it elongates after staying under high loads, but when used as a skin fabric in Tape-Drive sails, the Spectra fibers never become loaded enough to creep.

Tape-Drive Carbon Spectra sails have been tested on club cruises, across oceans, and around the world. These sails stand-up to the rigors of cruising. Many boat owners use the same set of sails for their racing as well as cruising needs so they don’t have to deal with unrigging one set of sails and then re-rigging with another set.

Tape-Drive Carbon Spectra sails are not all black, which makes them look more traditional.

A Tape-Drive Carbon/Spectra Testimonial

Larry Rouen liked his first set of Tape-Drive carbon Spectra performance cruising sails so much that after 11 years he order a second set.

Larry Rouen used the same suit of Tape-Drive Spectra sails for 11 years on his Dawn 41 Nepenthe (shown above) racing Thursday evenings and cruising on the weekends. Naturally, he came back for replacements that, straight from their bags, helped him win his club’s non-spinnaker championship. “With UK Sailmakers’ Tape-Drive sails, you sure get your money’s worth!” says Larry to all his sailing friends. UK’s Tape-Drive sails are beautifully shaped, durable enough to remain that way for years, and take you wherever you want to go – cruising or racing.

Ocean Race 60, Ltd., offers ocean racing experiences on TOKIO II, the 60-footer used in the Whitbread Around the World Race in 1993-1995. Based in Helsinki, Finland, the boat can be chartered for day sails, day races and ocean races. When the company needed new sails for the boat’s powerful sail plan, performance and durability were the company’s requirements. Ocean Race 60, Ltd., needed sails that can help their charters win races while being tough enough to stand up to crews who are learning to sail a boat of such size and power.

Berckemeyer Yacht Design’s 70-foot schooner with full-batten Spectra Tape-Drive mains and a roller/reefing genoa. Photo courtesy Berckemeyer Yacht Design

Available details:

Available with:
– Non-overlapping
– Overlapping
– Horizontal battens
– Vertical Battens
– Telltales
– Draft Stripes
– Sail Numbers
 Leech Line

Available with:
– Partial Taffeta
– Double Taffeta


Roller Furling:
– Passagemaker
– UV Luff/Foot

– Foam Luff
– Reefing


Other options:
 Jib Sock



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