X-Drive Taffeta - Cruising Genoa

An Italia 13.98 with X-Drive taffeta carbon cruising sails. Click to enlarge.

UK Sailmakers’ X-Drive® sails are the preferred choice for sailors who are looking for the performance of continuous yarn sails yet also want sails that are durable and affordable. Because they deliver on all three points, X-Drive sails have proven to be the ideal choice for racers, club racers and performance cruisers.

Holds Its Shape

X-Drive is a two-part construction system. As the diagram shows, the sail is made from a lightweight material cut into cross-cut panels that, when put together with broad seaming, achieve the 3-D shape created by the sail designer. Next the sail is reinforced with a grid of narrow, high-strength, low-stretch fibers that are bonded to the sail up to 11 at a time.

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.

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

Depending on your specific needs and which X-Drive sail you select, these yarns can be carbon fiber, Endumax or S-Glass. A grid of carbon fiber yarns on a laminate with a black aramid scrim gives the sail an all-black appearance. For those who prefer sails that are all-white, X-Drive Endure and X-Drive Silver sails look like traditional, all-white sails.

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 cannot distort. Due to the dense coverage of fibers, the sail is completely supported, which results in a smooth sail without distortion.

Construction Options

X-Drive Taffeta Carbon

Description:
Loadpath fiber-reinforced sail construction for performance cruising and club racing. Sails have black fibers on white laminate.

Construction:
Extra lightweight cross-cut laminate panels reinforced with continuous corner-to-corner single fiber strands.

Material:
Carbon fiber loadpath yarns applied up to 11 at a time along the sail’s computer predicted loadpaths. Carbon fiber is the strongest and least stretchy fiber used in sailmaking.

Shape Stability:
★★★★

Durability:
★★★★

Shape after 500 hours:
Circa 80%

Price:
$$$$

Endure+Passagemaker+Genoa+Bavaria+50.jpg

X-Drive Taffeta Endure

Description:
Loadpath fiber-reinforced sail construction for performance cruising and club racing. Allows for an all white appearance.

Construction:
Extra lightweight cross-cut laminate panels reinforced with continuous single fiber strands.

Material:
Tapes with Endumax (UHMWPE) ribbons run continuously across the sail in all directions to lock in sail shape. Nearly the same performance as carbon, with all benefits of Spectra & Dyneema.

Shape Stability:
★★★★

Durability:
★★★★

Shape after 500 hours:
Circa 80%

Price:
$$$$

X-Drive Taffeta Silver

Description:
Loadpath fiber-reinforced sail construction for performance cruising and club racing. Allows for an all white appearance.

Construction:
Extra lightweight cross-cut laminate panels reinforced with continuous corner-to-corner single fiber strands.

Material:
Glass fiber loadpath yarns applied up to 11 at a time along the sail’s computer predicted loadpaths. Glass fiber yarns have more stretch than carbon but are less expensive.

Shape Stability:
★★★

Durability:
★★★★

Shape after 500 hours:
Circa 70%

Price:
$$$$