Since 1985 UK Sailmakers has been dedicated to improving and refining our Tape-Drive® sail construction system. Tape-Drive sails truly earn the tag line “fast sails that last.” Sailors around the world know that Tape-Drive sails are the longest lasting laminate sails. Whether cruising, club racing or ocean racing, Tape-Drive is the logical choice for boat owners who value durability.
What Is Tape-Drive?
Tape-Drive is a two-part construction process in which the structural strength of the sail and actual skin that defines the sail’s three-dimensional shape are separate and distinct elements. This process marries a grid of high-strength, low stretch tapes—the structural strength—to a three-dimensionally shaped membrane—the skin—made up of broadseamed, cross-cut laminated panels. The tape grid carries the primary structural loads of the sail, while the skin produces aerodynamic lift and handles secondary and tertiary loads. The tapes radiate across the sail with heavier concentrations at computer predicted high load areas.
Durability: In Tape-Drive sails the skin laminate is uniform throughout the sail. There is no differential stretch or shrinkage from panel to panel as commonly experienced in sails produced with traditional sailmaking techniques. Also there are no load-bearing seams to creep, distort, or worse yet, fail. As a result, Tape-Drive sails are acknowledged by many as the durability champions amongst laminate sails. The beauty with Tape-Drive sails is that after a 3-5 year peak performance life, the sails still have plenty of strength to last for another 3-5 years of cruising, deliveries and practice. These sails do not fall apart once they lose their racing edge.
Dependability: Depending on the size of your boat and its sailing requirements, UK Sailmakers selects the appropriate sailcloth from a wide variety of laminates made by sailcloth manufacturers specifically for the Tape-Drive construction system. These commercially made laminates include scrims made with black aramid or polyester yarns. Professionally made laminates do not delaminate.
By selecting the right laminate for your boat, UK Sailmakers optimizes your Tape-Drive sail’s dependability and longevity.