The Sail Tech Load Path
We believe that over the next few years triradial sails will mostly disappear, being replaced by some type of load path sail. Cross cut sails produce beautifully shaped, smooth sails and are much more efficient to build. In a typical triradial sail 25% to 30% of the cloth is discarded because there is so much waste in cutting out all the small, differently shaped triangular panels; in a cross cut sail a little bit is lost because we have to leave enough space between the panels and the edges for cutting, but they have about 95% efficiency. There is also a huge difference in the time it takes to assemble a triradial that will have between 35 and 50 individual panels, and a similar size cross cut that will have only 10 to 15 panels. On a load path sail for a 30' to 40' boat we are seeing prices that are about 10% to 15% below that of a triradial sail, and 30% to 40% below the pure string sails.
SAIL Technologies offers Load Path Sail Technolgy in three different lines,Performance Load Path, Extreme Load Path and Offshore Load Path.
The "Performance" line is constructed starting with base materials of Polyester, Pentex, or Aramid than, continuous, hand laminated yards of Pentex, Spectra, Kevlar or "S" Glass are applied in a load mapping of the sail. This option achieves a very good combination of weight, performance, durability, and price.
The "Extreme" line, represents the grand prix racing approach. These sails begin with base materials of Technora Kevlar, or Spectra, then continuous yards of Carbon Fiber, Spectra, Technora, or Kevlar are laminated to follow computer generated load maps. These sails offer the best combinations of weight, performance, strength, and durability, with prices about 10% less than Carbon triradial cut sails.
"Offshore" Load Path sails are designed and engineered for the offshore cruisers and racers. These sails begin with Spectra cloth with a single side of taffeta. Then continuous fibers of Carbon Fiber, Spectra and Technora are hand laminated to follow loads from the corners, reefs, and along each side.
Carbon and Aramid fiber Load Path
These sails are the ultimate in state of the art, Load Path sail construction. Used in combination with proven laminate materials acting as a base or membrane, strings are laminated externally in a straight grid pattern that forms a immovable structure that locks in the desired flying shape. These sails benefit from being created from what is the world's only true three dimensional sail design software. This software is universally regarded as the world's most advanced sail design software and used by every Americas Cup syndicate. Panels and parts are cut from tested materials on a high speed CNC cutter which is accurate to within a thousandths of an inch. A Carbon Multi-fiber headsail is constructed with Carbon Fiber strings oriented to utilize a modern variable direction load path patterns. Carbon Fiber is light weight, strong and impervious to sunlight. Carbon has also demonstrated exceptional performance and longevity in the offshore arena. Carbon Multi-fiber headsails arrive complete with sail numbers, draft stripes and sail bag. Other features are added when appropriate.
Multi-Fiber Aramid Load Path
Headsails utilizes a load path technology that maximizes a sail's fiber to strength ratio like no other type of sail construction can. These mainsails are constructed with Twaron or Kevlar strings oriented to utilize the latest in variable direction load path patterns. The base materials are laminated goods from one of the major sail cloth manufacturers thus guaranteeing the highest quality and proper lamination. The structural fibers run continuously across the sail from corner to corner and corner to edges over laying all seams . This technique eliminates seams as a structural component and any possibility of shape movement or seam failure. The base sail arrives standard with sail numbers, draft stripes, modern elliptical corner reinforcements, stainless steel rings, leech and foot lines, telltales & sail bag. Other features added standard when appropriate.