Sail Fabric

A source of supply for fabrics for sails. Minimum order is only 1 yard (36 inches) in most cases by width of fabric. Cost shown is U.S. Dollars (USD)
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<font color=“blue”>TYVEK</font id=“blue”>
White - not printed <font color=“red”>(do not use heat setting tapes!)</font id=“red”>
Type 1443 (a soft hand material - not stiff)
60 inches wide
$3.25 / yard
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<font color=“blue”>COBRA 75</font id=“blue”>
.75 oz. Laminate
(like heavy weight TriSpi)
Clear with white polyester scrim inside
56 inches wide
$9.75 / yard
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<font color=“blue”>DACRON</font id=“blue”>
3.9 oz. White
36 inches wide
$8.95 / yard
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<font color=“blue”>POLYESTER RIPSTOP</font id=“blue”>
.60 oz. White
45 inches wide
$6.00 / yard
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Owner indicates they can ship worldwide. Visit site and get freight costs so you don’t get surprised! They also offer “seconds” on many fabric items, carbon or glass tubes, and entire rolls of cloth if you want to purchase for an entire club project.



From the bargain bin:

Wax paper and packing tape are pretty effective and don’t stretch. Probably not “go fast” enough for most people, although if you like to mess around with different roach profiles its pretty good stuff.
This is beyond low tech for most people here, I would guess, but for anybody interested in a low cost (As in a boat that costs less than $50)one design, it does work.


not discounting low cost solutions! If you read Lester’s note and attached article about 2004 UK IOM Nats (I believe) 5th. place boat had sails made from florist wraping film ![:D]

My post was aimed at those “Down Under” who were having trouble finding Tyvek (specifically) so this was a site that had it - and by the yard - not an entire roll! Added the other stuff as interesting, but if you go through their left hand on-line catalog list, they have a lot of other stuff.

I see where they even have paints for coated ripstop nylon. Some of the big boat guys might be interested in that for their Spinnakers!

When you talk about “wax paper” are you talking the kitchen variety that is kind of semi-transparent - or are you talking about a waxed “butcher” paper that is fairly heavy and a couple of feet wide? The kitchen stuff seems to crease very easy, so I wouldn’t think that is the stuff. Probably a solid brown or off-white paper with a coated surface?


I found that mylar drafting film seems to work OK too (Not paper based film!!). You can buy an A1 sheet for AU$5.15 and that is enough to do 1 “A” Main or Jib if you use clear packing tape to join it. I used cloth tape to reinforce corners and little brass eyelets. I have photos of sails made of this at my website if you’re interested.

Ocker! where on earth did you get that in OZ??? i’m assuming that AU$5.15 means you baught it in AUS??? What state? have you got a link or ph no. ??? Much appreciated been looking for AGES!!!

hey sean,
i think you could probably ring the guys at float-a-boat in camberwell, they use it for their A class mains & jibs
regards rob

One Design is the only way to race, none of this handicap ****.

The heavier Mylar film is still easy to get. The stuff that most people chase isn’t made anymore as it makes the ink run. The stuff was produced as drafting paper.
What your looking for is
POLYDRAW 002 made by FRISK graphic art material

I bought the last of it in Brisbane 3 months ago. The book of A2 sheets cost me $10:00AUD and there’s is enough there for me to make about three sets of sails.
I’m now using 1.2oz and1.5oz Mylar bought from a local sailmaker.


I got it at …
Eckersley’s Arts Crafts & Imagination
4 IIya Ave Erina 2250
(02) 4367 4566

Part of the reason you might have trouble - as I did, is that the store clerks do not know what it’s made from - so if you say “Mylar” they think you are looking for a brand name.

Best bet is to go to any art supply place, ask for drafting film. If you are unsure what it’s made from, buy a smaller sheet, like A4, take it home and stick it in the sink. If it bubbles and warps - no good. The stuff from eckersleys that cost $5.15 a sheet is totally waterproof.
But I don’t know if it’s too heavy as this is my first experience with sailing RC - but it seems to go OK on my boat and it looks pretty good.

Unless you are into racing it doesn’t matter what you use for sails. Just don’t use something that is to heavy.

Dacron is fine as long as it isn’t heavier than 2.4oz
Mylar is really good provided it isn’t lighter than 1oz

Thanks StevenA

Went over to Dick Blick art supply store today. They have a material called Dura-Lar. It is oriented sheet polyester. Available in sheets and rolls. Seems like a pretty good price for the clear stuff. 1 mil on up. I did a Google search and you can find the strength properties, etc. There are a lot of Dick Blick stores in the US - Georgia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Minnestota, Nevada, etc. Or mailorder from them or other people.

I have tried sailing/racing with clear sails and I do not know how people do it. I would have to make a marksalot grid on my sail, I think, so I could see the sails.

This is a great thread. Very informative. Thank you all.


I’m with you Vernon it’s nice to know exactly where they are at a glance, sailing with clears can be a bit difficult especially if the sun is setting or glaring behind your boat… has that jib goosewinged??? how would you know?? it’d take alot of tuning stripes to tell in those conditions.

found POLYDRAW 002 made by FRISK in melbourne great stuff but quite expensive price tag of aus $66.00 for a 594mm X 5m
but they only have 2 rolls left might have to buy them out of stock:)))

When the Apprentice knows more than the Mentor its time to quit!

regarding the use of Tyvek for sailmaking:

I got a sheet from the building supply store, and spent the winter “softening” it under a rug. Then I made a set of sails for my Ocean 500 (19" hull) and I tried it in the pool.

The darn thing just fell over flat. Aparently Tyvek is too heavy for sailmaking.