Sails and rigging etc

Can someone explain to me why you don’t have a forestay (separate to a jibstay).Wouldn’t this assist with positioning the mast correctly ?

Secondly,why is it necessary to use materials like kevlar/mytek etc for sails.Aren’t cloth like dacron any good ?


I’ve learned, That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
(what am I doing here?)lol

Ross, Some boat designs use a seperate forestay, others do not. Why add one if it is not needed?
The design of the rig determines how it will stand. a seperate forestay has very little to do with it.
As for sail material, the reason hardly anyone uses Dacron is that it is heavy, not flexable, absorbs water, and is prety much useless for any boat under 40" inches.
Composite materials give a beter sail shape, are lighter and stand up a lot better than Dacron. They are also easy to find. 3 oz Dacron, (the lightest we carry) is only available in large rolls unless you get it in cuts from a supplier like us.
FYI. A 100 yard bolt of Dacron will set you back around $1000.00
Tyvec is cheap. You can get it from any lumberyard or construction site north of the Mexican border.

Peter R.


Look for GRADE 14 for Tyvek. Softer and a bit more pliable to use. Some of the house wrap stuff is too stiff for a sail (stiffer than the 2-3 oz. Dacron)

Tyvec is cheap. [You can get it from any lumberyard or construction site north of the Mexican border.]

Peter R.


Thanks for your answer Pete,only trouble is I’m a l-o-n-g way south of the Mexican border [:D][:D]I spent a bit of time surfing the net today trying to find Aussie supplies but so far the closest I can get is disposable coveralls made from it.How would that be for a radical sail design[:-bulb] As for the forestay I can’t see any of the common classes of boat fitted with one and thought from my own personal use at this early learning stage that it would be easier to set up the mast using fore and aft stays and shrouds first then maybe it would be easier to set the sail rig after that. Just a thought.
Thanks again,

I’ve learned, That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
(what am I doing here?)lol

<blockquote id=“quote”><font size=“1” face=“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica” id=“quote”>quote:<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”> so far the closest I can get is disposable coveralls made from it.How would that be for a radical sail design[:-bulb]
<hr height=“1” noshade id=“quote”></blockquote id=“quote”></font id=“quote”>

I’ve made sails from disposable coveralls. The biggest problem is the ones I could get were fuzzy on one side and they would get fuzzier with use. They worked quite well and looked real scale. I think the stuff I used would have bagged out pretty quickly. Take a second look at the coveralls-if nothing else they are cheap![:D]

Vancouver Island

Why don’t you guys use materials like Mica film or Mylar?



I use 1.5oz Mylar for my sails. I get it from the local Sabot sailmaker.

2.2 oz Dacron can be bought very easily from sailmakers as well.

If you want to try Tyvek, check out the larger printing companies.


[:-paperbag]Ross Mate,
The reason it is <font color=“blue”>NOT</font id=“blue”> desirable to have both a forestay and a jib luff stay is that getting the balance of tension between the two is a nightmare. [:-ouch]
It is most important to have a tight jib luff for pointing ability. If the sole method of forward rig tension is through the jib luff stay, then you are assured of that straight luff to enable the sail to set correctly. Provided you have a separate adjustment for the actual sail luff itself as you still need to slacken or tighten the sail depending on the wind strength.[:-weepn]
The other device that is essential, is at the other end of the jib boom and is the <font color=“navy”><font size=“2”>Leech Line.</font id=“size2”></font id=“navy”>
This is a most important ajustment, to give the correct twist to the jib slot. [:-timebm]
Some of the kit classes can be made to perform so much better with the fitting of this simple device provided it is class legal.[:-pirate]

Edit for spleling

Do it NOW before it`s too late.

Thanks for the tip on finding tyvek Peter! i just contacted “snap printing” and they can sell me an a3 sheet for 95 cents a sheet (though i would like a little larger that’s all they can get) anyone else have a supplier for tyvek in Australia??? been trying building suppliers but seems it is not used here. I am also looking for a cheap material for “practicing via trial and error” to make sails.

Sodium,old salt.
I work for a large building supply firm and deliver to some of the biggest construction firms here in Sydney.I’ve been asking several purchasing managers about tyvek and NONE of them have ever heard of it.They can’t even imagine what it might be used for in their industry.A search for tyvek on aust google only comes up with the disposable coveralls.I have used the white ones by dupont and they would seem to be suitable and aren’t furry like the other materials used.A search for mylar,spectra and pentex brings up nothing.
So a main from the leg of a pair of overalls might make for an interesting shape,( would you use the right leg when tacking to starboard ?)

A source for any of these materials (in Australia) would be really great.


I’ve learned, That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
(what am I doing here?)lol


You might contact Dupont Australia and see who they have distributing the stuff:

Funny how prevalent Tyvek is in the building industry in the USA, but unheard of in other areas! I’m sure that by now you’ve seen how it is used here, but this link shows a typical installation:

Good luck!

The Other Matt

was talking to sodium at work today trying to find tyvek and went to a hardwhere store on the way home and found out that they use it for insulation but dont here they normialy use a tin foil with a blue backing. funnialy enough the store had just had its insulation re done with tyvec but did not sell it themselves. you can get it in a roll but its about $260(aus) for 50m bit pricy when you only want about 4 m

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

Maybe you can contact these guys:

It’s not in Australia I know, but maybe they know a local dealer


I found some laminate film material in a local art-supply store. It’s about 100 micron. A little bit too thick maybe, but I’m going to find out if it will work.


Hi Koala,

In Australia, you can buy A1 sheets of mylar drafting film from <u>“Eckersley’s Arts Crafts & Imagination”</u> store at Erina in NSW. I’m unsure if they have stores in other places. The phone number is 02-4367-4566. I’m sure this stuff is available at other art supply and stationers.

I think that this material is 50 micron (Does that sound right?)

It costs $5.15 per A1 sheet and 1 sheet will produce 1 main or jib, but requires a join (which acts like a batten anyhow).

Be aware, if not buying from Eckersly, that there are paper based drafting films too - so if unsure, buy an A4 size piece of the same brand first and test it out in water.

If you want to see a sail made of this stuff first, you could see several pics on my Mistral construction page or see the attached pic.

Download Attachment: IM000918.JPG

i just saw your picture of yur sails. nicely done. i would love to be able to put a set of sail onto my Iacc20 boat. but what did you use to get the pannels? did you use tape or glue? and then did you sew them?
i could use all the help i could get people.
and congrats on the sial
long live the cup

Cougar, thanks for the kind words. The A1 sheet was big enough to make 1 sail by cutting the lower half along 1 edge, and the upper half (upside down) along the opposite edge. I just allowed an extra 10mm along the top edge of the lower half of the sail then taped them together with clear packing tape. Quite simple.

There is enough remaining film to make several battens if you want them.

The hardest part is the jib luff. Getting the fold and crease was a bit fiddly. This was just cut with 10mm extra along the luff which was folded back and taped.

This is my first set of sails, so I have not had time to try glues yet, but I gave a sample of scrap to my sister to try sewing. I think sewing would look nicer - especially along the jib luff.


Instead of sewing your seams use “Sellotape” double sided tape. You can buy it from most larger newsagents. It is about 9mm wide and really thin. It sells for around $7:00 per roll, in 10 metre rolls. We have been using it to stick sail seams together for years, and it is really good. After you use it don’t put to much pressure on the seams, and don’t go sailing for 24-48 hours after making the sails.

Hope this helps.

I’ll back you up on that one Peter, I have been using that same stuff for a long time now and it is really good.

Nice to see some helping others on here instead of the regular arguements.

Thanks StevenA

Does anyone know of plans available on the internet for a form to make IOM sails - to get the right curves. Or just the curves themselves for that matter to print out…