Re: [Amel] New sails for supermaramu 2k


As some of you know, I'm a Maramu owner (#29) and owner of Island Planet Sails.

For sailmakers, in-mast furling mainsails are some of the simplest sails to design and build. As Joel Potter points out, Amel kept the rig sizes very consistent so there's not a lot of variation. Some information is available direct from Amel.

From a design standpoint, our principal concern is getting luff curve correct. Given the nature of a furling main with foil captive inside the mast, it's quite simple. We can measure the distance between the foil and the mast extrusion to give us a maximum sag measurement.

Luff, leech, and foot are the basic measurements of a sail. For a furling main or mizzen, the other considerations are how far up from the tack and down from the head to stop the tape.

With furling mainsails/mizzens, we don't have a wide range of adjustability like we do with conventional mains flown from more adjustable rigs. As a result, design work is pretty straight forward.

Headsails are more challenging to design. For an Amel, the first question I ask is if the downind poles are utilized. If the downwind poles are in use, then that drives the design to a large extent. If the downwind poles aren't in use, there is more flexibility in the design. As an industry we're moving away from very large genoas and towards innovative light air sails typically flown from their own foil-less furler. There's no reason not to join twin headsails on a common luff and fly those from their own furler. In fact, we're hoping to do that with our own boat as budget allows. That will free us from carrying the large genoa and allow for a more efficient and more easily managed headsail.

Amongst cruisers, there is a bit of a bias against laminate sails. The technology has come a long way and the complaints of 10 years ago simply aren't reality today. There's a lot of enthusiasm for HydraNet (a woven with Dyneema) which is an excellent product, but it's not the only solution for a long lasting sail with excellent shape retention. Personally I'm not keen on radial cut mainsails and mizzen sails simply because so much of the material ends up in the rubbish bin. Why pay for so much wasted material when there's more efficient construction methods to be utilized?

Having built sails for Amel's, I can tell you that there is no great mystery or magic formula. For mainsails and mizzens, any competent sailmaker can provide a good sail. For headsails, it is helpful if the sailmaker is versed with the Amel pole system if the boat uses downwind poles. Otherwise the headsail design should be optimized for the type of sailing anticipated, experience level of the owners, and the type of auto-pilot fitted. The fullness or flatness of the entry of the sail will vary from boat to boat.

A cookie cutter approach does not serve individual owners well.

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