Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: New sails

James Alton


   It is great to have a sailmaker and previous Maramu owner respond to my questions!   Sueno has the double spreader Nirvana mast which is taller than the original single spreader spar.  Except for the lack of raked spreaders,  it looks very similar to the SM spar to me.  I was told that the spar section is actually the same as the SM but I would like to get some confirmation on that…does anyone know?

   Can you give me some idea of how much more stable the radial Hydranet is as compared to the top Dacron?  I have seen so many in mast furling mains with a flapping leech and often the sail is only a few years old.  The flapping makes me a little crazy...  (grin)  Is the Hydranet a good way to keep the leech stable?

   Some great information on battens.  My understanding is that the shape of the leech has a lot to do with the upwind performance of a sail.  Setting the SA increase aside, do battens help with the exit shape of the main/mizzen?  What is your guess on the increased SA in going from a concave leech to a straight one?   I was pretty sure that I did not want the full length battens, now they are not even on the list…
   The plan is to use the boat in the Mediterranean for about 3 years part time to get to know the boat.  Do a big refit at my shop in Florida and to then do a normal Westward Circumnavigation via South Africa rather than the Red Sea.  If we aren’t tired of sailing after that we might set off again to see the many places that we are bound to hear about after they are hundreds or thousands of miles upwind on the first time around.  The plan is to route where possible to keep the wind aft of the beam and divert/change our destination when Mother Nature changes her mind in a big way.

   Yes, we have the downwind twin poles, they appear to be very similar to the SM.  We have a Balloner that appears to be new, along with a mizzen staysail which we really like and used a lot this season.

   We do have one oddity in that we enjoy daysailing quite a lot even while cruising.  When daysailing, speed is a lot less important to us than having a headsail that is easy to tack which is one reason we are interested in a smaller headsail.  I also want to have a sail inventory aboard that would give us the best chance of beating out of tight situation under sail alone in the event that the engine was out of commission.  It would be really helpful to get some idea of what size jib with the proper foam luff could be reefed down to a storm jib size while retaining a good shape.

   Yes, I am quite familiar with the fact that light sails do better when rolling around with little wind.  This is one of the reasons I am asking questions about my options to set a large efficient headsail on Sueno while leaving a headsail on the Amel furler that was good for 12 knots and up.

   Yes, I know that the line furlers are pricey..  They appear to be pretty easy to handle however since the furled sail is low windage going up and coming down.  Do they tend to pack down into a smaller package than a sock?

   Yes, it would be great to see the photo of one of your mains.  Lokiyawl2 at


James Alton
SV Sueno,  Maramu #220
Arbatax,  Italy

On Nov 16, 2016, at 1:30 PM, dave_benjamin@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


I'm a sailmaker who used to own a Maramu myself (hull #29) and I've supplied sails for several Amel owners. Here are some thoughts I have regarding your questions:

1. Cloth - The Maramu sails are fairly small since it's a split rig. Smaller sails don't experience the loads that larger sails experience. Radial Hydranet is an excellent cloth but very expensive. If you're planning long distance cruising, it has some advantages. On a Maramu, the one sail it makes the most sense for is the genoa. If you have lots of money to spend, then no harm in building the main and mizzen with it. For the mizzen, I'd be quite comfortable with a high quality crosscut Dacron. With the Super Maramu, the sails are all a bit larger so we can more easily justify more exotic sailcloth. On my ow n Maramu, I built the working sails from very high quality crosscut Dacron. If I had more money at the time, I probably would have done the genoa differently. 

2. Mainsail battens - When we build furling mains, we have 3 choices and it's important to understand the role battens play. 

A) - No battens
Advantage is simplicity and reliability. Without battens we have to have leech hollow so we lose some area and some upwind drive. 

B) - Battens that reduce or eliminate leech hollow
When we build a furling main, this is the most common way we approach it. If we want to reduce the possibility of a furling main jamming, the best approach is to have short vertical battens that don't ov erlap one another. By designing the sail in this manner we can eliminate almost all of the leech hollow. I'd be happy to send a photo of one of these mains to you if you'd like. 

C) - Battens to provide positive roach
I think people who want positive roach mainsails should have bought a boat with a conventional mainsail rather than furling main. These sails are the most likely to cause problems. One of my colleagues who manages a sail loft on the US east coast has spent a lot of time modifying positive roach furling mainsails into mainsails with a straight leech. 

3. Genoa size
Do you have the twin downwind pole arrangement for your boat? As for genoa size, it's hard to recommend without knowing what your sailing plans are. Many of the Caribbean bas ed Amels use smaller headsails successfully. 

4. Cruising Code 0
I really don't like this term because the term Code Zero refers to a very specific type of racing sail that has to meet certain girth requirements and is nothing like a cruising sail. So we named our version the CLASS (Cruisers Light Air Sail Solution). We usually fly this sail with an ATN spinnaker sleeve since foil-less furler installations can be a bit expensive and because it's a light air sail, there is no reason to not go on deck and retrieve it. We have a couple of different approaches when we build this sail for an Amel and it just depends on whether the client uses the twins for downwind sailing. If so we optimize the sail design to be more of a reaching sail since it will generally be used above 150 deg apparent. This sail is particularly useful for clients who have opted for a smaller genoa. The CLASS has a nicely defined shoulder and drives the boat well in light air. Trying to sail an Amel in light air with a traditional furling genoa is a bit frustrating because the cloth  is so heavy and then weighted down even more with a suncover on the leech and foot. 

---In amelyachtowners@..., wrote :


   It is time for a new set of working sails for Sueno and I was hoping to get some input on what seems to work out the best.  I am considering the tri-radial hydranet for the cloth but open to other options.  I am undecided about whether to add battens to the main and mizzen.  I note that some are now using the short vertical battens to straighten the leech and in some cases full length battens to allow a bit of roach in the main and mizzen.  While the additional sail area is certainly interesting to me, I am concer ned about the possibility of a batten getting jammed in the spar on some dark night with the wind rising...  It would be great to hear from others to see how battens worked out..or not.  Another decision that I trying to make is what to do about the foredeck sail(s).  I know that my large genoa does not set well when reefed deeply and is prone to being stretched.  Would it be good to have a working jib to 110 with a foam luff for this usage?  If so should I also have a normal sized Genoa?  It would be a big help to hear about what light air sails seem to work well on the Amel.  Has anyone installed a code 0 and if so how did that work out?

Thanks for any input.

James Alton

SV Sueno,  Maramu #220

Arbatax,  Italy

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