Mainsail Selection Guide

At Dolphin our philosophy is to apply the same attention to detail no matter how large or small the boat, whether racing or cruising.

We help guide our customers through the sail selection process to ensure that they have the correct sail option to suit their sailing needs and expectations. Where possible we will measure the boat’s rig, set-up characteristics and discuss with you any personal preferences. Our experience with building racing sails enables us to bring a wide range of knowledge to the design and construction of your cruising sails to enhance durability and performance. This experience is invaluable for the production of sails with excellent shape holding, sails that help you to get to your destination as quickly as possible. Boatspeed is important. How often do we hear “I’m not worried about boatspeed” but when we actually get out there we tweak and trim to try to get past the boat in front? We can’t help ourselves!

Of equal importance of course is the ease of handling and use of a sail. Dolphin take care to ensure both the sail handling and sail handling systems make your cruising as pleasurable an experience as possible.

Sail Design & Construction

Wide range of fabrics are available from the highly durable woven polyester (dacron), through to single and double taffeta laminates. Dacron fabrics are generally used in a cross-cut construction giving good shape holding and great longevity.

For enhanced shape holding, weight saving and speed, a tri-radial construction utilising the warp orientated laminated fabrics is employed. Greater performance will be achieved with a Pentex laminate whilst Vectran/Dyneema will produce the best shape holding capability in panelled sails.

Membrane sails produce the ultimate in performance and shape holding capability. Each Membrane is designed bespoke to the yacht and customer needs. There are various yarn options that we use to create the sails using Kevlar/carbon/dyneema or Vectran to get the best longevity and durability.

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Cross cut

Tri radial

Membrane

Cloth Selection

Our cloth is chosen from the world’s leading sail cloth manufacturers. Whilst we can supply all fabrics, below is a guide to the recommended cloth options from the Contender and Dimension Polyant.

Woven Polyester (dacron) for Cross cut sail options

Fibercon AP
Fibercon Pro
Fibercon Pro Vectran

Woven polyester/ dyneema for Tri radial sail options

Hydranet Radial
Pro Radial (polyester)

Cruise Laminate for Tri radial sail options

Polyester (mylar) Cruise laminate – DCX

Pentex Cruise laminate – DCP

Dyneema Cruise laminate – DYS available in white & grey

Carbon/Dyneema Cruise laminate – GLXD

Membrane options

Twaron Yarn
Carbon Yarn
Dyneema Yarn

Available in a mixture of yarns along with single or double taffetas

Sail Specification

Cruise Specification

  • High quality woven polyester or cruise laminate fabric
  • Full radial patching to reduce creasing for reinforced areas and to absorb loadings
  • Two and three step stitching using Hemingway and Bartlett thread
  • Low stretch leech lines using either aluminium or plastic cleats depending on sail size
  • Luff reefs with pressed rings and spectacles where applicable
  • Loose footed main for shape control where appropriate
  • All stainless steel pressed/webbed on rings for corner attachment
  • Standard sail slides if required
  • Durable fibreglass battens
  • Insignia sail numbers
  • Tell-tales
  • Drawstring sail bag

Extras

  • Reefs
  • Flow Stripes
  • Sailkote plus treatment
  • Fully batten option
  • Tapered battens
  • Glo flow stripes
  • Single live reefing block

Atlantic

Our proven ‘Atlantic’ finishing upgrade is a must for all sailors who are planning on blue water cruising, more than 50% of our customers select this upgrade for their new sails.

  • Extra reinforcing on all areas of the sail that are under stress and load
  • Additional chafe patches are added where needed using leather or heavy duty webbing
  • Heavier duty batten pockets and inserts
  • Twin ply leech and luff tapes
  • Overhead leech line
  • 2:1 leech line tensioning system in cloth pockets
  • Additional webbing strainers from rings and headboard
  • Webbed on slides (if applicable)
  • Additional corner patching
  • Spreader patches supplied loose
  • Flow stripes
  • Sail numbers and Insignia

Extra Features

  • Tenara Thread
  • Sailkote+ treatment
  • Full batten
  • Carbon battens
  • Glo flow stripes

Full Batten Options

For ease of use when sailing a fully battened mainsail, Lazyjacks and stackpack system is essential.

There are many systems on the market but for yachts upto 45’ we have a cost effective batten solution. We recommend the Rutgerson system for masts without external tracks. This system consists of high quality wheeled cars and adjustable luff batten receptacles combined with a closed leech end. We can also supply batten systems from other manufactures if the requirements suit.

For yachts with externally fitted mast tracks we can fit the slides and luff boxes that suit your system, whether it be Ronstan, Selden , Antal, Harken.

Furling Mainsail Options

Dolphin Sails offer a cross cut or tri radial option for our furling mainsails. These can either be to suit your in mast or roller boom furling system.

Standard Specification for IMF and Roller boom sails

  • Highly refined designs
  • Top quality fabrics
  • UV cover protection at clew
  • Superior three step seam construction. Multiple rows where applicable
  • Radial patch construction
  • Low stretch leechline with Aluminium cleats
  • Drawstring sailbag

Extras

  • Upgrade to ‘Atlantic’ specification
  • Insignia sail numbers
  • Flow stripes
  • Glo flow stripes
  • Sailkote plus treatment

In Mast Furling Options

  • Outhaul clew block where applicable
  • Short or full length vertical leech battens

Roller Boom Options

  • Cross cut or tri radial design
  • Twin ply leech to suit your system if applicable
  • Designed to suit your particular in boom reefing/furling system (Leisure furl, Profurl, John Mast)
  • Full length glass battens with soft luff batten ends and laced leech tensioning
  • Reinforced webbing straps to suit for head/tack/clew
  • Spreader patches supplied loose if required
  • Custom luff tapes if required

Extras

  • Carbon battens
  • Sailkote plus treatment

Sailkote Plus UK

  • Mildew protection – virtually eliminates the chances of mildew attack
  • In mast furling – easier in mast furling
  • Tighter furling headsails – reduced windage
  • Reduced wear – less friction and chafing
  • Sail setting – offwind sails handle and set easily
  • Cleaner and dryer sails – repels water & dirt resistant
  • Proven track record – tried and tested on thousands of sails

Tenara Thread

  • UV and weather-resistant
  • Unaffected by sunlight UV(ultraviolet) radiation
  • Unaffected by weather including water or saltwater
  • Will not rot or decay