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Traditional Polytarp Sail


By Psi Phi - Posted on 30 April 2013

OK, so blogging the build didn't work so well, but I have built the boat, and it does float.

Anyway, much talk on this and other forums about polytarp vs. traditional sails.

So here I have a few photos of the finished sail, at some point I will dig out the photos of building it too, if anyone is interested.

I built my sail using polytarp, double sided tape, and gaffer tape - no sewing. I built it by cutting the polytarp into bolts the way other sail materials are usually supplied, and then broadseeming it in the traditional manner.

I can't give you much of a report on the sail itself a) because this is the first boat I have ever sailed in, and b) because I have only used it twice. First time I took it out the wind was too strong and I hadn't put any reef points in it. I didn't want to be "That Guy" that went out not knowing what he was doing, ran down a couple of kayakers, and had to be rescued by the Coast Guard. So first time out I put the sail up, accepted it was too windy, took it down again, then rowed around for the rest of the afternoon. Second time I took it out I broke the mast step, tipped the boat over, and dumped myself in the lake (but that's a story for another blog).

This is first float test of the sail, luckily I had a swimming pool to hand, water is 5km away.

Float testing in the pool - didn't make much headway.

This is me trying to get some wind into the sail to show its shape, not enough, should have gone down to the real water.

Trying to get some wind in the sail to show its shape

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