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Forum LockedMeasuring sails & stretch

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don54321 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 June 2012 at 9:11am
How much stretching needs to be allowed for in a new sail?   I thought this was going to be easy, just measure the old sail. 

I have a new old-stock, full batten sail that is almost perfect in size, 28ft tall (just slightly tensioned) and unused.  I need to cut it down a little at the head.  It looks nice and flat exactly as new with no evidence of shrinkage.  I ran it up the mast and it is maybe 4 inches too long, but it is not under tension and I don't know how much stretch to expect and allow for in a new sail.  In an old sail, there can be lots of stretch.     

I measured my old sail carefully =26 ft on the ground.  Then I tied it between 2 trees with a come-along and pulled it tight to get it straighter =27'2".  I know that sails shrink if not used for a while, but I only expected a few inches!  Any guidance would be appreciated on how much stretch to allow for for the new sail. 

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MattGrant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattGrant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2012 at 7:21pm
That stretch makes sense. But it is because the boltrope is cut short to create an elastic edge. This is a standard sailmaking technique. It helps to control the draft position using halyard and/or Cunningham tension.

So the short answer is, how much too long is the sail when hoisted? Pull it to the top and see what is left. This would be what needs to be removed. Or better yet take a measurement with a tape measure of the max hoist. Then reduce the 27'2" length by the difference plus another 5" or so.
Best Regards,
Matt Grant
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