Good sailcloth for JR

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  • 10 Jul 2022 03:15
    Reply # 12843481 on 1206989

    I found the Weathermax 80 a pleasant material to sew - on my little Brother sewing machine.  I actually suspect that a walking foot might be unsuited to this fabric.  I didn't use basting tape - not only am I too mean, but when I put the panels together the wrong way, it's easier to get them apart again!  I seem to recall I set the top tension at midpoint or possibly a little bit looser.

  • 07 Jul 2022 22:47
    Reply # 12841621 on 1206989

    It will depend on the fabric and what UV stabilizers are added, but I think polyester (dacron) is inherently more UV resistant than nylon.  The nylon will also stretch more.

    It looks like you're in the US, Rochford supply has Weathermax 80 seconds at  attractive prices.  It's UV stable and has a nice hand.  I asked what made them seconds, they said in coated fabrics it is often a problem with the coating, in Weathermax it is likely just that there are more than the allowed number of splices in a roll (not really a problem for us).   I bought extra that will become sailcovers and gives me flexibility in laying things out.

    I'm waiting for mine to arrive (shipping to Canada is a bit longer) so I can't comment from experience on sewing it.  Others have reported that it can pucker while sewing.  Judicious use of basting tape, not overdoing your thread tension and helping the top piece of cloth feed if you only have a lower feed dog, are solutions that have been suggested by others.


  • 06 Jul 2022 21:49
    Reply # 12840317 on 1206989

    Has anyone tried Cordura 1000d. I just ordered a yard sample, this fabric is one below 1050 ballistic nylon. I know nylon is used with "Spinnaker's" and 1000d is very strong  and I believe nylon is less photosensitive than polyester. Cheaper, more colors,....I am no expert by any means. But I a wondering.


  • 17 Jun 2022 22:34
    Reply # 12820416 on 1206989

    I am very happy with the WeatherMAX 65 Polyester I purchased here.

    It has many of the same benefits as the heavier WeatherMAX 80 but it is much lighter. I don't think my home sewing machine could handle the WM 80, but the WM 65 was great.

    I would like to see someone else try it and give their opinion. When I bought my cloth I could only find yellow and brown. Now there are 8 colors available!

    Last modified: 18 Jun 2022 00:01 | Anonymous member
  • 15 Jun 2022 00:56
    Reply # 12816747 on 12816678
    Anonymous wrote:

    As it has been a few years of inactivity in this thread, I thought I'd check if anyone has used Top Notch 9 for a sail and can report on how it is wearing.  I'm not a huge fan of the coating on Top Gun/Mustang.

    Top Notch 9 is fine but I've mostly used Top Gun 9 as it's been very satisfactory and somewhat cheaper.
  • 14 Jun 2022 23:42
    Reply # 12816678 on 1206989

    As it has been a few years of inactivity in this thread, I thought I'd check if anyone has used Top Notch 9 for a sail and can report on how it is wearing.  I'm not a huge fan of the coating on Top Gun/Mustang.




  • 03 Jun 2019 22:38
    Reply # 7553951 on 7552874
    David wrote:

    That's interesting, Paul. That would make Top Gun 9 my first choice for all but the biggest sails, as Top Gun 11 is known to perform well over time, whereas I noted quite a lot of chafe on my Mustang sail after coming all the way down the Pacific.

    A good point, David.  Most sails last a long time when used for only occasional weekend sailing, assuming they don't get UV damage: before a sailcloth can be considered truly suitable for offshore, junk-rigged boats, it has to be tried for many miles, which is difficult to do coastal sailing.  (In all the time I had Fantail, I sailed fewer than 5,000 miles, including the long passage from Nelson!)

    You will recall that there was a great deal of enthusiasm for Odyssey, until people actually started using the sails and found the material simply wasn't up to the task, offshore.  On the other hand, although no longer popular, Sunbrella and similar are very long-lasting, tough fabrics, well tested.  Pinholes from chafe don't spread and Badger got 80,000 miles out of her original suit, which would still have easily stood up to another ocean crossing.  For most enthusiastic weekend sailors, that is a lifetime's sailing.

    It worries me a little, that there is often great enthusiasm for fabrics that haven't really been tested in an ocean environment.  Weathermax is another example: people are using it happily and it surely is a pleasant fabric, but I should like an honest critique of the material from someone who has sailed at least 10,000 miles with it.

    I think it would be very interesting to compile a list of the fabrics used on the sails of junk-rigged boats that have crossed oceans, together with the owners' comments and have it available as a .pdf.

  • 03 Jun 2019 14:02
    Reply # 7552874 on 1206989

    That's interesting, Paul. That would make Top Gun 9 my first choice for all but the biggest sails, as Top Gun 11 is known to perform well over time, whereas I noted quite a lot of chafe on my Mustang sail after coming all the way down the Pacific.

  • 03 Jun 2019 01:40
    Reply # 7552107 on 1206989

    Just a comment. I've recently bought Top Gun 9 to make the sails for my new boat Le Canard Bleu.

    Top  Gun 9 as most of you will know is what replaces Mustang. Just want to comment that Top Gun 9 is a liter version of the original Top Gun and it handles and feels like Top Gun, just a bit lighter.

    Mustang on the other hand is a heavier version of Odyssey III and handles and feels more like Odyssey III than Top Gun. So its a bit more flexible and nicer to handle but both will make great sails.

    After having made sails from Odyssey III, Mustang, Top Gun, Weathermax 80 (and 60) and now Top Gun 9, I can say that Mustang and Top Gun 9 are the easiest to work with and are pleasant to handle.

  • 10 Mar 2019 17:29
    Reply # 7209151 on 7207761
    Deleted user
    Anonymous wrote:

     Weathermax is just such a cloth, but it's a pity that it doesn't sew very well. 

    My winter project with weathermax 80 turned out well. I had two 5-6 meter long seams running "aganist the grain" right down the middle of my new top two panels so I definitely did not want lots of pucker along the seam. These seams are "along the roll" which is the worst direction for puckering. 

    See close-up and full size pics of finished panels. As described in Reply # 6941435 on 6685408 my only method change was to coated the 1 inch seam offset with hardware store contact cement.

    robert self


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    Last modified: 10 Mar 2019 17:38 | Deleted user
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