Kemp’s radial cut laminate racing sails can be made in a variety of fabrics and fibre types, depending upon your sailing program, your yacht and your budget.
Laminates are like a ‘sandwich’ of Mylar film with the Scrim (that’s the internal net or grid) giving the strength and being made of a choice of High Modulus fibres:
Polyester (PET) & Pentex (PEN) – ‘Pentex’ is a chemical hybrid, developed from PET by Honeywell and it has up to 40% higher modulus strength than regular Polyester PET. Kemp Sails recommend the PX BLACK (PXB) Line fabric – for that ‘Stealthy’ appearance.
Aramid (Kevlar, Twaron & Technora ) – has become the predominant fiber for racing sails. It is stronger, has a higher strength to weight ratio than steel, and has a modulus that is five times greater than PET, and about twice as high as PEN.
Kevlar, along with other aramid fibers, have poor UV resistance (Kevlar loses strength roughly twice as quickly in sunlight as PET) and rapid loss of strength with flexing, folding and flogging. Minimal flogging and careful handling can greatly extend the life of a Kevlar sail.
Twaron has a slightly lower modulus strength than Kevlar 29 but a slightly higher resistance to flex fatigue. The fiber’s lower UV resistance is enhanced by dying the naturally gold fiber black.
Made in the latest ‘State of the Art’ Carbon fibre material GPL. Carbon Fibre is a high modulus synthetic fibre made from carbon atoms. It is largely unaffected by UV but can be very brittle as it becomes more ‘refined’. Typically the stronger the Carbon fibres are, the more brittle the fibre is.
Taffetas – Taffeta’s are a lightweight woven layer, that can be inserted into or added to the outside surface of the laminate. The addition of a taffeta adds considerable strength to the stitching and seam joins and helps avoid the film of the laminate cracking at the hinge points. Internal Taffetas don’t add the chafe resistance in the same way that external taffetas do, but they soak up less water, so they have other advantages.
Above all, Kemp Sail understand how to maximise a sail inventory with a combination of sails that give you the desired level of performance and with a longevity that is understood and that regularly exceeds expectations.