X-Drive Silver - Racing Mainsail
X-Drive sails made with S-Glass yarn reinforced tapes are an attractive alternative for owners on a budget or who prefer sails that look white, while having performance close to sails made with carbon fiber. As the chart shows, S-Glass yarns have nearly three-times the Modulus (ability to resist stretch) and Tenacity (breaking strength) than those used in woven polyester (Dacron) sails.
S-Glass yarns are less expensive than carbon and they are heavier, but on smaller sails, the lower stretch resistance and increased weight is not as noticeable.
UK Sailmakers’ tape laying machine puts down up to 11 tapes at a time in a 20 cm wide path (8 inches wide), which means there are hundreds of tapes on the sail. The almost complete coverage of the sail’s surface with S-Glass yarns prevents the sail from distorting. Because of the nearly complete coverage of the sail with tapes, the strength requirement of the base laminate is reduced. This means we can use lighter and less expensive laminates than would be used in Tape-Drive sails and that savings gets passed on.
The S-Glass fiber tapes in an X-Drive Silver sail are bonded to laminate sail cloth that are made with polyester yarns, which allow these sails to have an all white appearance.
To reduce glare and to give the sail a more performance look, some of the laminates are available with grey taffeta.
The S-Glass yarns used in X-Drive tapes are dry—not coated in glue—which keeps them from becoming brittle. Keeping the yarns dry improves their flexibility.