New Sails!

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Rating: 5.00/5 (1 Vote)

Go faster, point higher, heel less, look better. Those were pretty much in order the reasons I wanted new sails. The crew had been doing a pretty good job of getting to know the boat but it was clear to me that the sails were slowing us down. The shapes were busted, the sails were delaminated ....badly in some cases (The main and Light #1 in particular).


I knew when I bought the boat that she was going to need a new wardrobe. I stood on the dock doing my final inspection when Gary asked me if I wanted to drag the sails out and have a look, I declined, the sail bags had pretty much told me everything I needed to know. High Anxiety was a racing boat that had been doing lots of racing. Guess what? Racing is hard on sails. Conclusion? If the sail bags are old the sails inside probably need replacing.

Replacing your sails is not a cheap exercise, In particular when you need to do a few at a time. Undeterred I set about contacting nearly every sail maker with a loft in Sydney, reading reviews online and asking questions. I narrowed it down to North Sails, Doyle, Quantum and Onesails. 

So I organised to pop in and visit each of the lofts to discuss their quotes and recommendations. Each of them had pluses and minuses. I am not going to go into what they were, suffice to say each of the 4 lofts were great to deal with and very professional. I got different advice from each around purchasing plans, sail selection, materials and cuts.

I liked the look of the Onesails Millennium technology as they did not use resin to bond the film. Given what I had witnessed with the sails on board this was an attractive proposition that I was very interested in. I had also had some very good feedback from some people online via a sailing website I solicited opinions from.

I popped into see Ben DeCosta from OneSails in Mona Vale (ex Evolution) and had a good chat to him about the sails and recommendations. After the visit my mind was made up and now down the track I am happy I made the choice to go with One Sails.

Onesails logo

Apart from the fact that Ben and Toby are friendly and knowledgeable guys, the technology sounded good to me, the price was competitive (not the cheapest but far from the most expensive) and the loft was local with the guys being very involved with the RPAYC sailing, Expo's ect.

I ended up going for a

  • #1 - 150% Genoa (Headsail)
  • #2 - 140% Genoa (Headsail)
  • 6 X Leech Batten Mainsail
  • Storm Jib
  • Storm Trysail

We are also in discussions about a #3 100% Genoa as we have created a bit of a gap with our old #2 100% and the #3 which is more like 60%.

I have included some before and after shots below, we are getting the hang of trimming them with the help of Ben and Toby from Onesails who have been out racing with us a couple of times and been very generous in patiently sharing their knowledge which has been great for me and the crew. Morgsy still says she feels a bit silly calling the gusts in like Toby but is getting the hang of it. 

Main Before After

Above is a view of the main. It is not trimmed at the time as you will see but the shape is quite different to the last one. Firstly the roach (width) at the top of the sail has increased and has much more volume than previously. the advantage is more sail area but also the ability to use the backstay to "blade out" the top of the sail in heavy wind. 

The Main seems to have had a big effect on the amount of sail we can carry in stronger winds. It feels like when we are set up correctly we are not suffering as much heel (leaning over sideways) as we did previously and that is helping to go forward not sideways. 

Genoa Before after


Above you can see the new light #1, made from thinner film and the largest Genoa on the boat currently. It is good up to around 10 knots of constant breeze and the occasional stronger gusts predominantly in flat water. Given it is so light banging through the waves is less than ideal for it. 

The #2 looks almost exactly the same although it is made from heavier film so is more robust and is good from around 1-12 knots up to around 18-20 Knots although already we have carried it in more as breeze built and we were close to the end of the race. It will be predominantly used off shore.

As mentioned above we will likely go for a #3 100% for approximately 19-25 knots where we currently only have the old #2 which is in pretty ordinary shape.


Along with those I will get some shots of the Storm Jib and Trysail which we bought for the Cat 4/ Cat 3 safety regulations, we could have got away with extra reefing points in the Main instead of the trysail but once you move up into longer offshore categories you need one anyway. Since that is part of our plan it seemed like a good idea to get it sorted now. Plus it is one of those things that you will be very happy you have if you get caught offshore in a big blow. 

The Storm Jib and Trysails are made of Hi-Vis Orange material and are tiny in comparison to the normal sails. They are for extreme weather only. 

More to come on this!