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North Sails Expert Spencer Colpaert Shares All

Many cruisers love the ease of their roller furling headsails. Here is all you need to know about North’s Radian furling headsail.

When looking at Dacron sails you have two panel layouts of choice, the more traditional Cross Cut sail and the more advanced Radial construction. The most standard and economical option you will see on the water is the Cross Cut layout, meaning that the panels are oriented horizontally from luff to the leech. This is a very basic layout for sails which began in the mid 1800’s and is still being used today when building sails. While this layout is a perfectly good sail for most applications, when looking for a roller furling headsail you want to make sure that your sail has great shape holding properties for a prefect roll every time.

North Sails NorDac Radian cloth stands alone as the premier cloth in the world for minimum stretch resistance. Our Radial panel layouts help to evenly disperse the load throughout the sail to help keep a better flying shape in your sail for a longer period of time, over a Cross Cut sail. This is especially so when looking at the impact a sail sees when being furled in and out numerous times over the years. There is a slight increase in price when moving to a Radial sail construction, however that will save you more in the long run when looking at the ease of use. 

When looking into great options to help extend the life of your sail, and make it easier to use, we always suggest some sort of UV protection for your sail. This is especially so if you are planning to leave the sail furled on the headstay for any period of time. Two great options are either the UV leech and foot cover or a Genoa sock. The leech and foot cover are a sacrificial UV preventative material that is sewn along the leech and foot of your sail so that when your sail is furled up there is no actual sail cloth being exposed to the sun. Over the life of your sail cover it is omen for the threads holding the cover down to deteriorate quicker than the cover itself will. This can be fixed by a simple re-stitching of the cover to make sure that the cover does not begin to pull away from the sail. A second option for UV protection is a genoa sock. This sock is a long piece of material that is attached to a halyard and zipped up along your sail while furled on the headstay. Here at North Sails our Genoa socks also include a line wrapping thought the sock to tighten up the excess material around the headstay preventing it from excessively flapping in the wind. 


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