Forums > Windsurfing General

Monofilm sail life.

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Created by Richiefish Two weeks ago, 12 Feb 2024
Richiefish
QLD, 5609 posts
12 Feb 2024 7:02PM
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How long should the monofilm of a brand new sail last? I have an 8 month old freeride sail that is getting those lines that turn into cracks (some now cracks ) on the main panel in the area that gets a bit scrunched up when inserting mast. This sail does get used a LOT. Probably cops about 4-10 hours of sun a week.

Gestalt
QLD, 14077 posts
12 Feb 2024 7:19PM
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Depends on the type of monofilm. 12 months of 4-6 hours a week of sun was what a mate was told after his sail fell apart.

Richiefish
QLD, 5609 posts
12 Feb 2024 7:29PM
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Of course the only part of this sail that isn't covered by warranty is the monofilm.

Gestalt
QLD, 14077 posts
12 Feb 2024 7:45PM
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That sux pretty bad

PhilUK
879 posts
12 Feb 2024 11:03PM
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Richiefish said..
How long should the monofilm of a brand new sail last? I have an 8 month old freeride sail that is getting those lines that turn into cracks (some now cracks ) on the main panel in the area that gets a bit scrunched up when inserting mast. This sail does get used a LOT. Probably cops about 4-10 hours of sun a week.


Let me guess. Duotone E-Pace & SDM mast?
Your usage equates to approx 242 hours. David Ezzy reckons 300 hours of UV (Hawaii UV strength?), but guess thats on his x-ply sails and not monofilm.
Its the scrunching of the material when rigging/derigging that causes extra problems. I see it a lot where I sail. But with an RDM mast, a cloth panel next to the boom, not to much luff curve and you dont get the problem.

Paducah
2441 posts
12 Feb 2024 11:12PM
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Also depends on the time of year, sitting on the beach vs vertical on the water, etc. I (unfortunately) sail proportionally more in the cooler months so less overhead blazing sun. Sail sits in the shade until I'm ready to get in the water in the warmer months.

It also sounds like you are sailing as much in a month as some of my friends in a year. Scrunch less, more dacron/x-ply and thank your lucky stars you live in a place where this is a problem. Not trying to minimize your plight but the gas/tickets we spend to go someplace breezy is easily the cost of a sail over a season.

Manuel7
1210 posts
13 Feb 2024 3:42AM
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What year? I still use 1990s sails, the monofilm has started to crack. So about 20 years+? It does say not to expose the sail to UVs! Getting close to 1000 sessions.

Modern sails I'd say 2 years is good (200 sessions) when sailing sunny venues but leaving it rigged. Otherwise 1 year (100 sessions).

It depends on UV strength, monofilm quality and thickness.

boardsurfr
WA, 2179 posts
13 Feb 2024 3:57AM
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Cracks are mostly from rigging and derigging. Manuel's numbers that show sails live twice as long if you can leave them rigged show that. Proper technique (never put the sail on the ground while rigging, unless it is downhauled or the boom is on!) and sail design (slightly wider Dacron mast sleeves) make quite a bit of a difference, as does monofilm thickness.
For most sails, you can extend the life by taping cracks before they open up, and by replacing center panels when they go. But some sail brands have started to use thinner monofilm for the top panels, so they also start to disintegrate when the main panel does. Happened to my Severne Freek after about 120 sessions, and required replacing the sail. But other freestyle sails optimized for competition won't even last that long.

Gestalt
QLD, 14077 posts
13 Feb 2024 7:13AM
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PhilUK said..

Richiefish said..
How long should the monofilm of a brand new sail last? I have an 8 month old freeride sail that is getting those lines that turn into cracks (some now cracks ) on the main panel in the area that gets a bit scrunched up when inserting mast. This sail does get used a LOT. Probably cops about 4-10 hours of sun a week.



Let me guess. Duotone E-Pace & SDM mast?
Your usage equates to approx 242 hours. David Ezzy reckons 300 hours of UV (Hawaii UV strength?), but guess thats on his x-ply sails and not monofilm.
It's the scrunching of the material when rigging/derigging that causes extra problems. I see it a lot where I sail. But with an RDM mast, a cloth panel next to the boom, not to much luff curve and you dont get the problem.


this is my understanding of uv as well. Became aware after a friend spoke with ezzy due to a material failure with his sail.

does depend on the type of mono. Some last longer than others. x ply is monofilm.

init9999
NSW, 42 posts
13 Feb 2024 8:19AM
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I had my 2 year old wave sail destroyed yesterday, completely split from below the clew to the mast sleeve. I imagine the mono film is where it started but I have never had a sail completely fail like that, normally I retire my sails after I run out of compatible masts. Not sure if it is bad luck, the brand or the industry push to lighter sails but I will avoid 'flex top' sails going forward as they feel great on the water but are a pain to rig and de-rig without scrunching, not worth the trade off in hassle or longevity in my opinion.

mkseven
QLD, 2308 posts
13 Feb 2024 7:40AM
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Is it all the panels or just one? If it's just the boom panel why not get it replaced? It's disheartening seeing that panel crinkle sometimes on the first rig of some freeride sails.

Richiefish
QLD, 5609 posts
13 Feb 2024 7:54AM
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PhilUK said..

Richiefish said..
How long should the monofilm of a brand new sail last? I have an 8 month old freeride sail that is getting those lines that turn into cracks (some now cracks ) on the main panel in the area that gets a bit scrunched up when inserting mast. This sail does get used a LOT. Probably cops about 4-10 hours of sun a week.



Let me guess. Duotone E-Pace & SDM mast?
Your usage equates to approx 242 hours. David Ezzy reckons 300 hours of UV (Hawaii UV strength?), but guess thats on his x-ply sails and not monofilm.
Its the scrunching of the material when rigging/derigging that causes extra problems. I see it a lot where I sail. But with an RDM mast, a cloth panel next to the boom, not to much luff curve and you dont get the problem.


Wow ! That's exactly right.

MarkSSC
QLD, 622 posts
13 Feb 2024 8:29AM
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I wonder if the most proactive thing we can do is to work out how much life is added to a sail by using the crossply panels. My observation is that there is a substantial increase in the life of a sail simply by having crossply panels. Without the reinforcing, monofilm becomes prone to cracking much earlier, reinforcement is essential not optional. It could be that the brittleness and cracking is accelerated by stress fatigue in the material itself, and not simply by the exposure to UV rays. All plastics hate the sun and will deteriorate over time. I have an NP sail that uses reinforced panels throughout. It has lasted a long time and is still in good condition. My other sails which have plain monofilm panels are not so robust.

mathew
QLD, 2012 posts
13 Feb 2024 12:21PM
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MarkSSC said..
I wonder if the most proactive thing we can do is to work out how much life is added to a sail by using the crossply panels. My observation is that there is a substantial increase in the life of a sail simply by having crossply panels


^^ this. Sort of.

X-ply does crack, but those cracks tend to not puncture. Monofilm cracks, then punctures along the crack.

X-ply has one particular downside -> it distorts the view. This never really bothered me until I tried ariel-off-the-lip where I couldn't judge the the whitewater.

I've been saying for a few years now -> what we need is x-ply without the thread. It is the glue-layer that allows the partial cracks to not puncture, while also not being distorted.

Paducah
2441 posts
13 Feb 2024 10:48AM
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mathew said..
... I've been saying for a few years now -> what we need is x-ply without the thread. It is the glue-layer that allows the partial cracks to not puncture, while also not being distorted.


The glue layer also adds a bit of UV resistance. I'm not sure the glue layer itself makes it more puncture resistant but the two ply nature makes it more flexible as I understand it but your point is correct that a two-ply sail is more resiliant than a single ply monofilm sail

www.loftsails.com/blog/what-s-faster-x-ply-or-monofilm



Edit: cleaned up some nonsensical phrasing.

Gestalt
QLD, 14077 posts
13 Feb 2024 1:45PM
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boardsurfr said..
Cracks are mostly from rigging and derigging. Manuel's numbers that show sails live twice as long if you can leave them rigged show that. Proper technique (never put the sail on the ground while rigging, unless it is downhauled or the boom is on!) and sail design (slightly wider Dacron mast sleeves) make quite a bit of a difference, as does monofilm thickness.
For most sails, you can extend the life by taping cracks before they open up, and by replacing center panels when they go. But some sail brands have started to use thinner monofilm for the top panels, so they also start to disintegrate when the main panel does. Happened to my Severne Freek after about 120 sessions, and required replacing the sail. But other freestyle sails optimized for competition won't even last that long.





Not to single out your post as i think you have expressed a view that gets a lot of support on this forum but i'd like to present a different view point. So please don't take this personally.

rant on,

Suggesting it's the fault of the person rigging the sail, or there is a proper rigging style is victim blaming. Ritchie has been windsurfing a very long time, i am sure he knows how to rig a sail.

why should someone who spends $1.3k on a sail need to add tape to cracks or replace panels. Surely the sail should be fit for purpose and rigging is part of that. As soon as he replaces a panel the resale value is gone and there is a chance the shape too. As far as keeping sails rigged to extend life, if you look at most brands warranties, leaving sails rigged voids warranties.

Surely as consumers we should be able to rig and derig a sail without breaking it or use a sail for a year without it falling apart.

I had a read through the duotone warranty on their website. it doesn't fill me with any consumer confidence. unlike other brands that are much clearer about what they cover.

Sail brands know exactly how long the materials they use will last. they make a choice with this in mind when picking materials. To exclude monofilm from the warranty is disingenuous.

lets see brands start to advertise how many hours their gear will last. i don't think people would buy a sail if they knew that the mono was only going to last a limited time.

as consumers we need to push back against this to show brands we expect more from them. Richie would be best voting with his wallet and ditching duotone and as a forum we would be better voicing our genuine concern about this.

PhilUK
879 posts
13 Feb 2024 4:55PM
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Gestalt said..

Some last longer than others. x ply is monofilm.


x-ply is 2 layers of monofilm glued together. As Paducah mentioned the glue stops the UV from going through the whole panel. So the side out of the sun gets little UV until you change tacks and sail back in/out. Then as Mathew mentioned (which I hadnt realised but it makes sense) the glue stops any cracks from spreading. Which is why its a good idea to tape up any cracks as you get them.
I just watched Monty's video (6 years old now), I think thats where my knowledge comes from. In the past he said their performance sails were monofilm as its smoother and better for airflow, but has since made the 3 cam Switchblade in x-ply. Thats definitely the sail I would buy if I didnt have Ezzy sails. They also come with RDM cams up to 7.8m in size, another plus for the non competitive freerider.

As you (Gestalt) said, sail brands know exactly how long the materials they use will last. they make a choice with this in mind when picking materials. I've discussed the issue of rigging creases on Duotone E-Pace with one of their agents in the UK. Both in person and on FB, must be 3 years ago now. Yet the sails are still the same. Did he just ignore my comments, or raise the point upwards? I'll ask him next time I see him. You can buy a 2023 7.3m at 20% off, GBP 591. Buy cheap, buy twice. Thats what a local here did, in 2015 he got a E-Pace the same time as I got an Ezzy Lion. I bought a replacement in 2020, he had bought another E-Pace as the 1st was knackered, but when that replacement was in a worse state he went back to using the 2015 sail. I used my old Ezzys to learn to foil on. I bought the replacement as they were lighter and upgraded in performance, more twist, x-ply window not vinyl etc.
Duotone wont change their sail until people wisen up and stop buying them. But they are 'cheap' from a major brand sail.

Gestalt
QLD, 14077 posts
13 Feb 2024 10:09PM
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Duotone are comparable in oz to most other brands price wise Aka not cheaper here unfortunately.

sheddweller
219 posts
13 Feb 2024 8:36PM
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Gestalt said..



rant on,

Suggesting it's the fault of the person rigging the sail, or there is a proper rigging style is victim blaming. Ritchie has been windsurfing a very long time, i am sure he knows how to rig a sail.

why should someone who spends $1.3k on a sail need to add tape to cracks or replace panels. Surely the sail should be fit for purpose and rigging is part of that. As soon as he replaces a panel the resale value is gone and there is a chance the shape too. As far as keeping sails rigged to extend life, if you look at most brands warranties, leaving sails rigged voids warranties.

Surely as consumers we should be able to rig and derig a sail without breaking it or use a sail for a year without it falling apart.





Except there can be no doubt , no doubt at all, that some people damage kit more often and more severely than other people.
I know someone who purchased a sail then sold it for the same price he brought it for 10 years later. He sails a lot, but he is an exceptionally careful man. He is the kind of person you want to buy a second hand car from, except you cant, because he buys new and keeps them for 20 years. I am still waiting to buy his latest car, ( from 2006) it is immaculate in almost every way.
I have another friend who absolutely fu**s his wndsurf kit after a few months. And i would never ever buy a second hand car off him.
Battens- i know people who break them just looking at them, and other people who go years and years without breaking a single one. I have watched someone rig up a purchased second hand racing sail and break half the battens, the previous owner looking on and going WTF? I have watched people rig up lightweight sails on concrete, and then are surprised the sail is damaged? And there definitely is proper rigging styles to suit various designs, as long as it is communicated, i see no problem with that.

Having said all that- my personal crusade it on the glues used to hold sails together- i think they must test it to fail just when the warranties run out!

sheddweller
219 posts
13 Feb 2024 8:42PM
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PhilUK said..



As you (Gestalt) said, sail brands know exactly how long the materials they use will last.


They probably dont mostly as it all depends on usage.
You can measure sailcoth life in sun hours. But this is different all over the world. Then when having a session, you also leave your sail rigged on the beach for 2 hours when sailing for 2 hours. The sail is aged more from being flat on the sand than it is from your sailing session. Do you rig on grass? or ? and so on and so forth.

ozzimark
49 posts
13 Feb 2024 8:43PM
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On the opposite end of the spectrum, how's the long-term durability of the mostly-Dacron HSM sails?

Jasonwave
76 posts
13 Feb 2024 11:33PM
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On any given day I rig my sail like I choose my underpants - I only put the expensive flimsy ones on when the forecast is looking promising.

sheddweller
219 posts
13 Feb 2024 11:56PM
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Jasonwave said..
On any given day I rig my sail like I choose my underpants - I only put the expensive flimsy ones on when the forecast is looking promising.


Doggerland
101 posts
14 Feb 2024 12:59AM
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ozzimark said..
On the opposite end of the spectrum, how's the long-term durability of the mostly-Dacron HSM sails?





Had the ME SF's, 3 size quiver, bought new. Dacron lasts, heavy as f#ck though.
The vinyl window...every one of them shattered (yes-massive starlike failure) over a short span of time in winter.
Nowadays HSM uses x-ply.Wouldn't ever go back to SF's.
Opted for KS3's after, much better sail, strong and durable.
Now on a German discount brand of some renown, the one with the "cheaper materials" ;) ....pretty, pretty good and they get out & bashed a lot.

flyingmujol
33 posts
14 Feb 2024 1:38AM
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PhilUK said..

I just watched Monty's video (6 years old now), I think thats where my knowledge comes from. In the past he said their performance sails were monofilm as its smoother and better for airflow, but has since made the 3 cam Switchblade in x-ply. Thats definitely the sail I would buy if I didnt have Ezzy sails. They also come with RDM cams up to 7.8m in size, another plus for the non competitive freerider.


I find also interesting that you can buy a Switchblade in monofilm but not a Racingblade, their dedicated slalom sail.

In my opinion Loft pay attention to detail and make sails that last. I recently sold an old Loft Lipwave (discontinued model) to a beginner. A few seasons stored in my garage but plenty of usage before. I was surprised by the good condition it was, for a sail that old, when I took the sail out of the bag. Now I have 4.7, 4.2 and 3.4 Purelips and they seem to be well built too.

choco
SA, 3988 posts
14 Feb 2024 6:55AM
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X Ply is great on the sail body but in my observations not on the luff panels, continually rolling the sails creates creases where the Xply strand cross over and creates a weak point

aeroegnr
1450 posts
14 Feb 2024 8:19AM
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Just blew through the reinforced foot on one of my favorite sails. Not quite 2 years but almost. I was thinking, it's just a tack on a small board what could go wrong.



Gestalt
QLD, 14077 posts
14 Feb 2024 12:21PM
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Was a body part involved in the destruction.

aeroegnr
1450 posts
14 Feb 2024 10:57AM
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Gestalt said..
Was a body part involved in the destruction.


A sharp, sail-seeking knee

boardsurfr
WA, 2179 posts
14 Feb 2024 12:18PM
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aeroegnr said..
A sharp, sail-seeking knee


A few years back when I was still doing karate, I often practiced on my windsurf sails during crashes. Bad idea, since knees won a lot of times, and elbows every single time. Giving up karate completely seems to have helped clear up this old-guy confusion about which sport I was doing .

Tardy
4908 posts
14 Feb 2024 1:15PM
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I thought I was smart going out at Coronation beach before the wind came up on a 6,8 Warp race sail ,all the wave sailers where watching me wishing they had a 6,8 but they knew what was coming ,,I was jumping and having a ball ,then the wind picked up to the normal 28 knots
I pulled off the biggest jump in my life... i stayed out to long ,but as it through me forward i was gone ,because I had hooked up again ,un knowingly .
anyway on the way down the sail hit first flat on the water ,I was in the air heading for this sail unhooked by now as I was in the air for like 5 minutes ,,my footy skills kicked in and i shoulder charged this sail ,it was like hitting a 130 kg Samoan front rower ,I did manage to go right through the sail and out the other side
my shoulder was aching all night so had to get drunk to sleep ,but mono film is hard and it does take a good knee as as boardsurfr said but keep your sports apart ,keep them out of the sun ,and don't go wave jumping race sails unless you want a big cheer as you leave the water .with a totalled sail ,but I reckon after 4-5 years of sailing its time to throw away ,if you are a weekend warrior like me ,my 8,5 cheetah was my most used sail and being a Ezzy they are tough ,but it was 3 years and it was gone ,I used it 2 times a week ,most of the years ,its still sailable but very worn ,its like a tire the more you use it the life diminishes .



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"Monofilm sail life." started by Richiefish