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New sails any advice.
Stephen Moorey
268 Posts
23rd April 2019 - 7:29 pm


The time has come to give Helix a new set of sails.  Ive limited knowledge in this area and found myself pondering over a few issues.  The luff is 34ft, and rake is about 7inches. I measured the leech and its 36ft.  I then got thinking, should you measure the leech with the boom horizontal or right angles to the mast bearing in mind the mast is not vertical.  Also is there a preference to how the sail is designed/cut on the leech. Full or short battens.  Ive not started on the Headsail yet.  Id like to see under it if possible.  Any top tips would be Appreciated.




Nick Roe
21 Posts
24th April 2019 - 2:06 am

Hi Stephen,

Brigand had a fully battened main when we bought her, and we replaced it with another fully battened main. There are some advantages, such as the sail does not flog when head to wind, and it drops a bit more easily because of the weight of the battens, and the sail is supposed to have more drive because there is shape from the battens. On the other hand, it is more difficult to control the shape in different wind conditions because the battens “force” the shape. I know others have a loose footed main, which allows you to alter the shape by adjusting the foot tension. 

There are also lots of cloth types. We went for one with a bigger thread in a rectangular pattern which is supposed to stretch less, so keep its shape for longer. 

We got our main from Jeckels who were helpful and sensibly priced.  They have done a number of Twisters so seemed to give sensible advice based on their previous Twister sails. 

We bought our replacement Genoa from Quay sails who did a good job for us with that ( tri-radial, and again a rectangular reinforced cloth ). 

I think that sail choice is a complex matter that requires quite a bit of time and investigation to understand.  It also depends on what you intend to do on the boat, is serious racing, long distance cruising, local cruising, whether you want to tinker with the sail shape or just put it up, etc. 

I think that the rig on Helix is unusual for a Twister in being fractional rather than the normal masthead, which will probably mean that normal Twister experience may not apply. 

I would talk to a few sailmakers, both ones like Jeckels who have Twister experience, and one local to you and get some prices and advice. Unfortunately, I suspect that this is the busy time of the year for sailmakers, so you might be better to wait till the autumn for the quieter period and “boat show” offers.  

I am sure that others will be able to recommend other sailmakers


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