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Large Mast Block
Large Mast Block $120.00
6300 Estate Frydenhoj, St. Thomas, USVI
Large Mast Block

Virgin Islands St. Thomas Store
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Large Mast Block

Understanding and buying sailboat sails

Sailboat Sails & their connection to efficiency and speed

Every sailor should understand just how important sails are. They act as the engine of your vessel and they are what keep you going while on the water. This is one of the most important parts of a vessel and it needs to be chosen carefully.

In as far as sailing is concerned, new or used sails are the main thing where efficiency, speed, and safety are concerned. When you have good ones, the boat does not heel much, and it reduces weather helm, this in a way makes it easier for you to steer and it can be pleasurable to being out on the water. Sails also help you move at a faster pace and makes sailing so much easier.

What are the main types of new & used sails?

They can be categorized into four.


The mainsails are the main force on a vessel. These can be fitted with reefs, which can be as little as one or as many as four.


These include staysails, genoas, and jibs. Most yachts have got different individual new & used sails or single roller kind of furling headsail. The size & shape of sails are optimized to suit different strengths of wind. In some cases, a number is used to denote from one to four. Larger numbers are an indication of sails that are progressively smaller and are used in stronger wind situations.

Downwind and reaching sails

These are code zeros, cruising chutes, and asymmetric and symmetric spinnakers.

Storm and heavy weather sails

The trysail and storm jib is very important for purposes of safety, especially on offshore yachts that could encounter challenging conditions. Just like the roller reefers have shapes that are inefficient when they are reefed in strong winds, small weather jibs are an important addition to the sails that you may already have.

When you have new & used sails, then you end up improving the different handling characteristics of the boat and also, you improve the reliability and speed.

Sailboat Sails material

A few decades ago, woven Dacron was the only available option the only reason why this material was chosen was that the cloth was very strong and was a resilient one, especially for racing. For cruising, the material could be softer, but more durable. Because of advancements in technology, today we have access to wider material varieties that are used for sailing.

Even today, woven polyester or Dacron is the most accessible option because they are not as expensive and last longer than many other options. However, they tend to lose shape very quickly. Because of tugs, they do not retain shape or design, even when the fabric is still strong and usable.
What you should note is that not all materials are the same; Dacron’s are not the same. When it comes to racing, the cloth is usually coated using melamine finish to ensure that it does not scratch much. For cruising purposes, the finish is impregnated. This means that the cloth is bathed in glue to bind yarns. This offers a long-lasting and softer finish. When the fabric is still new it stretches when winds are strong.

There are yet other sailboat sails that make use of woven cloth and these incorporate strong fibers that make the boat sails resistant and durable. This kind of strong fiber is best for cases where the sails need to stay in the same shape.

Laminate sails

The fibers that are used to create these sails for boats are load-bearing and they are sandwiched between Mylar films. The common fibers, in this case, are aramids, carbon, and polyester. Polyester is the cheapest and carbon the most expensive. Also, the sails are able to retain shape as the price increases. The more material resistance increases, the flex deteriorates. This means that the carbon sails have a shorter life span than any other sail before the failure of the structure happens.

Sourcing new & used sails from experts

It is important to buy boat sails from experts in the field. It is not just about new sails and great designs, used sails need to be serviced and repaired as the need arises, storage and clearing are also critical and they determine how durable the sailboat sails are going to be at the end of the day. You should always look for people who are knowledgeable in the boating industries and those that are conversant with a different style of boats. They can offer very useful advice and assist you in making long-term plans. You can buy sails online easily.

New & Used Sails for Sale

Harbors Shoppers is one of the best places you can choose to buy sails. We have a team of experts who are knowledgeable in this field. Since we understand how critical sails are to safety and performance, we only stock the best boat sails for sale. We can help you stay within your replacement and maintenance program. We have a wide range of sails for yachts as well as for other boats.

We have all your needs catered for with the wide variety of sailboat sails online and other parts of a boat available to suit your boats like boat fenders, portable fuel tank, boat supplies, nautical items, deck hardware, sailboat rigging, boat maintenance tools, parts of a sailboat, boat propellers, boat bilge pumps, marine plumbing, etc.

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