What makes Fusion M® headsails so great?
Quantum's lamination process uses extreme heat and pressure to thermo-set the adhesives resulting in a cross-linked molecular structure with four to five times the strength of conventional thermo-molded processesit's the key to producing superior membrane sails. Our two-step lamination procedure begins with vacuum bagging to lock fibers in place between film layers. Then infrared heat is applied with six-to-eight tons of pressure (12,000psi â€“ 16,000psi) to thermo-set the adhesives. Films are coated with UV inhibitors to insure protection, longevity and performance.
Sail shape is central to your sailing enjoyment. To achieve the optimal shape, Quantum's talented sail designers use a suite of the most sophisticated computational design tools in the industry. Our proprietary iQ Technology® combines three dimensional shaping, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and finite element analysis (FEA) to create custom shaping, tailored on a sail by sail basis to expected usage and boat-specific constraints such as headstay sag, displacement, and righting moment. Headsail shape features a smooth, flat aerodynamic profile for optimum upwind performance, round, uniform entry to provide a wide steering groove, and a flat, open trailing edge to reduce heeling and weather helm. The shape allows sailing into a higher range of wind conditions before reefing (partial furling) becomes necessary.
Producing a membrane sail shape to the exact specifications of the design process requires advanced sail making technology. Unlike single-step lamination and shaping methods used by other sail makers, Quantum's sail panels are completely cured before the shaping process begins. Fully-cured lamination eliminates the effects of shrinkage and guarantees repeatability. Quantum's Fusion M® sails have the best initial shape and the longest shape life of any sail built today, without sacrificing the durability and reliability that is the fundamental performance requirement of a good cruising sail.
Quantum's Fusion M® headsails are built to take on the most ambitious sailing plans. Though the overall sail structure can be tailored to any wind range, the weight is typically heavier than for a single-purpose sail. Extended corner structure in the head and tack and oversized reinforcements are engineered for the rigors of partial furling. Over-sized, tear-drop shaped plied corner patches are used in all three corners, with patches glued and power pressed into position for maximum bonding and smoothness. Integrated spreader patches guard against chafe and wear. Every aspect of construction is executed to the highest possible standards, with the Quantum Construction Manual providing more than a 1,000 pages of concise detail, so that no matter where you buy your Quantum sail you can be assured of consistent quality.
To adapt to a partially furled (reefed) condition, the furling genoa is designed with several unique features. The strength and weight of the main body is increased to resist stretching, which can lead to the jib becoming fuller as the breeze increases. In general terms, the shape is different with the airfoil flatter overall and straighter in the aft sections than it would be if designed for more moderate conditions. While an older sail can be re-cut for a furling unit, many of the best features of the system, as described below, are compromised, making a re-cut sail less than ideal for this type of use.
Extended Patching in Head and Tack
The first portion that rolls up is the head and tack reinforcing. They need to be extended so that the corner structure is preserved when partially furled.
Foam or Rope Luff
Once partially furled, the halyard can no longer be used to add luff tension as the breeze builds. Strips of foam or rope, offset slightly from the luff to allow for easy rolling, increase the size of the roll. This effectively helps maintain tension on the fabric, preserving luff tension and keeping the shape farther forward where it belongs.
When fully furled, the exposed edge along the leech and foot must be protected. Traditional acrylic (sunbrella) or UV coated woven polyester can be used.
Telltales, leech and foot lines with protective pouches, spreader and stanchion patches, reef-reduction reference marks, draft stripes, and sail bag.
How much can a sail be partially furled?
Structurally, (in terms of remaining intact as a triangle), a headsail can be engineered to be furled to any size. (The sail will get heavier). From a shaping perspective, the quality of the airfoil deteriorates proportionally with the amount it is reefed. Generally speaking, it is best not to reef more than 30% of the foot length (beyond the reef reduction patches) to maintain effective sail shape. For example: a 150% Furling Genoa can be reduced to a foot length of approximately 120%.
Superior reefing and longer shape life.
Quantum is the first sail maker to offer a complete range of composite sails featuring one-piece membrane construction, specifically designed for cruising sailors. They are made for discerning cruisers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and demand ultimate durability and performance. Compared to woven polyester sails, Fusion M® construction provides significantly better shape when new, and dramatically improved shape life over the long haul. Fusion M® headsails can have two to three times the shape life of a standard woven sail. The result is a mainsail that is easier to trim, controls helm and heel, provides superior reefing, points higher, and is faster on every point of sail.
Quantum's Fusion M® furling headsails are developed using the most technically advanced design, lamination, and shaping methods in the industrya proprietary and integrated process known as iQ Technology®. Fusion M® cruising mainsails are fast, easy to handle, efficient, and capable of taking you across the bay or around the world.
Fusion M® Membrane
Fusion M® headsails are engineered as one-piece membranes and designed with a fully-integrated, custom, fiber network that addresses sail loading equally in all directions rather than simply along primary load paths only. This fiber map is developed using highly sophisticated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA), which recognizes the ever-changing nature of sail loads and the need for adaptability. The resulting fiber network is complex and very dense, creating a structural system that supports the entire sail because there is consistent stretch in all directions (referred to as “isotropic”). The Fusion M® isotropic fiber matrix prevents any one part of the sail from becoming overloaded or distorted. The net result is a sail shape that lasts longer and is easy to trim through a wide range of conditions because it changes evenly and uniformly.
Fusion M® headsails are available with different types of fiber, providing a range of options for different size boats and sailing requirements. Fibers are sandwiched between layers of film and rugged, woven polyester taffetas for ultimate durability.
Woven Polyester Headsails