Cruising Upwind Sails

Tri-Radial Sails

Tri-radial Sail Construction

Tri-radial sails utilize panels of pre-made materials radiating from the three corners of the sail. The long, or “warp”, fibers of the material are oriented to align with the primary load paths. Better alignment creates lower stretch improving shape holding. Tri-radials provide a performance upgrade for those who are looking for more than what a classic woven polyester sail can provide.

Designed for Maximum Control

When it comes to boat handling and sailing enjoyment, it’s sail shape that makes the difference. Sail shapes are custom-designed for your boat by Quantum’s experienced sail designers based on expected usage and boat-specific constraints such as mast bend, displacement and righting moment. Sail shapes feature a smooth, flat aerodynamic profile for optimum upwind performance, with an open trailing edge to reduce heeling and weather helm. The shape allows sailing into a higher range of wind conditions before reefing becomes necessary.

The Right Materials

There is a broad spectrum of material options ranging from simple woven materials, to custom composites and they are available from a variety of suppliers. In general, there are four categories:

  • Woven Radial: Woven polyester specially designed with strength in the long (warp) direction so they can be used in tri-radial panel configuration. Compared to cross-cut woven polyester, this material offers 10 to 20% less stretch due to the material and the efficiency of the panel layout. Works well on boats up to 40’.

  • Spectra® Reinforced Woven Radial: Radial woven materials, reinforced with Spectra® or other high-modulus fibers, provide additional strength and durability under high loads. They offer similar performance to woven radial material with the added benefit of better performance under high loads, making them useful in boats up to 60’.

  • Polyester Composites: Composite construction featuring large, straight, untwisted polyester yarns (scrim) sandwiched between two layers of woven polyester taffetas. The fiber network does the work of resisting stretch, augmented by a layer of polyester film for balance, while the woven taffetas provide rugged protection against, UV, tear, and chafe. Compared to cross-cut woven polyester, these materials offer as much as 40 to 50% better stretch resistance. Ideal for boats up to 55’

  • High Modulus Composites: Identical to polyester composites except the fiber network consist of high-modulus fibers like Spectra®, carbon or aramid, with the dramatically reduced stretch these fibers provide. Depending on fiber type and compared to cross-cut woven polyester, these materials offer four to five times better stretch resistance. Ideal for larger boats up to 80 feet.