Racing 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 results in 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 speed, it’s sail shape that makes the difference. To achieve the ideal shape, Quantum’s sail designers use proprietary computational tools, part of the iQ Technology® suite, to create custom shaping, tailored on a sail-by-sail basis to 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 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 three 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 30’.

  • Polyester Composites: Layered construction featuring large, straight, untwisted polyester yarns (scrim) sandwiched between two layers of polyester film. They can use exterior skins of woven polyester taffetas on one or both sides for additional durability. 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 40’

  • 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’.