Stratis GPC performance cruising sails have been developed to deliver the rugged durability required of cruising sails that are folded or furled while maintaining many of the performance benefits of racing sails.
GPC is the tough alternative to a performance film sail without the performance decrease commonly experienced from a standard panel construction, or from a laminated sail cloth produced by an external sailcloth supplier.
Stratis GPC, because of the variety of fibres that can be selected, is equally well suited to superyachts as it is smaller cruising yachts.
The use of a wide variety of different fibre combinations or even single use fibres allows us to custom build each sail to a particular customer’s requirements.
The fibres that we are using in Stratis GPC laminates are typically Polyester, Vectran, Technora and medium to low modulus carbon. These fibres are used in conjunction with specific resins which are selected for their long term durability and resistance to high humidity and wet conditions
External taffetas can be specified on either or both sides of the membranes depending on requirements for scuff-resistance.
GPC laminates can also incorporate added compression and primary yarns to fully address the issues associated with roller furling sails.
Custom reef points built into the laminates also help improve performance through a wide range of conditions.
Stratis GPC sails are laminated under 100% controlled conditions at our climate and humidity controlled Stratis production plant in Auckland, New Zealand
Following are brief descriptions of the fibres used in Stratis GPC laminates.
Polyester is naturally a white fibre but it is also available in dyed black. It is the fibre that is used in the various forms of Dacron in a woven form as well as in cruising laminates produced by sailcloth manufacturing companies.
Polyester is a cost effective and relatively stretchy fibre which helps to keep down the loads on sheets and attachment points due to the elasticity in the sail.
The use of polyester in a Stratis GPC sail is particularly suitable for small to mid size cruising sails. The shape holding advantage that using polyester as a laminate gives over a panel sail construction is substantial over a wide wind range with the additional performance benefits from specifically engineered reef points. Polyester fibres provide performance and durability as a cost effective option to cruise laminates commonly used for performance cruising sails.
Technora is a black coloured fibre originally developed to replace steel belting in tyres. It is a very durable fibre and is resistant to breakdown from either flex or UV. Technora has low stretch characteristics but does not out perform carbon or Kevlar in this field. It is particularly suitable for combining with carbon or Twaron in a sail to increase durability.
Technora is a useful fibre for both Stratis GPC and Stratis GPX and works well in synergistic combinations with carbon fibre, where the membrane must go the extra mile. It’s one of our favourites for offshore racing applications.
Carbon fibre is a black fibre which has the highest strength and lowest stretch of all of the fibres we use. Carbon is used where light weight and low stretch are essential for sail performance. Carbon is often combined with other fibres in the laminate for added durability.
The modulus and tensile strength of carbon fibre used in Stratis membranes exceeds that of all the other fibres but comes at a price with the brittle nature of the material resulting in far lower resistance to flex fatigue. It is however virtually impervious to UV degradation, and when used appropriately it is a very useful fibre for medium to large cruising yachts and superyachts which have boom-furling mainsails that limit the bend radius of the fibres while in storage.
Vectran/Carbon Fibre Combo
Vectran mixes well with Carbon fibre and adds significant durability to a carbon fibre sail. The carbon is used in GPC membranes primarily as the significant load bearing fibres while the Vectran, because of its resistance to strength loss created by flex, adds durability to the membrane. This application is perfect for highly loaded sails such as large cruising yachts and superyachts.
Whether your boat is a sailing dinghy or a 56 metre superyacht; we can engineer the ideal sail to suit your needs.