X-Drive Silver - Cruising Großsegel

X-Drive Silver on an X41

X-Drive sails made with S-Glass yarns are a great solution for owners who want sails that look white, like traditional cruising sails, yet have the performance close to sails made with carbon fiber. As the chart shows, S-Glass yarns have nearly three-times the modulus (ability to resist stretch) and tenacity (breaking strength) than those used in woven polyester (Dacron) sails. 

S-Glass yarns are less expensive than carbon and they are heavier, but on smaller sails, the lower stretch resistance and weight difference is not as noticeable.

UK Sailmakers’ tape laying machine puts down up to 11 tapes at a time in a 20 cm wide path (8 inches wide), which means there are hundreds of tapes on the sail. The almost complete coverage of the sail’s surface with S-Glass yarns prevents the sail from distorting. Because of the nearly complete coverage of the sail with tapes, the strength requirement of the base laminate is reduced. This means UK Sailmakers can use lighter and less expensive laminates than would be used in Tape-Drive sails and the savings are passed on.

The standard X-Drive Silver sail comes with taffeta on one side of the sail and there are options to have taffeta put over the tapes on the leech or fully covering the tape side of the sail.

The most common polyester laminates used in X-Drive Silver sails are Dimension Polyant’s Profile PLL 180, which is used on smaller boats and DP’s PM05T, which has a heavier polyester scrim, and is used on bigger boats.

The S-Glass yarns used in X-Drive tapes are dry—not coated in glue—which keeps them from becoming brittle. Keeping the yarns dry improves their flexibility.

X-Drive Silver close up. Click to enlarge.