WHAT’S FASTER – X-PLY OR MONOFILM?
WANT TO SAIL FASTER? THOUGHT SO …
Imagine a drag race against your fiercest rival. Maybe you mostly win, maybe you’ve got scores to settle. Because nothing else but winning counts right? Losing is not an option. You’ll agree you’re only as good as your last result.
Starting last season with the 2016 Racing Blade, Loftsails have moved towards increased usage of film in the flat-water, racing and freeride product range.
TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY
You may have misconceptions about monofilm. It gets a bad rap from the ‘value for money’ brigade, who are always wary of the re-sale value of their gear.
Fair enough. But it’s not an issue for you. Because the primary driver in your buying decisions is going fast, isn’t it?
You go faster on film mainly because it’s more stretch resistant. You’d think all those threads in x-ply would control stretch, but flat film is definitely firmer and more stretch resistant because it’s not ‘sandwiched’ like x-ply.
X-ply is also slower because it’s not as flat. The thread matrix affects the surface and, on-water testing, across many brands, is conclusive that flat film delivers added speed and release.
And magazine tests have picked up on this added ‘slipperiness’ too.
FILM AND X-PLY FACTS
• X-plys and monofilms are chemically identical. Both produced from polyester
• Monofilms are single layer polyester, whereas x-plys are two layers of polyester with threads in between the layers. Adhesive is used to laminate the two polyester sides together
• X-plys are less resistant to stretch than monofilm when comparing materials of the same weight, because they’re not single layered
X-ply. Strong in waves. Looks good on the beach. Yet film is faster on the water …
When you leave your sails out in strong sun, the UV element in sunlight affects polyester’s pliability, slowly making the material- both monofim and x-ply – more brittle.
Sadly UV degradation of polyester is accelerated with prolonged exposure to sunlight, so care for your sail – be it x-ply or film – should include keeping the rig out of direct sunlight when possible. (Sailcloth isn’t the only rig material to suffer from sun damage!)
X-plys have slightly better resistance to UV exposure compared to monofilms due to the adhesives used for lamination.
BUT, the colored monofilms Loftsails use are also laminates, the adhesive carrying the color element.
This construction helps to keep Loftsails colored monofilms both pliable and resistant to UV degradation.
Loftsails uses Dimension/Polyant colored monofilms and x-ply laminates. D/P are recognized as the highest quality supplier in our industry.