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#106055 - 11/08/08 06:00 AM Spinnaker cloth?
RobA Offline

Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 92
I saw this on maybe GG website? Or another lite weight gear site.

I don't follow the gear very close on the internet. But is this the new fabric to replace silnylon?

Seems lighter, waterproof, stronger?

Tell me more about this sail cloth and what some of you folks are using it for.

#106056 - 11/10/08 03:52 PM Re: Spinnaker cloth? [Re: RobA]
Spock Offline

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
Search old posts on this and other sites. The answers vary. We all long for stronger, lighter materials.

#106057 - 11/16/08 07:32 PM Re: Spinnaker cloth? [Re: RobA]
Ender Offline

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 779
Loc: ME
Essentially, yes. It's all of those things. Well, not really stronger. It's a much lighter fabric, so it doesn't deal nearly as well with abrasion and punctures, so more care is needed with it. But, it's a good way to save a few ounces in a tarp. And good quality spinnaker is more waterproof than sil nylon, so you'll get less of the misting in a heavy rain. There's a couple tarptents out there now made of it... the Squall Classic is the one I've seen in person, and it kinda rocks... I want one.

#106058 - 11/17/08 03:59 AM Re: Spinnaker cloth? [Re: RobA]
CamperMom Offline

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1220
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Spinnaker is less forgiving than silnylon, in my experience. It can haved an almost brittle quality when under tension. Stitching can act like "tear here" perforations.

OYOH, I have a Spinnaker wallet that has had daily use for 3 or so years. It is really beaten up and should be replaced, but still holds money, credit cards, etc. My first aid stuff sack, made about the same time, is also holding up well. It is less beaten up, but normally rides untouched in my hanging food bag.


#106059 - 11/17/08 06:37 AM Re: Spinnaker cloth? [Re: CamperMom]
JAK Offline

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
Here is a good web-site on spinnaker cloth as used for spinnakers in the sailmaking industry. Spinnakers are those big colourful balloon-like sails that modern racing boats use downwind. The sails need to be strong, yet light. It is also important that they don't absorb too much water, because that makes them heavier. The ones for really light air sometimes do breath and absorb a little, so that they lift better as long as they don't get wet.

Point I am making is that spinnaker cloth varies. The first spinnakers were made of silk, soon replaced by nylon. A new material called Cuben fiber is now coming into use, and can be lighter still. In backpacking circles we call this Cuben fibre, not Spinnaker cloth, even though it is principally used for Spinnakers.

OK, here is that link..

Sailcloth weight converter,
which will explain why 0.5oz Spinnaker Cloth actually weighs 1.02 to 1.13 oz per square yard.
Click on the sailcloth weight converter!

If you think about what its designed for, it has many backpackign applications. The stuff on the upper bounds of each generic band will be more waterproof, but not the total waterproofing you may want for a tarp. If you want to waterproof it yourself you might want something on the lower end of a band as it might absorb your own waterproofing better. The stuff on the lower end also makes a nice semi-breathable wind layer. The absolute lightest nylon spinnaker cloth is about 0.8 oz per square yard, but you are more likely to find stuff that weighs 1.0 oz per square yard left untreated or 1.5 oz per square yard if its been waterproofed. If there is a sailmaker in your town I would start there. They may also make you an excellent tarp if you give them a pattern. They are also used to making stuff like sail covers, sailbags, duffel bags, so they could also make you an ultra-light backpack if you gave them a pattern.

#111249 - 02/14/09 05:10 AM Re: Spinnaker cloth? [Re: RobA]
jorgoz Offline

Registered: 04/25/06
Posts: 151
Loc: Belgium
Depends for what you want to use it for i guess.

Check out post nr. 34 on the following link

TarpTent Sublite in Silnylon

It's about a couple of shelters pitched in windy condition. You'll be suprised which ones survived (unscathed that is).


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