Woorabinda Lake - Stirling South Australia

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Measuring Procedures for Model  Yacht Sails  
by Ben Morris (last edited 21/07/2013)

Shape in Sails Building Board Making Seams Set the Seam Curvature Making a Sail Sail Material Diagonal Seams etc Back to Intro page Setting the Sails The Claudio Tool Measuring Procedures

Please be aware that the specifics of this procedure apply to Australia though the general principles are probably common elsewhere.

Having made a set of sails and tested them so that you wish to use them in competitions, you are required to have them measured by a qualified measurer.  Most clubs have at least one member who has had some training in doing this and is certified to measure sails.

  • It is absolutely vital that you don't waste this person's time by having a set of sails that are clearly not going to be accepted.  It is your responsibility to read carefully all the relevant information about the requirements of the sails as it applies to your class.  The documents to examine are now outlined rather well on the International Radio Sailing site under the menu item 'Documents' where you will find the detailed documents for the four main classes controlled by this body.  Other classes will have equivalent information on their national or international sites.

  • Measure your own sails according to the rules as they apply to the appropriate class and make sure your sails do lie within the boundaries of the definitions.  In reality the size of the sails should be determined at the building time when laying out the patterns for the panels and final trimming should be made with those definitions in mind.

  • Obtain a sail number from the measurer if the yacht does not yet have a number and ensure the sail numbers and class insignia are attached to the sail in the correct place.  See the article on Sail Identification for where numbers etc should be placed on a sail.  This information is also available in the RRS documentation in appendix E see section E6 dealing with radio controlled yachts.

  • Remember that many sails are usually measured fitted to masts with appropriate bands on them.  For example the Marblehead sails require them to be fitted as the luff measurement of the mainsail is actually measured using the bands on the mast rather than the actual length of the sail (and the sail must fit between those bands).

  • Arrange for the measurer to measure your sails preferably with you present as your help is often appreciated and you can see first hand where any issues that might be a problem are in order for you to fix them then and certainly in the future.

  • Better still is to get some training and become a measurer though be aware you should not formally measure your own sails,

  • When the measurer is happy with the sails they will be stamped and dated. 

  • Often the sail measuring is part of the whole process of measuring a radio yacht including the sails.  Read carefully the information in the ARYA web site about getting your yacht (and sails) registered and measured.