The difference between crosscut and radial sewn sails

Den 27. march 2015
Af Resen Sails
A lot of people ask us what the difference is between crosscut and radial sewn (also called triradial) sails and which is the better option among the two. In this article, we review the differences and explain which type is better.

First a little about sail cloth
When making sail cloth, it is woven just like normal fabric. If you´ve had needlework at school, you´ve probably tried to weave. You start by tightening the threads parallel to each other and then weave the thread across, up and down.

On the part where the thread is stretched to begin with, the threads are completely straight (see green arrow in the illustration). On the other part, where the thread is running up and down, they are wavy (see red arrow in the illustration). The straight threads can hardly extend, whereas the wavy threads can extend (because they wave up and down). Additionally, the sail cloth can extend in the diagonal part.

See larger illustration

The lay out of sail panels
The pressure on the sail is from the corners/tacks and goes right into the middle of the sail.

See larger illustration

As you can see above, the pressure on a crosscut sewn sail is across and a bit randomly off the sailcloth lanes. On a radial sewn sail the sailmaker puts the webs in the direction in which the sail cloth is most stretch stable. That way, the sail will maintain its shape - both when sailing, and in the long term. A radial sewn sail will keep its shape for a longer period compared to crosscut sails. Most sails on boats today are made from crosscut, despite the fact that radial has far more advantages.

At Resen Sails there is only a 15-25% difference on the price of a crosscut and a radial sewn sail. There is much more than 15-25% work and waste in production of a radial sewn sail, therefore getting more value for your money.

If you are within that budget, we definitely recommend that you choose a radial sewn sail.

Try to click on "Calculate" in our sail calculator and see the price of sails for your boat. In the tabs just above the price, select "Radial" and see the prices of radial sewn sails.