Cotton cloth for first sail?
by Jim Anderson
I'm intending to make my own sails, and am currently reading The Sailmaker's Apprentice with an eye to practicing the techniques involved.
For my first attempt, I was thinking of using cotton cloth, since it has the reputation of being easier to work with than Dacron (though much more stretchy).
Once I have a bit of practice, I'm quite willing to buy some Dacron sailcloth to make my second (improved) set of sails.
My boat will be a 12 foot dinghy, constructed of 1/4 and 3/8 ply, and sprit-rigged.
I would only hope to get one season of sailing from my initial sails, then apply what I've learned in order to build a second set over the winter.
I know that cloth of around 4 oz weight would be best, but I can only find canvas in 7 oz and heavier.
What cotton fabric would you all recommend?
Or should I just go straight to 4 oz Dacron?
Thanks for any advice you might provide!