Dear Linda & Steve, Thanks for your really interesting Weather Handbook, which we began reading. It will certainly take some time…Together with our local sailmaker we are constructing an extra-roached mainsail, which will be ready in spring (this is not California). However, he did not know where to get UHMW fabric to protect this sail from chafe. Can you give us some help, maybe another name for that or a company which sells this stuff in the old world? Many thanks in advance.
UHMW stands for Ultra High Molecular Weight (plastic). It is used to line dump trucks, for chain skids and rollers, bearings and all sorts of other things. The material we use for chafe protection for the backstay with aggressive roaches and where battens chafe on shrouds is thin–typically about 1/16″ or 1.5mm. This is sometimes available with adhesive backing, after which it is sewn on using normal sailmaking machines. It sometimes help to put a layer of sticky back cloth over the UHMW to protect it from the sun. Two sources you might try in the USA are Laird Plastic at 800-873-8410 or Lamont Corp in Clifton, NJ at 973-772-6262. Good luck.