Rolly Tasker Sails, Australian sailmaker since 1949 - Servicing Australia,NZ and the South Pacific


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Frequently asked questions

How can you offer me quality sails at cheaper prices?

There are a number of very good reasons why you can buy a high quality and performance sail from Rolly Tasker Sails Australia at a great price.

Firstly, due to the large quantity of sails we manufacture, Rolly Tasker Sails has extraordinary buying power to procure the best cloth and accessories at the right price compared to small manufacturers or the local loft. They also make a large portion of their own hardware through their company Pacific Nylon Plastics.

Naturally, as the largest sail loft in the world, they have a highly productive and efficient manufacturing operation to deliver to you the best quality product at a great price.

Our increased efficiency in construction and reduced material waste along with our purpose build low emission sail loft also helps. We use the latest technology wherever it makes sense to do so. Our state of the art SMAR Azure software has maximum production effectiveness for the minimum in environmental impact. To this end, we also use a modern auto-nesting software for the most efficient use of sailcloth panels, thus reducing fabric waste to a minimum.

Rolly Tasker has launched a range of pre-fabricated ‘stock sails’ which offer exceptional value for money compared to one-design sails.

While fast turn-around time from order to delivery is guaranteed, the major benefit is that there is a significant cost saving to the boat owner as being ‘stock sails’ with standard dimensions and finish, they only have to be designed once, materials can be pre-ordered in large volume and they can be made at a time when the sail loft is under low demand.

How can I be assured I am getting a quality product?

Rolly Tasker Sails have been renowned worldwide for their high quality, performance and great value sails for over 70 years. They only use the best sailcloth from ONLY the world leading manufacturers as Bainbridge, Contender, Dimension Polyant and Challenge, along with top quality US and European hardware.

As Australia’s leading distributor of Rolly Tasker sails for 20 years, Rolly Tasker Sails Australia will manage your sail order from initial consultation through design, manufacture to delivery to your boat. We have extensive experience across a wide range of yachts from day boats to coastal cruisers and offshore racers, and can specify the right sail or sail wardrobe for you. We will consult with you at every step of the way on the best cloth, cloth weight, shape and design of your new sail and naturally, all our sails come with a full warranty.

How do I get accurate measurement’s to order my new sails?

This can be done in one of three ways. Firstly, we have a large database of yacht rig and sail dimensions built up over many years which detail the critical measurements from which we are able to design and build your new sails. Alternatively, if you have the skills and someone to lend you a hand, then we can send you our easy to understand sail measurement form, which you can complete and return.

If your boat is located in the Sydney basin, then we may be able to personally measure it at no additional charge.

How long will it take to receive my sail after ordering it?

Rolly Tasker Sails has one of the largest and most efficient sail lofts in the southern hemisphere. Through our experienced team we can usually design, manufacture and deliver your new sail to you within 28 days of a confirmed order.

How do I get my sails altered or repaired?

We only build sails of the highest quality out of the best cloth and materials, however if you require repairs or alterations then we can assist.

If you are based in NSW, we have our own repair loft where all alterations / repairs can be performed. If interstate then we have a wide network of sail lofts across Australia. At an international level, Rolly Tasker Sails have over 20 international dealers who can give advice and carry out any work required. At Rolly Tasker Sails Australia we support you for the life of your sails.

Do you deliver overseas?

We regular sell our sails to sailors who are traversing the world or based in a remote location and all of our overseas deliveries are efficiently managed by UPS. In some cases we can supply you with your new sail wardrobe duty free - for more information refer to Yacht in Transit under Services.

What type of spinnaker or downwind sail is best for me?

This is a common question. Be sure to checkout Downwind Sail Page for more information.

What’s the difference between a Dacron and a laminate sail?

Dacron or cloth sails are made of polyester fibers that are woven into panels of cloth that are cut into various shapes and stitched together according to the sail design. They can be either cross-cut or tri-radial cut. While Dacron sails will last for many years, they will only hold their optimum shape for a few years before they begin to stretch out and become baggy. The panels are the weak point and cross-cut Dacron sails that have large horizontal panels will stretch more quickly. The alternative is to have a tri-radial cut sail whereby the panels are cut into smaller panels that are then arranged in a way that they will help distribute the forces and prolong the useful life of the sail.

The alternative to Dacron is a laminated sail. These sails are made by laminating various membranes and layers together to form a sail comprised of a single piece. There are no panels involved in their construction, instead fibers are run along the stressed load lines of the sail to evenly distribute the forces placed on them. In general, a laminated sail can hold its shape longer and offer a weight saving over a Dacron sail but it has a shorter life span and their ultimate demise is where the laminates separate in a process known as delamination.

Polyester cruising versions of laminated sails last longer than traditional laminate sails by providing the sails with a Taffeta coating, which itself is made of Dacron. This will extend the life of the sail to 5 to 7 years. Taffeta can be applied on one side for some protection or both sides for maximum protection. Taffeta gives the sail a white look, with the fibers shinning through.

The final choice comes down to what suits your needs best. If you are racing, then a tri-radial cut laminated sail may be the right choice. If you are doing coastal cruising or short offshore jaunts, laminated sails with taffeta coating will provide a wonderful service life for you. If you plan on sailing far offshore, cross-cut, or better still, tri-radial cut Dacron sails might be your best choice.

Find out more about or sailcloth and construction here.

What’s the benefit of a Spinnaker Sock?

A spinnaker or ‘dousing’ sock is ideal for all short handed or cruising sailors.  They are designed to enhance your enjoyment of sailing by making the hoisting and lowering of either a Symmetrical or Asymmetrical Spinnaker as fast and easy as can be without the need for additional hands.

The key features of a high quality Rolly Tasker Spinnaker Sock are that it has:

- A separate internal rope compartment to avoid tangles (one for the spinnaker and one for the up/downhaul lines)

- A coloured full length stripe, so that you can check that the sock is not twisted

- A large low friction mouth so that it can be pulled down over the shoulders of the spinnaker with ease

- Quality integrated pulleys for the up/down line

How do I know how long at Spinnaker Sock I need?

We recommend that the sock should be approximately one metre shorter than the leech on a symmetrical spinnaker and approximately the same length as the leech on an asymmetrical spinnaker. This enables you to pull the sock down firmly over the spinnaker thus eliminating twists.

Available for online purchase

What is Luff Foam?

When a furling headsail is reefed to be a smaller sail the smaller size sail shape is not as good as the full size sail shape, as the sails draft is in a different position. To compensate for this, we add a section of foam along the sails luff. Thereby, as the sail is partially furled, the foam adjusts the sails draft for better performance as a roller reefed sail.

The cheap alternative to luff foam is rope, which we do not recommend. It leaves a hard lump behind the luff tape whereas foam is shaped to take up the belly in the correct place, it's flatter giving a smoother entry and it does not crush.

Do I need Storm Sails?

For general weather sailing especially in enclosed waters, reefed headsails and mainsail are usually adequate. Dedicated Storm Sails are however a necessity when sailing in areas with the risk of strong winds and heavy weather. While some people consider that a deeply reefed furling genoa and mainsail can do the job, such sails are not very efficient as there is typically too much draft in the sail, which translates to increased heeling and poor ability to point high.

There are two types of storm sails, a Storm Jib which is hoisted forward of the mast in place of the headsail and a Storm Trysail which is hoisted aft of the mast in place of the mainsail. Purpose designed Storm Jibs and Storm Trysails provide the most control with the power to steer and control your boat in the waves.

Dedicated storm sails are also demanded as being part of the sail wardrobe by most international organisations for offshore racing events including in Australia and insurance premiums can be cheaper if you carry them onboard.

At Rolly Tasker Sails Australia we provide a range of ‘stock size’ storm sails in either heavy duty white Premium US Dacron with dayglo orange patch or in full Dayglo orange, to suit the full range of yachts.

What is a Gale Sail?

A Gale Sail is a storm sail with a luff pocket that enables it to be hoisted over the top of a furled headsail. It’s design provides the safest and easiest way to hoist a storm jib on a cruising boat where there is a furler fitted, by eliminating the dangerous job of unfurling, dropping and stowing away the furled working sail in windy conditions to free up the furler to hoist a conventional storm jib.

The Gale Sail is hoisted over the furled headsail using the spinnaker halyard, and has a better aerodynamic shape than a conventional Storm Jib hanked on to a removeable headstay, or a partially furled sail.

All Rolly Tasker Sails Australia our Gale Sails are made from premium US Dacron using strong cross-cut construction for the ultimate in safety. We use heavy duty stainless steel cringles, large corner reinforcing, UV stabilised thread throughout and a super strong finish with hand worked leather detailing.

What size Storm Sail do I require?

At Rolly Tasker Sails Australia we carry a range of standard size Storm Sails, Trysails and Gale Sails either in white Premium US Dacron with a dayglo orange patch or full dayglo orange, which cater for most boat needs. If you contact us with your boat design we can calculate the optimum size for you.

Of note, the AYF Rule for maximum sizes are:

- A storm jib of area not greater than 5% x (height of the foretriangle (I) and luff maximum length 65% height of the foretriangle.

- A storm trysail capable of being sheeted independently of the boom with area not greater than 17.5% x (mainsail luff length x mainsail foot length).  The storm trysail shall have neither headboard nor battens. 

What are Sail Battens and do I need them?

Sails can be built with or without sail battens however today it is rare to see a mainsail without some form of leech supporting batten. Put simply, a sail batten is a flexible insert running within a pocket usually parallel to the foot of a sail (though they can run vertically especially with furling sails) that provides added stiffness and definition to the sail's airfoil cross-section.  The most common use of sail battens is in the roach of a mainsail, though they can also be found on the roach of headsails. The batten enables the leech to be extended past the straight line that runs from the head and the clew.  This assists in supporting a sail's shape along the leech, improving its durability by limiting the effects of flogging of the fabric and enabling larger roaches to be built into the sail, hence increasing its area.  There are commonly three types of battened mainsails, fully battened, semi battened and leech battened.

Fully Battened.  A fully battened mainsail uses a number of battens running horizontally across the full width of the sail, each carrying the leech compression loads all the way to the mast. They resist the forces on the sail that try to compress the leech resulting in a flatter airfoil shape with a straight, open leech keeping the boat upright and reducing weather helm. The more roach you need to support, the greater the compression, and the more important battens become.  

The downside to full-length battens is the compression they transfer to the luff hardware, forcing the luff fittings on the sail into the back of the mast, thus creating friction.  Sail slides can twist and in worst-case scenarios, slides can become locked up and prevent the sail from being raised and lowered.  The solution is to use batten receptacles on the sail that fasten to a stainless steel, articulating universal joint in the mast track to keep the batten from pushing forward while allowing the batten to spin independently of the slide.

Semi Battened.  An alternative to a fully battened mainsail is a semi battened mainsail which usually uses a combination of a full top batten, though it can be the top two battens, and 3 or 4 lower battens that extend across the sail from the leech about 55% of the distance across from the leech to the luff.  While assisting in maintaining a flatter leech and slightly larger roach, they don’t suffer the mast compression problems of fully battened sails.  A semi battened mainsail is commonly used by off shore cruisers.

Leech Battened.  This is the simplest form of sail batten with each batten typically extending 300 – 500 mm in from the sail’s leech.  They provide the benefit of being cost effective while adding stiffness to the leech, however due to their short length limited additional roach and hence sail area can be achieved.  Leech battened sails are typically found in day sailers and harbour cruisers.

Who is Rolly Tasker?

Rolly Tasker is one of Australia’s most successful sailors and greatest sports persons. Born in 1926 in WA, Rolly began sailing at an early age and built his first dinghy at 10. From then on sailing became his life long passion, building many racing yachts and mastering the art of sail making.

In his racing career Rolly was Australian Dinghy Champion 10 times and won over 2000 races, including Australia’s first Olympic sailing medal at the 1956 Olympic games in Melbourne, where he collected the Silver Medal sailing a Sharpie. Two years later he won his first World Sailing Championship Medal, in a Flying Dutchman. Rolly personally designed the sails for Australia’s first America’s Cup Challenge in 1962, when he accompanied the team onboard the challenger ‘Gretel’.

Between 1969 and 1985 Rolly dominated ocean racing in WA, with his five personally constructed yachts, all called ‘Siska’, winning numerous ocean racing events including first place in the Queen Victoria Cup, in the waters off Cowes, England, plus 1st place in A division in the disastrous 1979 Fastnet Race, when 19 crew members of other yachts lost their lives. He won many long distance ocean races, one being the 1979 Parmela Yacht Race from Plymouth, England to Fremantle, Australia.

Rolly was inducted into the WA Hall of Champions in 1986 and the Sport Australian Hall of Fame in 1996. He became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for his services to sailing. Rolly was inducted into Australia’s Sports Hall of Fame in honour of his sailing achievements in 2017.

Over his long career, Rolly Tasker built and operated sail lofts in Australia, Hong Kong, France, USA and Phuket, Thailand from where the business currently exports to 61 countries from this last mentioned one on Phuket Island. Sadly, Rolly passed away in 2012 however his legacy lives on with the loft in Thailand growing to be the largest in the southern hemisphere.

Rolly Tasker Sails

Unit 1, 41-43 Higginbotham Road, Gladesville, NSW, 2111, Australia

Please Note: As we are often out on the water our business our office is not always attended. Please call us to arrange an appointment.