It can be a harrowing experience to watch a mainsail rip across a seam from luff to leech while sailing down a narrow channel in a 25 knot breeze. That happened to me a few years back, and it proved to be a real “wake-up” call. Here are some little-known sailing tips, guaranteed to save you big money in costly mainsail and Genoa repair and replacements costs!Do you want to learn more? Visit https://tn.exoticdubai.com/2009/02/dubai-marina-yacht-club-to-host-dragon-boat-festival-on-feb-13/
These days, the mainsail often gets left on the boat, lashed to the boom, and covered with a sail cover. The Genoa or jib stay rolled up like a window shade.
This may be convenient, but there’s no way you can inspect a sailboat sail for damage, the stitching for wear, or the sailing hardware for integrity–unless you remove them from the boat.
At least once every sailing season, pull the mainsail and headsail off your boat and inspect them from head to toe (or foot–that is!).Follow these easy steps:
Inspect Stitching From Head to Foot
Look over every inch of zigzag and straight sewing stitches for wear or chafe. Concentrate along sail edges, like the luff and leech, where sail loads are greatest..
Mark worn areas with a pencil. Check across each sail seam for broken stitching. Look next to each slide or slug on the luff and foot. Sailing hardware causes extra tension on the sailcloth and can lead to worn, weakened fabric.
Look for chafed areas along the foot. With roller furling headsails, inspect all along the luff. With snap-on headsails, look around the area of each piston-hank for wearing. Circle worn areas with a pencil and repair to increase sail life.
Wash Salt and Dirt from Your Sails
Salt and dirt grind on sail seams like a mini nail-file on a fingernail. Remove these particles and you will extend sail life. Bathe your sails once a season in a mild solution of water and mild, non-bleach soap. This keeps stitching strong and flexible.
Keep Sails Dry as a Bone!
Make sure you dry sails before you cover or bag them. Otherwise, mildew will grow in wet areas. If your sails have mildew spots, brush the spore with a medium stiff brush to loosen the spore. Dacron sails can be soaked in a 1% solution of Clorox and water for 3 hours. Never use bleach on nylon spinnaker sails; it could eat through the sail cloth!
Protect Resin Coated Sails
Remove your sails and fold them at the end of the sailing season. This protects the surface coating. Most cruising boat sails use some resin on the surface to help the sail keep her shape. But this coating breaks down without care.