Posted by: Dan Sprague | January 28, 2012

Sail Care

Your sails are the driving force of your boat and proper care can make them last a lot longer. I leave my mainsail on the boom most of the time. It comes off for a seasonal scrub down with a mild soap and water and if a major storm is headed our way (to reduce the wind drag on the boat in a storm). If the sail has to come off I do a sail scrub down with mild soapy water and a brush before it goes back on. This helps get salt out of the sails and can helps get rid of mildew.  Bleach can be used to get rid of mildew but it can also harm the fabric and the stitching. Mild soapy water with a good rinse is safer.

Inspect the sail for chafe and check the stitching and repair if needed. The sail needs to be fully dry before being folded and put away. I like an oversized sail bag that has a ventilation panel in it. If you have to stuff a damp sail in it, the sail can get some air flow to it and the larger bag gives you the room to stuff an unfolded sail in the bag more easily for a quick temporary storage.

If your sail gets dunked in salt water give them a good rinse regularly and let them dry out. A sail cover is a necessity if you leave the sail on the boat all the time. The sail cover is a sun screen for the sail and it goes a long way in keeping the sails clean.

If the sail stays on the boat you are more likely to use the boat. To remove a sail cover is a whole lot quicker and easier than putting the sail on the boom and mast.

The sail bag below is over sized, and when the jib is folded up there is a lot of extra room. The bag has a mesh side for good air flow. The end of the bag snaps open and the bag can be snapped to the fore stay. The side of the bag is unzipped, the jib is clipped to the fore stay  and it can be hauled up right out of the bag.

jib bag on fore stay

The jib bag snaps to fore stay

bag clips to fore stay

The bag snaps to fore stay and then un-zips to attach the jib to stay.

Jib sail vented bag

The sail nag is oversized and vented

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