If your sails have seen better
days, you may think that replacing them with new sails
is your only option. But think again - high-quality, expert
sail repair by Sail Care can make old sails look, feel,
and perform like new!
Even sails that have been in service for decades can
be restored and refurbished to like-new condition. One
of the keys to getting the longest life out of your sails
is to keep a close eye on your sails and have repairs
done as soon as a problem appears. Here are some things
to look out for:
- The bad news is that stains on sails are an
unsightly but unavoidable consequence of regular use.
But the good news is that the right cleaning techniques
can reliably eradicate just about any kind of stain, including
stubborn rust marks. Returning stained sails to their
original beauty is a job for trained and experienced sail
repair professionals, however - no amount of washing or
do-it-yourself stain removal will give a badly stained
sail that like-new look and feel. But in the right hands,
professional dry cleaning using tried and tested sail
restoration techniques will eliminate stains and leave
your sails looking almost as good as they did the day
you bought them .... even if that day was thirty or more
Mainsail, leech edge - The leech or
back edge of the mainsail is often the first part of the
sail to show wear and tear. Be on the lookout for these
signs of leech edge problems:
- You're having trouble setting or trimming the main.
- It's hard to flatten the back edge of the sail
- Using the leech line only seems to cup the back edge
instead of helping to flatten or quite down the back edge.
- You see visible signs of wear along the leech/back edge
of the sail. This wear may be visible as tiny holes in
the fabric, or in extreme cases tears along the stitching
may even be visible.
If you note any of the above, it's likely that aging
and use have created a problem that requires professional
sail repair. As with all sail problems, the sooner you
tackle it, the better the chances of successfully repairing
it will be. But even severe cases of wear can be fixed
by sail restoration specialists.
Batten pockets - Battens and the pockets
that hold them provide an important role in shaping your
mainsail. As you change direction with the boat, the mainsail
moves from one side of the boat to the other. This causes
the batten to flex and bend the cloth at the end of the
pocket. Over time the cloth can become weak and even tear.
If not caught in time the damage can be catastrophic,
tearing out the whole pocket back to the leech edge and
causing major damage to the sail. This is a problem that's
all but impossible to address on your own, but it's a
reasonably simple procedure for a sail restoration professional
to repair. While making a repair of this kind it would
be a good time to replace the elastic in the end of the
pocket to keep proper tension on the batten to help maintain
good sail shape. However it is important to catch wear
in this area as soon as possible, so be sure to inspect
your sails regularly for this kind of wear.
Bolt rope has shrunk or drawn up making
it hard to raise or lower the main and to get a nice set
on the sail - This is a common problem and one that many
sailors are told cannot be fixed or adjusted. However
the truth is that a good sail restoration professional
may very well be able to fix it. In addition, the cost
for this type of repair is relatively low and it takes
very little time to do.
Different sail makers use various types of line or rope
in the bolt rope. Nylon is popular because it has stretch,
but it also will shrink. If you begin to notice the boom
seems to be hanging lower at the clew or back edge of
the sail than the tack or front edge of the sail, or if
the bottom of the sail seems to have a noticeable bag
or extra cloth, the problem could be the bolt rope.
Bag in the lower body of the sail - Another
common problem that is almost always due to the sail being
stretched by the wind. Sail restoration professionals
have a number of ways to make repairs or adjustments that
will solve this problem.