“Sail” Tales


So after the purchase of our boat one of the first things was to survey our sail inventory. We had looked at the cruising sails before we bought her but she also came with a healthy supply of racing sails.

Unlike many sailors we do not have a great knowledge of sails yet. I mean, we know the basics, but to actually know what we have will require a professional to do a tune up on them. So its off to the sail maker to have then serviced.

Yes that’s right…. I said serviced. Just like your engine, your sails being a source of power need to be serviced on a regular basis. Many can do this themselves and have the skills to do so. Us however, need to have the repairs done by a pro.

Our inventory consists of 5 cruising sails, 5 racing sails and 2 spinnakers.

We stretched out every cruising sail in our yard first and tried to identify the obvious issues with each sail. (I’m sure our neighbors thought that we were nuts.  We even had one guy ask if we were going parachuting when we opened up the spinnaker, lol) Some had just a slight tear that could be taped up and others had a little more stitch work that was needed to make them ready to be hoisted. For the most part the cruising sails were in great shape. The delivery main was perfect and the cruising main had a small tear on the luff.  The 2 Genoas were in good condition and the storm TRI sail was like new (never used).

The racing sails were another story. We don’t know a lot but we do know that a sail is less effective with a big tear in it. Only 1 of the 5 racing sails was in my opinion ready to use. They are a nice NORTH racing sail made with Mylar and Kevlar. Although we are using our boat for cruising it would be nice to utilize the racing sails both for fun and also to save some wear and tear on the Dacron cruising sails.

We are fortunate to have a sail-maker – “Kingston Sail Loft”–  that we have been using for several years with other vessels. He is fantastic and honest. We will take them to him this weekend and have him give us his opinion on repairs.

As always we cherish your knowledge and opinion so please tell us. Who do you use to service your sails? Do you have any experience with Mylar materials and how to repair them? How many years of service have you gotten out of your sails? Do you have a favorite manufacturer?

Tell us what your experience is or has been.

James and Tammy


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