When you head out on a sailing holiday, and put a €2000 security deposit down, you really do need to take care of the yacht, and your sails. This doesn’t require any skill, only some time. With little effort, you will be able to increase the lifeline of your sails. Take a look at the tips to make your sail last longer.
- Avoid flogging
One of the best possible ways to maintain the strength and form of your sails is to minimize the total time they flap in the wind. Flogging can degrade the cloth. Thus, you need to make some effort to avoid it.
- Protection from ultraviolet rays
The worst enemy of sails is direct sunlight. This is because it breaks down the cloth, eventually. You have to make sure that the UV strip is outside when the furling headsail is furled. It is necessary to keep a cover of the mainsail when you are not using it.
- Chafe prevention
Chafing wears through the sails. Make sure that you check the ends along with the aft edges for the stanchion tops and spreaders. You have to tape up the split pins, protruding screw heads, and sharp halyard exits. It is necessary to check the front portion of the mast as tacking can drag the foresail across it.
- Wind range
Usually, sails stretch and lose their shape when you have excess canvas up for prevailing conditions. Also, when it gets overpowered, it might become out of control. In fact, it can truncate the speed of the boat. If you go sailing in the Dalmatian islands, the wind can pick up pretty quickly. Hence, make sure that you reef when you feel you should.
- Leech lines
You will have to make sure that the leech lines are adjusted properly. This will stop fluttering in the headsail and main leeches. Also, fluttering will destroy the cloth and cause damage to the stitching. Headsail, as well as the main, will have leach lines. Hence, you need to use them.
- Outhaul tension and halyard
The appropriate halyard tension will be able to take the pressure off the mainsail sliders and cars. This, in turn, will protect the stitches. It extends the life of the genoa and improves the ability to point. Ease outhaul, halyards, and reef after using.
Check the pockets of the batten at the leech and luff ends for ensuring that the battens are secure enough. This should also be done to check the stitches in the area. It is necessary to check the battens, too, particularly after the accidental gybe since there is a chance that they might snap.
- Mast track
Check to see if the mainsail cars and tracks are clean. It needs to be free of grit and dust. If you lubricate with the help of a dry lubricant like silicone spray, it will help in reducing the friction for the cars. Thus, it becomes convenient to hoist.
- Headsail foils
You will have to ensure that these are in good condition. There should not be any burrs and the foil sections need to be bolted tightly and aligned perfectly. This will get rid of the rope tears and will enable you to hoist and allow lower the sail without damaging it.