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Old 24-01-2010, 18:26   #1
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Adhesive Sail Repair Tape?

After today's fun day sailing I noticed 2 tears in the main

The tears aren't large, one is 6" and the other 3". The PO left a big sheet of adhesive sail repair material aboard. I cut 4 pieces larger than the ripped area and then applied it to both sides of the sail. This stuff went on nicely and seems to be a great way to do this sort of repair.

So my question is.... how long does this type of repair hold up? The damaged areas are both way up in the roach of the sail above the first batten. We're just starting our trip and it would be a real bummer to have to wait on a sail loft.

I guess in time I'll post my own answer about how long this stuff lasts...

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Old 24-01-2010, 18:55   #2
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My experience was very well. It lasted half the useful life of the the sail. Saying that I would not leave to cross a ocean with it on.
One trick was to take scissors and radius the corners of the tape before applying and to put a piece on each side.


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Old 25-01-2010, 04:25   #3
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Thanks Doug. Let's hope this repair lasts for the next few months.

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Old 25-01-2010, 06:11   #4
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I've used the sticky-back dacron with good results. Be sure to clean the area to remove salt, etc. before applying the dacron. In a non-stress area it should be sufficient for the repair. Also good for chafe patches. It should be available in any loft in many colors for about $20/linear yard.
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Old 25-01-2010, 08:27   #5
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the main determinant of how long sticky-back will hold is the quality of the host material itself. if you've got dacron that's suffered a bunch of UV deterioration then the tape isn't going to have a good substrate to grab on to.

interesting that these tears both happened in the roach. Is it possible that there's a problem with lazyjacks? or runners? Is the roach hitting a backstay? I'd sure want to track this down if these are new rips. Pay special attention to what's going on when you hoist the sail, because that's most likely when the rips occurred, unless of course you've allowed the sail to flog.

If, on the other hand, you're one of those "let the sail flog" types, all bets are off on the sticky-back. It will probably not survive too many rounds of flogging.
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Old 25-01-2010, 08:40   #6
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I've had pretty good luck with some of the sail repair tape. I had a couple of small chafe places where I wasn't paying attention to the sail chafing on the lazy jacks. It got me from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico and I'll now have patches sewn on. I agree...round off all of the corners so it doesn't peel from the sharp edges.
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Old 15-04-2010, 19:03   #7
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Sail repair material and sail repair tape are incredible. We just crossed the Pacific and had to keep repairing our 25 year old sails to make the trip. (Main issue was with the furled headie, some genus had rolled it on the WRONG way... so for years in the Mexican sun, the UV material was safely rolling inside! This meant we had a foot of very damaged head sail for the voyage)

Round off corners is a good trick. Also slightly alter the position of repair material on each side of the sail, stagger or off-set it slightly. This trick was from a sail maker, keeps from creating a 'hard' edge with both pieces of repair material cut and fitted at the exact same area. Match the sail tape to your 'white' sail color, but also we have some transparent repair tape that is perfect for spinnakers, as you don't have to carry every color of your spinnakers that way!

When far from a sail maker, and a rip occurred, this was our course of action:
1.) get to the rip ASAP (the old "a stitch in time, saves 9" stitches! is so true).
2.) Clean the area well - rubbing alcohol will clean and self-dry quickly.
3.) Use a hard surface to flatten the sail and re-align it before applying the repair tape or material - we used one or more cutting boards from the kitchen for this, anything flat and hard will work... even the deck.
4.) For load bearing rips, we use sail tape on each side of the rip, then a section of sticky-back material, THEN
5.) Bar-tack it. Hand-stitch a few box reinforcements in the corners of the repair (making a small square of four needle holes and tying off each stitch in the corner, remember on old sails, each needle hole will also weaken the material, so you are bar-tacking the new sail repair material to itself, with your old sail in the middle).

This would often last until the next port or longer. Once at the next port, we would visit a sail maker, for the bad or heavy load area rips. To save money often would just have the sail maker add material right over the taped area and stitch over it all with new cloth on both sides.

We have sail tape that still is stuck on after 12,000 miles of sailing! Can highly recommend sail repair tape and sail repair material!

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Old 15-04-2010, 19:11   #8
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My little racing cat's spinnaker lives in a snuffer, the snuffer line leaves a ton of little holes on the sail in spots after a good weekend of racing. All of those have been patched with stickyback nylon that I cut in oval shapes, and none has come off yet.
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Old 16-04-2010, 12:55   #9
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Originally Posted by markpj23 View Post
.... how long does this type of repair hold up? ...
The stuff works great!!!

Our mainsail just shreaded after long service and severe UV damage that we just kept repairing. NONE of our repairs were in the areas of the shreading.

We put contact cement on the sail and the tape first up and if the area is near reefing lines we put a few stitches through.

By the way, we had our new mainsail below waiting for the inevitable. We were 30 miles off arriving in Turkey. We had just asked our old sail to do the Red Sea cos we didnt want our new one stuffed!

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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