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Old 24-02-2010, 21:30   #1
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Mainsail Repairs & the Big SS Eyelet ?

Our main has developed a tear near the big SS eye, as seen in the photo.

We are going to repair the sail

How to best approach this first of many sail repairs that we need to do. If the eyelet was not there it would be a lot simpler. But as we need this sail, better take a big deep breath and dive righ in.

We have just bought a singer 20u for our home use.

The big SS eye, should we remove it or can we work around it ? The tear is mostly on one side.
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Old 24-02-2010, 22:44   #2
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ribbony - Hard to tell from photos, but it looks like your tear may have resulted from having an old sail with deteriorated fabric. If that is the case you need to replace the entire corner of the sail at the least. It also looks like the sail may need some restitching, perhaps all of it. The clew eye will need to be replaced if you replace the fabric in that area. I would recommend taking the sail to a sail loft and having it inspected by an expert. At least you will find out exactly what you're dealing with. It may turn out to be in pretty good condition, or it might be advisable to consider a new/used sail rather than trying to fix it.
While I'm at it -
The end of your reefing line should be secured to a fitting on the starboard side of the boom, then through the reef point and through the block on the port side. This will center the sail on the boom while reefed. Mounting the fitting just slightly aft of the reef point will help keep the sail stretched out properly while reefed.
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Old 24-02-2010, 23:53   #3
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Ribonny,

I think I see you have enough room left at the outhaul. If so, I would remove the ring and never put one back. I would buy one of those special clew eyes (titanium I think) that attach to the sail with Spectra webbing.
Remove the outer layer of dacron reinforcement and after repairing the tear, put new reinforcement pieces on. It's much better to shape it a circle-segment instead of the current triangle shape. Use a hot-knife for cutting the new pieces.

If you want to keep the eye, put Spectra webbing through it and stitch that on the sail at both sides so that the webbing distributes the pulling-force over a bigger area of the sail. I would use 3 pieces of webbing that way.

About the reefs: there are many ways but only one can be the best ;-) Never attach a reefing line to a fitting on the boom when your sail is loose-footed because it can be ripped off. Take the end that is tied to the block off, bring it to the starboard side and down to the boom, take it under and around the boom (forward of the block, vertically straight under the reef eye in the sail) so that you are at the port-side again and next wrap it around the boom through the slot between boom and sail, back to starboard. Here, you meet the line again before it wrapped around the boom. Tie a tiny bowline eye around that standing part of the line. I always seize the end so that the bowline can't undo itself.

Now, the line is tied around the boom, goes straight up the sail at the starboard side, through the eye so it can pull the sail down, and then on the port-side down but also a bit aft through the block so that you also pull the sail back (acting like an outhaul).

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 25-02-2010, 00:51   #4
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Canvaswork and Sail Repair - Google Books




Another idea on the reefing line similar to Jedi's is go under the boom as described before from opposite the block and tie the bitter end to the captive pin on the block.
It must be fun trying to put in a reef with the bitter end tied around the sheave making lots of friction.
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Old 25-02-2010, 14:19   #5
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Wow. thanks for all the tips. The reefing ideas will have us looking at the set up and changing a few things. We had been wondering why there was no attachment on the other side of the boom for the reefing line, never thought to pass it under, duuur ! I had not noticed that the line was tied on around the pulley, just as well you all noticed it

We have picked up an old main that is made of a laminate like kelar and has a SS ring held in place with three tapes. Will look at that in more detail to see how that was installed.

The end of the main does have some stitching miossing and the material there is a lot less servicable than the rest of the sail. When we bought the boat tat end of the sail had been sitting out of the boom cover for who knows how long (1 mth to 4 years) ?
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Old 25-02-2010, 14:55   #6
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ribbony -
If the sail cover wasn't covering the clew you're probably good to go with the rest of the sail, as you indicated. Repair the offending corner (Jedi Nicks suggestions about the eye and the rounded patches are good ones), and before you reinstall the sail make sure to lengthen the sail cover.

Hey Nick -
Why do you think a loose footed sail is likely to remove an eye fitting on the boom?
(Slight thread hijack - sorry)
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Old 25-02-2010, 15:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Hey Nick -
Why do you think a loose footed sail is likely to remove an eye fitting on the boom?
Oh, not just a loose footed main.... but only with that can you wrap a line around the boom ;-)

I'm the type that is convinced that in this era of excellent fabrics, there is no place for anything else than loose footed main & mizzens.

cheers!
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Old 25-02-2010, 16:12   #8
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By the way. The sail is not loose footed, it is missing the last car and clip on the sail near the outhaul. I went to put one on it the other day but found that was only possible with the removal of the sail as the car has to be inserted at the mast end of the boom. So it is on the to do list when the sail comes off.
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Old 25-02-2010, 22:05   #9
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Ah okay, with slides. That isn't too bad because you can still get the line around the boom then. When you have a bolt-rope instead of slides you need the fittings instead or add eyes in the sail.

cheers,
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Old 26-02-2010, 15:16   #10
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I know what I would do if I wanted to save the sail. Get a sailors palm, needles and thread and some dacron. I would completely remove the corner (except maybe the boltrope) and do it by hand. "The Sailmakers Apprentice" is an excellent resource if you want to do it. The first chapter shows you all the skills needed.
That said, it won't be easy. Plan on the better part of a weekend once you learn the skills. But it won't cost you much and you gain a skill.
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Old 27-02-2010, 10:06   #11
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The corner patch looks smallish. I would chop off the eye, reinforce the patch and go for webbing.

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Old 11-03-2010, 16:03   #12
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The SS ring in the corner, should it be a D shape or a O shape ring. I have seen O shape on another sail, the repair shown in the book link above shows a D ring. Any advantages either way or is it "6 or half dozen".
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Old 11-03-2010, 16:15   #13
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I think a D is in more modern sails, the O being more traditional. It may be easier to make webbing backing to a D with a slit behind it, but that is the only advantage I can think of. I'm glad to see you expanding your horizons. Sewing is one of the fun repairs on my boat
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Old 11-03-2010, 17:47   #14
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I would say the Dacron is rotted from the sun--it may not be completely covered by the sail cover. You will need to replace the cringle (the eye) and sew a new reinforced patch over the existing material--but I would imagine your sail is close to its end of life.
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Old 11-03-2010, 22:01   #15
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I have triangle shaped ones and my previous sails had round ones with a spoke in the center. It doesn't matter, but if you are gonna do multiple webbings through the ring I think the round one will give a better looking result. (I think it looked better on my previous sails)

cheers,
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