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Old 18-04-2010, 12:33   #1
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Rotten Sails

Hi Guys, How do I tell whether old Dacron and Terylene sails have had too much UV and are perished? Besides using them in a blow and have them rip themselves to shreds ! ? Thanks.
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Old 18-04-2010, 12:41   #2
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A good way we test fabric, both sunbrella and sailcloth.. stick a needle in the fabric and then pull it sideways.. If the needle rips throu the fabric, it gone..
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Old 18-04-2010, 12:52   #3
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Try to split it longitudanly, ie verticaly with your fingers.
If it rips like tissue paper then its stuffed,




Ifd it doesnt rip then keep using it.

I knew ours was badly UV damaged and kept using it till it shreaded
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Old 18-04-2010, 12:55   #4
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Thanks you guys.
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Old 18-04-2010, 17:22   #5
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Most sails will be coated with a UV-resistant resin when they are new, which is pressed into the fabric. If there's no resin coating left--your sails are worn. they may still be good and hold good shape for quite some time after that, but if the fabric is smooth enough to pass for "cheap hotel grade" bed sheets? They're worn out.

Sails are like classic V8 engines: Many will run just fine on 6 cylinders, even 4 cylinders, for a long time. They just won't move you the way that really good sails will.

Don't be afraid to ask a local loft to come out, look at your sails and give you a quote for your boat, if there are any lofts around. Or, to take them in and ask "Are these still any good?" because sometimes they DO get business that way. It is their chance to prove that they can do better than a mail-order house--and sometimes they can.
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Old 18-04-2010, 20:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post

Don't be afraid to ask a local loft to come out, look at your sails and give you a quote for your boat, if there are any lofts around. Or, to take them in and ask "Are these still any good?" because sometimes they DO get business that way. It is their chance to prove that they can do better than a mail-order house--and sometimes they can.
Don't be surprised for them to tell you that, yes, your sails are blown out and worn.

No problem with that. I expect you know your sails are worn and blown out.

The sail guy will be right, but he also may be calibrated to racing guys who mostly change sails every year and the top guys change sails every regatta!

What you really want to know is how long you can go with mediocre sail performance before they blow out.

My point is that it is important for you to be able to communicate with your sail guy, tell him what you want to do, what your expectations are and have him listen to you and provide professional feedback tailored to your needs.
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