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Old 24-05-2016, 13:05   #1
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What To Do With Used Main Sail?

We just replaced our Main sail with something a little more high tech. What do most of you do with used sails? I'm tempted to store the thing to have available as a quick spare, but there's no way this thing is staying on the boat, it's huge.

Is there a market for a used Dacron main sail with a little life remaining? Located in Olbia, Sardinia. For a 50-53ft boat made by Doyle. Mast furling, no batons.
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Old 24-05-2016, 13:54   #2
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

In the US there are consignment shops, but with large sails they are a big of a crap shoot. I know people who have bought small sails from them, but no one with a larger boat.

We donate ours to a non-profit that ships them to 3rd world countries where they get turned into sails for fishing boats, or sun cloth/houses.
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Old 26-05-2016, 17:12   #3
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

Gave mine to Sail Bags. Got a free bag from them. They pay all shipping
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Old 27-05-2016, 01:48   #4
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

try donating them to the fishing fleet there -- cover nets the tops of boats ect - might be surprised how appreciative they may be. just a guess
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Old 27-05-2016, 03:18   #5
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

They're definitely handy to have as spares. Plus, if/when you sell the boat, her having a servicable 2nd main, is a value enhancer.
I say; clean it up well, tend to anything which needs repair, & then brick it & store it.


BTW, they're a Lot smaller when you brick'em.
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Old 27-05-2016, 03:38   #6
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
They're definitely handy to have as spares. Plus, if/when you sell the boat, her having a servicable 2nd main, is a value enhancer.
I say; clean it up well, tend to anything which needs repair, & then brick it & store it.


BTW, they're a Lot smaller when you brick'em.
How do I brick it? Thanks
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Old 27-05-2016, 04:22   #7
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

To Brick a sail. You lay it on a flat surface, & flake it as normal.
Starting with laying down a section of the sail's foot about 2' wide (or 3' if you like), & then fold layers on top of this, alternating directions with each fold.
So that when you're done, you have a package that's 2'+ wide, & perhaps 1/2' high (often less).

Then roll up the flaked sail, starting at the head. Doing your best to keep all of the folds of the luff together. And continue rolling towards the clew till you reach it.
Thus, you wind up with a "cylinder" of sail.

After that, use a few sail ties to secure the package (Bricked sail), so that none of the folds fall out of the sides of the rolled stack.
And then, just put it into a sailbag (optionally).


One other option, which isn't bricking, but lets you stow a sail in a relatively small amount of space. Is, once you have it flaked. Grab all of the folds, together, about 1/3 of the way back from the head. And then carry them aft until they're just shy of the clew ring.
Followed by securing everything with sail ties again.

This method leaves you with a packaged sail that'll fit in almost any spare bunk. Being only 5'-7' long, & maybe 8" tall.
So, you can easily slide 3-6 genoas/jibs into a bunk with this method.


NOTE that both of these methods are a lot harder on the fabrics of laminated sails, than they are on Dacron.
For long term storage of laminated sails, rolling them up, & stowing them in sausages is better.
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Old 27-05-2016, 04:36   #8
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

If you keep it on the boat it will still be there in 10 years time when you buy another main sail, then you will have two. Are you going off deep ocean cruising away from land for weeks on end in the foreseeable future? If so keep it and ditch it when you arrive or finish.

If not just ditch it now. In the UK any marina skip area seems to collect odd and interesting items which are re-cycled by other yachties surprisingly quickly. I have a nice blue tiller cover from someones cast off spray hood. So leave it by the bins and see what happens, someone will cut it down and use it.

I hear what Uncivilzed says, we had a spare set of sails on board for several years from the previous owner, just in case. One day when wondering why we didn't have any room and the water line needed raising I started a review. The spare sails turned out to be from the owners previous boat and weren't even close to fitting. the 300m plus of heavy duty electrical cable for shore power given away and so it continued. The water line is now back to were it should be.

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Old 27-05-2016, 04:38   #9
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post

We donate ours to a non-profit that ships them to 3rd world countries where they get turned into sails for fishing boats, or sun cloth/houses.
My first thought was "I will take it and make a shade cover for our boat" but this is a much better idea.
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Old 27-05-2016, 05:08   #10
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
We just replaced our Main sail with something a little more high tech. What do most of you do with used sails? I'm tempted to store the thing to have available as a quick spare, but there's no way this thing is staying on the boat, it's huge.

Is there a market for a used Dacron main sail with a little life remaining? Located in Olbia, Sardinia. For a 50-53ft boat made by Doyle. Mast furling, no batons.
I found space for my old mainsail in the lazarette, and this despite the intense decluttering I went through this year.

You'll have to decide for yourself whether it's important to keep a spare or not, but having been through a torn sail on a long voyage once, I am really happy to have two principle headsails and two mainsails on board, so now no longer any risk of being in the situation I was two years ago in the middle of a 1500 mile voyage and without any principle headsail.

High quality Dacron in-mast furling mains like your Doyle or my Hood one, last forever. They become baggy and low performance but keep on working. They live in perfect protection inside the mast.
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Old 27-05-2016, 05:52   #11
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

Yeah, our old main is baggy and probably second hand off a different size boat, probably a fifty foot something. Our boat originally had Dolphin sails, Doyle has no record of ever producing sails for our boat, so a switch was obviously made by the previous owner before money changed hands. We never knew until it was way too late.

The new sail is a much better fit and fills up the entire triangle and no bagginess.

The North Sails fellow here in Olbia re-stitched the Yankee and replaced the UV fabric on the Yankee and staysail. He said we should expect another 3-4 years out of them.

Thanks Mr. Uncivilized for taking the time to write out the bricking procedure. I'll try doing it.
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Old 27-05-2016, 06:03   #12
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

i hear Rimas is looking for sails for his next drifting leg.
but i reckon you're not a fan of that type of people ,)
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Old 27-05-2016, 06:07   #13
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Yeah, our old main is baggy and probably second hand off a different size boat, probably a fifty foot something. Our boat originally had Dolphin sails, Doyle has no record of ever producing sails for our boat, so a switch was made by the previous owner before money changed hands. We never knew until it was way too late.

The new sail is a much better fit and fills up the entire triangle and no bagginess.

The North sale fellow here in Olbia re-stitched the Yankee and replaced the UV fabric on the Yankee and staysail. He said we should expect another 3-4 years out of them.. . .
Ah, I forgot that it's the wrong sail for your boat. Right. Now I remember your having mentioned it. In that case, I'd probably get rid of it. I made new lee cloths out of my old yankee, and gave away the rest to a small company which makes bags and stuff out of old sails. You can't use it for awnings or anything like that because UV will eat it.


Concerning your yankee -- I know you didn't ask this question, but FWIW -- I changed to laminate sails from Dacron, and the difference is incredible. Best money I ever spent on the boat (albeit it was a lot of it).

I can give you a recommendation for a great sailmaker, if you ever decide to take a similar step. I'll be passing on the recommendation which I gratefully received from another guy on this forum, who has an Oyster 66.

It's ok to combine a laminate headsail with a woven main -- it is with the headsail where you'll feel the biggest difference.
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Old 27-05-2016, 06:13   #14
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

I kept my old genoa onboard for a year or two before getting fed up with it taking up space and then bining it.

Do you have any plans to cross back over the pond? Maybe the old sail could be good to use for the downwind trades sailing so you don't wear out the new sail rubbing against the spreaders?
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Old 27-05-2016, 06:40   #15
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Re: What To Do With Used Main Sail?

Ask around the marina for some other person who wants it. That way you get it off your boat, but get the illusion of some good will as someone else now gets to have it in their way for the next 10 years.
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