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Old 14-05-2008, 10:01   #1
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Whats the best way to repair a tear in the main sail?

6 inch rip on the seam of the leach, close to the head of the sail. What would be a good temp. fix?
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Old 14-05-2008, 13:42   #2
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Originally Posted by russellmania View Post
6 inch rip on the seam of the leach, close to the head of the sail. What would be a good temp. fix?


Tempest fix (tempest, get it? LOL I'm so funny!) is dependent on the situation: racing, cruising, cruising in a tempest on a lee shore etc etc. Also depends, of course, on the cause of the rip.

Near the leach at the head of the main could be UV damage if its vertical. Is it protected from the sun with good covers?
Or perhaps its a rip from something sharp aloft when rasing it, or on the spreaders?

Quickest fix is to use sail tape on both sides. This is sail cloth which has sticky stuff on it. Make sure you start well before the rip and after it. It needs to give a 'rip stop' effect ie once a rip starts it keeps going in that line.

If you have more time and in the middle of a voyage you could hand stitch the sail tape.

So if you were on a lee shore you would drop the sail, tape it up and get the sail back up again. More time then do it better

If you are racing and the opposition is breathing down your neck asses how long the sail will last.... a win is worth more that the cost of a new sail



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Old 14-05-2008, 15:09   #3
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Thanks. Im not sure how it happend. Took the sail cover off, started raising the sail, then noticed it. Prob should take it in for repair, but too much time/money. I guess ill just hand stitch the sail tape until I figure something out. How temp. is this fix?
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Old 14-05-2008, 15:19   #4
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I find sail tape only works if the sail has been cleaned, i.e. washed of any salt and dirt and dried. And even then duct tape sticks better, gaffers tape sticks best. (The two are often confused, but gaffer's tape uses a more expensive adhesive and costs about 2x-4x more. No gummy mess when you try to remove it.)

For a more permanent repair, plain ripstop or sailcloth glued won with AquaSeal or Goop (both flexible urethane adhesives) can do it. Those pretty much match the quality and endurance of a proper patch that has been stitched on. But for any of them--cleaning the sail first is the key to making it work.
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Old 14-05-2008, 19:26   #5
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Is it a rip or has the stitching parted? If a rip, hellosailor is spot on (5200 and a peice of sailcloth is another option for a temperary, or permenant, patch). If stitching, run your thumbnail across the stitching on other seams. If the sitching frays or break then the thread has rotted from UV. You can patch that spot all you want, but you will find others appearing in short order. If the sailcloth is in reasonable condition, then putting in 1 row of zig-zag to all the seems will add a little life to main.
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