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Old 11-02-2014, 17:40   #1
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Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

In various postings, I have seen mention of mending sails with adhesive and patches, as opposed to sewing. Can they be used for permanent mending?

How common is this, and how strong is it? Can anyone recommend particular materials to use, or any special technique?

I have used adhesives to hold cloth in place while sewing. but often felt that the sewing machine needle made a line of perforations that weakened the sailcloth to "tear on the perforated line".

I would also like to hear amount of experiences in this practice, as well as opinions on it in general.

I have read the results of a forum searching, but have found no definitive discussion of the subject. If you know of a thread about it, please post a link. Thanks.
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Old 11-02-2014, 17:53   #2
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pirate Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

There are some superb rip stop tapes on the market these days..
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Old 11-02-2014, 18:10   #3
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
There are some superb rip stop tapes on the market these days..

Can you give more detail?
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Old 11-02-2014, 18:24   #4
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

There was an article in one of the sailing mags a few years ago about using 3M 5200 and sail cloth for repairs. Don't recall the details but I guess it works. No personal experience.
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Old 11-02-2014, 18:38   #5
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

Insignia cloth from Bainbridge is the go-to material for repairs.

Bainbridge International > Insignia & Adhesive Patch

3M 5200 works very well but it is messy.
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Old 11-02-2014, 18:41   #6
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

I accidentally stumbled on aircraft repair tape. It's like duct tape on steroids. Very sticky, seems to do OK on damp (but not wet) sails. Great for temporary repairs (some of which last months or years until you deal with them).

Very expensive, but in the US the FAA requires each roll to be numbered and dated, if you can find an aircraft mechanic with an expiring roll you might get lucky.
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Old 11-02-2014, 18:47   #7
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pirate Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
Can you give more detail?
Sadly no.. but a boat I picked up in Florida had this transparent tape about 3" wide.. used it to hold the spinnaker together where the seams were going in a couple of places near the clew.. took the strain a dream.. was not socking it till hitting F5's.
Assumed someone here may know what it was.. or something similar.. super sticky and I applied it while the sail was flying..
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Old 11-02-2014, 20:52   #8
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

We used a product like this on recommendation from our local West Marine to repair rips on both the jib and mainsail of our Hobie cat (Dacron material). I forget the specific name of the brand we used. That was seven to eight years ago and the tape was still holding up very well up until Hurricane Sandy caused a tree to fall on the boat. It also completely stopped both rips from growing.

To apply it, we removed the sails, and cleaned the area of the rips on both sides with a sponge, water, and a small bit of dish soap. We then rinsed and dried the area thoroughly. When applying the tape, we made very sure to get it very flat, and cut it to extend past the rip for two-three inches on each side. Be careful when applying it, as it's very gummy and the less you can handle it the better.

After the repair, the sails were routinely doused in water as there's no point sailing a Hobie if you don't tip it over. It was extraordinarily durable. The jib tape repair worked great with the roller furling, no adhesive or anything leaked out to bind the sail together or anything like that while it was rolled up.

I'm not sure this experience will translate to larger yachts and different sail materials, but it worked great for us and I have no doubt it would continue doing so if it weren't for that damned hurricane. At least we got a high performance flagpole out of the wreck.
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Old 11-02-2014, 21:12   #9
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

I Temporaly repaired a jib on our Colvin with 5200 and some extra dacron once or twice. They lasted for serveral years LOL but they were hard to remove to repair properly!! If ya need to fix em quick then 5200 will do it !
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Old 11-02-2014, 21:42   #10
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

I understand the adhesion ability of 5200 but it normally takes a few days to really cure, how are you guys repairing sails with it if you need them right away??
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:51   #11
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

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I understand the adhesion ability of 5200 but it normally takes a few days to really cure, how are you guys repairing sails with it if you need them right away??
You don't; that's where the insignia comes in.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:21   #12
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

Neoprene contact glue + fabric left over from new bimini top... Sometimes a long rip loosely sewn underneath, if time available. Not very pretty, though...
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:23   #13
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

Just use Contact Cement to fix your sails. Been using it for years. Works great.
It's one of those glues you should always have on board a boat.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:25   #14
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

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Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
Can you give more detail?
Try here: Sailcloth by the Yard
and here: Insignia Adhesive Backed UV Dacron 18" Wide

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Old 12-02-2014, 04:31   #15
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Re: Mending Sails With Adhesives ?

I always have a litre can of Contact Cement on bpard, as Cotemar says.
Its better than 5200 and for one small tube of 5200 you get a whole litre of contact cement.

It repairs permanently.

BTW Many sail makers bond sails now as it saves weight aloft.

Alos I find the sail repair tape too light weight for my main or genoa, and the glue is tame, and only on the side of the repair tape so you still need to add glue to the sail.

Finally, a few spare bits of sail clothis cheaper than sail repair tape. So for a cheaper, better quality repair I use old sails and contact cement.
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