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Old 22-10-2019, 11:14   #1
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Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

The season is officially over and I need to take my genoa and spinnaker in for repairs.

The spinnaker should be pretty simple. There are a couple of runs in the fabric that should be able to be fix by a simple zig/zag stitch.

The genoa I am not entirely sure of. As we folded it up the bulk of it looked OK, but I was surprised to see a lot of stitching had fallen out of the blue UV protector fabric.

I've never had sails repaired before. Anything I should be prepared to do other than go in and tell the guy what I just explained above?

I live in Michigan. I was planning to just take them over to North Sails. Doyle sails is also here. I think they do mostly racing sails.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 22-10-2019, 11:30   #2
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

A good sailmaker is very used to inspecting used sails, and should be willing to have you watch as they do so if you wish. It can be a great learning experience.

I'll bet my bottom dollar that they find a lot more problems than you have because they will have it laid out and better access, and have better trained eyeballs!

Nylon spinnaker fabric likely needs a patch, not just sewing the edges of a tear together.

We take our sails into a loft every year for evaluation and repair (we sail 5000-8000 miles a year). They will last longer if problems are addressed before they become critical.
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Old 22-10-2019, 11:59   #3
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

We have taken our sails into the North sail loft in Milwaukee and they do a good job. We had our UV covering re-stitched last year and that is all it needed. Pretty common problem. If you ask them, they will inspect the entire sail and fix the weak spots. They will also give you an opinion on the remaining use. All for a pretty reasonable fee. I think you just tell them what you are observing and they will make the right fix.
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Old 22-10-2019, 12:13   #4
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

Tenera thread is your friend.


Also, its important to inspect the repairs before setting out...I thought my main was professionally restitched but a squall 800 miles from shore proved me wrong.
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Old 22-10-2019, 16:45   #5
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmacmi View Post
The season is officially over and I need to take my genoa and spinnaker in for repairs.

The spinnaker should be pretty simple. There are a couple of runs in the fabric that should be able to be fix by a simple zig/zag stitch.

The genoa I am not entirely sure of. As we folded it up the bulk of it looked OK, but I was surprised to see a lot of stitching had fallen out of the blue UV protector fabric.

I've never had sails repaired before. Anything I should be prepared to do other than go in and tell the guy what I just explained above?

I live in Michigan. I was planning to just take them over to North Sails. Doyle sails is also here. I think they do mostly racing sails.

Any other thoughts?
If it is not a sail that you purchased yourself ask them to give you their educated guess on the weight of the material. Knowing what you have been using will assist you when it comes time to replace them.

MJH
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Old 22-10-2019, 16:55   #6
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

I recently did the same, and happened to be near a Doyle yard. They repaired the lead-in for the boltrope, replaced strops on tack and head, and replaced the UV cover. If the thread on your cover is gone, it's likely a new cover is the best solution. They also offered to and did clean the sail, which improved its looks no end :-)
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Old 22-10-2019, 17:23   #7
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmacmi View Post
The season is officially over and I need to take my genoa and spinnaker in for repairs.

The spinnaker should be pretty simple. There are a couple of runs in the fabric that should be able to be fix by a simple zig/zag stitch. Probably not. First they will check if the fabric is starting to go. Most likely, ime, it will want a sticky patch, and they may prefer to stitch the edges of it down, any way.

The genoa I am not entirely sure of. As we folded it up the bulk of it looked OK, but I was surprised to see a lot of stitching had fallen out of the blue UV protector fabric. Yep, this happens for a couple of reasons. If it was originally stitched with UV resistant polyester thread, it rots out where the sun hits it, and it disappears. Using PTFE thread does prevent that: it's good for at least 10 years of constant exposure (has been on our previous boom bag). However, sometimes the cover fabric gets stretched from being rolled up too tightly. If that has happened, then billknny has the right of it: it will be less expensive to have a new cover put on. I'd order it sewn with PTFE thread., This thread comes in black, white, and clear. Ask them which they would use. It is shiny, not matte like the UV 92.

I've never had sails repaired before. Anything I should be prepared to do other than go in and tell the guy what I just explained above? As some above suggested, approach it as an information mining technique, go over the sail with them and get them to tell you what they see.

I live in Michigan. I was planning to just take them over to North Sails. Doyle sails is also here. I think they do mostly racing sails. Just a suggestion, but you might phone around for estimates first. I'm sure both those lofts would do decent work.

Any other thoughts?
Yes, if the fabric you are using for the cover is Sunbrella, you will be good to go whatever color you select, although the darker ones absorb more UV. However, if they suggest WeatherMax, it's dark red fades really fast: I became an unhappy camper after 2 years. [We sail all year, here.] My old Sunbrella looks fine, the new WM is really greyed. However, although the medium grey fades some, it is not ugly. WM is guaranteed only 5 yrs; Sunbrella, for 10.

Ann
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Old 22-10-2019, 22:29   #8
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

In Youtube search for a video of Sailrite, named: Inspecting your sails for next sailing season. They go with detail over the whole procedure.
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Old 23-10-2019, 11:25   #9
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

Took the sails into the loft. They were quite nice and worked through a plan with me.

Genoa:
  • Repair stitching where missing or damaged.
  • Install a wearing course at the foot near the clew where the sail is wearing on the pulpit.
  • I asked him to install a reef line with an additional set of tell tails. He suggest also installing cloth along the bottom of the sail at the reef line to help flatten the sail under reef. I had trust in his suggestion so I said yes.

Spinnaker: simple patches

Estimated cost is $300

The question I have is where to have him set the reef. First step is to figure out what size Genoa I have. I know that 100 % is from forestay to sail, BUT is that measurement straight back from forestay to mast or along the line of the hull from forestay to a point on the hull that is perpendicular to the mast?

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Old 23-10-2019, 13:21   #10
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

You're wanting a reef in your headsail? It sounds like a good idea when you say it fast. Our results with the one we had on our sail SF to HI and back, were mixed. It was nice to be able to shorten sail rather than make a headsail change, but we had a great deal of problem keeping the bunt tied in, so it purely wouldn't keep a decent shape. If you tell your sailmaker the wind range you want to use the reefed headsail in, he/she will be able to recommend the depth of the reef. I would not plan on having it go down to storm jib size. The storm jib should be a very heavy cloth, very small sail, tiny. Having the bulging bunt would be very much contra-indicated.

In case I misunderstood the question, and it is the main sail you're meaning, then if the first reef is about 1/3 the sail's area, then the second reef should be another 1/3, about, but again, the sail maker can advise, especially if familiar with the wind patterns where you're sailing.

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Old 23-10-2019, 16:15   #11
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

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In case I misunderstood the question,

Ann
No, you got it right. I want to reef the head sail by pulling in the roller reefer to a known place with associated tell tails. (I used the term reef line which probably made you think of a horizontal reef line)

Reef is a relative word it this sense. We talked it through. For whatever reason the current head sail is a 143 and some such % sail. We are going to set the first reef at 125% and then at 110% with tell tails at each. No more. I have a storm jib should it come to that.

We are currently day sailors moving into cruising sailors. My wife is new to sailing and heeling a lot is uncomfortable to her (plus inefficient). I have found that in addition to having the main reefed, being able to quickly pull in the head sail to some degree is nice. I just want known places

Does it make any sense?
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Old 23-10-2019, 16:56   #12
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

I highly recommend Sailcare!!! They are wonderful. They made me a new mainsail, and serviced it for free 4 years down the line when I needed an adjustment. We send all our sails there every 2 years for rejuvenation and repairs, if they need it. I cannot say enough good things about the company. OH, and prices are reasonable.
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Old 23-10-2019, 17:50   #13
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmacmi View Post
No, you got it right. I want to reef the head sail by pulling in the roller reefer to a known place with associated tell tails. (I used the term reef line which probably made you think of a horizontal reef line)

Reef is a relative word it this sense. We talked it through. For whatever reason the current head sail is a 143 and some such % sail. We are going to set the first reef at 125% and then at 110% with tell tails at each. No more. I have a storm jib should it come to that.

We are currently day sailors moving into cruising sailors. My wife is new to Does it make any sense?
sailing and heeling a lot is uncomfortable to her (plus inefficient). I have found that in addition to having the main reefed, being able to quickly pull in the head sail to some degree is nice. I just want known places


It does make sense. Our headsail has three marks on the foot of the sail, for 1, 2, and 3rd reefs. They are circular "dots", black, blue, and red. The telltales we use on it for checking sail trim, are about 1/3 the way down from the head of the sail, so only one set. On our boat, sometimes we roll up the headsail a bit just for better visibility of oncoming boats.

Ann
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Old 23-10-2019, 18:06   #14
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

Lots of experience above and good advice.

We hand our on deck inventory over to a local loft at the end of every 7-month season. Re-stitch and repair anything they think is wrong. Old thread is UV destroyed long before the fabric. My instructions to the head guy, “make it so it won’t break”. It pretty much doesn’t matter the cost until replacement is more economical or the sail is beyond re-cut. The last thing I want to see is seams opening.
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Old 23-10-2019, 21:00   #15
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Re: Tips for taking sails in for repairs.

Not that most people will ever have to do it, but seams can be re-sewn, by hand, in a pickle. It goes much easier with two people, one on each side of the sail. Take a fine sail needle, and go through the existing holes. It is fiddly, but -- in the end, doable.

Ann
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