You asked how many of us are carrying spare sails. Obviously no one knows the answer on that exact question, I can only reply to my own situation: “No, I don’t carry any spare complete sails”.
The decision to carry spare sails can depend on:
a. The proximity to sail repair facilities/sailmakers. If one does day-sail, or only for weekends, one is never far from home, likely no spares needed.
- Cruising in very remote
areas might be different. And even for me, do not carry spares as I tick all the following boxes.
b. The ability to do sail repairs
on the boat
at sea; like it has been said: having cloth, tape, glue, needle kit, sewing machine
, these all lessens the need for spare sails.
c. Available storage
space, lack of that makes the decision for the owner: not to carry any spare sails.
d. The type of boat/sailplan also may reduce the need for spare sails, ie a ketch
with 2 headsails might still be able to be sailed well and balanced with 1 or 2 sails blown out. And like “Pete7” said, his sloop
sails well with one sail less.
e. The type of sailing one does: a slow cruiser may adjust his arrival time or adjust his destination
with one blown-out sail, no need to carry spares. I liked the story above by “Stormalong”, how he used his stormsail.
- An all-out racer
/ need-for-speed kind of skipper
might want to carry spares.
f. The kind of engine
and the amount of fuel
one carries, if one has enough to motor(sail) home, or to a safe harbour….. no need to carry spare sails.
g. Lastly what kind of spares do people generally carry? Old sails well past their due date? And how good are those sails once retrieved from deep down from the bowels of the boat….? Very few skippers purchase
good condition or new sails as spares….
As a very last comment, I think to carry a storm-jib is different than to carry a spare main or genoa
. Those jibs are reasonably small, multipurpose, strong, in 95% of all cases new/never used.