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Old 16-06-2024, 15:49   #1
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Is it possible to repair this…?

This furling headsail is from a recently purchased 40 year old boat. The sails were known to need replacement but I would like to get her out on the water while I wait for replacements. This is vertical separation about 1/2 way up the luff, parallel to the sunbrella edge. Can this be fixed up enough to use…in mild conditions?
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Old 16-06-2024, 16:32   #2
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Re: Is it possible to repair this…?

Sure it can be repaired, but if conditions get sporty it may fail again in the same spot or nearby.
Take it to your sailmaker and let him evaluate whether it’s worth putting any money into the sail.
PS......looks like the damage is on the leech.
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Old 16-06-2024, 16:36   #3
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Re: Is it possible to repair this…?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR View Post
Sure it can be repaired, but if conditions get sporty it may fail again in the same spot or nearby.
Take it to your sailmaker and let him evaluate whether it’s worth putting any money into the sail.
PS......looks like the damage is on the leech.
My bad…yes…it’s at the leech.
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Old 16-06-2024, 16:42   #4
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pirate Re: Is it possible to repair this…?

Easy hand stich job.. you could even glue a patch on after to make it look neater if you want.
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Old 16-06-2024, 17:47   #5
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Re: Is it possible to repair this…?

You can try stitching it up as Boatie suggested. We used to use a herringbone stitch pattern for such attempts. Do patch over it with sticky backed sailcloth. It might hold, but it looks very old to me, and the tear looks like an age tear, so I wouldn't hold long term hope for the mend. However, in light airs, it might get you out on the water, so imo, it's worth the effort. Did you inherit some sticky-backed sailcloth or spinnaker tape with the boat? That would reduce the cost.
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Old 16-06-2024, 18:03   #6
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Re: Is it possible to repair this…?

sailmaker or canvas guy could patch it up in a jiffy.
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Old 17-06-2024, 00:08   #7
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Re: Is it possible to repair this…?

As those above have said it's certainly repairable. I've repaired several old sails with the same issue you have. Typically I'd use sticky back or another piece of sail and glue and stitch. Hand stitching works best using a good strong waxed thread. The use of hearing bone stitch provides an attractive and very strong reinforcement for the glue.

Here's a youtube showing the stitching technique. It's very easy.
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Old 17-06-2024, 00:53   #8
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Re: Is it possible to repair this…?

Any sail can be repaired until it becomes too thin.
My dad sailed on a six master.
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Old 17-06-2024, 01:04   #9
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Re: Is it possible to repair this…?

Reiterating what Ann said upthread... easy to repair either with adhesive or a stitched patch. BUT... that cloth looks like it has had a lot of UV damage and its strength is likely greatly diminished. Hence, the outlook for the repair (and for the whole sail) is pretty grim.

A simple test for cloth viability (suggested by Bacon sails) is to try to push a sharpened pencil through the cloth. If it penetrates easily, the cloth is "dead". If it takes some effort but eventually goes through there is some life left, and if it is a struggle to penetrate the cloth is still pretty healthy.

The upshot is that a if the cloth is pretty dead, don't spend money on a professional repair. A DIY patch may not be pretty but it can last a while if you are gentle with sail tensions, and is likely worth a try. Meanwhile, you might consider replacing with a used sail. The aforementioned Bacon sails in Annapolis is one source of such, and good values are available... much cheaper than any new construction and usable for a good while.

Goodluck with it all.

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