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Old 18-07-2015, 18:25   #1
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Flying with a mainsail

Hi All:

Shredded my main last year and am returning to the Med from the States with a new one. Battens are a bit long. Has anyone ever brought these on the plane as carry on? Also do you think it would be wise to buy a sport bag to fit the sail in or should i just use the bag that the sailmaker provided to check the baggage? Experience shared would be appreciated.
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Old 18-07-2015, 18:29   #2
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

The sail bag will arrive dirty and scuffed & possibly with handles & lines ripped out. You will be chapped. Does it exceed the airline weight number? Perhaps better to ship? Will the battens fit in one of those 3-piece telescoping fishing rod cases?
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Old 18-07-2015, 18:45   #3
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

Just tell them it's a parachute.
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Old 18-07-2015, 19:43   #4
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

You should be able to coil the battens. Ask the sailmaker first just to be sure.


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Old 18-07-2015, 19:49   #5
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

Hmmm...Charlie, it might be easier to return the battens to the sailmaker and buy replacements when you are near the boat's location.

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Old 19-07-2015, 03:40   #6
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

The battens are only 42" (1.2M) long I am going to try and bring them carry on and see where that gets me.
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Old 19-07-2015, 03:48   #7
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

If you go to the airline's web site, they will have quite clear rules as to what you can carry on. If the sail bag is not acceptable, send it by airfreight suitably plastic wrapped.

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Old 19-07-2015, 04:07   #8
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

The main for my Rhodes Reliant 41 fitted into a large cheap suitcase, which I checked as an overweight bag, and paid the charge. Cheaper and less hassle than airfreight.
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Old 19-07-2015, 08:47   #9
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

do not think this would qualify for carry on, however working for airlines you would be surprised what people try to bring on.
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Old 19-07-2015, 08:53   #10
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

Airlines used to have a category called "accompanying air freight" whereby you paid cheaper freight rates but it went on the same plane as you. No idea if they still have that, but guessing maybe not since total profits are close to total baggage fees these days.

The fishing pole holder is a good idea, although they hit you hard for "oversize sports equipment" At 42" just tell them is a custom cane.

I have checked sails and usually try to put it inside a second grunge/sacrificial bag and then tie tight with small line (often able to get it within their max free bag size limit).

Another trick another cruiser taught me for use when taking several bags or gear. was to get a first class ticket where you get more free bags. Cheaper than paying the charges for extra bags.

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Old 19-07-2015, 09:14   #11
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

Airlines also have a "sports item" category where you pay for one bag but get both "components" included fore example fishing rod and tackle gear. Maybe you can check the sail and the separately packaged battens as a single sports item?
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Old 19-07-2015, 09:20   #12
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

For sports gear most carriers have fixed price like $50 or something. Just pack the battens in a skii bag or in rod tube as was mentioned by earlier poster.
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Old 19-07-2015, 09:24   #13
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

They allow guitars to be carried on... close o 42". I would try it, the worst case is they will ask you to check them at the gate, and that is easy. Put the battens in a cardboard tube.
You will need to fold the sail small enough to meet the carry on requirements. not sure you can do that for a sceptre 41 sail. Box it and check it.
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Old 19-07-2015, 10:28   #14
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

Cheechako. The sail is for my Wauquiez 33 not the Sceptre. It just fits the size requirement for standard baggage. I need to get a sacrificial bag now and a tube for the battens. Another idea I just came up with is to buy a cane at a thrift store and attach the battens to the side of it.
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Fair Winds,

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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 19-07-2015, 10:45   #15
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Re: Flying with a mainsail

My wife and I have checked similar items without problems on airlines. Just pack the batons in a cardboard tube or box. It's too long for a carry on and will need to be checked, so you might as well pack a bigger box and bring the weight up to 20 kilos, but keep the size below the max measurements for luggage. Maybe best to find a box large enough for the sail and batons together and just pay for the single box. Homeland will cut the box open and retape it, so write "do not cut" all over the box and state what's in it. They will then be more careful.

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