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Old 15-04-2021, 14:21   #1
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Storing your extra sails while underway?

Looking for thoughts, tips n tricks for storing my extra sails in the least room possible without damaging them.

Previously if i was going to be not using them for awhile. I would take them ashore and fold them. Otherwise they just get stuffed in large sailbags. These are big and in the way. Starting to do some extended coastal cruising and sure would like to be able to stash them away in a smaller space.

This is on a 30ft sailboat. Anyone figure out a trick to fold sails on deck?

How bad would it be to use a compression stuff sack the squish them down after being just hand stuffed in a bag? Would the tighter creases cause excessive wear n tear?
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Old 15-04-2021, 14:30   #2
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

I’m really confused as to what your deck layout must look like, because people fold sails all the time on a 30 foot boat. But what extra sails are you talking about? Stuffing a Dacron sail is just about the worst thing you can do. Stuffing a nylon kite is fine.
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Old 15-04-2021, 14:43   #3
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

In case you don’t already know how to flake a sail here is a nice video.

https://youtu.be/9Ok7_AZaexQ

I prefer to have the head end up near the luff, as this makes for an easier hoist.

If you can find a flat clean surface use that. Otherwise do what many of us do. Use the side deck and foredeck instead of that nice flat surface. Despite the irregular surface you can make a pretty nice brick out of your sail.

If it is a lightweight nylon sail like a spinnaker I usually just stuff. They can be flaked as well. Pick a light air day.

When I was racing at the end of each day the crew and I would flake the jib or jibs we had used, and get them ready for the next day. Sometimes we would flake the sail below mid-race if we thought it would need to be used again. More often that was the case with distance races.

Flaking on deck can be done by one when it is calm, but is easiest with three.
Two to flake, and one to manage the unflaked bulk.
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Old 15-04-2021, 15:04   #4
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

I'm interested in hearing some tips too. My Genoa is 35ft long and 15ft wide, and my side decks are about 15ft long and 15in wide around a curve with shrouds etc in the way ... flaking a sail like in that video just doesn't seem possible. It makes me very reluctant to change sails between visits to marinas with clean wide docks.


Just getting the sail into the sailbag by any means is an achievement.


So any tips eagerly considered.
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Old 15-04-2021, 15:32   #5
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

Folding headsails doesn’t really require a flat deck. It is easier, of course, but if the man at the bow and the one aft are good about snapping clean folds, you can get the sail to flake like in the video across coach houses, or even up the sides of the shrouds.
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Old 15-04-2021, 15:45   #6
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandor View Post
Folding headsails doesn’t really require a flat deck. It is easier, of course, but if the man at the bow and the one aft are good about snapping clean folds,
Thanks, but I still have some problems with this ...
1) I am solo.
2) The luff line is stiff and doesn't fold, it likes to keep a diameter of about 1ft ... I can see it would be a lot easier with a hank-on sail.
Quote:
you can get the sail to flake like in the video across coach houses,
I'll give it a go next time. If I remove the vang from the boom, I can probably get about 6ft of space between the mast and the dodger. It's still going to be very tight.
Quote:
or even up the sides of the shrouds.
Are you suggesting hoisting it up the spin halyard and flaking it back down? Any wind at all would surely make that impossible.
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Old 15-04-2021, 16:18   #7
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

Welcome.

I would suggest updating your profile with your general location and your boat make & model or “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3308797

If you need further help let me know, I would be happy to.

Regarding sail storage. All depends on what you feel you need for sails and how your boat is rigged.
For me when I upgrade to a bigger boat I will add a removable inner forestay for a reefable staysail. Headstay will carry a high cut Yankee. Both sails will be hanked on and will generally stay in place in an over the stay bag. I actually have one for my current boat.
This means that generally the only things to store below are a storm staysail and a nylon drifter, both of which store very small.
The only time I’d have more sails below is in very heavy conditions when the Yankee, regular staysail and drifter need to be stored. That’s going to be 1-4% of the time underway. For that short a period of time I can suck it up.
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Old 15-04-2021, 17:03   #8
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

Previous boat ran hanked on headsails and solo was usual.

I made some long sail bags with zippers and an extra wide full length flap each side.

Sort of like a stack pack that opened flat to accommodate tack & clew.

Technique was to deploy the bag on deck with one flap attached to the top lifeline.
Other flap tied across deck with the bag clipped to the toe rail.

Tack so the headsail is on the same side as the bag.
Bring head sail inside the lifelines and drop it while controlling light tension on the sheet.

Sail will self flake into the bag leaving the hanked on luff exposed.

Zip the bag halfway from the clew end.
Detach the hanks and halyard, arrange the the luff across the top of the flaked sail.

Zip the bag

Remove tack and sheet.

Stow.
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Old 15-04-2021, 20:12   #9
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

The video link shows a couple people folding on a nice flat surface. That doesnt translate well to trying to fold on deck with narrow side decks that are curved with plenty of shrouds, stanchions, and a large hatch in the way.

With a jib, a genny and a drifter i have atleast 1 stiff dacron sail to stash at any given time. When the winds are light then both the jib n genny need to go below while i sail on the drifter.

Ive spent quite some time searching the net/youtube trying to find examples and sofar found 1 video of people folding a jib on deck. Of course there were 2 people working on it and they were tied to the dock. And they sure didnt make it look easy.

If anyone has links to videos or other tutorials demonstrating how all these people are doing it on 30 foot sailboats i would love to see it.
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Old 16-04-2021, 09:54   #10
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

sailed with a skipper who when underway would sleep in the bow, vee-berth, under his bagged sails so the weight of the sails would keep him on the mattress even in sizeable seas. mostly single-hand so havent had the opportunity to give this a try. suppose you get tired enof you can sleep no matter what's "sitting on you"!
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Old 16-04-2021, 14:01   #11
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

I fold mine on deck by myself. I strike my sails and install my sails 3-4 times a year right on deck is where I fold them. My vessel is 44 ft long the main is 53 feet tall foot length of sails is never longer than the vessel itself. I lower my dodger and fold them as I drop them. I have my vessel on a mooring but put your vessel on anchor so you can swing on it as the wind swings you into the wind you start folding as you control it’s decent.
Once you have accordion folded both the Genoa in my case 140% Genoa roller furled on the deck I bungee between mooring cleats. On both roll from back to front. From the clew to the tack, I have laid sail ties on deck before rolling and after but I definitely roll as tight as I can and strap tie the sail with extra ties before I attempt to bag the sail.
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Old 16-04-2021, 15:54   #12
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

Sails can be folded (flaked) on the side deck of most yachts. With two people it is easier. With one person you'll spend quite a bit of time walking back and forth to do both edges.

Judy and I fold sails, even 150% genoas, on our boat while at anchor or underway in calm weather. If we are at a dock we fold it over the life lines onto the dock, which takes a third person.

By carefully folding sails you can fit many of them into your boat. We cruised around the world with 12 sails and none of them were on deck (except one main, of course) or on a bunk or the cabin sole.

Head sails
  1. Drop the sail with the foot of the sail along the side deck, tack to the bow and clew to the aft, probably beyond the shrouds. You may lay it inside the shrouds or outside depending on where there is more room.
  2. Pull the body of the sail to the other side of the boat leaving just the foot on the side where you will fold it.
  3. Now begin flaking. Put fold upon fold over the foot which you laid down first.
  4. Take special care with the width of the folds. To keep the luff stacked so that the head stays towards the bow you must make the luff folds bigger than the leech folds to start. (I always tell the person at the leech, "narrow folds, really narrow"). You will be actually making triangle shaped flakes. As you fold the sail it moves towards the edge with the wider folds.
  5. As you flake the sail you will soon have more room and it will be easier since the flaked sail will be smaller and mostly on the foredeck. The first flakes are the most difficult.
  6. If you have a wire luff you'll have to let the wire do a natural curve instead of a sharp bend.
  7. You should aim for a flaked sail about 1.5 feet wide for a 30 foot boat, wider for a bigger boat.
  8. When the sail is entirely flaked then roll or fold it from the clew to the luff and tie it with a sail tie.
  9. Put it into a bag.
  10. This will be a very compact fold and easy to unfold and easy to bend onto the rig

Mainsails
  1. Same procedure except that it is easier to flake it alongside the cabin rather than the foredeck.
  2. Again, stack the luff on top of itself by varying the width of the folds front to back.
  3. Be careful that it doesn't slide off the deck into the sea.

Nylon Sails (such as spinnakers) without socks.
  1. Flake as if it was a headsail except keep the folds equal so that the head of the sail winds up in the middle of the flaked sail. We often folded spinnakers on grassy areas except in Mexico that is not possible because the gringos, who seemingly cannot live without a dog or two, walk them on the grass and all grassy areas near the marinas in Mexico are filled with dog poo. The floor of the yacht club works fine.
  2. You will have a long, narrow flaked spinnaker with the head on top of the stack in the middle and the clews (or tack and clew) at each end, on the bottom
  3. Now flake the sail by bringing the ends towards the middle about 2-3 feet at a time. They will be accordion folds.
  4. You will end up with a folded sail about 2'x3-4' with the ends and the head all visible.
  5. If you have a rectangular turtle you just lift the folded sail into the turtle. It can be directly hoisted out of this type of bag. Otherwise tie it tightly with a sail tie and bag it
  6. This type flaking for a spinnaker makes it about 1/3 the size of a "stuffed" sail
  7. Optionally you can tightly roll the flaked spinnaker and tie it with a sail tie, then put it into a plastic bag. The kites for Wings roll into a size about like a big camping sleeping bag.

Flying sails with socks or furlers.
  1. The best way is to have a tight furl before lowering the furled sail then coil or flake it into the bag depending on the directions of the sailmaker. This type of sail takes the most room to store.

No sails should be "stuffed" or stored where they will get wet or will be subject to mildew. Nor should they be left on deck in a bag unless it is a Sunbrella or similar bag. The exposure to sunlight will destroy most sailbags in a few months or even weeks.

Finally, avoid leaving your headsails on the furler when you are not using the boat. Even with UV panels on the leach they will suffer UV damage. One only needs to note the grey color and lack of life in the last two feet of the leech of a sail which had been left furled to understand how harmful this practice is.
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Old 16-04-2021, 16:14   #13
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

it's a little known fact that folding sails is the biggest single cause for divorce amongst yotties...

cheers,
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Old 16-04-2021, 18:03   #14
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

Sound advice, seems like you are experienced in this field - How many times have you been married?



Quote:
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it's a little known fact that folding sails is the biggest single cause for divorce amongst yotties...

cheers,
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Old 16-04-2021, 18:37   #15
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Re: Storing your extra sails while underway?

Oh my yes. Folding and flaking sails. My wife and I fold sails. I pretend to think I’m in charge but she has folded so many Whitbread ‘round the world sails. And bigger boats too. So she’s the expert. Really.
She can fold anything anywhere.
Reality is flaking a jib silently is a really good test of teamwork
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