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zamber 28-07-2020 00:32

Repair your own sails or send out?
Do you repair your own sails or send them out? If you send then out, do you have a local company do it or ship out of area?
How often do you repair your sails?

zamber 05-08-2020 21:36

Re: Repair your own sails or send out?
Anybody wants to say?

Jim Cate 05-08-2020 22:39

Re: Repair your own sails or send out?
OK, I'll have a stab at it, Zamber.

As usual, it depends! First thing, until sails are near end of useful life, repairs are not often required. The first thing to go usually is stitching, often in way of the shrouds or other chafe inducing bits... and stitching is easy to renew yourself. By hand is often easy enough, but if there is a long bit of parted seam, then a machine will surely help speed one on your way. IMO there is no need whatsoever to pass that on to a sailmaker.

Beyond stitching, small tears, often from snagging the sail on something sharp like a cotter pin can also be hand stitched and then reinforced with a small patch made from cloth of similar nature to that of the sail. I've done a few of those on white sails, and a few more on kites, for they are more prone to such damage. Again, no need for the pros here.

But as the sail ages, its strength wanes and larger tears are possible, perhaps to the point of needing a new panel, and that's a bit much for a simple sailor to handle. This is both from the point of handling a big mass of cloth, lots of stitching and reinforcing, and also from the need to shape the seams correctly to maintain sail shape. For such repairs a pro will likely do a far better job than you can. If you are in the woop-woop and no sailmaker is in sight, and you have the needed cloth and a space to work, well, a poorly mended sail is better than no sail at all, so give it a go.

As to local or send out, I'm always in favor of using a local sailmaker. You can take the sail to him and spread it out and discuss the options for repair. Most any sailmaker has the skill needed to do even big repairs, so don't worry much about the ability of a local. In fact, he's more likely to do a good job if he has had a chance to chat with you personally.

So, there's this sailors thoughts on your query.



wingssail 05-08-2020 23:01

Re: Repair your own sails or send out?
4 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by zamber (Post 3195911)
Do you repair your own sails or send them out? If you send then out, do you have a local company do it or ship out of area?
How often do you repair your sails?

We don't allow sail damage to take our boat out of service.

We carry a big sailrite machine and plenty of sail repair material. I perform almost all of my sail repairs. This allows us to get the sail back up and in use quickly, often the same day.

Most repairs can be done on board, even underway. Most are simple, small tears or patches. Some are bigger jobs, I will tackle almost all of them. Some I do at the local yacht club. If the repair will affect the shape and needs a good loft to get smooth seams, or if a heavier machine (rarely) or special press is needed we send it out locally. But in some remote areas we have used tailor shops, furniture repair shops, or anyone who has a machine. I only send a sail to the factory if it is a warranty job.

We sail hard and often and have a powerful boat which can be hard on sails
so sail repairs are needed frequently. I often wonder how other people deal with this need, and I have concluded that they just don't sail as much as we do, so they have fewer repair needs, or maybe they are better sailors and don't damage sails.

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By the way, here is my current sewing list:

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