Those who enjoy sailing know how vital, beautiful sails that have kept their shape are. Everyone who likes to travel by ship maintains its sails extensively. Proper care is a very important part of it. After all, you can not protect the sails from UV radiation on the water, but they need some extra care while being at a harbor also. Every sailor is happy about the sun, which is on the horizon and bathes the surroundings in a golden yellow light. But as much fun as having at sea in good weather, the sails do not like it. UV radiation harms not only human skin, but also sails. The summer sun is the greatest threat to them as it might cause the glue in the canvas and the fabric itself to break down. UV radiation causes the canvas to age faster.
To protect the sailcloth, post the tarpaulin in the harbour. Not only is it a tradition, but it also has an essential purpose in preserving the sail. The motto, therefore, applies: In the course of clearing up on deck, pack the sails. That should happen every time you enter the port. The mainsail comes under the boom cover; the foresail is also packed. Many sailors want to save themselves because the headsail usually does most of the work. But leaving it rolled up in the sun is not a good idea. They take damage and break in the process. If you don’t want to do this work every day, you can have a UV protection strip sewn to the bed linen. This protection protects the exposed areas of the rolled-up cloth from the sun. Of course, the look suffers a bit, but the sail will thank you for it.
Sharp Edges Cause Damage
While sailing, ship owners should always check whether sharp-edged parts could damage the sail. It is best to check the rig before the season starts. Headsails often rub against the spreaders. If the friction becomes too great due to the load, you can sew on protection here. Dirt is usually brushed out of the sails or rinsed with fresh water. That is also an excellent way to remove insects. You must remove heavy soiling must immediately. Use also Freshwater here. That is important; otherwise, the dirt will penetrate the fabric of the sail. The trade also offers special cleaners for this. If you regularly wash your sails with fresh water, this also prevents salt crystals from penetrating the sail.
It is a mistake that the mainsail has to dry first before it can be attached. Most of these fabrics are breathable. They can be drawn up immediately after rinsing. When washing up, you shouldn’t forget the running gear. That way, it doesn’t get hard and brittle. It would help if you even freed the blocks and the drum of the roller systems from the salt. We also recommend the treatment with a lubricant. That keeps the drum and the blocks running smoothly and prevents high wear.
If the sail does break, you can mend it directly on board. The trade offers its repair kits for this purpose. These are good for repairing laminate sails. Make sure that both sides of the seam are flat. If there is a crease here, it will later become a problem because that leads to high loads at the transitions. The sail will, therefore, no longer develop a clean profile. With these measures, every sailor is well equipped and can still enjoy the sail a lot.