A sailmaker talks about
Looking After Your New Sails

We recommend that you roll mainsails and foresails rather than fold them.

The Mainsail
It is best to leave the battens in and the idea is to slide the mainsail foot along the boom, leaving the rest of the sail rolled until you are ready to hoist. The reverse procedure can then be followed when you come ashore.

As you roll up the sail parallel to the battens, keep the material crease free. Be very careful not to pull out any folds or pleats along the tube you create. If they do occur, just unroll the sail slightly and shake out or smooth the creases and start rolling again.

The Foresail
Unfortunately the PVC-coated luff wire is trying to straighten out and so rolling the foresail has to be done carefully. We prefer to leave the sail ties on whilst shackling the tack down and attaching the jib sheet. Then the wire can be uncoiled and the halliard attached to the head.

Ashore, the sail should be taken down and rolled up again. This is best done by leaving the tack shackled on and the jib sheet pulled in reasonably tight. The sail can then be rolled around the luff wire.

So please do not leave the sail hoisted, flapping between races.

The Spinnaker
This should be flaked and then folded carefully into its bag after use. It is best not to leave it in the chute (ed. note: spinnaker launcher to us North Americans!) for any length of time - especially with load on the patch. The sail should not be dried by hoisting and letting it flap as this stretches the edges.

Finally, please give us a ring if you have any queries. Good sailing.

Michael McNamara   UKWA News #80/Winter 1998