Check Them Out - Sail Magazine

Check Them Out

To check the condition of your sails, hoist each one individually on a calm day and watch what happens to the shape of the sail when you adjust the luff and foot. You still can get reasonable performance from an old sail if the basic shape remains; if it’s disappeared, take the sail to a sailmaker. He or she may have some suggestions for a recut. If your mainsail uses short battens, make
Author:
Publish date:

To check the condition of your sails, hoist each one individually on a calm day and watch what happens to the shape of the sail when you adjust the luff and foot. You still can get reasonable performance from an old sail if the basic shape remains; if it’s disappeared, take the sail to a sailmaker. He or she may have some suggestions for a recut.

If your mainsail uses short battens, make sure they are thin and flexible enough at the forward end so there isn’t a hard angle in the sail where the batten stops. Full-length battens will produce a better shape; however, you’ll need to consider (and deal with) hoisting and lowering the sail. A reasonably skilled person should be able to raise, lower, and furl a mainsail of about 500 square feet without help.

If you’re getting under way and there is a question about what the weather might do, start with a reef in the main and —if you don’t have roller furling—a smaller headsail. It’s easier to change up than it is to change down. Hal Roth

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more