Ask Sail: Recycled Sails

I am considering buying used sails for my 1985 Beneteau First 38. I’d like to find some sails from another Beneteau First 38, but if I can’t, what should I look for?
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Wilbur Montfiore of Savannah, Georgia, asks:

I am considering buying used sails for my 1985 Beneteau First 38. I’d like to find some sails from another Beneteau First 38, but if I can’t, what should I look for? Which measurements are most important if I want to take a sail from another boat and have it cut to fit mine?

Win Fowler replies:

There are several important points to consider when deciding if it is practical to recut a sail built for another boat to fit on yours. Obviously, the original sail has to be at least as large as the sail you need. Next, look for a sail built of high-quality material of the appropriate strength that has been as lightly used as possible.

With crosscut sails it is very important to preserve the panel orientation so that the panels in the recut sail are still perpendicular to a straight line drawn between the head and clew. If this angle changes too much, the recut sail won’t be able to support its leech adequately. The most expensive parts of recutting are rebuilding corner reinforcements and edges, so the more corners and edges you can preserve the better.

Finally, be aware of some less obvious considerations. For instance, if recutting a mainsail of a very different aspect ratio, the angle of the batten-pocket exits and reef rows may not work. This is costly to correct. Most important, find an experienced sailmaker to advise you on all of this before taking the plunge, or you may not get good value for the money you invest in the project.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

Related

09-Map-Route-VG2020

Vendee Globe Village Closing, Race Still On

Following the latest national lockdown measures announced by French President Emmanuel Macron as part of the fight against Covid-19, the 2020-21 Vendée Globe Race Village will be closed to the public beginning Friday, October 30th. The Vendée Globe will still take place as ...read more

Register-2048

Register of Circumnavigators Launched

Just in time for a fresh class of Vendée Globe sailors to attempt their circumnavigations, The International Association of Cape Horners (IACH) has taken on the responsibility of maintaining an official register of sailors who have completed solo circumnavigations by the Three ...read more

FPO skys0tlm8jlrpynehcpe_NEW

A Half-century of Cruising with SAIL

I cannot say I have been reading SAIL magazine since the very beginning, but I come pretty darned close. Sometime around 1974, when I was in high school, I began buying it every month at our local newsstand and saving every issue until I had great stacks of them, as carefully ...read more

B&G-Halo20+-side-facing

Gear: B&G HALO radar

B&G’s HALO series of radars now includes the HALO20+ and the HALO20, a pair of compact radomes expressly designed for use aboard smaller sailboats. The units measure 20in in diameter and weigh a mere 11lb. The HALO20+, in particular, delivers a full 360-degree sweep every ...read more

PICTON CASTLE under sail with stunsls WV7 compressed

Picton Castle Seeks Crew

The Picton Castle is set to begin its eighth circumnavigation this spring under the command of Captain Daniel Moreland. A professional crew of 12 will guide up to 40 trainees at a time as they learn about all aspects of sailing the bark, from steering to lookout, ...read more

DSC_0013

Ask Sail: Keel Attachments

Q: I have an early ‘70s Catalina 27. The keel bolts look pretty good. My question is, why not glass over the keel to bond to the hull rather than changing the bolts if, or when the bolts are too far gone? I haven’t seen anything on this, so could you discuss? Full-keels are ...read more

04-GOPR0511

Book Review: Sailing Into Oblivion

Sailing Into Oblivion by Jerome Rand $15.99, available through Amazon As refreshing and inspiring as Jerome Rand’s 2017-18 solo-circumnavigation may have been, his account of the voyage in the book Sailing Into Oblivion: The Solo Non-Stop Voyage of the Mighty Sparrow may be even ...read more

01-1970-Dec

50 Years of SAIL

Back in early 1970, Bernie Goldhirsh and the recently founded “Institute for the Advancement of Sailing,” publisher of an annual sailboat and gear guide, launched something called SAIL. A half-century later, a look back at the magazine’s first few years provides a glimpse into a ...read more