Cruising, Sails, and UV

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Oct 3, 2006
Hunter 23 Philadelphia
So, I was thinking the other day about Uv protection for my sails. I converted my furling sail to hank-on, and removed the dysfunctional furler. There's no reason for me to keep the sunbrella cover on it (unless i were to go back) - but that's not the point of my post.
Most of us here have a dock / trailer/ something that our boats return to. The sails get put away and the little strip of UV cover protects the dacron. But a cruiser has their sails hoisted all the time, would need UV protection for the ENTIRE sail. Are there alternative sail materials that are inherently not as vunerable to UV? How do cruisers address this?
Sep 25, 2008
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
sail life

is in large measure a function of how much it is used and the amount of UV to which it is exposed meaning cruising sails tend to have a far lesser lifespan than average as there is no practical way to shield them. About the only thing one can do is ensure the proper thread is used in construction. By comparison, so-called "racing" sails such as the 3DLs are generally good for one or two years tops regardless of UV exposure.


Feb 14, 2005
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD

Many long distance or 'passage' sailors choose Tanbark colored sails for UV protection and longer life of woven dacron. The darker the color of dacron polyester the longer the service life versus UV.

Laminate sails (unptotected with a dacron taffeta overlay) only last a few short years.
May 6, 2004
- - Potomac
Don't kid yourself...

...about cruisers having "their sails hoisted all of the time." 90% of their time is spent at anchor, sails covered.
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