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Sail repair advice?

May 19, 2020
61
Hunter 30 Quincy
Hey all,
While out on the harbor the other evening my main developed a tear about six feet in length just above one of the seams. It extends back to the leech but the leech itself is still intact. It's about 25 feet up (40 foot luff). Looks like a pretty clean tear.
It appeared out of nowhere, not like there was significant wind or gusts or anything. I am unsure of the sail's age, I believe the prior owners of my boat bought it used since the number on it does not correspond to anything on my boat. This makes me worry that the whole thing is just waiting to self destruct from the cumulative effects of sun and years.
Considering the short season here in Massachusetts and the fact that I just started my vacation and was hoping to get some sailing miles in, should I try getting this professionally fixed or just throw some Dacron tape on it and hope for the best? I've already called one loft but haven't gotten a call back, was going to try a few more on Monday. First experience with sail repair, just trying to get an idea of how to proceed.
I think this winter's project might be getting some new sails, just want to enjoy the rest of the season in the meantime.

Thanks!
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,636
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Take the sail to a local sail loft for repair. Then obtain quotes for new a new sail. That is what do anytime a sail rips/tears (only happend twice in 12 years on older sails) and eventually purchased a replacement.
 
Last edited:
May 17, 2004
3,433
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
If you can get it fixed quickly go with that. If not in your position I would probably tape it and maybe try to do some extra stitching. If it fails again it’s not catastrophic or a significant safety issue. Keep some extra tape and stitching supplies with you. And it sounds like over the winter you’ll be in the market for new sails.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,863
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
A rip that large, I guess, is
  1. aged/worn bout thread
  2. A tear patched with sail tape
Any sustainable repair will be sail tape and stitching.

I would take the sail to a loft for inspection. They might fixit or say it is worn out.

New sails are a real benefit to your sailing.
 

kingle

.
May 24, 2011
5
Hunter 386 East Greenwich RI
Hey all,
While out on the harbor the other evening my main developed a tear about six feet in length just above one of the seams. It extends back to the leech but the leech itself is still intact. It's about 25 feet up (40 foot luff). Looks like a pretty clean tear.
It appeared out of nowhere, not like there was significant wind or gusts or anything. I am unsure of the sail's age, I believe the prior owners of my boat bought it used since the number on it does not correspond to anything on my boat. This makes me worry that the whole thing is just waiting to self destruct from the cumulative effects of sun and years.
Considering the short season here in Massachusetts and the fact that I just started my vacation and was hoping to get some sailing miles in, should I try getting this professionally fixed or just throw some Dacron tape on it and hope for the best? I've already called one loft but haven't gotten a call back, was going to try a few more on Monday. First experience with sail repair, just trying to get an idea of how to proceed.
I think this winter's project might be getting some new sails, just want to enjoy the rest of the season in the meantime.

Thanks!
Time for a new sail. The stitching or fabric is at the fated end of life. Any repairs are kind of a waste of money. Consider the cost of the repair(s) a big discount on a new sail. A gale blew through Rhode Island Friday night. My main was slightly damaged. Doyle Sails in East Greenwich will turn the repair around in a day or two - give them a call.
 
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Feb 21, 2013
3,636
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Ditto Scott T-Bird ..................after my used (unknown age) head sail ripped I took it down, got it repaired, shortly afterwards replaced it with a new sail and kept the older one as a back-up.
 
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Jan 7, 2011
2,833
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I ripped my old main near the end of the season. I tried all sorts of tape, stitching, etc….all failed as soon as the wind picked up :(

Try to patch it up enough to sail, but start saving your boat bucks for a new sail.

In my case, I think my main was the original (1988) sail... I upgraded to really nice North sail full-batten main with Tides Marine Strong Track….love it!
image0 1.JPEG



Good luck!

Greg
 
May 19, 2020
61
Hunter 30 Quincy
Thanks for the advice everyone. I found a recommended local loft that said it should be a quick job to repair but that the sail is on it's last legs.

In the back of my head I knew this was inevitable. I know they've got an interest in selling me a new sail but they've also been around (husband and wife) for like 40+ years and have a great reputation at my club so what can you do? They're fixing it but I'm working on getting quotes as well.

Thanks for all the input
 
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