Re: leaving sails on the boat during winter...horrible idea?
My main's only been bent on since 1997. So far, no need of signifigant repairs, though I have changed battens, added a few stitches to the pockets, and replaced slug lashings. The sail is well covered, including the clew (many hang out). Same on my last boat.
While you could certainly take the main home and many "feel" better about it, I'm not sure it's obvious that mildew is less likely with the sail folded at home than in cold storage on the boat under a breathable cover. There should be zero chafe and zero UV exposure, if the cover is proper. I've never expereinced it on the spar. Do close it tightly enough that birds cannot get in--that I've expereinced several times, though they did no harm. I do add sail ties over the cover when leaving for a storm or a long period.
I'm surprised they let you haul with the genny up.
I would NOT try to remove that sail is there is ANY detectable wind. The force to the side is far greater than you may think and stands are not meant for that. IF the sail does not fall straight down, there is too much wind. Try early in the morning.
The "wrap the halyard" trick is very effective done well; I've done that through weak huricanes at the shore. But give the extra windage, off is better. Also, a genny does not have a true cover, only a UV strip, and they require expensive replacement.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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