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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 07-02-2008
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Small Rips in Sail

I have three small tears in the sail. They are in close proximity. I don't want to lose time taking the sail for repair work. The sail is 17 years old and may need to be replaced. I just bought the boat so I am uncertain as to the exact sail age.

Anyway, is there a quick fix? Duck tape maybe?
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Depending on the size of the rip and you might try Dacron Sail Repair tape. Can be found at West Marine.Tape on both sides. Don't use duck tape.
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If you use sail repair tape, you would be best advised to sew over the patches several times to prevent them from peeling off at a minimum.
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Thanks

Just a silly question....is there any special way to stitch a sail...fabric....needle size...thread size...

Thanks.

Last edited by Serve; 07-02-2008 at 02:19 PM.
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Small rips in sail - repair info

If you use the dacron sail repair tape on both sides, it is often sturdy enough to not require additional stitching/sewing. If you do want to stitch/sew, try Sail-rite for sail needles and thread for outside sails - although a good nylon thread and needles from either an upholstery shop - or a carpet laying shop - will also work. Any reasonable stitch will work for the patch - just keep the loops about 1/4"-3/8" long.

TomT
S/V Lenochka
1982 Cal 9.2
San Mateo, CA
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As already stated Sailrite and most other marine supply outlets have repair kits with the thread, wax, palm, needles and some even have a small amount of sail material. I think Sailrite even had a book for about 12 bucks on DIY sail repairs. I had a fairly good sized area (about 2' x 6") that needed repair on a very old sail with several small rips and a small amount of UV damaged material. I bought some dacron sail material and lamented both sides holding the repair material in place with carpet tape on a flat surface to keep them lined up and smooth. Then I just followed the original sewing pattern. The area I repaired was in a reinforced and heavily stressed area of the sail so I probably went over board to make sure it lasts until I can afford to replace it.
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