repairing rip in mylar sail? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-22-2008
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purvisgs is on a distinguished road
repairing rip in mylar sail?

I have a mylar main with a rip aprox. 1' long in a (not too critical/ high stress) area near the clew.

I have talked with a sailmaker and searched online, results indicate that it "can't " be repaired by an amateur, but there is very little information out there about making repairs to a mylar sail.

Anyone have any experience with this? Any relevant information online that you are aware of?

sail tape? (would some tapes be better suited to mylar than others? adhesives? what should I know about stitching through mylar without affecting the strength significantly?

I am not concerned about looks or making a perfect repair, just keeping this sail alive for another year or two...

Thank you!
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Old 08-23-2008
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SEMIJim will become famous soon enough SEMIJim will become famous soon enough
If what you're finding is that a mylar sail "can't" be repaired by an amateur, and you're trying to get it to live another couple years, why not just take it to a sailmaker and have it repaired by a pro?

A couple weeks ago, out sailing, I all-of-a-sudden noticed the rear grommet on our cruising main (32 year old original main) had ripped out of the foot. Showed it to a local sailmaker. He quoted a whopping $35 to repair that and, while he's got the sail, he'll go over it and make any other relatively inexpensive ($20 here, $20 there) "tune-ups" he can. He stated that spending $100 or so on a sail tune-up and getting another couple years out of it is a good deal.

The sail is old and blown. Can't really get good sail shape out of it. But it works well as a blowin'-about-the-lake sail and lets us save the in-brand-new-condition main for racing .

Jim
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Old 08-23-2008
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Jim's right, get a pro to fix it asap as the rip will only get bigger. Unless caught in the middle of nowhere and without an alternative main to hoist, my first choice would be reefing to below the rip, a second option - without wind - would be taping. I once had a sail disintegrating on me from a hole made by a ballpoint.
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Old 08-23-2008
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I've ripped a few sails.

Just take it to a sailmaker. They can do an effective repair for probably less than $150. Sail tape or the sticky backed sail material sold in sheets will get you home, but they don't adhere nearly well enough for anything approaching a permanent fix, particularly to laminates like mylar.
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