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  #1  
Old 09-14-2003
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old sails

I bought a ''79 ODay three years ago, and the sails seem stretched and baggy. Is this what sailers refer to as "blown out"? and is replacement the only solution?
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Old 09-15-2003
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old sails

Without seeing the sails it is hard to say, but more likely than not they are blown out, or poorly cut to begin with. The bad news is that there is no really good way to restore a sail. There is a lot of hype around various methods to improve older sail cloth but these techniques really are not all that effective since they merely lock in the bad shape and you can build a new sail for what it takes to properly recut an older sail. Your best bet is to try to buy a new sail from a quality larger loft using one of the deep discounts at one of the fall boatshows. Typically in an apples to apples comparison, the larger lofts will be in the same price range of the so called bargain lofts only with more sophisticated cutting patterns and better fabric testing. The good news is that you will be stunned at how much better and more comfortably your boat will sail with new sails.

Jeff
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Old 09-15-2003
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old sails

I replaced my old North sails a few years ago, but kept the genoa and had it re-stitched, which was very inexpensive. I use it for light air racing and sailing, because, having stretched a bit, it has a nice full shape. Because it was well made, and of good sailcloth, it still sets nicely. Don''t throw out those big old baggy sails without trying them out for use off the wind and in light air. The new genoa is a huge improvement when we''re working to windward in stronger winds, but I''ve been surprised at how often I still find the old one useful.

A new, custom-made, full-cut sail made with new, good quality sailcloth would unquestionably be faster than the old North, if cost is not a consideration, but the old North gives me a very cost-effective and useful choice.
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