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Old 07-13-2013
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Storing the mail sail

After sailing for the day, I have to roll my mail sail and store it in the sail cover. I lay it on the grass (dry) and try to roll it. What's the best way to do that by myself? Which end should I start with? Which side? Do I flake it so that the foot is on the outside? What about the head of the sail?

I appreciate any advice.

Dave Goode
Bedford, VA
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Old 07-13-2013
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Re: Storing the mail sail

Denise, last I heard rolling was better than flaking, which can put creases in the sail. And if the sail is laminate or fiber-reinforced, flaking breaks the fibers and causes the laminate to separate. So flaking for dacron, ok, but not if he has something fancy.

Either way you start at the foot, so you are rolling or folding the widest part and you end up with the head of the sail on top of th epile, or on the outside of the roll.

And for a small sail you might want to throw a blue poly tarp down first, because even "dry" grass may have goose poop or simpoly leave grass stains on your sail. All depends on what your sail is and how compulsive you want to be.

There's no one else with a similar boat (dingy rack stored?) to spy on? (G)
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Old 07-13-2013
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I have a Dacron sail. I lay it out flat on the grass. I then "flake" it with the head of the sail in my hand. So, pick up the head of the sail and walk it towards the foot and well past it to create the first flake. Then walk back where you started to create your second flake. Maybe six or so back and forths depending on the size of your sail and you'll have a nicely flaked sail that you can roll up and put in your sail bag. Works for me.
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Old 07-13-2013
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Re: Storing the mail sail

There used to be a lot of discussion between the "folders" and the "stuffers." The stuffers claimed that folding created stress and deformation of the fiber at the folds. The problem with stuffing a sail is that it takes up a LOT more room than a folded sail but I can see the logic in avoiding folding, especially if folded the same way every time. I am guilty of tightly folding sails to save room.
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Re: Storing the mail sail

Fold the head of the sail back onto the sail until the head reaches about 2/3rd of the way down. If you have draught stripes then make sure that the sail is rolling along one of them (i.e. the "fold" you create runs parallel), that way you don't affect the shape of the sail. Roll it up starting at the stripe, a loosely as you can manage whilst still making it tight enough to fit in the bag.
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Old 07-14-2013
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Re: Storing the mail sail

With my load-path mainsail, I DO leave it on the boom (under cover - waterproof top, open bottom)... I had a discussion with the sailmaker over it, the discussion was that basically if I continue to roll the sail and it not get put away wet for long periods, that it should hold up as well as rolling and storing in the original sail bag, in a dry place. The critical part is do not fold it! (again this is a non-issue with dacron).

If you are really thorough, you'd store rolled, stuffed in a bag, rolled, not-folded, and in a dry cool place (is why you see racers arrive at the marina with their sails, having to bend them on EACH time), if you have a racing set and a practice set, this is probably the way you want to go.

Paul's technique has been one I've had a tough time replicating (might be the smaller size of my boat)... but I just roll head down, until I get to the boom. I leave battens in, making sure they stay parallel with the boom all the while rolling. The only interesting part of this is the loose foot main makes the whole shebang flop on the boom (until I get it tied off). But I've been doing this for 2 years now, and it seems to work fine.

I agree with the sailmaker though if it gets wet, you can see how it could super-heat the sail when the sun comes out.... so I get back as soon as it's dry and air out the sail.

I have a load path 155 genoa as well, it gets dragged up to dry land after each use, rolled (also top down cause single handed it's easier than bottom up, and rolls tighter), then gets stored on my boat (as its pretty dry on my boat). It rarely gets above 85 degrees at my boat (I know much hotter below), but I also have shade (yup) after about 4pm at my boat, so it cools off quickly there.

As for dacron. I'd leave it on the boom, flake it.

Just a quick look and it sounds like you have a J/22. Getting practice dacron sails might be a huge help for you, them you can leave on for practice sessions, and just change sails to the load path stuff when you race.

I only have 1 functional mainsail (my loadpath), my old dacron sail has seen better days. I DO however, have a functional 155 dacron, and when I am just messing around, it's the sail I pull... I also have a 130 which is JUNK (no leech line), but it works as the winds come up. The 130 is usable for me up to about 20 knots. After 20 knots I am reefing my main, at about 25, I am reefing my main, and also using reef knots in my 130 (yep it looks like heck, but I can do it, and it's designed for that).

As far as dacron stuffing versus folding? Stuffing is a must get rid of the sail now, thunderstorm coming, kind of thing. Folding is the ONLY way to properly store the dacron sail tough, and YES it takes up less space, but also it doesn't look like a shirt left on the floor overnight before being worn.

J/22 is a fun/fast boat, enjoy it.
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