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post #1 of 10 Old 05-30-2010 Thread Starter
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Angry Ripped my main today

So we were just playing around in the bay today. It was windy so I had just the main up, unreefed. I was somewhere in a close reach when I heard this tearing sound. I immediately looked up and the main and the bolt rope were separating at the foot, starting from the clew, and it was still tearing while I looked! Thank God the outhaul was on the clew really tight. If not, the entire sail would have converted into a big flapping flag in a matter of seconds.

Immediately I started the motor, put the boat into the wind, and dropped the main. The tear is about a foot long. It's an old sail that was on borrowed time anyway. I've been debating whether to replace it for a long time. Guess my debate has just been made easy!

Now, the real problem is that I'm scheduled to take some friends out for a sail tomorrow. So instead of canceling the trip, I think I'll just keep using the sail, reefed. The tear along the foot should not affect anything while the main is reefed... right?

P.S., what do you guys do with sails beyond repair? Is there a place to recycle them, or should I just throw it in the trash?
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-30-2010
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Bimini

Don't trash it, you could turn it into a Bimini.
What size was it?
I have a several used sails for boats 25' to 28 '.

Dick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybyknight View Post
Don't trash it, you could turn it into a Bimini.
What size was it?
I have a several used sails for boats 25' to 28 '.

Dick
It's a Catalina 27 main sail. A Bimini huh? Now that's a thought. I gotta look into that.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-30-2010
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Depends on the failure mode, and on the overall condition of the sail. Was it the boltrope stitching that gave way? You could sew it back on... or look upon this as a chance to convert to loose-footed main. Lash an outhaul slug on that clew grommet and go sailing.

If it was the Dacron that failed, that could be due to localized stress and fatigue. You might be able to repair or replace that section of the bottom panel, refit the boltrope (or not), and go sailing. If the entire sail is tissue paper, it's time for a new or reliable used mainsail.

Buccaneer18, Grainnia
SJ21, Diarmuid
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-30-2010
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If you do reef it, esp. given the condition of the sail, don't tie in the reef points except to loosely gather the reefed material. Put all the load on the tack and clew cringles. With a sail that's wanting to fall apart already, any load on the weakly reinforced reef points will cause another tear.

Ron

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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dboy4ever View Post
The tear is about a foot long. It's an old sail that was on borrowed time anyway. I've been debating whether to replace it for a long time. Guess my debate has just been made easy!
You are going to trash a sail with a one foot tear? IMHO that would be premature.

First, I wouldn't use the sail immediately without putting some sail tape over the tear. A one foot tear should be easy to cover.

Second, any good sail loft can give you some good info on whether or not the sail is worth repairing. I don't know about the US, but in Canada, repairing a one foot tear isn't too expensive.

We had a similar problem about 6 years ago on one of our sailing co-op's Catalina 27's. It ripped from the luff to the leech during a controlled (making the whole thing even funnier) gybe. Repair cost was just over $100 CDN. The club finally decided to buy a new sail, given the advanced age of the sail. However, as far as I know, the old sail is still in storage as a backup.

Mark

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post #7 of 10 Old 05-30-2010
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Agreed. I've taken a ripped main and jib into the Annapolis North Sails shop and both were repaired for under $200 each. Lots cheaper than a new sail, even if it's an old one.

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-30-2010
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I have a very nice main that might fit that is the wrong for my C-26 that I'm looking to sell.

I also agree that you could use sailtape.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-30-2010
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A few years ago my main started to rip at first 3 lower slugs. The sail was old, previous owner did nothing to the boat so sail was probably owner before, maybe 15 years old.

Got a new main from FX, the boat was happy, pointing improved, less weather helm. The old sail is in a bag as a spare, but I will probably never use it again.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-30-2010
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If you are going to get rid of your sail there is a need in Haiti for shelter. Follow the following link for info...

If you can help please email them on sailorshelp_haiti@y7mail.com and follow the blog Sailors Help Haiti
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