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eSailor 12-02-2011 01:38 PM

leaving sails on the boat during winter...horrible idea?
I did not get a chance to remove the sails (typical main and Shaffer roller furling genny) before the boat was hauled out of the water.

Is it a horrible idea to leave them on the boat (rigged) during the entire winter? The main will be under the normal sail cover and I will also have a winter cover over that. I am worried about trying to remove the sails when the boat is on jack stands and I am invisioning a wind puff at the wrong time while I have the sail pulled out during removal. Could be catastrophic for me and neighboring boats on the hard :eek:

Northen Maryland area.


Faster 12-02-2011 02:04 PM

Take a spare/spinnaker halyard and wrap it around the rolled headsail to prevent an unexpected storm from unfurling the sail (with potentially dramatic results), and/or tie the clew tightly with sail ties around the roll..

Is your winter cover supported?... if not and it's a tarp over the boom/sail cover then you're likely to get some chafe on the sailcover from the tarp.. Since the main is already down and it can't fill like the headsail I'd be tempted to take it off. But... you're hauled for the winter so you're likely in an area where humidity is not going to be high so maybe you'll be OK as long as your don't trash your sailcover...

CalebD 12-02-2011 03:34 PM

Wait for a calm day and take off the furling genny and the main sail. Keep them in a garage or basement.
It is really a bad idea to leave the sails on the boat. There is UV exposure, mildew and chafing from winter storms to contend with plus a furled genny adds wind resistance where you need it least.
It is a good idea if you really want to buy a new set of sails though since the sails you left on the boat may get trashed.
Take 'em off.

Tim R. 12-02-2011 03:35 PM

You probably have no choice with the headsail. Every boatyard I know of has a strict rule against hoisting/unfurling sails while on the hard.

sailingfool 12-02-2011 04:55 PM

54 Attachment(s)
If a genoa unrolls when the boat is in the water, you are likely to have a shredded sail. If the sail unrolls while the boat is on a likely to have a shredded boat...

WDS123 12-02-2011 04:57 PM

Why not just go over and take 'EM off ?

JedNeck 12-02-2011 05:42 PM

Would you leave a $2000 outboard sitting out in the weather all winter?

Why would you leave $2000+ worth of sails sitting out? They are afterall the main motor for sail boat.

I don't even leave my sails on the boat during the summer months if I am going to be away for more than a day or two.

Sabreman 12-02-2011 07:46 PM

Get them off the boat and the running rigging too. Wait for a calm day, but get 'em off.

chef2sail 12-02-2011 08:03 PM

Off...Off...offf...dont do it again.

Besides the obvious extra windage on jackstands the UV degrades the sail...sailcover as well as the thread. Any moisture which gets in the sail will freeze. Next calm dayjust unroll the furler and drop the sail to the deck.


RobGallagher 12-02-2011 08:15 PM

I made the mistake of leaving a headsail on a roller furling for winter wet storage.

I procrastinated, hoping for a couple more winter sails. When that never happened due early snow and freezing conditions I tried to wait for thaw to get the sail off. That never happened and then I left for Asia for six weeks.

By the time I came back from Asia and could get the sail unfurled it was BLACK with mold. Ruined.

Get it off if you can.

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