Mainsail against spreaders? - SailNet Community

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Old 07-24-2006
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Mainsail against spreaders?

Hi,

While sailing off the wind on a broad reach/run, I've noticed the mainsail plastered up against the main spreaders. I've read that this can cause chafing and sail damage, plus it just looks weird. Pulling down on the boom w/ the vang helps, but it's still prevelant as I let the sail out. Anything else I can do, or is this even worth worrying about?

I have a J/28.

Thanks,
Nick
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Old 07-24-2006
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You should have sacrificial spreader patches and use a fair amount of vang, but otherwise the fastest way down wind in a good breeze is with the mainsail plastered against shrouds and spreaders.

Jeff
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Old 07-24-2006
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Hi Jeff. Thanks for the quick reply.

"spreader patches"? I'm not completely sure what you mean here. I am envisioning something involving dacron tape (or some other protective material) on either the sail or the spreaders/shroud. Am I in the ballpark?

Thanks
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Old 07-24-2006
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Yes, if you are actually seeing chafe then take the sail to your sailmaker and they will add a little wear patch. Similar to the ones you see on the genoa where the ends of the spreader can touch them. If you do not see any wear then I would just monitor it.

If you do not see any wear and you still wish to have one put on you will have to accurately mark the spot on your main where it should go.

Gary
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Old 07-24-2006
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The sacrificial patches Jeff is talking about is an extra layer or two of either sail repair tape or sail cloth over the area of the sail that makes contact with the spreaders. It generally has to be added to the sail by a sailmaker, often by observing where the actual chafe is occurring, as GaryM has pointed out.
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Old 07-25-2006
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Great...thanks for the info fellas
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Old 07-29-2006
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I put on some sail repair tape in those areas that seems to be working so far. (1 month). It was quick and easy to do - got the tape at West Marine.
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Old 07-29-2006
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Good sail repair tape is forms a more permanent bond with the cloth than sticky back chafe material, which is intended to be replacable. Also chafe patches are made from a material that is particularly abrasion resistant so that they can last many years.

Jeff
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